Article Title

Guantanamo and U.S. Law


This Article deals with the United States' presence at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the domestic and international law issues that have arisen, and the nature of the jurisdiction exercised there by the United States. It does not deal with the operation of the prison facility. Guantanamo Bay is near the eastern end of Cuba, 628 miles (1000 km) from the capital, Havana. It is a deep-water harbor, protected by hills from the extremes of Caribbean weather; but it has an unhealthy tropical climate. The forty-five square miles of the Guantanamo Naval Base have been occupied by the United States since the Spanish-American War in 1898. Originally a coaling station, it had been utilized for training, repairs, anti-submarine warfare, and humanitarian rescue before its present uses. Its continued presence is deeply resented in the island State of almost twelve million people, but the persistence of the communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro has strengthened U.S. determination to hold on, even though the base no longer serves a military purpose.