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Guantanamo Bay

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Dale, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. Not being a history buff, I was wondering how the US got Guantanamo Bay on Cuba?

    Was it an agreement during, and as the result of, the Cuban Missle Crisis, did the US have possession of the base before the crisis...did it come about after the crisis or what?

    I grew up during the JFK administration and the missle crisis but cannot recall anything about the base.

    Thanks.
     
  2. The U.S. obtained Gitmo after the Spanish American War 1898-1900. The original deal with the Cuban Government was a 99 year lease. However after W.W. II the U.S. realized the strategic value of the base to guard the Carribean and the Canal Zone as well as a stopover point for long range aircraft, this was before inflight refueling. Therefore a new permanent lease was negoitated in the late '40's. When the Communists came to power in the '50's they declared the lease void and tried for a while to kick the U.S. out. They ringed the base with barbed wire, land mines and observation towers. They're all still there. As a form of harassment the communists stopped the retired Cuban civilian employees of the base from going into the base to pick up they're retirement checks. So there are now several 70 and 80 year old men who still have to come to work every day just so they can pick up everyones retirement checks. They must get to the base by walking down a rather narrow path through the mine fields. The communists will not allow any new civilians to work on the base. I suppose they don't want their people exposed to McDonalds and other Americanism's. Hope this helps.:nod:
     

  3. Klaus

    Klaus G&G Newbie

    The communists did not "come into power" as such. The lease was signed with Castro's government, before he became a democrat. Er, I mean communist. It was still the same government, so they HAD to honor the treaty.
     
  4. Klaus i am always impressed with your knowledge of history. Did you acquire all of your info. over the years or do you have a vast library at your fingertips. Man if you have a photographic memory then i'm jealous.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2002
  5. I must partially correct myself. The original deal for the U.S. to have a naval base at Guantanamo was called the Platt Amendment which was part of the original 1901 Cuban Constitution. In 1934 (not the'40's as I had orignally thought)this amendment was nullified when Cuba and the U.S. ratified a treaty which gave the U.S. permanent access to the base. The only way the treaty can be broken is if BOTH sides (governments)agree that the treaty should end.

    Although Castro controlled wide sections of the countryside, he did not gain control of the national government and therfore"come to power" on an international level until January 1959 when President Batista fled Cuba for exile in the Dominican Republic. Because Castro considers himself the legitimate head of the Cuban government he must also observe international law in regard to international treaties. This means that his government must comply with the 1934 treaty in regard to the base.

    I am unaware of any treaties between Castro's Cuba and the U.S. inregard to Guantanamo. It is possible that I am wrong. If anyone can provide the appropriate details I would appreciate it.

    Castro had hoped to force the U.S. out of Guantanamo by hemming the U.S. into the base and giving them no access to the island. As part of the treaty he can not stop those Cubans working at the base from going to work but he has stopped any new (read young) Cubans from working there. He hopes to force the U.S. out he has yet to succeed.
     
  6. Klaus

    Klaus G&G Newbie

    I think the Cubans gained independence with help from the US in the Spanish-American war. I will check my info on the Gitmo lease but I thought that there was a revision or ammendment that was signed in the early 50s before Castro publicly went communist.
     
  7. You are correct about Cuba gaining independence with U.S. help. It was one of the main reasons the U.S. went to war with Spain. The "Yellow Press" of the day (William Randolph Hearst amoung others) literally made up stories of Spanish atrocities in order to whip up war fever in the U.S.. It should be pointed out that not all the stories were made up, there were enough real atrocities to justify the war to many fellow historians.

    One of the prices we extracted from the Cubans, and the Fillipino's too for that matter was access to deep water ports. We also sought trade and tariff agreements.

    I double checked my reference books and couldn't find anything about written agreements between Castro's government and the U.S. government in regard to Guantanomo. Most of my books date from the '70's so there may have been a recent agreement that I'm not up on.

    Let me know what you find.
     
  8. Klaus

    Klaus G&G Newbie

    Well, I could be wrong. Still checking.
     
  9. Klaus

    Klaus G&G Newbie

    Ok, Dallas, you were right about the lease being revised in 1934, before Castro took over. There have been several accords with the Cuban government since then, but they concerned treatment of refugees and Cuban employees of the base, not the lease itself. I APOLOGIZE TO EVERYONE AT THIS SITE FOR POSTING MISINFORMATION.
     
  10. First of all Klaus, there is no need to apologize. Sometimes we say things in the spirit of goodness but are occasionally wrong. Your willingness to educate amazes me sometimes.

    Dallas, you also are a big help. Indeed.

    One thing I love about this site is you can looks as dumb as a pile of gravel (as I am, lol) and ask questions about nearly anything and great people are ready to give you the answers you seek.

    Thanks guys for a very enlightening and insightful history lesson.
     
  11. Dennis

    Dennis G&G Evangelist

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    WAYYYY TO GO KLAUS!!!