Jan. 13, 2009
President-elect Obama promises that one of his first actions will be to close Guantanamo. Unfortunately, he is not telling the whole truth. Closing the prison will still leave us occupying a large piece of a country that does not want us there. We remain because we have the military might to hold this occupied territory, although the world recognizes the base as just a remnant of our colonial past. Until we turned it into a holding cell for alleged terrorists, it existed for 50 years solely as a thorn in the side of the Cuban government. During the cold war there might have been an argument for being there, but that time has long past. What comes to mind when we think of the training school for torture we call Gitmo, must be replaced with the beautiful piece of Caribbean seashore rightly called Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Jim Ryerson is a documentary film producer specializing on Cuba, which he’s visited more than 30 times. He formerly worked as a television news reporter in Los Angeles, and has won numerous national and international awards for his work. His documentary on the U.S. embargo, Looking for Cuba is currently on the film festival circuit, and he has 3 other documentary projects regarding Cuban music, art and culture, currently in editing. You can see clips from our films at http://www.youtube.com/user/tmanjdrjr.
Comment in response to:
Reach out to Cuba
By William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh
Los Angeles Times
January 12, 2009
Obama should seize the chance to normalize relations with Havana.
Not since Richard Nixon went to China has an intractable foreign policy issue been so ripe for resolution as U.S. relations with Cuba are today.
As with China, bilateral hostility has persisted long after the causes of the initial break have ceased to hold sway, held in place by seemingly implacable domestic opposition to normalizing relations and the policy inertia of official Washington. When Nixon broke the stalemate by announcing his impending trip in 1972, the pro-Taiwan “China lobby” proved to be a paper tiger, and the foreign policy establishment heaved a great sigh of relief that such a manifestly irrational, ineffective and anachronistic policy had finally been put to rest.