Cuba to insist on Guantanamo base closure

Campaign News | Thursday, 22 January 2009

From the Itar - Tass News agency

Cuba to insist on Guantanamo base closure - Raul Castro

Cuba strengthens its demand to liquidate the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay Cuban leader Raul Castro said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass on Thursday.

“We will begin more determinedly to insist on the base’s closure. I use an opportunity of this interview to announce this,” he said.

The Cuban leader noted that mass media not always clearly differentiate between the naval base at Guantanamo and the prison camp where terrorism suspects are kept.

“Sometime I read the headlines of news agencies’ reports saying ‘US closes its base at Guantanamo’. I read further and see that it plans to close its prison created to torture citizens of other countries while the base remains,” Castro said. “Over the years of the prison’s existence we slightly downplayed our demands for the base’s closure not to prevent promotion of the (international) campaign urging the Guantanamo prison camp’s closure.”

“ I hope that the new US administration will fulfil its promise to close this prison which to our opinion is a just solution and believe that it will be reached. Meanwhile we consider it insufficient as the presence of this base on our land is a big injustice,” he said.

“We demand that not only this prison but also this base should be closed and the territory it occupies should be returned to its legal owner - the Cuban people. This base has no military significance for them (the Americans). From a military point of view this is a real mousetrap. I do not want to give reasons; we have them in abundance to put forward this demand,” Castro said.

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