Saturday, January 31, 2009


Literally, the "lady from Guantanomo." "Guajira," referring to either a woman of Indian origin (Guajiro is a South American Indian tribal name) or the dance form of the same name.

Guantanamo is, as is well known, the location of a notorious US prison, on a notorious US naval base on Guantanamo bay, in Cuba. Here's what Castro had to say about this base, according to
On January 11 1985, in a speech during a visit to Nicaragua, Castro addressed the potential use of military violence to recover this territory. "What interest can we have in waging a war with our neighbors?" he said. "In our country we have a military base against the will of our people. It has been there throughout the twenty-six years of the revolution, and it is being occupied by force. We have the moral and legal right to demand its return. We have made the claim in the moral and legal way. We do not intend to recover it with the use of arms. It is part of our territory being occupied by a U.S. military base. Never has anyone, a revolutionary cadre, a revolutionary leader, or a fellow citizen, had the idea of recovering the piece of our territory by the use of force. If some day it will be ours, it will not be by the use of force, but the advance of the consciousness of justice in the world."
President Obama has already decided to eliminate the prison. (Whether this is a wise decision is open to debate, but I'll leave that issue for a future post.) But returning the entire base to Cuban control would be even better. Better still, we should recognize Cuba and establish normal relations with it. Doing so would be an excellent way for Obama to clearly demonstrate that he is in fact willing and able to do the right thing, even if it means alienating some of the most narrow-minded and intractable elements of the opposition whose approval he now appears to be so eagerly courting.

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