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Dates That Matter

February 24, 1903

The US establishes a naval base off Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

 Why does it matter?

During the Spanish American War, the US occupied an area called Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, and established a naval base there. The US were granted control of Cuba in its entirety after the war, but turned most of the country over to an independent government in 1903. The US retained only the rights to mine coal and maintain a naval base in the area of Guantanamo Bay. Despite difficult relations with Cuba since the takeover by Fidel Castro, the US has maintained control of the base. Today the base (often referred to by its nickname "Gitmo") serves as a prison camp for those suspected of terrorism in the current war in the Middle East. Reports of torture and mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have led to some changes at the prison.

For more information...

Zone Interdite Restricted Area
A description of the current prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, including an interactive map, and a download which provides a 3-D walk through of the camp. There is a listing of the known prisoners being detailed at Gitmo.

US Naval Station Guantanamo Bay
The US Navy's official Guantanamo Bay website.

Historical Look at Guantanamo Bay
A pro-Cuba viewpoint on the ongoing presence of the United States in Cuba.