Castro Berates Obama At UN: Give Us Back Guantanamo

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Jonah Bennett Contributor
Font Size:

Taking back Guantanamo Bay has long been a priority of Cuba, and Monday at the United Nations President Raul Castro demanded that President Barack Obama return the “illegally occupied” territory.

In his Monday speech, Castro called for the U.S. to drop its embargo on the small nation. Guantanamo Bay was just one of the other requirements Castro maintained was necessary for renormalization of relations between the two countries, NBC News reports.

Castro also wants the U.S. to stop radio and TV broadcasts into Cuba and to issue compensation for the long-standing, 53-year-old embargo, which has resulted in the “human and economic damage [Cubans] still endure.”

But while the White House has moved forward attempts at reconciliation, one issue that appears to be off the table is Guantanamo Bay. That hasn’t changed since February. (RELATED: US To Cuba: No Way You’re Getting Guantanamo Bay Back)

The administration is working at lightning speed to try and shut down the facility before Obama’s term is finished, and plans exist to move dangerous detainees to a new location in the U.S., though many members of Congress have sworn that they will not allow detainees to step one foot in their states.

As the administration has emphasized, there’s a hard distinction between prisoners who should be set loose, and prisoners who should be detained indefinitely. For those that need to remain locked up, the Pentagon has scouted out various potential facilities to house Gitmo prisoners.

In December, the two countries came together to announce the reestablishment of diplomatic relations, but negotiations have since proceeded at a slow pace. The Obama administration recently announced that American companies can now be physically located in Cuba.

After Monday’s speech, Castro and Obama shook hands and met for a sit-down discussion. This hasn’t happened on American soil since the end of the Cuban revolution. At the meeting, Obama took the time to encourage the development of human rights in Cuba.

With luck and smooth sailing ahead for diplomatic relations, Obama may visit Cuba next year.

Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact