Skip to comments.Castro: Cuba not cashing U.S. Guantanamo rent checks
Posted on 08/17/2007 3:40:28 PM PDT by Hi Heels
Castro: Cuba not cashing U.S. Guantanamo rent checks By Anthony Boadle 2 hours, 23 minutes ago
HAVANA (Reuters) - The United States pays Cuba $4,085 a month in rent for the controversial Guantanamo naval base, but Cuba has only once cashed a check in almost half a century and then only by mistake, Fidel Castro wrote in an essay published on Friday.
The ailing Cuban leader, who has not appeared in public for more than a year, said he had refused to cash the checks to protest the "illegal" U.S. occupation of the land which he said was now used for "dirty work."
"The base is needed to humiliate and to do the dirty work that occurs there," he said of the detention camp where some 355 terrorism suspects are still being held with no legal rights despite international criticism.
Castro, who turned 81 on Monday out of public sight, said the U.S. checks are made out to the "Treasurer General of the Republic," a position that ceased to exist after Cuba's 1959 revolution.
He said only one U.S. check was ever cashed -- in 1959 due to "confusion" in the heady early days of the leftist revolution.
Castro's refusal to cash the checks to protest the "illegal" occupation has been long known. In a television interview years ago, he showed the checks stuffed into a desk drawer in his office.
The final installment of Castro's long historical essay on Cuba's hostile relations with the United States -- written for future generations -- was published by the ruling Communist Party newspaper Granma.
The essay entitled "The Empire and the Independent Island" recounted Castro's view of U.S. efforts to control Cuba since U.S. troops landed on the island in the Spanish-American War that secured Cuban independence from Spain in 1898.
The United States retained 46.8 square miles (121 square kilometers) at the entrance to Guantanamo Bay in eastern Cuba for a naval base, which has been used as a prison camp for Taliban and al Qaeda terrorism suspects since the Afghanistan war following the September 11 attacks in 2001.
The base was initially a coaling station for the U.S. Navy to protect the approaches to the Panama Canal.
Castro said the enclave was "illegally usurped" by the United States, adding that the base no longer had any strategic military purpose in the age of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers packed with fast fighter-bombers.
"If we have to wait for the collapse of the (capitalist) system, we will wait," Castro wrote. He said Cuba was always on alert to the threat of a U.S. invasion.
Castro handed over power to his brother Raul on July 26 last year after undergoing emergency intestinal surgery. His health is a state secret, but few Cubans expect him to return to office.
The Cuban leader, the last of the major Cold War figures still alive, is seen as a Stalinist tyrant by his enemies but is widely admired in the Third World for standing up to the United States, a David-versus-Goliath role he has relished.
Wll, then the new democratic Cuban government can take them to Check-N-Go after Castro dies.
Hell will never freeze over, Fidel...as I'm pretty sure you'll be able to report first-hand any day now...
Maybe they didn't have the proper ID.
Oh, and Fidel? Say hello to Marx and Lenin, will ya?
60 to 90 days those checks are worthless anyway.
So let’s stop sending them checks.
Wonder which the reporter admires more: Stalinist tyrant or standing up to the United States?
BTW Castro is not "seen as" a tyrant. I think we can safely place the 50 year rule of a dictator for life in the column under "tyrant".
castro now has fatal septicemia and only has days to live.
I was stationed there in 1961 for 6 weeks!!!!!!.....
If we stopped sending them checks, the lease would be null & void and Castro could take the territory back. Besides, $50K a year rent for a naval base is chicken feed.
Leaqve me out of this!
Damm fat fingers.
LEAVE me out of this.
Dear Senor Castro,
I will be most happy to take those checks off your hands. Just sign the back and send them to me soon.
I need to sneak in and get those checks,
Could use the money.
Lots of banks right here would take em.
".. In the past few weeks he (Castro) has been operated on more than once to stop what appeared likely to progress to fatal septicemia. These same sources say the leader has lost much weight, that he does not want to walk or receive visitors.".."
Oh yeah ... I know , cause he’d get his cancerous puss filled a$$ kicked.. That’s why
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