What Happens To Guantanamo Bay Now?

What Happens To Guantanamo Bay Now?

Not so fast! These are just diplomatic ties we’re restoring. That’s the message the White House sent back to Raúl Castro after his demands for Guantanamo Bay. Indeed the GOP-dominated Congress won’t go that far.

Putting Guantanamo Bay aside for a moment, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and a cross-party cohort tabled a billFreedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015, last week that sought to lift travel restrictions to Cuba. Interestingly Sen. Rand Paul was not a co-sponsor of the bill, yet he was a signatory on a GOP letter to President Obama calling for relaxed restrictions on trade and travel.

The rationale is that once Cubans get a taste of American goods and trade they’ll want more and more and more. This is meant to be good for everyone. America desperately needs some new markets and Cubans would probably appreciate being able to buy more things.

What needs to be watched in my opinion is the potential for predatory corporate power, which can be just as devastating as state power. A stakeholder model of society needs to be encouraged that factors in everyone’s well-being, not just those who hold shares or have a certain nationality.

Back to Guantanamo Bay though, it is a symbol of the excesses of the War on Terror. Held without trial and without paying dues to due process, the prisoners there are slowly being released. A few geo-political strands tangle together as the unconstitutional facility sits on an island whose governing ideology is oppositional to that of the United States.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said that:

“President Obama is engaging with Cuba because that’s what we do with nations. We have normalized diplomatic relations with countries that have human rights records as bad or worse than Cuba … and we have found that a better lever to push human rights.” (The Washington Examiner)

It is unlikely that America will admit its own human rights abuses, but normalizing relations with Cuba only makes the elephant in the room that is Guantanamo Bay more likely to be a topic of discussion. What do you think? Join the discussion below, on Facebook or on Twitter.

(Photo courtesy of The U.S. Army, CC BY 2.0)

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