Guantanamo Bay - Naval Base and Detention Camp


Guantanamo Bay is located at the southeastern end of Cuba. The United States have had a naval base there since 1903, when it leased the area from Cuba for 2,000 dollars a year. When the Communists took over power in the 1959 they wanted the USA to give back the base. Under the agreement, which was renewed in 1934, Cuba can only get the bay back if America agrees to give it up. Today about 10,000 American sailors and marines work at the only base in a Communist country.

Until the Communist takeover of Cuba thousand of Cubans worked at the naval base but today the Cuban government does not allow its citizens to work there. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 many Cubans came to Guantanamo and sought protection there.

Since 2002, the naval base has been used as a military prison for terrorists who support Al Qaida and for soldiers who were captured in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Americans maintain that the criminals held there do not have the right to a trial and can be kept there forever.



Many human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, have asked the Americans to close down the prison at Guantanamo because the prisoners there are tortured and not treated in a humane way. American President Barack Obama has promised to close down the prison and wants other countries to take terrorists.



Related Topics


  • agree = to say yes to an idea or a plan
  • agreement =when two or more people, groups or countries promise to do something
  • capture = to catch a person and keep them as prisoner
  • citizen = a person who lives in a country and has rights there
  • Cuban Missile Crisis = a dangerous situation that took place in 1962 when the Soviet union began to build bases for nuclear weapons in Cuba. John F. Kennedy said that he would start a war with the Soviet Union if they didn’t remove all missiles. A few days later the Soviet Prime Minister agreed to remove all missiles from the island.
  • humane =to treat people or animals in a way that is not cruel
  • lease = you must pay some money to use another country’s land
  • locate = to be in a certain place
  • maintain = to say that something is true
  • marine = a soldier who serves on a ship
  • naval = something that belongs to a countries navy
  • protection =when someone or something is protected
  • renew =to begin somthing again
  • sought = to find, look for
  • support = help
  • takeover = when someone gets control of another country
  • torture = to hurt someone and punish them so they will give you information
  • trial = when a court decides if someone is guilty or not