posted by Lissy @ 7:58 AM
Let us never forget that Guantánamo Naval Base is part of Cuba. The U.S. may lease the base in perpetuity contrary to international law, but it has never ceased to be an integral part of the Cuban Republic.After the U.S. intervened in Cuba's War of Independence and robbed our mambises of their legitimate victory, it forced down the throats of the Cuban patriots the infamous Platt Amendment, which the Cuban Constituent Assembly was obliged to adopt and incorporate into Cuba's first Constitution or else the U.S. would never have retired its troops from Cuba or recognized Cuban sovereignty.The Platt Amendment, as we all know, gave the U.S. the right to intervene militarily in Cuba — a right which it maintained and exercised arbitrarily until 1934, when that part of the Amendment was abrogated; it also compelled Cuba to lease the Guantánamo Naval Base in perpetuity to the U.S. as a "coaling station." Actually, the U.S. had originally wanted 10 such bases throughout the island and the Isle of Pines as well, but Cubans were able at least to contain that shameless land grab.Imagine, if you will, if the French had demanded a naval base at Chesapeake Base after the victory at Yorktown (incidentally, a manifestly French victory to which Cubans also contributed). Yet the French contributed far more to secure America's independence than the Americans did to secure Cuba's. In fact, what the Americans actually did was thwart Cuba's sovereignty and curtail her independence.As I said, the lease of Guantanamo Naval Base has no legal standing: not only was it forced on the Cuban people by an occupying power, but its terms ("in perpetuity") violate international law. Also, contrary to the stipulations of the Amendment, the U.S. has unilaterally turned the obsolete coaling station into a detention camp, first for Cuban and Haitian refugees and now for Muslims. The laws and conventions against torture and illegal detention which the U.S. administration cannot break on U.S. soil it instead breaks on Cuban soil, which is what Guantánamo is and will always be. I do not wish my country to be a stage for either Fidel Castro's predations on our people or the wanton violation of the human rights of foreign nationals by the U.S.So even if Cindy Sheehan and her cohorts are self-serving hypocrites and Communist stooges —which I believe them to be to a man — their opposition to the U.S. presence at Guantánamo and the deeds being committed there is legitimate. However, for it also to be consistent, it must also encompass a condemnation of Fidel Castro because Castro is responsible not only for the outrages committed in his jails but also for those committed at Guántanamo; for it is thanks to him that the naval base was not returned to Cuba at the time that the Panama Canal was returned to Panamanian jurisdiction.I am afraid that that historic moment may have passed us by forever.
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