--> Trump/Pence Regime Plans to Keep Open—and Expand—Guantánamo Bay Torture Center

Trump/Pence Regime Plans to Keep Open—and Expand—Guantánamo Bay Torture Center

February 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

In his January 31 State of the Union speech, Donald Trump said that he is “going to keep open the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay” located at the U.S naval base in Cuba. What he called “detention facilities” is in fact a torture center where the U.S. has illegally detained, brutalized and dehumanized people. (See the revcom.us American Crime series article on Guantánamo.) Trump also said the U.S. was going to “chase people down” (those deemed as “enemy combatants”) and imprison more of them at Guantánamo.

This is hugely criminal in itself. But there are reports that the Trump/Pence regime plans to do a lot more than that at Guantánamo Bay.

The Miami Herald reported last August that Trump’s Pentagon had requested a half-billion dollars for construction to expand the base. Funds have already been approved to build new barracks for 848 “prison troops.” Also in the works is a new hospital and new housing for the current workforce of about 2,200 Jamaicans and Filipinos, plus some other new construction.

But what is most disturbing, and not being talked about, is the proposed construction of what is being called a “13,000-migrant tent city and housing for 5,000 U.S. forces” in an unused corner of the 45-square-mile base. The Herald did not say whether the location of the tent city is part of the actual detention center. According to the Herald, “A public-address system atop utility poles is also to be added… The migrants, according to design plans released with the $25 million to $100 million project solicitation, are to be housed in five pop-up tent cities and a 900-person medical unit.”

The Herald article said the “migrant camp project is a bit mysterious … spokesmen for the Navy, Southcom and the Department of Homeland Security were unable to say why the military had concluded it needed to bring in and house 5,000 U.S. forces and other staff at the base to run an encampment housing 13,000 people.” Further, “DHS [Department of Homeland Security], spokesman David Lapan said by email that the department’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] division ‘was not directly involved in this contract.’ ICE, he said, ‘does not have any plans to use this facility for any new/additional detention.’”

The U.S. base at Guantánamo has a population of about 5,500, including military personnel, about 2,200 Filipino and Jamaican workers, and the 41 prisoners at the torture center. The “migrant camp project” is clearly not for the base’s migrant workers, since there is new housing already being built for them. And what does it mean to have tent city housing of 13,000 along with additional housing for 5,000 more U.S. forces? Why would they need a force of 1 military person for every 2.5 people housed? These are questions that need to be asked and answered.

According to the Herald, “The Army holds regular training exercises there, spending millions of dollars to rehearse a mock migration crisis. This year [2017], it flew in 400 troops plus Homeland Security and Department of State officials, and housed them around the base for the drill, which was closed to press coverage.” But there were two extremely devastating hurricanes that hit the Caribbean last year, and the military showed no ability to be prepared for any type of “migration crisis.”

Here’s what we do know. The Trump/Pence regime’s fascist “law and order” program means intensifying repression, especially on Black, Latino and other oppressed people. Trump has called for locking up those who oppose him, including opponents in the ruling class like Hillary Clinton. He has called for banning Muslims from entering the country. He has stepped up the rounding up of immigrants and has taken away Temporary Protected Status from hundreds of thousands who have come to the U.S. from the Caribbean, Central America and elsewhere. He has called for getting rid of those he labels “bad guys.”

So, who are those 13,000 that the fascist Trump/Pence regime may put in Guantánamo?

Martin Niemöller, a German Protestant pastor who was imprisoned by the Hitler regime from 1937 to 1945, said after the defeat of Nazi Germany:

First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

A fascist America under the Trump/Pence regime is not exactly the same as fascist Germany under Hitler. But if you understand the Niemöller quote, then you can get a sense of who might be forced into the proposed Guantánamo tent city.



This Nightmare Must End:
The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America



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