Discussion:
Uruguay Offers to Welcome Guantánamo Detainees, moronic scheme to trade asylum for spies rejected
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The Razor's Edge
2014-03-24 11:33:12 UTC
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March 24, 2014
A Step Toward Justice in the Long War on Terror
Uruguay Offers to Welcome Guantánamo Detainees
by BENJAMIN DANGL
Under the Presidency of José “Pepe” Mujica, Uruguay has made a number of
international headlines in recent years for progressive moves such as
legalizing same sex marriage, abortion and marijuana cultivation and trade,
as well as withdrawing its troops from Haiti. This week, Mujica offered to
welcome detainees from the US’s detention center at its base in Guantánamo
Bay, Cuba.
The Uruguayan president accepted a proposal from the Obama administration to
host the detainees. “They are coming as refugees and there will be a place
for them in Uruguay if they want to bring their families,” Mujica explained.
“If they want to make their nests and work in Uruguay, they can remain in
the country.”
“I was imprisoned for many years and I know how it is,” he said. The
left-leaning president is a former revolutionary guerilla who was jailed for
14 years before and during Uruguay’s 1973-1985 dictatorship. After his
release, he ended his guerilla activities and entered politics, becoming the
Minister of Agriculture in 2005 under the Tabaré Vázquez administration, and
was elected to the presidency in 2010.
Mujica, who has been touted as the “world’s poorest president” due to his
frugal lifestyle and the fact that he donates about 90% of his presidential
salary to charities and social programs, still lives on a flower farm with
his wife outside the capital, and drives a beat up Volkswagen Beetle to
work. Earlier this year, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his
progressive marijuana legalization program and views against excessive
consumerism. His newest move against the human rights abuses of the war on
terror has put him back in the global spotlight.
Standing Against a Symbol of the War on Terror
The detention center at the US base in Guantánamo Bay has long been a symbol
of the human rights abuses that have come to define the so-called war on
terror. After 9/11, the George W. Bush administration began using the
facility to detain suspected terrorists. It quickly became notorious as a
site of inhuman treatment, torture, and lawlessness; a decade later, many of
the detainees have been held without charges or a trial.
Roughly 800 men and boys have been kept in Guantánamo as part of the US’s
terror suspect roundup. Now only 154 remain, and the Obama administration,
with support from Congress, is trying to make good on its promise to shut
the detention center down. As part of those moves, Washington is seeking new
countries to host the released detainees.
Uruguay is the first Latin American nation to accept Obama’s offer to
welcome former prisoners onto its soil. Since Obama’s election, 38
Guantánamo detainees have been released to their home countries, and 43 have
been resettled in 17 other countries. According to Human Rights Watch, the
US wants to send detainees to countries that can provide the security the US
seeks under the terms of the transfer. Uruguayan press reports that the
transfer would likely involve five detainees who would have to stay within
Uruguay for at least two years.
While Mujica and the US Ambassador are clear that the plans surrounding the
transfer are not finalized, Mujica’s reasons for hosting the men are a sign
that Uruguay is taking important steps toward justice against Washington’s
long-standing war on terror.
For years, countless activists, governments and human rights groups have
called for the closure of the US detention center in Guantánamo Bay. Last
July, activist Andrés Conteris, who has worked for decades on human rights
issues in Latin America,went on a hunger strike for over three months in
solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners in Guantánamo Bay.
The strike denounced the inhumane and unlawful treatment of the detainees;
numerous cases of physical, psychological, religious and medical torture
against prisoners have been widely reported over the years. It is this
inhumane treatment that President Mujica is standing against in his
welcoming of the detainees.
“Given Pepe Mujica’s experience with long-term torture,” Conteris explained
to me, referencing Mujica’s own imprisonment, “this gesture offering to
resettle Guantánamo prisoners in Uruguay not only expresses his country’s
commitment to human rights, but it shows a personal connection this
president has with those suffering inhuman treatment perpetrated by military
forces.”
Benjamin Dangl’s latest book Dancing with Dynamite: Social Movements and
States in Latin America
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1849350159/counterpunchmaga> (AK
Press) is on contemporary Latin American social movements and their
relationships with the region’s new leftist governments. He is editor of
TowardFreedom.com, a progressive perspective on world events, and
UpsideDownWorld.org, a website on activism and politics in Latin America.
Email BenDangl(at)gmail(dot)com.
Cubaverdad
2014-03-24 13:21:13 UTC
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EE.UU, niega intercambio con espías por presos de Guantánamo
La embajadora norteamericana, Julissa Reynoso, adelantó que, en caso de
realizarse la operación, sería “sin condiciones”, ante la solicitud de
Montevideo de dejar en libertad a tres presos cubanos
lunes, marzo 24, 2014 | CubaNet

Luego del pedido del presidente uruguayo José Mujica a su par
estadounidense, Barack Obama de que libere a los presos de que libere a
los presos de Guantánamo, la embajadora de Estados Unidos, Julissa
Reynoso, manifestó que el posible arribo de detenidos de esa base
militar se realizaría sin “ningún intercambio”.

Según la representante norteamericana, la llegada de los cinco
convictos, sería un “acto humanitario”. Por lo tanto, se realizaría sin
condiciones.

“No tenemos empacho en decir que le pedimos, por favor, al gobierno
norteamericano que haga lo posible por esos dos o tres prisiones cubanos
que hace años están allí y busque la manera de liberarlos, porque
también eso es una vergüenza”, había expresado el mandatario uruguayo.

Reynoso, por su parte, aclaró que “la propuesta es un acto humanitario
para poder manejar el traslado de estas personas a distintas partes del
mundo, sin condiciones de intercambio o arreglo por algo”. Además, la
embajadora agregó que los cinco detenidos (cuatro sirios y un palestino)
”no son de alto riesgo para la sociedad” y que Estados Unidos lo que
busca es que Uruguay ayude a resolver un problema.

Según consigna El País, el gobierno uruguayo pretende dar total libertad
de movimiento, en caso que los detenidos lleguen al país. Sin embargo,
la Casa Blanca pretende que, al menos, no puedan salir durante dos años
de Uruguay. El vicepresidente del Frente Amplio, Juan Castillo, remarcó
el hecho de que después de comenzadas las conversaciones con Washington
–hace al menos cuatro meses-, uno de los cinco cubanos detenidos fue
puesto en libertad.

No obstante, Castillo consideró que la llegada de los detenidos ”está
todavía verde” y adelantó que difícilmente se concrete antes de mitad de
año.

El dirigente oficialista criticó a la oposición, que en los últimos días
cuestionó las conversaciones con Estados Unidos: “Lo único que quiere es
hacer ándalo porque es un año electoral y no le va a servir ninguna
información que se le dé”.

Desde el inicio de las conversaciones, se planteó la posibilidad de que
los detenidos llegasen a Uruguay en calidad de refugiados. Al respecto,
Castillo explicó que no habría obstáculos legales para que así sea. “No
vienen presos. No pueden estar detenidos sin que se les haya comprobado
delito”, argumentó.

El último fin de semana El País había dado a conocer las identidades de
los posibles cinco presos que podrían llegar a Uruguay. No obstante, la
embajadora sostuvo que ”no necesariamente” sean esos los reclusos que
lleguen al país. “Esa información no es necesariamente correcta”,
expresó Reynoso, quien además reconoció que aún los nombres están “sin
confirmar”.

En la actualidad, en Guantánamo hay 154 detenidos, de 21 países, según
The Miami Herald. El más joven tiene 26 años y el de más edad 66. En
tanto, Estados Unidos considera que 76 de ellos podrían ser liberados.
El máximo de reclusos que tuvo la base militar fue de 600.

Source: EE.UU, niega intercambio con espías por presos de Guantánamo |
Cubanet -
http://www.cubanet.org/internacionales/ee-uu-niega-intercambio-con-espias-por-presos-de-guantanamo/
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