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Published:February 2nd, 2009 14:51 EST

Obama Should Return Guantanamo To Castro

By Robert Paul Reyes

"Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro demanded on Thursday that President Barack Obama return the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo to Cuba without conditions...

`Maintaining a military base in Cuba against the will of the people violates the most elemental principles of international law,` Castro wrote in a column posted on the government-run website


Cuba indefinitely leased Guantanamo to the United States in 1903 after the United States occupied the country during the 1898 Spanish-American War. Castro charges that the base at the south-eastern tip of Cuba was taken over illegally."


I commend President Barack Obama for his decision to close Guantanamo Bay within a year, but he needs to take a step further and return the naval base to Cuba without conditions.

The Cuban government signed the lease under duress, an occupied country isn`t in a position to sign a lease under favorable terms. The United States is illegally occupying a part of Cuba; the illicit American base is an affront and an insult to Cuba`s sovereignty.

President Obama should be embarrassed that a dictator is tutoring him on the most basic principles of international law. The people of Cuba are vehemently opposed to the American presence in their idyllic island.

It`s a shame that the world`s only superpower is disregarding international law and the will of the Cuban population. It`s an outrage that the left is silent on this issue, why isn`t urging Obama to do the right thing?

Obama should also end the 46-year-old U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. It`s time for a change in our relationship with our socialist neighbor.

Once we normalize our relations with Cuba, the influx of American goods and American pop culture will bring about democratization in the beautiful island country.