President Barack Obama made an executive decision today to close an eyesore and an open wound better known as Guantánamo Bay.
Since the 9/11 attacks, Guantánamo Bay has again been at the forefront of an ongoing rift between the United States and Cuba.
Guantánamo Bay is a military prison in under the control of the U.S. per the 1903 Cuban-American Treaty. This treaty granted the U.S. a permanent lease over the area and of the facility while allowing the U.S. jurisdiction and control of the area for coaling and naval stations. The arrangement included recognizing the Republic of Cuba's sovereignty over the area.
Since 1898, Cuba has wanted the U.S. out of the area citing a violation of the treaty (because of our use of force to obtain the area) and demanded a withdrawal of the U.S. troops who remained in Cuba. The U.S. essentially told them to kick rocks.
Not until today, January 22, 2009, have we managed to make progress with that request.
Today, President Obama issued an Executive Order to close Guantánamo Bay and to prohibit the use of torture by U.S. military personnel.
I think it sends a very clear message that Bush’s ‘War On Terror’ will not continue to give the United States permission to terrorize others behind a very thin veil under our new Administration.
Kudos to you Mr. President.