by María Josefina Arce
The closure of the Guantanamo naval base and the return of that territory located in the eastern part of the country illegally occupied by the United States, is a long-standing demand of Cuba, supported by other peoples, political personalities and international organizations.
Recently, the Grupo Puebla reaffirmed that the Cuban people and government have well-founded reasons to make such a claim. Made up of 52 leaders from 16 countries, the group urged the U.S. government to put an end to this shameful chapter of history, which would mean a step forward in the respect for human rights.
In 2002, the United States installed in the military enclave an illegal prison for alleged terrorists, classified and denounced as a torture center.
It is a place where despotism and abuse are practiced, and should have been closed long ago, eight UN special rapporteurs and human rights experts have highlighted earlier this year.
The truth is that among the techniques used against the prisoners are, in addition to simulated drowning, their confinement in small boxes, sleep deprivation, food manipulation, forced nudity or sexual abuse.
The permanence of the Guantanamo naval base is, moreover, a violation of the Cuban sovereignty and qualifies, according to experts, an act of colonialism, by virtue of Resolution 1514 approved by the UN in 1960.
That is why the return to Cuba of that part of its territory is a constant demand of the Seminar for Peace and the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases, which takes place every two years in Guantanamo and which now is held on-line, virtually, due to COVID-19.
Several activists in favor of peace joined the convocation recently launched by the Guantanamo delegation of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples and the Solvisión multimedia.
We should remember that also from that military zone, violent and provocative actions have been orchestrated against the Cuban people, which have included the murder of fishermen and young soldiers who watch over our security.
During the early years of the Revolution, this region provided the criminal gangs with material support for their violent actions.
Cuba, loyal to its principles, advocating for peace and security, has always tried to avoid provocations, but it does not renounce its right to regain control over that usurped territory, which constitutes an offense to our sovereignty.