In 1898, the United States intervened in the Caribbean and Pacific to fight against Spanish imperialism. In the aftermath of the Spanish-American War, the United States occupied Cuba from January 1899 to May 1902. On February 25, 1901, Senator Orville H. Platt introduced in Congress “the famous amendment that bears his name” (Aguilar 1972), which shaped the American intervention in Cuban affairs. It also proposed the creation of an American naval base in Cuba. The bill became law on March 2. In spite of a strong opposition in the country, Cuba conceded that a restricted independence was better than a military regime (Aguilar 1972) and included the amendment in its 1901 Constitution. In 1903, the Lease of Coaling or Naval Stations Agreement Between the United States and Cuba Treaty specified that, in exchange of “the continuance of the ultimate sovereignty of the Republic of Cuba, … the United states shall exercise complete jurisdiction and control over and within said areas” (Treaty Series No. 418). Since then, Guantánamo Bay has been under U.S. control.
Although the Platt Amendment was abrogated by Cuba in 1904, a new agreement was negotiated between the Roosevelt administration and the American-friendly Caffery-Batista-Mendieta government. It kept the “Platt spirit” (Dominguez, Smith 1988) by not changing the status of Guantánamo, “so long as the United States of America shall not abandon the said naval station of Guantanamo or the two Governments shall not agree to a modification of its present limits” (Treaty Series No. 866). Thus, the new Treaty of Relations established a “lease in perpetuity” (Dominguez, Smith 1988).
Since the revolution in 1959, Cuba has wanted to terminate the lease, but it is has not been able to do so without American consent (Ratner, Ray 2004). In opposition to the lease, Fidel Castro has always refused to accept the rent of about $4,085 a year. On October 29, 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Castro declared that the only effective guarantee “that there will be no aggression against Cuba” would be five points , including the U.S. withdrawal from Guantánamo Naval Base (Blight, Brenner 2004). This request was supported by the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries in its First Summit Conference , held in Belgrade in 1961 (Ricardo Luis 1994), but the movement was not influent enough to change the U.S. foreign policy.
[...] Involving Cuba in the management of the base would allow the United States both to relax its policy toward Cuba and keep the naval base, but it entails a risk. It may be perceived as insufficient by public opinion, almost like a status quo, since the base would still be American. If our government does not act in a convincing way, it could be soon seriously weakened, especially in the 2006 elections. Therefore, the most beneficial solution is to enter into negotiations with Cuba. [...]
[...] The movement stated that North American military base at Guantánamo, Cuba, the presence of which has been opposed by the government and people of Cuba, affects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of that country.” (Ricardo Luis 1994) [iii] For further details, see Ricardo Luis, Roger, Guantánamo: The Bay of Discord, p. and Smith, Wayne S., and Esteban Morales Dominguez, Subject to Solution: Problems in Cuban-U.S. Relations p. 107-108. WORKS CITED Aguilar, Luis E Cuba 1933: Prologue to Revolution. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. [...]
[...] Between 1959 and 1962, the U.S. naval station in Cuba played a role in the U.S.-Soviet confrontation as an important center of counterrevolutionary operations led by the CIA through the Naval Intelligence Service (Ricardo Luis 1994). During the October Missile Crisis, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai Stevenson suggested President Kennedy that he “include Guantánamo in a possible project for reaching an agreement with the Soviet Union” (Ricardo Luis 1994), but Kennedy responded that it would not be possible given the existing situation, that is the Cold War, since Cuba was an ally of the Soviet Union. [...]
[...] Nevertheless, Fidel Castro has already stated that “another form of political leadership in the country could be considered” (Ricardo Luis 1994) if the United States lift its threats and the economic blockade. This solution may encounter opposition from a part of our administration because many perceive Fidel Castro as an “emotional Spaniard,” as Khrushchev said to Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis (Blight Brenner 2004). There is the common idea that he would refuse to make concessions, and that he does not want to get involved in any diplomatic relations with the United States. [...]
[...] Kaplan, Amy “Where Is Guantánamo?” American Quarterly 57 (September). Lewis, Anthony. “Guantanamo's Long Shadow.” The New York Times. June Section Column 2. Murphy, M. E., Rear Admiral, U. S. Navy. History of Guantanamo Bay 1494-1964.” http://www.nsgtmo.navy.mil/history/gtmohistorymurphyappendd.htm (Treaty Series) Paye, Jean-Claude “Guantánamo and the New Legal Order.” Monthly Review 57 (May). Ratner, Michael, and Ellen Ray Guantánamo: What the World Should Know. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Pub. Ricardo Luis, Roger Guantánamo: The Bay of Discord. New York, NY: Talman Co. Scheppler, Bill Guantánamo Bay [...]
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