Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama : No More Gitmo

Aerial view of Guantánamo Bay
(Picture from Wikipedia)

Below is the latest from Wikipedia:

[During his 2008 Presidential campaign, Barack Obama described Guantanamo as a "sad chapter in American history" and promised to close down the prison in 2009. After being elected, President Obama reiterated his campaign promise on 60 Minutes and the ABC program "This Week." On 12 January 2009, the Associated Press reported that Obama plans to issue an executive order during his first week as president to close the detention center, although the closure may not be complete within his first 100 days as president. The fate of the remaining inmates would then be determined.

On 20 January 2009, President Obama stated that in fact he would sign the documents to close Guantanamo Bay, and as of midnight on 21 January 2009, he ordered the government to suspend prosecutions of Gitmo detainees for 120 days in order to review all the detainees cases to determine whether and how each detainee should be prosecuted.

A day later, President Obama signed an Executive Order stating that Gitmo would in fact be closed within a year.

The Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp is a United States detention center operated by Joint Task Force Guantánamo since 2001 in Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, which is on the shore of Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.]

Why the US has control over a "territory" of Cuba? Below is from Wikipedia:

[The United States assumed territorial control over Guantánamo Bay under the 1903 Cuban-American Treaty, which granted the United States a perpetual lease of the area. The current Cuban government considers the U.S. presence in Guantánamo to be illegal and the Cuban-American Treaty to have been procured by the threat of force in violation of international law.]

In fact I put up the question in "Yahoo Answers" some time ago. One of the answers I received is quite interesting:

"The 1903 Cuban-American treaty gave the United States lease control over Guantanamo Bay. In 1934, a new lease was negotiated between the Roosevelt administration and the Cuban government.

The current Cuban government considers the lease illegal but international law does not appear to support that position or at least provides no remedy for the Cuban position.

The current Cuban government refuses to cash the checks of approximately $4000 that the US pays each year."

How interesting!!
You can read the rest of the answers by clicking the "green box" link on the right side bar of this blog.


bow said...

Current government of Cuba is illegal, there is no reason for UN to entertain Castro's regime ridiculous claims. Let say, if Malaysia sign a treaty with Singapore to lease Sentosa Island for 100 years, ten year later, Singapore government is topple by communist insurgency by force, communist regime reject the treaty as legitimate and say Singapore is forced to enter into agreement, will you buy into this type of argument that this treaty is void and null? or you believe whatever treaty sign by two legitimate government has no standing in international law once another is toppled by force?

romerz said...

Watch the movie "A Few Good Men" starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore to get a better idea of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

Whilst the movie may portray it as America's front lines, I believe the true front lines to be at the 38th parallel in Korea.

Cuba is less of a threat (almost no threat) compared to DPR Korea.

bow said...

Notion that Cuba is a threat to USA is far-fetched taking into consideration of both countries military mights, but politicians in USA wary of this communist outpost in their backyard in some degree is understandable. Chances for communists to invade any free country successfully will be greater from 38th parallel line than from Cuba, no doubt about it.


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