[News] Cuba calls on the United States to stop the torture of prisoners in Guantánamo

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jan 26 11:32:17 EST 2005


Cuba calls on the United States to stop the torture of prisoners in Guantánamo

On January 19, 2005, reflecting the indignation of our people at the 
atrocities committed on prisoners held at the US Naval Base in Guantánamo, 
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented the US governmental authorities 
in Havana and Washington with a diplomatic note denouncing the flagrant 
violations of human rights that the said government is daily committing on 
Cuban territory illegally occupied by the above-mentioned naval base. This 
communication called for an immediate end to that inhuman and criminal conduct.

The note reminds the US government that the atrocities being committed on 
the base and the very fact of utilizing that illegally occupied Cuban 
territory as a prison, is in violation of numerous instruments of 
international law and international humanitarian law, and moreover, 
violates the Coal and Naval Stations Agreement signed in February 1903 by 
the government of the United States and the Cuban government of that 
period, in conditions of inequality and disadvantage for our country, whose 
independence was circumscribed via the Platt Agreement.

According to Article II of that agreement, the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 
ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />US government committed 
itself to doing everything necessary to ensure that those locations should 
be exclusively used as coal or naval stations and for no other objective.

It is also important to recall that when the Cuban authorities were 
informed – although not consulted – of the US government decision to 
transfer a group of prisoners from the war in Afghanistan to this US 
military enclave in Guantánamo, the government of the Republic of Cuba 
informed national and internal opinion in a statement dated January 11, 
2002, that "although the transfer of foreign prisoners of war on the part 
of the government of the United States to one of its military installations 
located on part of our national territory over which we have been deprived 
of the right to exercise jurisdiction is not in line with the regulations 
that gave rise to that installation, we shall not create any obstacles to 
the development of the operation." Moreover, the statement highlighted that 
our government had "taken note with satisfaction of public statements from 
the US authorities in the context of the prisoners receiving adequate and 
humane treatment."

The dramatic reality of the prisoners detained on the Guantánamo Naval 
Base, reported by the media to total 550 at the present time, likewise 
reveals the double standards of the US government in its hackneyed and 
manipulative campaigning on behalf of human rights.

The arbitrary detention of these foreign prisoners without the mediation of 
a legal trial, as well as the torture and degrading treatment to which they 
are being subjected, constitute a gross violation of human rights and 
numerous international treaties and conventions, in particular, the 
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on torture and 
other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

With this hypocritical conduct, the government of the United States has 
demonstrated the falsity of its own public statements and once again has 
lied to the government of the Republic of Cuba, to its own people and to 
the international community by concealing the horrific acts of torture, 
cruelty and humiliating and denigratory treatment committed on prisoners 
detained on the Guantánamo Naval Base, only comparable with the torture 
inflicted on inmates in the prison of Abu Ghraib and other penitential 
establishments in occupied Iraqi territory.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs adds its voice to the calls and demands of 
the international community that the government of the United States 
instantly end these flagrant violations of prisoners that, moreover, are 
being committed on illegally occupied Cuban territory.

Cuba has the total moral right afforded by an irreproachable history in 
this context and the right conferred on it to exercise sovereignty over all 
parts of Cuban territory to denounce these abuses and violations that the 
US government is daily committing on the detainees on the Guantánamo Naval 
Base and to demand the end of these practices that violate international law.

Havana, January 19, 2005

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