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Evacuate Guantanamo – It Belongs to Cuba

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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

For more than 100 years, the United States has illegitimately occupied Cuban soil. “They turned one of Cuba’s most precious natural resources, Guantanamo Bay, into a curse on the lips of the world.”

 

Evacuate Guantanamo – It Belongs to Cuba

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Washington’s illegal occupation of Guantanamo Bay is now 111 years old.”

As the world witnesses the latest chapter in Israel’s occupation and blockade of Palestinians, it is important to remember that the United States has also been engaged in many of the same violations of international law against one of its own neighbors – and for an even longer period of time. The U.S. embargo against Cuba is seven years older than the Israeli seizure of the West Bank and Gaza, in 1967, while Washington’s illegal occupation of Guantanamo Bay is now 111 years old, predating Israel’s 1948 formation out of Palestinian land by nearly half a century.

Guantanamo Bay was seized by the United States during the Second Cuban War of Independence from Spain, which the Americans prefer to call the Spanish American War. The United States intervened in that war in 1898, with the purpose of making Cuba into a U.S. colony, as it did to Puerto Rico and the Philippines. In 1901, the United States Senate passed the Platt Amendment, which demanded that Cuba lease naval bases to Washington. Guantanamo was signed away in perpetuity under the point of a gun, although it is a principle of international law that treaties concluded under military occupation are not valid. After the Revolution, the Cuban constitution repudiated all agreements made “under conditions of inequality.” But the Americans remained. They turned one of Cuba’s most precious natural resources, Guantanamo Bay, into a curse on the lips of the world, as a prison camp for desperate Haitian refugees, and then as a nexus of American international criminality and torture.

Most Americans know Guantanamo’s recent, shameful notoriety, but few are aware that the U.S. presence there has always been a crime against the Cuban people – a crime that goes back more than twice as far as the 1960 embargo.

In Latin America, it is the United States that has been a direct and constant threat to the sovereignty and dignity of its neighbors.”

But Cuba does not forget. When the United Nations voted 188 to 3, last week, to condemn the U.S. embargo, Cuba submitted to Washington a “draft agenda” aimed at normalizing relations. At the top of the list, of course, is “the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade.” Also included among the “fundamental topics” for any “respectful dialogue” is “return of the territory occupied by the Guantanamo Naval Base.” The Cubans insist on their removal from the U.S. list of “terrorism-sponsoring countries”; an end to U.S. immigration policies that single out Cuba; compensation for economic and human damages inflicted on Cuba by the United States; a halt to “radio and TV aggressions” against Cuba; and that the U.S. stop financing subversion inside Cuba.

The Cubans say release of the Cuban Five, imprisoned for infiltrating right-wing Cuban exile groups in Florida, is “an essential element” of meaningful talks.

U.S. media pundits worry that Washington has lost its ability to act as a mediator in the Middle East, because it has for generations protected the expansionist, hyper-aggressive and thoroughly racist Israeli regime. And this is true. But in Latin America, it is the United States that has been a direct and constant threat to the sovereignty and dignity of its neighbors, through centuries of gunboat diplomacy, invasions, the colonization of Puerto Rico and the near-colonization of Cuba. The occupation of Guantanamo Bay is part of that imperial legacy – a game in which Israel is a relative – although extremely dangerous – upstart. For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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Comments

Given all the castro worship in liberal hollywood and academia

This question in my head has always nagged me,,, but for some reason I've never asked it:

If Cuba is such a big bad pariah state, why haven't they been bombed yet? The U.S. could easily overthrow that government with air and drone strikes. And what is an infamous U.S. concentration/training camp doing on their land if they're so big and bad?

Is there an infamous U.S. concentration/training camp in Iran? I don't think so. Let me know if I'm wrong...

Fidel in his own words, in an exclusive interview with a top neocon:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/09/fidel-to-ahmadi...

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/09/fidel-to-ahmadi...

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/09/fidel-to-ahmadi...

Gitmo Not Without Precedence

To site other examples of foreign outpost on someone else's sovereign territory: China's Hong-Kong was under UK control up till the yr 2000. The Falkland Islands [Argentina] & Gilbraltar [Spain] are still under UK control - The UK & Argentina fought over the Falklands [Malvinas] in 1982, which the Brits won [helped establish Maggie Thatcher's Rep as the 'Iron Maiden']. In Liberia the US' Firestone Tire Corp has had control over a 1 million acre rubber plantation [the World's biggest] from 1929 till 2029 [Note: Its been said this was some of the same land Marcus Garvey was trying to buy]. 

IMO the reason the US has refrained from all out invasion of Cuba [they tried it w the failed 'Bay of Pigs Ops'] is because JFK cut a deal w Kruschev during the Oct 1962 Missile Crisis that the US would NOT invade Cuba. So the US resorted to trying to over-throw & assassinate Fidel [which obviously failed], sabotage & an economic strangle-hold. 



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