Guest Post by Patrick Doherty: Gitmo’s Endgame

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Patrick Doherty directs the New America Foundation/U.S.-Cuba 21st Century Policy Initiative.

I encourage everyone to read Julia Sweig’s latest article that is coming out this weekend in the Outlook section of the Washington Post.
Julia, the diva of Latin America policy, has been visiting Cuba for more than 25 years (which of course makes her first trip at the tender age of four) and knows the people and the policies better than just about anyone in this town.
In this piece, entitled, “Give Guantanamo Back to Cuba”, Julia sets her sights on the U.S. military base that is now synonymous with torture but which for the last 50 years has been the location of the most frequent and meaningful official engagement between the United States and Cuba.
At the invitation of the U.S. Southern Command Commander, Admiral James Stavridis, Julia went down to, as she writes, see what was happening at the base beyond the detainee facility (which she visited as well) and begin to imagine what might be possible with this extraordinary piece of property.
President Obama, of course, has promised to close Guantanamo’s detainee facility by January of next year. What will happen to the base? Sweig thinks it’s a good place to create a new hemispheric public health institution–a great idea made all the more relevant with the current outbreak of swine flu.
Will it happen any time soon? Don’t hold your breath. But with serious people like Admiral Stavridis’ predecessor General Barry McCaffrey calling for an outright end to the embargo, it may happen sooner than you think.
— Patrick Doherty

Comments

9 comments on “Guest Post by Patrick Doherty: Gitmo’s Endgame

  1. oscommerce development says:

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  3. Nimesh says:

    Nice to read it.

    Reply

  4. söve says:

    with a couple söve hundred detainees, is only the very small tip of the iceberg in söve the US detention system with its tens of thousands of detainees söve in Iraq, Afghanistan, Diego Garcia, the USA (border patrol) söve and probably other places we don’t even know about. In concept it’s an extension söve of the massive US domestic prison system, but without söve even a semblance of due process.

    Reply

  5. jhm says:

    What does the US do with the rent monies that Mr. Castro refuses
    to accept? Are they sitting somewhere earning, or it the whole
    offer pro forma?

    Reply

  6. Don Bacon says:

    The rest never takes care of itself; it takes people with imagination (like Sweig) to think the unthinkable and to propose the seemingly impossible.
    George Bernard Shaw: “You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’”

    Reply

  7. non-hater says:

    Sweig’s fantasy about the two countries playing patty-cake is silly. There are really only two things the United States needs to do. First, unilaterally normalize trade and travel. Second, unilaterally pledge to give Gitmo back after the installation of the first democratically-elected government. The rest will take care of itself.

    Reply

  8. Don Bacon says:

    Remember that Cuba, with a couple hundred detainees, is only the very small tip of the iceberg in the US detention system with its tens of thousands of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, Diego Garcia, the USA (border patrol) and probably other places we don’t even know about. In concept it’s an extension of the massive US domestic prison system, but without even a semblance of due process.

    Reply

  9. Mr.Murder says:

    Gitmo hedges torturers R’ us and whatever flavor of the month contract name blackwater subalterns go by from liability standing in American courts.
    It will only go away in name, not location, unless the Marianna Islands close a sweatshop or Abramoff finds someone on the take from his cut of the casino racket on reservations.
    There’s nowhere else US laws might not entirely apply, is there?

    Reply

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