CELAC Calls for US-Cuba Dialogue to Include Return of Guantanamo

Photo: telesurtv.net
Photo: telesurtv.net

HAVANA TIMES (dpa) — The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) issued a statement on Friday insisting that the return to Cuba of the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay “should be an important element” in the dialogue opened between Washington and Havana.

The statement issued in Quito by the body, whose rotating presidency is currently headed by the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, suggests that “the return to the Republic of Cuba of the territory occupied by the Naval Base of the United States in Guantanamo should be an important element in this process, through bilateral dialogue and in compliance with international law.”

The statement reaffirms the proclamation of the Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, agreed by the body at its second summit in Havana on January 29, 2014. It recalls that the US naval base has remained in Guantanamo, Cuban terrority, for over a century.

During July and August the US and Cuba completed a new phase of diplomatic relations by opening their respective embassies in and Washington and Havana.

Guantanamo is not one of the starting points of rapprochement, but the end of the trade embargo is top on the list. President Barack Obama himself requested that the US Congress end the over half century sanctions on Cuba.


6 thoughts on “CELAC Calls for US-Cuba Dialogue to Include Return of Guantanamo

  • August 30, 2015 at 11:45 am
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    I can agree with that analysis. The base would be a net plus in the long run as the U.S. invests in countries with bases.

  • August 29, 2015 at 4:58 pm
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    The embargo has served the Castro family regime well. It has been used as an excuse for the ill conceived policies and incompetence of the regime with great use of the media and maintained the myth of “If”. If it wasn’t for the embargo, everything in Cuba would be efficient, agriculture would be productive, there would be full productive employment, there would no longer be power cuts, the streets would no longer run with leaking water pipes and everybody would be prosperous. If only there wasn’t an embargo! The responsibility for all that is wrong with “Socialismo” is laid at the door of the embargo !

  • August 29, 2015 at 3:48 pm
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    I am beginning to suspect that the Cuban government doesn’t really want the embargo lifted.

    The base is a legal, long term lease, and it should not be even a talking point.

  • August 29, 2015 at 11:56 am
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    For Cuba, it is a point of political pride. The Castros have railed against the US for so long about this base that it will amount to a victory, albeit pyrrhic, for the dictatorship. For the US, Guantanamo no longer holds strategic military value and is costly to maintain. Giving it up is an easy call. The problem remains as to what to do with the remaining detainees. It is not likely that Obama will resolve this problem before the end of his term. But then again, he surprised me with his plans for normalization, he may surprise us here as well.

  • August 29, 2015 at 8:54 am
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    The U.S. has as a practical matter owned the 45 sqaure miles in Guantanamo for 100 years. It is a point of friction, but hardly the most pressing matter. Normalization of trade relations and settlement of old claims far exceed in importance. A Cuba that has otherwise normalized relations will be in a better position to discuss the base. For now, it is a talking point to be brought up and dismissed. Obama is an interested party in wanting to normalize, the next President is unknown. This is the time to get what is possible done and done quickly while Obama still governs.

  • August 29, 2015 at 7:35 am
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    If the declaration had used the word ‘must ‘ in the place of ‘should’, the edict would have caught the attention of at least a few legislators. However, as written, it reads like milquetoast.

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