Alessandro
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Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:55 pm

Lets say that President Obama gives back Guantánamo bay to Cuba and Cuba-US opens
diplomatic relations. Would it be good for the US economy, US companies able to do direct
trade and US airlines flying direct to Cuba and Cuban airlines to the US?
Would it be political suicide for President Obama to do so?
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PSA53
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:08 pm



Quoting Alessandro (Thread starter):

Lets say that President Obama gives back Guantánamo bay to Cuba and Cuba-US opens
diplomatic relations. Would it be good for the US economy, US companies able to do direct
trade and US airlines flying direct to Cuba and Cuban airlines to the US?

Yes,to all the above.But only if civil liberties are return to the Cuban people.Use Gitmo as a bargaining chip.But then would the Cubans adhere to those terms after an agreement is reached?Most likely not.

Quoting Alessandro (Thread starter):
Would it be political suicide for President Obama to do so?

No.Refer to the first reply.
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Alessandro
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:10 pm

Well, the reasons would be primarly economical, a sort of bailout for the US airlines, with a duopoly on the routes and less cost for the US military.
Add trade for US companies to Cuba, Russia closed down it´s navalbases in Cuba and Vietnam due to financial reasons 7 years ago http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1964253.stm
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Arrow
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:13 pm



Quoting PSA53 (Reply 1):
Yes,to all the above.But only if civil liberties are return to the Cuban people.Use Gitmo as a bargaining chip.

Using Gitmo as a bargaining chip is an example of the same tired policy the US has tried for 50 years to get Cuba to do as it's told. Bottom line is -- never mind the 99-year lease and its rather interesting origins -- the US is occupying a piece of Cuban territory and Cuba has a right to expect the US to leave. No conditions, just go.

If Obama had the guts to do that, unilaterally, you might be surprised how quickly the thaw took hold and flourished -- especially if he lifted that ridiculous embargo at the same time. But given the sordid history of this, the US has to move first. With Castro effectively our of the loop, there will never be a better time.
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Alessandro
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:18 pm

I don´t think there´s a timelimit on the Guantánamo Bay lease, basically both parties have to sign a deal to determine the lease.
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DfwRevolution
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:27 pm



Quoting Alessandro (Thread starter):
Would it be political suicide for President Obama to do so?



Quoting PSA53 (Reply 1):
No.Refer to the first reply.

I may be way off in my perception of Cuban-Americans, but making a huge unilateral concession to Cuba probably wouldn't win any friends in the State of Florida.

Quoting Alessandro (Reply 2):
Well, the reasons would be primarly economical, a sort of bailout for the US airlines, with a duopoly on the routes and less cost for the US military.

The impact on the U.S. economy would be insignificant IMO. It would just be a sign of weakness in U.S. foreign policy. Not worth it right now.

Quoting Arrow (Reply 3):
Bottom line is -- never mind the 99-year lease and its rather interesting origins -- the US is occupying a piece of Cuban territory and Cuba has a right to expect the US to leave. No conditions, just go.

What's in it for us to leave? You're opinion?
 
Arrow
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:53 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 5):
What's in it for us to leave? You're opinion?

First step towards normalizing relations with Cuba -- both countries would benefit from that. It will get democracy restored (oops, sorry -- they never had that did they) far more quickly than the current "drive-them-into-the-ground" policy, which you must admit has been a dismal failure.


Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 5)
It would just be a sign of weakness in U.S. foreign policy. Not worth it right now.


On the contrary. It would be an example of a foreign policy maturation that's long over due. No one in the world is going to think of the US as "weak" because it decides to bury the hatchet with Cuba. In fact, it would go a long way towards restoring the US lost standing as a world leader, and it would do so with little real costs. Guantanamo in particular serves no real purpose, other than a perpetual irritant.

[Edited 2009-01-22 15:55:41]
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KRIC777
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:58 pm

Lifting the embargo would be great for the Cuban economy, of course, simply by the tourist dollars that would flow into the country. It wouldn't be bad for the US economy, but I don't see it as a particular benefit, either (other than for people like me, who would like to go to Cuba without breaking the law.) Cuba just wouldn't offer the volume of business opportunities, YET, except maybe for the tourism industry. But with time, that could change. But we'll never know unless the embargo is lifted.

I won't claim to be an expert on Cuba, but in terms of returning Guantanamo Bay, I don't see much benefit to Cuba other than national pride. It's not like it sits on an oil field or something...isn't it just a naval base?

As for the political consequences for Obama...without researching the matter, I can only guess that most of the vehement anti-communists in the USA (Cubans and otherwise) probably weren't voting for him, anyway. A liberal democrat like Mr Obama wouldn't have nearly as much to lose as a a conservative would by lifting the Cuban embargo.
 
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scbriml
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:26 am



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 5):
but making a huge unilateral concession to Cuba probably wouldn't win any friends in the State of Florida.

Presumably, Floridians of Cuban origin must have considered this would be a distinct possibility if Obama became president. I don't recall it being an election issue, but I could easily have missed it. Having won the election, why would Obama be worried about those same Floridians not liking his decision (if he makes it)?

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 5):
It would just be a sign of weakness in U.S. foreign policy.

How so? The measures taken by Obama in his first couple of days in office will already be raising the USA's "stock" around the World. The ending of the embargo against Cuba and the return of Guantanamo Bay would clearly signal a new beginning in US foreign policy, and one which will significantly help to restore its battered image overseas. I'm frankly shocked at the level of interest being taken here in US politics and can only describe the excitement here as "Kennedy like". There seems to be a real buzz around Europe that America might be returning to the version most of us prefer.

As far as I can tell, all 50 years of embargo has achieved is to help keep the average Cuban dirt poor.
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Tugger
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:35 am

Quoting KRIC777 (Reply 7):
It's not like it sits on an oil field or something.

Well they sort of do..... Cuba is one of the best places to grow sugar cane! And what does sugar cane produce? Ethanol!

If we do allow ethanol to be imported (and there really is no reason to not allow it other than ADM's lobbying efforts), Cuba will become a big,big producer of it (along with Brazil).

Also, I have never known that Guantanamo is that much of an issue. I know that a Communist country objects to a Capitalist democracy having a base on their land but I always thought the lease issue aspect of it was well established and legally binding and it wasn't much of a problem.

Tugg

[Edited 2009-01-22 16:52:04]
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:37 am



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 5):
It would just be a sign of weakness in U.S. foreign policy.

Is that what you call opening up to Vietnam? A "weakness"?

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 5):
What's in it for us to leave? You're opinion?

Save money. Better yet, don't spend money you don't have.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:43 am

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ltbewr
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:04 am

The US Military base at Guantanamo Bay is part of the deal done when we gave up Cuba as a territory of the USA in the mid-1920's (the USA 'won' Cuba in the Spanish American war of 1898-99 from Spain, along with Puerto Rico and the Phillipines). A long term lease was singed with the new and independent government of Cuba which is still in effect. The Government of Cuba still owns the land. Since the Fidel Castro led Revolution and rule (about 1959 and still in effect), the Cuban government has not accepted any payments on the lease, we haven't made any and we have stayed.

I suspect in a few years, once Fidel and Raul are dead and Cuba starts to move toward modern standards of human and civil rights, Cuba will seek to renegotiate the payments on the lease, probably to many millions a year and past payments. They know we have no other place to have a base in the Carribbean, since the closedown of the base in Puerto Rico due to enviromental and safety issues and not enough room in the USVI and no other countries-islands that would want us. I also suspect they will require use of the base in line with the Geneva Conventions and other international agreement both are parts of, so no more 'special' prisons there.
 
Dougloid
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:16 am



Quoting KRIC777 (Reply 7):
Lifting the embargo would be great for the Cuban economy, of course, simply by the tourist dollars that would flow into the country. It wouldn't be bad for the US economy, but I don't see it as a particular benefit, either (other than for people like me, who would like to go to Cuba without breaking the law.) Cuba just wouldn't offer the volume of business opportunities,

It could certainly benefit agriculture and agricultural engineering, because there is a lot of modernization of Cuban agriculture that needs doing and we've got good technology.

In addition we can export a lot of food products to Cuba-dressed poultry, pork and beef, that can improve the standard of living in Cuba.

At some level the Cuban government is going to have to settle with the people they expropriated, within reason-that is going to be a prerequisite to normalization I think.

The population's moderately sized-11 million or so-and the economy is not particularly vibrant, but there's a lot of potential for growth and investment.
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rfields5421
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:36 am



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 8):
why would Obama be worried about those same Floridians not liking his decision (if he makes it)?

He will be running for re-election in three years. Heck, like all politicians, he's running for re-election now.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 12):
the Cuban government has not accepted any payments on the lease, we haven't made any and we have stayed.

I've been told by a former base commander at Gitmo that the US government has faithfully sent the lease payment check every year since the revolution. It was essential that we pay the lease payments to maintain our claim to having a right to the base.

Fidel made a big deal of not cashing the checks though reportedly the first was cashed apparently accidently back in the early 60's. Cashing that check is cited by the US as acceptance of the lease terms by the Fidel government.

Those items were also in a briefing paper we used to use to answer press queries about Gitmo at the Navy's Chief of Information News Desk - 20 years ago.

Here is a near 2 year old article which summarizes it pretty well.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...4/22/MNGSLPAVUL1.DTL&type=politics

Gitmo provides a good enviornment for training and testing of weapons equipment. With the closure of Roosy Roads and the return of the Vieques, there are not many places left for this type training.

Gitmo was also very good for intensive shipboard training, day trips out with almost no distractions ashore at night.

Don't know if they are still doing that training or not.
 
photopilot
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:45 am

You know, it's not just Gitmo or the restrictions on travel by Americans to Cuba.

Look at what else the 50 year embargo does.

1) It severely curtails Cuba's use of the international banking system. Hell, a Swiss bank was "fined" by the Americans 100 Million Dollars because they handled some Cuban financial transactions.

2) The USA will not allow Cuba to connect to the undersea Fiber Optic Cable for access to modern telecommunications and data transfer. Cuba is still only connected by a 96 circuit copper wire cable to Florida.... or very expensive satellite time on a system to Spain. The USA complains that Cuba will not allow it's citizens Internet access, yet restricts and limits the technology to make that feasable. That's hypocracy!!!!

3) The USA already "sells" food and some medicines to Cuba, but it prohibits the purchase of any Cuban product. That NOT a trading relationship.

4) Any Cruise Ship, no matter the nationality that docks in a Cuban port is forbidden from docking in a US port for 6 months after the Cuban stop. This effectively prohibits International companies from using Cuba as a port of call. The same with cargo vessels, which again severely restricts Cuba's trade ability and increases all shipping costs.

5) For the 17th year in a row, the UN General Assembly voted to have the embargo dropped, and in 2008 the vote was 185 for, and only the United States, Israel and Palau voted against the resolution. Time for the USA to join the program!!

I could go on, but you get the idea. The USA's embargo of Cuba is nothing more than Bully Boys tactics and one of the saddest issues of US Foreign Policy. Time for the USA to mature and learn that Might doesn't make it Right.
 
Virgin747LGW
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:50 am



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 12):
modern standards of human and civil rights

yes just like the good ol' USA with its equal rights for gay and lesbians...oh wait  Big grin

Actually everybody i know whose been there have remarked that the Cubans (especially the children) seemed much more happy and comfortable with their lives. Money isnt the be all and end all and thats something the west is only starting to realise.
 
Alessandro
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:50 am

Could one compare this with the Panamacanal zone that Carter gave back to Panama?
Would the US mining industry benefit from an opening of relations (nickel), off shore oil industry?
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:11 pm



Quoting Arrow (Reply 3):
Bottom line is -- never mind the 99-year lease and its rather interesting origins -- the US is occupying a piece of Cuban territory and Cuba has a right to expect the US to leave.

It's legally *US* territory. The paperwork here is actually much stronger than what allowed the UK to hold Hong Kong.

Quoting Photopilot (Reply 15):
I could go on, but you get the idea. The USA's embargo of Cuba is nothing more than Bully Boys tactics and one of the saddest issues of US Foreign Policy. Time for the USA to mature and learn that Might doesn't make it Right.

Get rid of your leaders and we'll talk.
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photopilot
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:30 pm



Quoting N328KF (Reply 18):
It's legally *US* territory. The paperwork here is actually much stronger than what allowed the UK to hold Hong Kong.

You need to study your history some. The LEASE on Guantanamo was entered into as part of the Platt Amendment in 1901 and the lease can only be revoked by the consent of both parties. Something the USA continues to refuse to do, even though the entire Platt Amendment was repealed in 1934, when the Treaty of Relations was negotiated as a part of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Good Neighbor policy" toward Latin America.

Quoting N328KF (Reply 18):
Get rid of your leaders and we'll talk.

Tell me..... What right does the USA have to tell another Soverign Country what they should or should not do, or who they elect or should not elect? That's nothing but American hegemony!
 
cairo
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:34 pm



Quoting Alessandro (Thread starter):
President Obama gives back Guantánamo bay to Cuba

Relatively speaking, this is a minor issue to the Cubans. I'm certain that if economic sanctions were removed, diplomatic recognization established and some type of normalized trade and travel regulations were put in place, a new agreement (perpetual lease) could be put in place to cover Guantanamo.

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 1):
But only if civil liberties are return to the Cuban people

Oh, crap, this red herring again? The US doesn't care about civil liberties - see chummy US relations with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc... - it only cares about neutralizing the country as a security threat.

Moving forward on Cuba is a good 2nd term project for Obama....

Cairo
 
mham001
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:46 pm



Quoting Photopilot (Reply 19):
Tell me..... What right does the USA have to tell another Soverign Country what they should or should not do, or who they elect or should not elect? That's nothing but American hegemony!

No different than Cuba's demand that we have relations. Is that Cuban hegenomy?
 
dxing
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:07 am



Quoting Arrow (Reply 6):
It will get democracy restored (oops, sorry -- they never had that did they) far more quickly than the current "drive-them-into-the-ground" policy, which you must admit has been a dismal failure.

How has it been a dismal failure? If we drop Gitmo and the Castros continue business as usual, that would be a failure and we would have no way to get Gitmo back.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 12):
the Cuban government has not accepted any payments on the lease, we haven't made any and we have stayed.

They have accepted every payment we have sent them and we have been faithful in sending them every year. They just don't cash them. What they do with the check is not our business.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 12):
I suspect in a few years, once Fidel and Raul are dead and Cuba starts to move toward modern standards of human and civil rights,

That will be the appropriate time to talk with the new government in charge and see what we can do.
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scbriml
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:18 am



Quoting DXing (Reply 22):
How has it been a dismal failure?

How, exactly, has it been a roaring success?  confused 
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dxing
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:35 am



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 23):
How, exactly, has it been a roaring success?

Yes, I forgot that Cuba is the workers paradise.  sarcastic 
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twal1011727
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:01 am



Quoting Arrow (Reply 3):
Using Gitmo as a bargaining chip is an example of the same tired policy the US has tried for 50 years to get Cuba to do as it's told. Bottom line is -- never mind the 99-year lease and its rather interesting origins -- the US is occupying a piece of Cuban territory and Cuba has a right to expect the US to leave. No conditions, just go.

If we did that it would be like Germany or any other country with a U.S. military base kicking the U.S. out.....Remember Clark A.F.B. and Naval base Subic Bay Phillipines.

We would really be in a world of hurt then.

KD
 
Arrow
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:06 am



Quoting DXing (Reply 22):
How has it been a dismal failure?

The goal was to get rid of Castro. When it didn't work quickly, the Bay of Pigs was tried. And when that didn't work, back to the embargo. Given the goal, how could you call it anything but a dismal failure? Castro is still there.

Quoting TWAL1011727 (Reply 25):
f we did that it would be like Germany or any other country with a U.S. military base kicking the U.S. out.....Remember Clark A.F.B. and Naval base Subic Bay Phillipines.

There is no parallel. Gitmo is an imperial relic from the Rough Rider days when a war was launched with Spain for no good reason (Remember the Maine?) and America invaded and occupied Cuba, helping the Cuban revolutionaries. Cuba now wants the US out. Bases in Germany and other European countries (e.g. Britain) are there with the consent of the government. That's a very significant difference.

It fascinates me that (some) Americans have such a hate on for Castro and his repressive regime, having propped up Batista's repressive regime for decades -- including looking the other way when theMafia set up shop. The hypocrisy is staggering.
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dxing
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:16 am



Quoting Arrow (Reply 26):
The goal was to get rid of Castro.

The secondary goal was to bring democracy to Cuba, the primary reason was to punish Castro for seizing American owned company property and nationalizing it.

Quoting Arrow (Reply 26):
When it didn't work quickly, the Bay of Pigs was tried. And when that didn't work, back to the embargo. Given the goal, how could you call it anything but a dismal failure? Castro is still there.

Well that's an interesting view of history, if incorrect. The embargo started as an arms embargo in 1958, which is before Castro seized power. Castro began seizing American owned property in Cuba and the full trading embargo was in place by October 1960, 6 months before the Bay of Pigs. It remained in place during the Bay of Pigs and the full embargo to include travel was not in place until after the Cuban missile crisis. Even with the embargo the United States is still the fifth largest trading partner to Cuba.

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/cuban...olada/2008/08/us-is-cubas-5th.html

"Cuba's top four partners in 2007 were Venezuela ($2.698 billion in business), China ($2.457 billion), Canada ($1.411 billion) and Spain ($1.154 billion)."

Considering Cuba's lack of progress over the years the embargo could be considered a sucess since it was always used as a way to punish Castro for his seizing of American owned property and not providing adequate payment for such. BTW, do you know what Cuba had prior to 1959 that they haven't had since?

Quoting Arrow (Reply 26):
There is no parallel.

Gibraltar?
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STT757
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:34 am



Quoting Alessandro (Thread starter):
Lets say that President Obama gives back Guantánamo bay to Cuba

I don't see the Navy Base at Guantanamo Bay closing regardless of whether or not US/Cuba relations improve, keep in mind the media keeps using the headline "Closing of Guantanamo bay". The order President Obama recently signed is to remove the detention facility there, the Naval operations which are separate from the detention facility are unaffected.

As cited the Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is of strategic importance to the US in it's efforts against drug smuggling, it's also close to Haiti which is in constant need of monitoring and aide of one form or another from the various disasters that continue to compound the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.

The Naval base at Roosevelt Roads was forced to Close, that leaves Fort Buchanan and Guantanamo Bay as the only major US military facilities in the Caribbean. Even if US/Cuba relations improve I just see a renegotiation of the lease terms, not the US leaving.
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photopilot
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:00 am



Quoting Mham001 (Reply 21):
Quoting Photopilot (Reply 19):
Tell me..... What right does the USA have to tell another Soverign Country what they should or should not do, or who they elect or should not elect? That's nothing but American hegemony!

No different than Cuba's demand that we have relations. Is that Cuban hegenomy?

Cuba is not demanding that they have relations with the USA. What Cuba is demanding is that the USA stop it's illegal financial and economic blockage (embargo) of Cuba. That's not Cuba trying to impose it's way on the Americans, but Cuba wanting the USA to stop imposing the American way upon Cuba. HUGE Difference!!!!
 
mham001
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:17 am



Quoting Photopilot (Reply 29):
Cuba is not demanding that they have relations with the USA. What Cuba is demanding is that the USA stop it's illegal financial and economic blockage (embargo) of Cuba. That's not Cuba trying to impose it's way on the Americans, but Cuba wanting the USA to stop imposing the American way upon Cuba. HUGE Difference!!!!

Can you tell me what's illegal about it? Who's laws are the US breaking?
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:27 am



Quoting Photopilot (Reply 29):
What Cuba is demanding is that the USA stop it's illegal financial and economic blockage (embargo) of Cuba.

And how's that working out for ya?  Wink
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

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KRIC777
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:44 am

I have NO IDEA whether this is true....but some time ago, I read somewhere that the USA pays a rent or lease payment to Cuba every month/year (whatever) for the rights to use Gitmo, but that the Cuban gov''t never cashes the checks, based on principal. Given the Cuban govt's need for hard currency, I can only assume that the terms of the lease are a remnant from the Platt Amendment days and are thus an absurdly small amount of money...I don't know. But it seems like, if it was a material amount of dough, the Cuban gov't would cash the checks and gladly take the $$$ from the "Yanquis"

For the record, while I am anti-communist to the core, it seems rather absurd for the US to maintain an hardcore embargo against Cuba, and yet seemingly have no problem with importing a HUGE percentage of consumer goods from communist China. While I have no particular affection for Castro's cabal of buffoons ....I'm becoming more and more sympathetic to the argument that engagement with Cuban society is, ULTIMATELY, a better way to introduce Western democracy and free-market principles than the existing embargo. There is just enough hard currency flowing in from the (non-USA) tourism industry to keep the regime afloat...so predicting it's demise is an exercise in futility. Might as well engage them and try to affect change from the inside. But that's just me, and I do NOT pretend to be especially well-informed about the issue!!
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:19 pm



Quoting Arrow (Reply 26):
Quoting TWAL1011727 (Reply 25):
f we did that it would be like Germany or any other country with a U.S. military base kicking the U.S. out.....Remember Clark A.F.B. and Naval base Subic Bay Phillipines.

There is no parallel. Gitmo is an imperial relic from the Rough Rider days when a war was launched with Spain for no good reason (Remember the Maine?) and America invaded and occupied Cuba, helping the Cuban revolutionaries. Cuba now wants the US out. Bases in Germany and other European countries (e.g. Britain) are there with the consent of the government. That's a very significant difference.

Subic Bay and Clark were similar remenants. IIRC, the US paid a yearly amount of $ 1 million for the use of these two bases (plus several smaller ones, like a R&R center in Bagiuo), the two main bases were huge pieces of land, areas bigger than NYC each. The Philippino goverment under Corazon Aquino wanted to renegociate the treaty, especially to increase the rent to more modern standards. Another grievance was that the US let foreign troops into their bases in the Philippines to train on technically Philippino soil without even informing the Philippino government. The mood in the Philippines back then (I was there at the time) was to kick ALL US troops out for breaching the souvereignity of the Philippines with a leftover from colonial times.
Now right at the critical stage of the negotiations the vulcano Mount Pinatubo erupted and devastated nearby Clark AB. Instead of rebuilding the base, the US decided to pull out completely.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
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par13del
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:04 pm

Anyone really believe that the US govt. is responsible for the embargo on Cuba? Technically yes, but it is the powerful Cuban lobby from Florida who has maintained the embargo, the US political system simply allowed them to put the US as a nation into a hypocritical state.

Russia, Libya, Viet Nam, China, Serbia, Bosnia we can name some more, all nations which have had and some continue to have greater human rights violations, abuse of their people than the Castro administration, yet the US trades with and maintains relations, heck China even has Most Favoured Nation Trading Status, go figure.

If relations are normalized, how many of those Cuban American in Florida who maintain their Cuban heritage for the day Cuba is free will take their funds from US banks and return to develop their nation, I'm sure we will see a situation similar to the fall of the wall between East and West Berlin, much trade options somewhat to the detriment of the people in Cuba.
 
baroque
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:11 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 33):
Now right at the critical stage of the negotiations the vulcano Mount Pinatubo erupted and devastated nearby Clark AB. Instead of rebuilding the base, the US decided to pull out completely.

Good lateral thinking there Jan, but although Gitmo is pretty much on a plate boundary it is rather deficient in volcanoes compared with your average Pinatubo and even earthquakes are not that common.

Maybe a political solution would be best!

Glad to see that some think sending Cuba to Coventry for half a century has been a sparkling success. It did give a brief respite to the UK bus industry IIRC, but even those days seem to have passed. It is difficult to see quite the benefit to the US either, unless jamming your little finger in a door is deemed a benefit.

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 23):
How, exactly, has it been a roaring success?

Nearly swallowed my tonsils at that exchange.
 
santosdumont
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:28 pm



Quoting DXing (Reply 27):
Considering Cuba's lack of progress over the years the embargo could be considered a sucess since it was always used as a way to punish Castro for his seizing of American owned property and not providing adequate payment for such.

The only thing the embargo has done is provide Fidel (and now Raul) with political cover to divert attention away from their abysmal human rights record and suffocating police state; they played up the embargo to the hilt and became the darlings of the "gauche-caviar" Left.

Hell, anything goes when you're a tiny island with fewer inhabitants than the city of Sao Paulo and "under siege" by the one superpower on the planet. You couldn't dream up a better story line than that if you wanted to justify a repressive one-party system.

Fidel has outlasted 10 US presidents...not to mention his arch-nemeses Jesse Helms and Jorge Mas Canosa. The guy has admitted that he probably won't be around for the 2012 elections, but surviving 10 White House tenants sounds like a pretty good run -- and that was with the embargo in place.

Quoting DXing (Reply 27):
The secondary goal was to bring democracy to Cuba

We all see how that's been going.
"Pursuit Of Truth No Matter Where It Lies" -- Metallica
 
csavel
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:41 pm



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 14):
I've been told by a former base commander at Gitmo that the US government has faithfully sent the lease payment check every year since the revolution. It was essential that we pay the lease payments to maintain our claim to having a right to the base.

Fidel made a big deal of not cashing the checks though reportedly the first was cashed apparently accidentally back in the early 60's. Cashing that check is cited by the US as acceptance of the lease terms by the Fidel government.

You are correct in your history. Although Cuba cites a treaty (I think called the Vienna treaty) that nullifies treaties like the Guantanamo leases if coercion is involved. Cuba cites that - that in the 30s, with the Platt amendment that Cuba had little choice but to agree as the price for getting rid of the Platt amendment. I sympathize with that but legally I don't know how you define coercion.

Cuba is on more solid ground because the treaty also distinctly specified that no commercial activity can take place at Guantanamo. And the base is so big that they have a bunch of American fast food outlets and for all I know a freakin shopping mall which are indeed commercial activity.

I am no military strategist but I wonder how strategic the base really is. If normalization happened, we might look as giving it up as a symbolic way to engender goodwill.

Quoting N328KF (Reply 18):
It's legally *US* territory. The paperwork here is actually much stronger than what allowed the UK to hold Hong Kong.

Not sure you can say that - see above. Both Britain and the US had leases, but both China and Cuba said, not without justification that the treaties were coerced. At any rate, when the lease ran out Britain had no choice but to leave.

*****

It is absurd that we trade with so many regimes, and we did trade with communist regimes that have human rights records as bad, if not demonstrably worse than Cuba yet we not only embargo Cuba, we prevent our own citizens from travelling there. I can hop on a plane to Pyongyang or Tehran right now and as long as I can pay for it and the North Koreans or Iranians let me in, there is nothing to stop me. yet I can't for Cuba. [1], puh-leeze.

What pro-embargo people are also evidently too stupid to realize is that the embargo is *Castro's best friend!* I am beginning to think that the anti-Castro Miami Cubans are really being paid off by the Castros to keep the embargo. I mean, what a great excuse for every failure of his economy!!! If we end the embargo now, then there is no enemy to blame things on there are no excuses.


[1] Yeah, I know the restriction is technically on spending money in Cuba, but practically it is a travel ban. It is so restrictive that as an American I cannot go to Montreal and buy and smoke a Cuban cigar there even if I don't bring it back with me. It is so restrictive that even if I spend no money (remember technically I am allowed to go to Cuba) and my Canadian friend pays for teh entire trip because he or she finds me so charming, I am "causing money to be spent - so I am in violation.
I may be ugly. I may be an American. But don't call me an ugly American.
 
photopilot
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:00 am

You also have to remember that 100's of millions of dollars have been spent by the US Gov't on Anti-Cuba activities, support, groups, and dissidents. But less than 15% of that money ever actually made it to Cuba. The vast majority of it was spent right in the USA by anti-Castro groups who sure lined their pockets and made a fortune from being ex-pat Cubans.
 
dxing
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:06 am



Quoting Santosdumont (Reply 36):
and "under siege" by the one superpower on the planet.

Yet there are 4 other countries that have billion dollar trades with Cuba. Why in the world would then need us?

Quoting Santosdumont (Reply 36):
The guy has admitted that he probably won't be around for the 2012 elections, but surviving 10 White House tenants sounds like a pretty good run -- and that was with the embargo in place.

It works especially well when there are no free or fair elections.

Quoting Santosdumont (Reply 36):
We all see how that's been going.

Considering it was always a secondary goal if it never works its not that much of a failure.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
baroque
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:47 am



Quoting Csavel (Reply 37):
Cuba is on more solid ground because the treaty also distinctly specified that no commercial activity can take place at Guantanamo. And the base is so big that they have a bunch of American fast food outlets and for all I know a freakin shopping mall which are indeed commercial activity.

I am no military strategist but I wonder how strategic the base really is. If normalization happened, we might look as giving it up as a symbolic way to engender goodwill.

As you perhaps suggest it about as strategic as the average KFC franchise is strategic! Nice post. Summarises the madness. The strategy seems to be if  banghead  hurts your own head, just keep  banghead  things may change!
 
dxing
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:04 am



Quoting Photopilot (Reply 38):
The vast majority of it was spent right in the USA by anti-Castro groups who sure lined their pockets and made a fortune from being ex-pat Cubans.

Sounds like there is nothing different than any other government run program to me.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
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scbriml
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:46 pm



Quoting DXing (Reply 24):
Yes, I forgot that Cuba is the workers paradise.

I didn't realise turning Cuba into a "workers paradise" was one of the aims of the embargo!  wink 

Paradise or not, in what way has the embargo been a great success?
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
santosdumont
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:17 pm



Quoting DXing (Reply 39):
Quoting Santosdumont (Reply 36):
and "under siege" by the one superpower on the planet.

Yet there are 4 other countries that have billion dollar trades with Cuba. Why in the world would then need us?

Think of the benefits for US business and entrepreneurs... not to mention to effect that such a a presence would have in Cuba.

Quoting DXing (Reply 39):
Quoting Santosdumont (Reply 36):
The guy has admitted that he probably won't be around for the 2012 elections, but surviving 10 White House tenants sounds like a pretty good run -- and that was with the embargo in place.

It works especially well when there are no free or fair elections.

You can blame the embargo for that. While we're at it, what's the deal with free and fair elections? When did that become the be-all and end-all litmus test for bilateral relations with Washington?

Quoting DXing (Reply 39):
Quoting Santosdumont (Reply 36):
We all see how that's been going.

Considering it was always a secondary goal if it never works its not that much of a failure.

If it never works, it's not that much of a failure....freedom is slavery...your post's dizzying (albeit slightly amusing) contortions, hair splitting, and lukewarm sophistry cannot conceal the fact that the embargo has been an abject failure. The United States has played right into the hands of the Castro regime by effectively placing this particular foreign policy component into the hands of the South Florida Cuban-American elite.

The net result has been the furnishing of political ammo by the truckload not only to Castro, but to Veuve-Clicquot leftists like Hugo Chavez and Sean Penn as well.
"Pursuit Of Truth No Matter Where It Lies" -- Metallica
 
ALexeu
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:37 pm

Cuban gov considers G.B. to be illigal. I can't imagine what would happen if Cuba had attacked Guantanamo Bay by force (certainly now it is almost impossible).

Quoting Photopilot (Reply 29):
Cuba is not demanding that they have relations with the USA. What Cuba is demanding is that the USA stop it's illegal financial and economic blockage (embargo) of Cuba. That's not Cuba trying to impose it's way on the Americans, but Cuba wanting the USA to stop imposing the American way upon Cuba. HUGE Difference!!!!

Can Cuba hang to Mexico, Carribean community, Venezuela, Brazil, EU and China to have a normal economical situation?
 
ME AVN FAN
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:41 pm



Quoting AlexEU (Reply 44):
Can Cuba hang to Mexico, Carribean community, Venezuela, Brazil, EU and China to have a normal economical situation?

-
A recent interview done with Raoul Castro says that the answer to your question is NO ! Raoul Castro clearly wants normal economic relations with the USA, nothing less.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:44 pm



Quoting AlexEU (Reply 44):
Can Cuba hang to Mexico, Carribean community, Venezuela, Brazil, EU and China to have a normal economical situation?

The problem is that even foreign businessesfall under US regulations (and can be sued in the US) if they either have business connections (like a branch) in the US or in Cuba make business with Cuban companies, which use confiscated property of American companies.
This effectively blocks commerce with third countries.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:59 pm



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 8):
Having won the election, why would Obama be worried about those same Floridians not liking his decision (if he makes it)?

Because presumably Obama is going to run again in 2012. There are also Congressional mid-term elections in 2010 and there's about a half-dozen Democratic representatives from Florida.

Quoting Arrow (Reply 6):

On the contrary. It would be an example of a foreign policy maturation that's long over due. No one in the world is going to think of the US as "weak" because it decides to bury the hatchet with Cuba. In fact, it would go a long way towards restoring the US lost standing as a world leader, and it would do so with little real costs.

It shows weakness because it would be perceived as an admission that the trade embargo was a failure. On the contrary, the U.S. had legitimate reasons for enacting the embargo and it has done a great job keeping Cuba dirt poor, to which I say good. Diplomatic and economic relations are not an entitlement. If you want them with the United States, don't seize the assets and property of our businesses and citizens. If you want to restore them, you start making amends.

Ultimately the "standing" of the United States in the international community is predicated on the popular course of action not the right one. Hence why I've never really given a flying flip what the rest of the world thinks about the U.S.
 
santosdumont
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:07 pm



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 47):
Quoting Arrow (Reply 6):

On the contrary. It would be an example of a foreign policy maturation that's long over due. No one in the world is going to think of the US as "weak" because it decides to bury the hatchet with Cuba. In fact, it would go a long way towards restoring the US lost standing as a world leader, and it would do so with little real costs.

It shows weakness because it would be perceived as an admission that the trade embargo was a failure.

No admission is needed. The same government is in place as when the embargo came into being almost half a century ago, and that government plays the embargo card to the hilt to win support as a David standing up against a Goliath. Having some phallo-centric fetish about "weakness" sounds more like a 16 year-old football jock than the government of the most powerful nation on earth.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 47):
On the contrary, the U.S. had legitimate reasons for enacting the embargo and it has done a great job keeping Cuba dirt poor, to which I say good

Don't give the US so much credit. Once the USSR folded, the economic incompetence of the Cuban system was plain to see. But guess what? Castro could camouflage his own failures by just blaming the embargo.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 47):
Diplomatic and economic relations are not an entitlement.

So then why in the world did the United States restore relations with a nation directly responsible for the deaths of more than 50,000 US servicemen? Why didn't Washington make such a restoration contingent on Vietnam's release of all information on POW-MIAs?

Why did Bush 41 send Brent Scowcroft to kiss Chinese ass after the Tienanmen Square Massacre in 1989 instead of suspending diplomatic relations immediately?

Why does the United States have full-fledged relations with a country where publicly wearing a Cross can get you an ass-whooping from religious police and where women who are caught driving risk the same punishment?

Clearly, democracy and free and fair elections aren't a prerequisite for diplomatic ties with the United States.
"Pursuit Of Truth No Matter Where It Lies" -- Metallica
 
photopilot
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RE: Guantánamo Bay Back To Cuba?

Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:37 pm



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 47):
the embargo and it has done a great job keeping Cuba dirt poor, to which I say good.

My, that must make you feel so proud to inflict poverty on others. How ever do you look at yourself in the mirror?

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