Naval Station Guantanamo Bay: History and Legal Issues Regarding Its Lease Agreements [August 4, 2015]   [open pdf - 382KB]

"This report briefly outlines the history of the establishment of the U.S. naval station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during the first decade of the twentieth century, its changing relationship to the community around it, and its heightened importance with the onset of military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also explains in detail the legal status of the lease of the land on which the naval station stands, the statutory and treaty authorities granted to the President with regard to any potential closure of the naval station, and the second-order effects on such a closure that current Cuba sanctions laws might have. A short list of additional readings ends the report. At the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Spanish colonies of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines transitioned to administration by the United States. Of these four territories, only Cuba quickly became in independent republic. As a condition of relinquishing administration, though, the Cuban government agreed to lease three parcels of land to the United States for use as naval or coaling stations. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was the sole installation established under that agreement. The two subsequent lease agreements, one signed in 1903 and a second in 1934, acknowledged Cuban sovereignty, but granted to the United States 'complete jurisdiction and control over' the property so long as it remained occupied."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R44137
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Media Type:
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