Monday, May 21, 2012
On one of my two visits to Cuba, I drove past the fenced-in exterior of the base at Guantanamo Bay, abbreviated by generations of U.S service personnel to "Gitmo". It is in the news again, because after two previous changes of mind, several of those accused of complicity in the attacks on the USS Cole and the "9/11" attacks are now being tried at the base we maintain in Cuba. Recently, Ozzie Guillen of the Florida Marlins was suspended for five games because he had the gall to say that he admired Fidel Castro, not a wise admission in Miami! There is much about Fidel that I deplore, but I must agree: there is much in his life to respect. My own feelings about Cuba and its people are complex and mixed, from feeling that the Cuban brand of Socialism is right for most of that nation's present inhabitants, to dismay at the imprisonment of dissidents. I can understand why we originally wanted a naval base in Cuba, but those days have long passed. There is no need at present for us to occupy this piece of foreign soil. To use it as an offshore prison is an abuse of the original purpose. I believe that we should long ago have withdrawn from Guantanamo Bay. I believe that we retain it more out of spite and dislike of the Castro regime than because of any good reason.