Russian Foreign Ministry said Guantanamo US prison should be closed as soon as possible
Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov has just returned from a trip to Guantanamo. He led the Russian interdepartmental delegation. The diplomat called the correctional facility at the military base “a shameful page in stories USA ”, where“ justice was violated and human rights were violated ”.
During the entire XIX century, the United States diligently cleaned up all the former colonial possessions of Spain in Latin America. To control the vast and rich continent in 1823, the so-called Monroe Doctrine, which proclaimed the principle America for Americans, was put forward. The doctrine is named for US President James Monroe, who laid this thesis at the basis of his annual appeal to Congress on December 2 of 1823 of the year. Then there was the idea of creating the Pan American Union under the auspices of Washington, which rightly received the nickname "Union of sharks and sardines."
But the whole XIX century Spain retained power in Cuba and Puerto Rico, these were its last colonies in the Western Hemisphere. In Cuba, in the second half of that century, endless uprisings and wars of independence raged. Then in Washington, the “ripe fruit” theory was born, which said: the day is not far when Cuba, like a ripe fruit, will fall from the branch of the Spanish colonial empire and fall into the arms of the United States, as a natural new American state. But the Cuban patriots themselves thought differently, they dreamed of the complete independence of their country, the preservation of their identity, culture, language, way of life. They were already close to achieving their goal in 1898, when their armed forces controlled most of the island, stood at the gates of the most important cities. There was only one step to complete and final victory ...
But then suddenly the United States rudely intervened in the situation. On the roadstead in Havana, an American Man cruiser, all the officers of which were at a banquet on the beach at that moment, exploded in a mysterious way.
Washington immediately pointed to Spain as the author of the attack and declared war on Madrid. It is terribly similar to the incident in the Gulf of Tonkin - as a pretext for intervention in Vietnam, or on the terrorist attack in New York on September 11 of the year 2001 - as a pretext for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Then everything went according to a pre-prepared scenario. The US Navy, which was nearby and many times exceeding its potential by the Spanish squadron, simply shot it at the exit from Santiago Bay. American troops landed in many places of the country's coast, occupied cities, banned Cuban rebels from entering major settlements, explaining that with their desire to settle scores with the Spaniards remaining on the island. The American Colonel Leonard Wood became the governor of the island, and he did everything he wanted. The land, the property of the former colonial Spanish owners, was sold to American friends for a song - at 2 cent per hectare. Wood commanded both the conduct of elections, the drafting of a constitution, and the selection of presidential candidates. When all the formalities were completed, he invited the five members of the Constitutional Assembly, authorized to discuss the issue of concluding an agreement on the principles of relations with the United States, "for fishing." There he showed them the letter of the Secretary of State for Defense E.Rut - that is, the head of the then Pentagon. The document formulated a requirement for the allocation of Cuban lands and waters for the creation of American naval bases — ostensibly for the defense of the Panama Canal under construction and the security of the United States.
The deputies were shocked, they immediately informed the entire Constitutional Assembly, which rejected this brazen demand. But Cuban novice politicians did not yet know the cynicism and treachery of the Washington hawks. They did not suspect that the ruling circles of the United States played well the roles of "good" and "evil" investigators, in which, depending on the circumstances, the administration and the congress. If US President William McKinley in his speeches glorified Cuba’s independence, recognized the integrity of its territory, Connecticut representative Orville Platt in the Senate prepared an amendment to the army budget law: in essence, she donned a colonial yoke on the neck of the young Cuban republic. It affirmed the right of the United States to military intervention in the internal affairs of Cuba, limited its powers to conduct foreign affairs independently, and put forth the right to establish naval bases on the island. If Cuba did not agree with these conditions, the US Army remained on its territory for an unlimited time. The amendment was immediately adopted by the Senate, a day later signed by the president. She became an ultimatum, not a condition of negotiations.
In Havana, such a turn of affairs caused anger and indignation. In April, a deputation of five members of the Constitutional Assembly was sent to Washington 1901 to try to soften the conditions of the “amendment”. But the delegation was met by the same L. Wood, who had already become a major general, and the Minister of War E. Ruth. They said without protocol courtesies: everything will remain as it is, “the US president cannot change the law passed by the congress”. Soon Cuban’s first elected President of the Cuba, Thomas Estrada Palma, who was aware of the US requirements regarding naval bases, arrived in Havana on the American cruiser “Brooklyn”. The only thing he managed to do during the negotiations was to reduce the number of requested bases from four to two. At first, Washington wanted to create its “reference points” in Cienfuegos and in Guantanamo on the southern coast, as well as in the bays of Bahia Onda and Nipe on the northern tip of the island. Now the States have moderated their appetites and agreed only on Guantanamo and the bay of Bahia Ond.
If you translate all legal documents into normal language, it becomes clear: no equal negotiations between the parties took place, all decisions were imposed by the United States under their pressure and using the threat of force.
Therefore, from a legal point of view, they have no legal force. This is coercion, not a contract.
The signed lease agreement for the base in Guantanamo is of an indefinite nature, and can only be revised with the consent of both parties. Cuba has long been demanding its cancellation, but the United States does not even want to hear about it. The agreement states that it can be revised if the nature of the use of this base changes, which was originally called the “coal base”, that is, a bunkering fuel depot. Then, by unilateral acts of Washington, she changed her assignment, becoming a naval base, then a combined base of the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps and, finally, a place of detention of suspected terrorists. In none of these cases did Washington accept the protests of Cuba and its proposals for negotiations.
The birthday of the base in Guantanamo can be considered 10 December 1903, when the United States took possession of a dedicated land and sea area. The event was marked by 21 with a volley of gunfire, to the thunder of which the Cuban flag was lowered and the USA starry flag was raised. In 1912, the United States found it unnecessary to build a base in Bahia Onda, and for giving up its rights to it, they demanded to expand the territory in Guantanamo. Cubans could only agree to this - as the lesser evil.
Since then, the base occupies 117 square kilometers of land and more than 30 square kilometers of the Guantanamo Bay water area, which penetrates deep into the land. It is located in the mouth of the bay on both its shores, in 30 kilometers from the city of the same name, Cuban boats have the right of through passage - without mooring - to the sea and back.
When Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to power in the United States in 1934, the United States agreed to cancel the Platt Amendment, but the status of the Guantanamo base remained intact. Under the original agreement, the United States paid Cuba for the lease of the entire 3400 dollars per year, then this amount “increased” to 4085 dollars. As the saying goes, chickens are laughing, so after the victory of the revolution, the Cuban government refused to accept this degrading payment. Fidel Castro once remarked that this amount is 10 times less than what is paid annually to an American teacher.
During the years of the revolutionary war against the dictatorship of F. Batista, the little-known to the world American base in Guantanamo gained scandalous fame as an instrument of gross interference in the internal affairs of Cuba.
Patriotic Cubans who worked at the base repeatedly witnessed the dictator’s military aircraft landing at the base, refueling, replenishing ammunition from the US Army’s warehouses and going to bombard and bombard the positions of the Rebel Army Fidel Castro and settlements in the liberated territory. Secretly taken photographs and the necessary additional information collected were transferred to the rebel command. The materials fell into the hands of Raul Castro, who led the actions of the so-called Second Front - First Commanded by Fidel - on whose territory were American enterprises for the extraction and processing of nickel. By order of Raul in 1958, an operation was conducted under the code name “Truth”, during which more than 40 marines who walked in bars and restaurants of Guantanamo and several employees of American companies were simultaneously detained and delivered to the guerrilla headquarters. All of them were presented with convincing material on the illegal use of the base as a springboard for intervening in a civil war. Showing photos of civilians killed by American bombs and missiles, fragments of ammunition labeled US. Unlocking was pointless. The US Consul in the city of Santiago was forced to make contact with Raul, and promised to report everything to Washington in exchange for the release of the detainees. This step has been very effective. By direct order of Fidel, the command of the Second Front released the detainees in order not to cause complications with the United States. Then Raul Castro recalled: “Maybe I did and was not quite right in those circumstances, but how nice it is to remember it now!”. In any case, after Operation Pravda, the base in Guantanamo stopped accepting dictator’s planes.
Today, the base is a powerful military complex with a permanent garrison in 10 of thousands of people. There is a military airfield capable of receiving aircraft of all types, the military port can accommodate up to 60 ships, there is a dry dock, repair shops, and storage facilities. More than 1500 buildings of various purposes were built on the territory. The base is surrounded on all sides by a solid steel wire mesh fence, on top of which the Bruno helix made of barbed wire stretches in one or two rows. On both sides of the base is surrounded by minefields, powerful lighting devices and surveillance systems. On the American side, marines carry perimeter security. From Cuban - a special frontier brigade, in which the most prepared in all respects fighters are selected.
The base has no real military significance. Its entire territory is shot through from all sides by conventional cannon artillery, moreover, it is located mainly on a flat lowland surrounded by hills and mountains.
Fidel Castro has repeatedly stressed that a modern aircraft carrier with its convoy and armada of supersonic aircraft on board, capable of moving at high speed to any point on the globe, is incomparably more valuable from a military point of view than the base at Guantanamo.
But Washington stubbornly holds on to it - as a lever of political and psychological pressure on Havana.
In different years I had to visit the eastern provinces of Cuba and visit the border posts guarding the approaches to the base. I have heard horrible stories from the soldiers of the brigade and the residents of Guantanamo about the atrocities that took place at the base where more than 700 Cuban workers had worked on a permanent basis, and now practically no one is left. I remember, shortly after the events at Playa Chiron, at the base, Ruben Lopez Sabariego, the father of 9 children, who had worked there for 14 years, disappeared. In front of other workers, he was arrested by a captain of the marines, people saw him put in a motorboat and transported to the opposite bank of the strait. The wife began to search for the truth, but received an answer: “Look for your husband in Cuba, people are arresting you there, who then disappear!” A few days later, a Catholic priest of the base lied to a woman, saying that her husband was fired from his job, a pass was taken from him, and he was sent out of the base. However, a few days later, through journalists, the Americans reported that the corpse of Ruben Lopez was found and identified by a pass found under him. According to these reports, it appeared that the corpse had lain for two weeks in a roadside ditch, and no one had allegedly seen it. Under various pretexts, the body was not given to the widow for a long time, but when they were forced to yield to insistent demands, it turned out that it lay for a long time in the freezer. Pathologists found: Ruben Lopez was killed as a result of severe beatings.
After this, mass layoffs of workers began. People lost their right to retirement, they lost all their savings and benefits. The Cubans have stopped supplying the base with water from their sources. Now Americans carry water by tankers, use desalinators of sea water. For many years, the border with the base became literally a front-line trench. In the stereo I saw myself as a marine, at the moment of lifting the Cuban state flag as a post, lowered his trousers to his knees, turned his ass to the post, and slapped his hand over it, imitating applause. The soldiers told me that the marines could not behave in a proper way at the post: they either imitate aiming at the Cuban border guards, they defiantly drink the contents of bottles with classic whiskey varieties, they always openly defecate, call. In general, they bully and provoke in every way. Border guards have a strict order: not to respond to provocations. But in the sixties and seventies, Cuban soldiers were repeatedly killed by bullets fired from the base. Once an American journalist told Raul Castro that all this was not true. Then Raul suggested that all the correspondents who were sitting in the hall at the press conference put on the olive uniforms of Cuban border guards and take a “walk” along the base perimeter at their own peril and risk. Only one Mexican agreed, the rest frankly shaken.
The Cuban side constantly collects photographic and film materials testifying to the boorish, offensive and provocative behavior of the US military and is ready at any moment to present this information to the world community.
The idea of creating a prison or some sort of concentration camp at the base in Guantanamo has long captured the heads of American politicians and officials.
Initially, the base's territory was used to house Haitian émigrés on it, who tried to illegally get into the US by water, but were intercepted by US Coast Guard ships. Until their forced return to their homeland, their identity was established at the base, prevented in order to prevent the recurrence of illegal emigration, and experts of special services worked with them. Prior to 1995, almost 45 thousands of Haitian immigrants had been in concentration camps at the base. Beginning in 1994, and later, due to the US refusal to accept economic emigrants from Cuba legally - they agreed to issue no more than 20 thousands of visas per year, never even fulfilling this quota - spontaneous emigration began using improvised watercraft. Many immigrants began to penetrate the base in Guantanamo. In total, according to the Cuban side, during the years of the revolution about 30 thousands of people went there. For comparison: for legitimate reasons, without risk to life and health, for the same time 250 thousands of citizens left Cuba.
At the turn of the millennium, when the Balkans were blazing, the Americans did not rule out the possibility of accepting emigrants from the region affected by a humanitarian catastrophe at the base, but events took a different turn there and the need disappeared. Finally, after the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11 of 2001 and the outbreak of hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States notified — only “notified” ... - the Cuban government of its intention to create in the base territory a prison for the temporary detention of persons suspected of involvement in terrorist activities or participating in hostilities against US forces in the Middle and Near East. And now 11 January 2002, the first 20 prisoners were brought to the base. Soon the planes began to arrive one after another, the number of prisoners increased almost to 800 people. Almost from the first months, information began to leak out that, on the basis of, in essence, a real combine was created to torture and abuse of absolutely powerless people.
By decree of George W. Bush, Guantanamo prisoners were removed from the Geneva Conventions on prisoners of war. A special US military tribunal makes decisions about the qualifications of prisoners. If the detainee is recognized as a “combatant” - that is, a fighter or a fighter - then his stay in prison can continue indefinitely.
Contained enclosed in cells the size of 2 meter by 2 meter, made of thick wire. They are allowed to have only shorts and sneakers.
The prisoners - most of them citizens of Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Yemen - suffer from the humid heat of the tropics, eight of them died in custody, four committed suicide.
Interrogations are accompanied by torture. The most famous are imitation of drowning in water, sleep deprivation for a long time, tormenting loud music like heavy metal, that is, “heavy metal”, spraying with pepper gas, beating any deviation from the norms of behavior - it is forbidden, for example, to cover your head with a towel to protect scorching sun and generally "hide the face." The International Red Cross achieved access to the detainees at the Guantanamo base and to some extent was able to somewhat alleviate the situation of the prisoners. In particular, it helped to establish more or less tolerable postal communication between detainees and their relatives, sometimes it is even possible to provide telephone contacts with close relatives. Some prisoners were sent for investigative actions to the countries of which they are citizens. For example, 8 people were extradited to Russia, so our law enforcement agencies should have a fairly complete picture of the situation in Guantanamo prison.
The coming to power of Barack Obama in 2008 suggested major changes in the fate of the prison, a year later, already in the status of president, he promised to close it. But here the American system “government-congress” started working again, that is, the investigator is a good and evil investigator. The House of Representatives opposed the idea of closing the prison. B. Obama was forced to issue a decree prohibiting the use of the means and capabilities of the Pentagon to move prisoners, which essentially legitimizes the continuation of the prison, because no one can even enter the base without permission from the US military.
As of September 2012, the concentration camp contained 167 people, in December last year they reported that the number of prisoners was 155 people. None of them are charged, none of them know their future. Some of those who left Guantanamo are serving sentences in their own countries, around 50 people have obtained an acquittal in US civilian courts, some, according to US military intelligence, have returned to the previous terrorist or military struggle against America. But the prison lives and acts, remaining evidence of the total disregard of the United States for human rights, for which they allegedly fight in all corners of the globe.
The future of the base in Guantanamo is seen in thick fog. Official US authorities often declare that they are ready to return its legal territory to Cuba. But be sure to specify that this can happen only after the restoration of democracy on the island.
Behind them, as always, they leave the monopoly right to decide how fully and correctly "democracy is restored."
So, about democracy. In April, the 2013 of the year, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced the list of US citizens who are denied entry into the Russian Federation. This was the response of the foreign ministry to the Magnitsky list published in the US, which included Russian security forces involved, in the assertions of American justice, to human rights violations in Russia. Persons involved in the legalization and use of torture, the indefinite detention of prisoners are included in the commonly known name “Guantanamo List”. David Eddington, Chief of Staff of the Vice President of the United States in 2005-2008, John Yu, Legal Counsel of the US Department of Justice in the 2001-2003, Jeffrey Miller, Commander of the Guantanamo Base in 2002-2003, and Jeffrey Harbesson, Commander of the Guantanamo Base 2010-2012's.
Well, now, as reported by K. Dolgov’s trip, the Americans assured that the administration of Barack Obama is set to close the prison as soon as possible. Even according to the saying, they have been waiting for the promised three years. This term has expired ...