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The Leasing of Guantanamo Bay (Praeger Security International) [Kindle Edition]

Michael J. Strauss
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Post-2002 events at the U.S. naval facility at Guantanamo Bay have generated a spate of books on its use as a detention center in the U.S. fight against terrorism. Yet the crucial enabling factor-the lease that gave the U.S. control over the territory in Cuba-has till now escaped any but cursory consideration. The Leasing of Guantanamo Bay explains just how Guantanamo Bay came to be a leased territory where the U.S. has no sovereignty and Cuba has no jurisdiction. This is the first definitive account of the details and workings of the unusual and problematic state-to-state leasing arrangement that is the essential but murky foundation for all the ongoing controversies about Guantanamo Bay's role in U.S. anti-terrorism efforts, charges of U.S. human rights violations, and U.S.-Cuban relations.

The Leasing of Guantanamo Bay provides an overview of territorial leasing between states and shows how it challenges, compromises, and complicates established notions of sovereignty and jurisdiction. Strauss unfolds the history of the Guantanamo Bay, recounting how the U.S. has deviated widely from the original terms of the lease yet never been legally challenged by Cuba, owing to the strong state-weak state dynamics. The lease is a hodge-podge of three U.S.-Cuba agreements full of discrepancies and uncorrected errors. Cuba's failure to cash the annual rent checks of the U.S. has legal implications not only for the future of Guantanamo Bay but of the Westphalian system of states. Compiled for the first time in one place are the verbatim texts of all the key documents relevant to the Guantanamo Bay lease-including treaties and other agreements, a previously unpublished U.N. legal assessment, and once-classified government correspondence.

Editorial Reviews


"An excellent study of the historical, political, and legal arrangements of this remarkable piece of land."


Peace Palace Library

"[G]ives rare insight into the complicated nature of U.S.-Cuban relations and the agreement that led to the Guantanamo Bay facility. . . . Mixed with history of the facility, the book contains rarely reported insights on how the U.S. deviated from the lease terms and why Cuba made no challenge."


Digital Quill

"Strauss (international relations, Centre d'Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques, Paris) has used unpublished and previously classified government correspondence to document the historical emergence of Guantanamo Bay as a US military base and center for anti-terrorist efforts. The author explores the somewhat 'murky' leasing arrangements that defy both sovereignty and jurisdiction rights and provides students and scholars with the facts concerning the objectives of the territorial lease and the recent and current debates concerning the future of Guantanamo Bay. Appendices include relevant documents such as the Treaty of Paris, the Platt Amendment and the Guantanamo Bay Expansion Treaty of 1912."


Reference & Research Book News

"Strauss brings international law to life with this technical yet accessible exploration of the U.S. naval station in southern Cuba."


Foreign Affairs

"The exhaustive analysis by Michael Strauss is the first that allows us to understand how the statute of Guantanamo . . . made this territory a detention center outside the standards which only Washington can put an end to. An excellent illustration of the arbitrary limits of international rights in this 21st century." - Translated from French


Le Monde Diplomatique

"This thoughtful work represents a major contribution to the broader study of territorial leasing as well as a comprehensive case-study of the Guantanamo lease. It will undoubtedly be widely consulted in the years ahead as the issue of the territory's possible return to Cuba remains firmly on the agenda."


International Affairs


"Michael Strauss adds an important and unique contribution to the pursuit of justice in the 21st century by calling into question the possibility of activities in the arena of a leased territory."


Michael Ratner
President Center for Constitutional Rights and author of Guantanamo: What the World Should Know, The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld, International Human Rights Litigation


Product Details

  • File Size: 3070 KB
  • Print Length: 313 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (May 14, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002BH3KUC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #898,097 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very detailed coverage of the subject. Not too many other people seem to care about this. There are aspects that he ignores, such as the rights of the Cubans under the treaty, and the continued violation of them. (extradition, condemnation, right of passage through the bay, right to consultation and agreement before changes are implemented - ie mutual consent for changes in rent or usage of the property). Does not address why an Army general is running a Naval Station. Does not tell what political actions the Cubans have taken to throw off the Americans. all we know is that Cuba does not cash the checks. certainly they must be doing more than that. In the 1934 agreement, the US "gave up", abrogated, its right to intervene unilaterally - but of course that did not stop us from invading. And the idea of the base for mutual protection is long gone.
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