Former Gitmo Detainees In Uruguay Whine About Having To Work


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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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The formerly released Guantanamo detainees in Uruguay haven taken to complaining–about almost everything.

One of the detainees stated that the government should give all of them welfare, as they have no means of supporting themselves. However, a local union has told the media that it has offered the former detainees work, only to be turned down.

Numerous companies have stepped forward to offer the former prisoners jobs, only to be rebuffed time and again since the detainees first landed in Uruguay two months ago. Political officials, who first welcomed them into the country, are becoming increasingly frustrated, Fox News reports.

In the meantime, life in Uruguay is apparently so miserable that Abu Wa’el, one of the former prisoners, even went on TV to say that he and his comrades have “walked out of a prison to enter another one.”

During their stay, the detainees have so far busied themselves with media appearances. Jihad Diyab, for example, appeared on the Argentine station Radio Madre to demand that Argentina open itself up to accept detainees from Guantanamo. (RELATED: Former Gitmo Detainee Conducts Media Tour In Argentina, Tells Government To Accept Detainees)

NPR reports that in response to their demands for welfare, President of Uruguay Pepe Mujica was blunt. After briefly visiting with the men, he took to the radio, saying that the men are, frankly, just weak—from middle-class backgrounds because of their family histories and hands unblemished by hard work. Mujica’s disillusionment with the men has come at a time when State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf is facing flack for maintaining that the best way to fight terrorism is to provide jobs.

The day after the radio appearance, reports surfaced in the Uruguay media that the government is providing 5 of the 6 men passports immediately, with the assumption being that if the detainees don’t like to work, they can simply leave and find another country that will indulge them.

However, local media outlet Busqueda is reporting that an international organization is set to send a large sum of money to the government in Uruguay, so that the detainees don’t have to work.

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