White House Readies New Plan to Close Guantanamo Prison

The US Guantanamo Prison Camp,
The US Guantanamo Prison Camp,

HAVANA TIMES (dpa) — The White House is in the “final stages” of drafting a new plan to present to Congress that would close “safely and responsibly” the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, said spokesman Josh Earnest.

“It’s a tough job, but we’ve made many important advances,” Earnest said.

“It is a priority of the president. He believes it to be part of our clear national security interests to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay,” he said.

The initiative of President Barack Obama to close the prison was blocked on several occasions by members of Congress.

After taking office in January 2009, Obama ordered the closure of the prison where there were detained some 800 suspected terrorists, nearly all without charges, captured abroad and held by the United States since 2002.

The process was hampered by the lack of places to send the prisoners, along with the actions of Congress to block the transfer of suspects to US civilian courts or transfer them to prisons in US territory.

Since then, hundreds have been released and handed over to their governments or third countries. As of June, 116 men were in the detention center.

The controversial naval base in Guantanamo Bay, on the eastern tip of Cuba, is under US control under a 1903 lease agreement that Cuba hasn’t recognized since 1959.

Havana demands the return of the territory, but Washington refuses to do so pointing to the “perpetual” lease.

23 thoughts on “White House Readies New Plan to Close Guantanamo Prison

  • Again you are trying to tell me what I’m entitled to say or do. Cuba It’s MY Island, and because I am not the only Cuban, it’s OUR Island. You can refrain from whatever you want, personal hygiene included, and Cuba is not your Island or even your home, just your domicile which you obviously detest because we have no toilet paper for you, and the “Castro Demons” just defeated the “Gringo Saints” in overtime. I choose to do whatever I want from wherever I am, and I have always defended Our Revolution, Our People, Our Island and Our Leadership. The proof is in the pudding, and right now we have solid proof of our Victory!

  • I’ve read the lease. It’s perpetual, not a 99 year lease. If you disagree, please post a direct quote from the lease agreement.

    Oh, and another thing. Obama has not declared an end to hostilities in Afghanistan. He has pulled out some U.S. troops, but the terrorists of Al Qaeda and the Taliban continue to engage in hostilities. It seems they didn’t get your memo.

  • Your nearest island is Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. As a Canadian you are not entitled to refer to Cuba as “our island” Although my home is in Cuba and my wife is Cuban, I refrain from referring to Cuba as “our” or “my” out of recognition and respect.
    You chose to leave Cuba and what was your heritage and now from a convenient distance and from a free country, choose to praise the Castro family regime and the rotten beliefs it supports.

  • So be it, 2002, now GET OUT!
    It was not a “Perpetual Lease” but a 99year lease and your claim it’s still just a straw technicality in any event.

  • The lease is a perpetual lease, not at all uncommon at that time between friendly nations. It can be unilaterally ended only through non-payment or abandonment. The only other way to end the lease is by mutual agreement. It was signed by both Presidents in February of 1903 and re-ratified in 1934. Even if your comment was true, a 99 year lease would mean 2002 not 1999 or 2000.

  • Yes Moses, he is wrong, thanks for scoring another goal for our winning side. He is wrong, you are wrong and so is Carlyle. Cuba canceled that lease upon expiration of it’s term of lease: 99 years; and that happened in 1999 or 2000. Anything else is a mere technicality.

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