17th Oct 2005, 14:30
Well this is another question that i have thought of.
If the us are not friends with cuba then how on earth do they have a military base there.:D
17th Oct 2005, 15:22
Not an expert but believe the story is as folows
Around WW2 and early 50s US had a number of bases on Caribbean Islands and also Bermuda, some of the larger island civil airports today were once bases. Some Air Force some Navy. Guantanamo bay on the eastern tip of Cuba was one.
In the early 60s when Castro came to power through a local insurrection because the base is literaly out on one end of the island well away from Havana it wasnt touched because it had no role in obstructing the uprising. Castro's people, who were not exactly on the US friendship list, realised that it would be easier to leave it there than demand its removal let alone try and force it to close. Either of those scenarios would have given the US an excuse not to play around a la Bay of Pigs but send in the Marines and thus bye bye Fidel and his boys. And so it just drifted on with the US unwilling to give up the base and the Cubans in no position to move it.
I believe that closing it was sort of considered during some of the more Liberal US adminsitrations but under the Nuke first ask questions later type of leaderships, Reagan GWB can you imagine Cuba handing out an excuse to be bombed back to the stone age and then invaded in the name of Freedom and National Security Interests. war against terror etc etc
So a bit of an accident of history, it suits both sides to just ignore it, and thus the very odd situation you ask about arose and stayed put. Not many parrallels although Hong Kong and Macau wouldnt have held out for more than five minutes against the Peopels Liberation Army but the Chinese chose to wait out the lease.
17th Oct 2005, 16:08
Thanks for your reply much appreciated.:ok:
17th Oct 2005, 16:53
Actually, President Teddy Roosevelt negotiated the leasing of Gauntanamo from Cuba in 1903. It seems that the lease deal was ammended in the 1930's and today Cuba can only reclaim Gitmo from the US if the US abandons it.
Please see the following link for more accurate information:
It would seem that it might be a good idea for the US to keep the base. Besides, when the US FINALLY realizes that it will be OK to be friends with Cuba again, it would be grand way to start the new friendship by handing Gitmo over, or at the least starting cooperative military excersises.
18th Oct 2005, 00:05
Its a little more complex than that.
It was established in 1898, when the United States obtained control of Cuba from Spain at the end of the Spanish-American War, following the 1898 invasion of Guantanamo Bay. The U.S. government obtained a perpetual lease that began on February 23, 1903, from Tomás Estrada Palma, an American citizen, who became the first President of Cuba. The newly formed American protectorate incorporated the Platt Amendment in the Cuban Constitution. The Cuban-American Treaty held, among other things, that the United States, for the purposes of operating coaling and naval stations, has "complete jurisdiction and control" of the Guantanamo Bay, while the Republic of Cuba is recognized to retain ultimate sovereignty.
In 1905, in part because of the Platt Amendment, there was an uprising to which the United States responded by occupying Cuba for three years. A 1934 treaty reaffirming the lease granted Cuba and her trading partners free access through the bay, modified the lease payment from $2,000 in U.S. gold coins per year, to the 1934 equivalent value of $4,085 in U.S. Treasury Dollars , and added a requirement that termination of the lease requires the consent of both governments, or the abandonment of the base property by the United States.
Since coming to power, Fidel Castro has only cashed one rent cheque, while steadfastly refusing to cash any others, because he views the lease as illegitimate. Although diplomatic relations do not exist between the two countries, the United States has agreed to return fugitives from Cuban law to Cuban authorities, and Cuba agreed to return fugitives from U.S. law, for offenses committed in Guantanamo Bay, to U.S. authorities.
The U.S. control of this Cuban territory has never been popular with the Cuban government or the Cuban people. The Cuban government strongly denounces the treaty on grounds that article 52 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties declares a treaty void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force — in this case by the inclusion, in 1903, of the Platt Amendment in the Cuban Constitution. The United States warned the Cuban Constitutional Convention not to modify the Amendment, and was told U.S. troops would not leave Cuba until its terms had been adopted as a condition for the U.S. to grant independence, making the Geneva Conventions applicable to the 1903/1934 treaty upheld by that Amendment.
19th Oct 2005, 14:44
I recall a documentary some time ago, where the Cuban Secretary for Defence in responding to a question from the documentary maker, opened his desk drawer to display a host of uncashed "rent" checks from uncle sam. This after some dimwit from the US administration had made a statement (previously aired in the documentary) as to how the rent was "keeping Cuba afloat".:O