Renewed diplomatic relations in between the US and also Cuba have actually been announced, yet there are still number of unresolved questions worrying Guantanamo.

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The us pays the Cuban government $4,085 annually in rent because that the 45-square-mile naval base at Guantanamo Bay. Kind of.

For more than 50 years, Cuba has actually refused come cash the checks due to the fact that it hasn't recognized the legitimacy of the lease the US gone into into v the country in 1901, i m sorry the Cuban structure says offers the us "complete jurisdiction and control" end Guantanamo. (The united state Treasury sends the checks through the Swiss embassy, i beg your pardon represents united state interests in Havana.)


Now, v today's historic announcement by president Barack Obama the relations in between the US and also Cuba are on the mend, there room questions about whether Guantanamo came up throughout the discussions in between Obama and also Cuban chairman Raul Castro.

Spokespeople because that the White House and also State room did no respond come requests for comment.

State Department records that include duplicates of uncashed rent check — castle were freshly released in an answer to a flexibility of details Act (FOIA) inquiry (pdf below) — say the united state is technically in default that its lease covenant with Cuba, which says that Guantanamo is "to be used only because that a coaling terminal ."

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On April 26, 2006, Timothy Zuniga-Brown, a State room diplomat, sent an email to cutting board Gerth, a an elderly adviser to the State Department's Office that Cuban Affairs, asking him to confirm information and questions the was sent out "regarding the standing of the lease end Guantanamo." Zuniga-Brown — the bolding in the email is his — was concerned "some the the wording right here sound a tiny loose":

Cuba's constitution, which was adopted in 1901, had what is dubbed the Platt Amendment, regulation that established problems for American treatment in Cuba and also gave the United states the appropriate to maintain a army base ~ above the island in perpetuity. The lease consists of several crucial provisions appropriate to whether U.S. Courts have jurisdiction end the base. First, the lease offers the United states "complete jurisdiction and also control" of the territory, saying just that it "recognizes the keep going of the ultimate sovereignty that the Republic the Cuba." Secondly, the lease can only it is in terminated top top the mutual consent of both parties. Also though Cuba has actually wanted to end the lease due to the fact that the change of 1959, that is unable to perform so without the consent the the unified States. The lease actually gives for a miniscule rent, some two thousand dollars in gold (equivalent to around $4,085 a year in existing U.S dollars), although the Cuban government has refused to accept any payment since 1959. The United says is technically in default, and also has been for plenty of years, since the lease gives that the basic is to be used only for a coaling station.

In other words, the 136 detainees right now imprisoned on the island would technically be a violation that the lease agreement. In December 2001, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld defined why the Bush management chose to construct a detention basic there.

"I would characterize Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, together the the very least worst ar we could have selected," Rumsfeld said throughout a December 27, 2001 press briefing. "It has actually disadvantages…. That disadvantages, however, it seems to be ~ to be modest loved one to the alternatives."

Rumsfeld did not expose that a young Justice room attorney named John Yoo had just finished writing a legal memo that he sent to Pentagon basic Counsel wilhelm "Jim" Haynes a day later on that claimed Guantanamo was the perfect location due to the fact that it was external the law and also it was unlikely united state courts would give detainees over there habeas corpus rights.

Bush administration officials had at one suggest considered detaining detainees in Guam, however Justice department lawyers established that detainees would be able to an obstacle their detention in united state courts because, together Joseph Hansen created in Guantanamo: one American History, Guam would certainly not it is in immune from federal court oversight and could be accessed by lawyers and journalists

Yoo's analysis was ultimately proved not correct a decade later when the united state Supreme Court approve a landmark judgment in Boumediene v. Bush granting Guantanamo detainees habeas corpus rights. News also obtained State department documents that show members the Congress had been lobbying the State Department end the previous year calling for Obama's nationwide security staff to review Cuba's 1982 designation as a state sponsor that terrorism.

"At this time, the Department has actually no existing plans to eliminate Cuba from the State Sponsor of terrorism list," the State Department's acting Assistant Secretary of legislature Affairs, thomas Gibbons, composed in a June 17, 2013 email to Sen. Carl Levin, the chairman of the Senate equipped Serglossesweb.coms Committee.

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In a push briefing Wednesday, Obama stated he has actually instructed Secretary the State john Kerry to review Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor that Terrorism.

"This review will be guided by the facts and also the law," Obama said. "Terrorism has changed in the last numerous decades. At a time when we are concentrated on threats from al Qaeda come ISIL, a nation that meets ours conditions and also renounces the usage of terrorism have to not face this sanction."