imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Closing Guantanamo: President Obama's Failed Promise

by Cubanista Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Nicolas Mottas and Myrsini Tsakiri write about President Barack Obama's broken promise to close down the "modern Auschwitz" - the Guantanamo detention camp.

July 18, 2011.

By Nicolas Mottas and Myrsini Tsakiri.

It is an undoubted reality that, in international politics, the ecumenically praised "human rights" have been a tool in the hands of the world's most powerful. The threat of "terrorism" has been used more and more as an excuse for the drastic decrease of civil and political rights and liberties. The existence of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp in southern Cuba, run by the U.S. government, consists a contemporary landmark of human rights abuse, dignity's streamroller and obstentatious disregard of International Law. Unfotunately, until today, President Barack Obama has failed to deliver his promise in closing the Guantánamo detention center, thus putting an end to a shameful history of human rights abuse, national sovereignty infringement and colonialist perception of foreign policy.

A sinful past

The U.S. undertook the territorial control of the Guantánamo bay's southern part with the 1903 Cuban-American Treaty. This agreement granted a perpertual leasehold of the area to Washington. It was a leasehold Treaty signed on Febryary 1903 by the then Cuban President Tomas Estrada Palma (the first President since the island's independence from Spain) and President Theodore Roosevelt. The price for the leasehold was 2,000 gold coins per year and gave the permission to the U.S. navy to occupy the bay. A new lease of the Guantánamo bay was negotiated between Washington and Havana in 1934. Part of the then Cuban government was an emerging "strong politician", who later became one of Latin America's most ruthless and corrupted dictators - Fulgencio Batista.

After the 1959 thriumph of the Castro Revolution in the island, the revolutionary government of Havana asked the restoration of Guantánamo to Cuban people. The U.S. administration not only unquestionably denied this, but moreover prohibited its military personnel from entering Cuban territory. Since then and until today, the Guantánamo naval base's mission is to "control, police and spy on Cuba" (Rafael Hernández Rodriguez, Subject to Solution: Problems in Cuban-U.S. Relations). In 1985, the U.S. President Ronald Reagan cynically affirmed that the purpose of the naval base in the island is to impose the presence of Washington even if the Cubans do not want it. Imperialism totally exposed.

The Cuban government regards the U.S. military presence in the southern part of the island as "illegal" by arguing that the 1903 Treaty (as well as the 1934 new lease agreement) was signed under the threat of violence, in total violation of International Law. These accussations of Havana cannot be ignored by anybody in the United Nations. According to article 52 of the 1969 Vienna Convention a Treaty is "void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations". This is a legal argument upon which Havana bases her accusations against the U.S. military presence in southern Cuba.

A Modern Auschwitz

Without a single doubt the existence of the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo without the consent of the Cuban people consists a blatant violation of international law. But, apart from being a chapter of the U.S. colonialism over Latin America, Guantánamo carries a 50 years old sinful past of human rights abuses. Since 1991, when the naval base started being used as a prison, the United Nations and numerous human rights groups (Amnesty International, International Committee of the Red Cross, Human Rights Watch etc.) have vehemently condemned the detention conditions of prisoners and the notoriously horrible methods of interrogation used by the U.S. army. The reports related to human rights abuse in the Guantanamo detention camp have been increased since 2002, when the base started "hosting" prisoners from Afghanistan and terrorism suspects.

On May 2002, a special U.N. team of experts supported that the U.S. administration violates the 1984 International Convention against Torture (CAT), while on May 2005 Amnesty International's report called facility the "gulag of our times". Voices within the United States have also called Washington to shut down the detention camp - from former President Jimmy Carter who called Guantánamo a "disgrace to the United States" to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman according to whom the notorious Camp Delta is "worse than an embarrassment". Military officials at the base have reported 41 unsuccessful suicide attempts by 25 detainees since January 2002. However, the number of attempted suicides by desperate prisoners may be much higher.

A Failed Promise

The problem lies in Washington's continuous unwillingness to put an end to Guantánamo's torture chamber. It was in August 2007 when the then U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate Barack Obama stated: "As President, I will close Guantánamo, reject the Military Commissions Act and adhere to the Geneva Conventions. Our Constitution and our Uniform Code of Military Justice provide a framework for dealing with the terrorists". Being a newly-inaugurated President, on January 2009, Obama signed an executive order to close the facility within the period of one year. Almost a year later, on December 2009, the President signs a memorandum thus ordering Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Attorney General Eric Holder to acquire a state prison in Illinois in replacement for Guantánamo.

In the following months the closing of the detention camp remained only in promising words and on May 2010 the House Armed Services Committee unanimously prohibits the transfer of the Guantánamo prison to Illinois or anywhere within the United States. Being politically a "hostage" of the Republicans, the neo-conservatives and his own party's hawkish wing, President Obama wholly failed to deliver his own promise. Last January, two years after the signing of the Presidential order for the closing of Guantánamo, the detention camp still operates freely. Apparently, either the President's will to close the camp was not honest or he himself is weak in front of Washington's strong conservativism - there is no third explanation.

In a speech in Chile, on December 1971, Fidel Castro had said that Guantánamo "is there just to humiliate Cuba, just like a knife stuck in the heart of Cuba's dignity and sovereignty". But apart from Cuba, the existence of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp consists a humiliation of human rights worldwide and a remnant of Imperialism at its worst kind. The American citizens have every right to demand the closing of this "torture chamber" which costs hundreds of American lifes in the Middle East and deteriorates even more the U.S. relations with the Arab World.

Whatever President Obama and his government will choose to do, the U.S. occupation of Guantánamo will remain in history as a post-Cold War "Auschwitz", a monument of western hypocrisy and cruelty. What we have to do is to raise our voice for the permanent shut down of the detention camp and the complete restoration of the Guantánamo Bay to Cuban people.

Link: &

Report this post as:

Local News

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup J13 4:14PM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

Google, World's Biggest Censor, Was Founded By The CIA J09 10:25AM

For a World Free of Nuclear Risks J09 8:29AM

Corrupt CDC Ignores Meat Fish Recalls J09 4:55AM

The (Temporary) End of Globalization J09 3:03AM

Aternatives to Abortions such as Plan B the pill, condoms and IUD J08 4:03PM

U.S Congressional Legal Minds Know Better Than Allowing Texas To Murder Hank Skinner J08 3:37PM

ACLU in many US states defends in court KKK and American Nazis Sometimes for Money J07 11:28PM

Judge Brett Kavanaugh: 12 Of Many Reasons To Oppose Him J07 9:00AM

Insensibilité engrammée J07 2:37AM

Silver Lining J07 12:21AM

The Shortwave Report 07/06/18 Listen Globally! J05 4:38PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy