Guantanamo Bay: America’s Sevastopol?

Not only is Guantanamo Bay an illicit torture and concentration camp for alleged terrorists, but numerous legitimately recognized legal scholars have called into question the continued acceptance for the US government to still be occupying its military enclave there. Additionally, many of the purported “terrorist” poor unfortunates who continue to reside there were actually individuals who were picked up in avaricious sweeps — by less than utterly scrupulous people — in return for bounties/reward money. The government of Cuba, of course, thinks that the US has far overstayed its welcome and is certainly in contravention of international laws and standards by retaining a foothold at “its” age-old military stomping grounds. And moreover, indeed the former head of the U.S. interests section in Havana from 2005-2008, Michael Parmly, has stated that, “Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is not U.S. territory. Cuba is the ultimate owner.”

President Theodore Roosevelt dictated the terms to the Cuban Constitutional Assembly in 1903 that the base would be leased in perpetuity. The agreement does, however, conclusively and unreservedly state that the ultimate sovereign over the base is the government of Cuba. A provision that is, of course, rendered superfluous today by the empire’s authoritative and domineering actions. And so in other words, the United States is unequivocally bullying the government of Cuba, which is only something that Secretary of State John Kerry recently lectured Vladimir Putin on vis a vis his ongoing reaction to the situation in Crimea/the Ukraine.  Additionally, Cuba also refuses to cash monthly checks of $4,085 that it receives ostensibly in payment for the American purported lease of the base. It has only ever cashed one such check at all, however, and that was in error in the early days of the tumult and instability of the nascent Cuban Revolution.

Does this sound like a democratic practice by free association — the means of which the empire retains a hold/control over this military base? The resounding message from the Republic of Cuba seems to be akin to that which one would want to send to an unwanted house guest. The patron no longer cares what the guest is willing to barter, trade, or dicker in exchange for some continuous refuge.  It’s simply just there frankly isn’t any other easy way to put it, gotten/deteriorated to the point of (getting the person out of there) any way and how! Indeed, it’s said in the lexicon that a creature — such as a leopard — never changes its spots. And so, in the context of our current question it’s not unreasonable then to lead one to wonder if a bully is a creature that is ever prone to change any of its such body insignia/demarcations either? In fact, in a recent Guardian of London article President Maduro of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, seemed to verify that in the case of the United States a chronic, deep-seated, and moreover incorrigible behavior might be something that’s at fault here.

In the article President Maduro elucidated that, “Is 100 years of intervention… enough: against Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Chile, Grenada, Brazil? Is the coup attempt against President Chávez by the Bush administration not enough? Why does the US have 2,000 military bases in the world? To dominate it. I have told President Obama: we are not your backyard anymore.” This penetrating quotation, to be sure, may suggest that what’s at the root of the US imperialism/neo-colonialism is a personality disorder of sorts, and of an extreme proportion that afflicts the American body politic on a widespread and indeed on a comprehensive scale. In fact, the patient could be on the gurney — and the doctors might be at the ready, but if an unwilling subject is abetted by a static constitution and is not amenable to humanitarian intervention, then the odds of a solution emerging are about as unlikely as nearly anything that one is thoroughly capable (or even predisposed or inordinately prone) to quite vividly imagine.

Sean Fenley is an independent progressive who would like to see the end of the dictatorial duopoly of the so-called two party adversarial system. He would also like to see some sanity brought to the creation and implementation of current and future U.S. military, economic, foreign and domestic policies. Read other articles by Sean.