- Contested territories
- Area 120 km²
- Claimed by Cuba, United States of America
In 1903 Guantanamo Bay was leased from the Cuban government for $2,000 by the U.S., claiming that they needed a naval base in order to help the Cubans maintain their independence from the Spaniards—who occupied Cuba until they were defeated in Spanish-American War in 1898. Since the Cuban revolution in 1959 the Cuban government has protested against the American presence, which they consider to be illegal. Towards the end of the 20th Century it functioned as a detention centre for Cuban and Haitian refugees, but in the aftermath of 9/11 a military prison was opened to detain prisoners of the War on Terror. The camp has been criticized widely by human rights organizations: prisoners are being held indefinitely without trial and several detainees having been allegedly tortured. Former US President Barack Obama promised to close it down but did not succeed to do so within his term. In January 2018, then President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep the prison open indefinitely. President Biden wants to follow through with the closing of Guantanamo Bay.