CODEPINK Activists in Guantanamo, Cuba for Thanksgiving

HAVANA TIMES — The US peace group CODEPINK has sent a strong delegation to Guantanamo, Cuba, the eastern most Cuban province, to carry out a protest on  Thanksgiving Day demanding the Obama administration shut down the infamous US offshore prison as well as the GITMO Naval Base itself.  The following is their press release.

50 CODEPINK Activists Fasting on Thanksgiving Day in Guantanamo, Cuba in solidarity with prisoners 

12291026_10205184796754654_2707467888002094775_oGuantanamo, Cuba — On Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2015, 50 people from a delegation organized by the peace group CODEPINK will stage a 24-hour hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay outside of the US Naval Base. The CODEPINK group of fasters will be joining 14 activists from Witness Against Torture, an organization with a delegation also in Guantanamo. 

Activists have spent the week at the 4th International Summit for Peace and the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases in Guantanamo. Colonel Ann Wright, a CODEPINK trip leader and a key speaker at the summit, talked about the impact of military bases from Japan to South Korea to Diego Garcia. Delegates from all over the world were united by a common desire to reduce global militarism. The US delegation in particular is calling for closure of the US naval base, including the prison, the land to be returned to the Cuban people, a lifting of the economic blockade of Cuba, and an end to the travel ban. 

12309877_10205184796794655_761327446683024396_o“We came all the way to Guantanamo, Cuba, to call for the closure of the American prison in which so many horrific human rights abuses have occurred,” said CODEPINK organizer and trip delegate Nancy Mancias. “I will be fasting with 49 other delegates on a day that is historically known for sitting around a meal table, Thanksgiving. But this year, I am giving up that meal in solidarity with the men in the Guantanamo Bay prison who have been on a hunger strike to protest their unjust incarceration.” 

“The continued presence of the US military base in Guantanamo against the Cuban people’s will is unjust and has created many economic hardships for the local community,” said CODEPINK National Coordinator Alli McCracken. “If President Obama is truly interested in establishing meaningful diplomatic relations with Cuba, he should issue an executive order to close the prison and return the base to the Cuban people.” 

10 thoughts on “CODEPINK Activists in Guantanamo, Cuba for Thanksgiving

  • Treaties are usually signed after conflicts between countries. In many cases they are quite uneven in power. There is nothing unusual about the US/Cuban treaty in that regard. The detention center as an unauthorized use of the facility is a valid argument to make. Calling the base stolen is not.

  • Please explain.

  • Stealing GITMO would imply that the US took possession without the express permission of the lawful Cuban government. We have a duly authorized treaty. That’s all the permission international law requires.

  • Aside from the fact that the power position of the 2 countries was very unequal at the time so it can’t really be considered a fairly arrived at treaty, the treaty does clearly limit the purposes for which the U.S. is allowed to use the territory. Operation of a prison is not an authorized use, and has never been approved by the Government of Cuba.

  • post your sources Dave

  • How did the US steal anything here?

    “The U.S. rights in Guantanamo are clear and indisputable. By a treaty signed in 1903 and reaffirmed in 1934, the U.S. recognized Cuba’s “ultimate sovereignty” over the 45-sq.-mi. enclave in Oriente province near the island’s southeast end. In return, Cuba yielded the U.S. “complete jurisdiction and control” through a perpetual lease that can be voided only by mutual agreement.

    For a low rental ($3,386.25 annually), the U.S. Navy gets its best natural harbor south of Charleston, S.C., plus 19,621 acres of land, enough for a complex of 1,400 buildings and two airfields, one of them capable of handling entire squadrons of the Navy’s hottest jets, e.g., 1,000-m.p.h. F8U Crusaders, 700-m.p.h. A4D Skyhawks. In terms of global strategy, Guantanamo has only marginal value. It served as an antisubmarine center in World War II, and could be one again. But its greatest worth is as an isolated, warm-water training base for the fleet. With an anchorage capable of handling 50 warships at once, it is the Navy’s top base for shakedown cruises and refresher training for both sailors and airmen. What Cuba gets out of the deal is 3,700 jobs for the technicians and laborers who help maintain the base, a payroll of $7,000,000 annually for hard-pressed Oriente.”

  • The US controls the GITMO naval base through a longstanding internationally – recognized treaty. There no theft here.

  • Of course, Moses, if these ladies had marched in Cuba in support of the theft of Guantanamo Bay, I’m sure you would have considered them Super Heroines. The theft of Guantanamo Bay shames the U. S. and democracy far more than it shames Cuba, but who cares these days about democracy or the U. S. image.

  • We stole Guantanamo from the Cubans. If you think otherwise, your a thief.

  • These protesters are nuts! Obama can’t close Guantanamo by Executive Order. If he could, he would have done that a long time ago. Besides there are still more than 100 detainees being held. What should be done with them, some of whom are the worst of the worst. Finally, unless you are a stuffed turkey or an NFL game, no one is paying attention to you on Thanksgiving.

Comments are closed.