Guantanamo Bay Naval Base

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Coordinates: 19°54′N 75°9′W / 19.9°N 75.15°W / 19.9; -75.15

Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, also called Gitmo, is located on 45 square miles (120 km2) of land and water at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba which the United States leased for use as a coaling (fueling) station following the Cuban-American Treaty of 1903. The base is located on the shore of Guantánamo Bay at the southeastern end of Cuba. It is the oldest overseas U.S. Navy Base, and the only one in a country with which the United States does not have diplomatic relations.[1] The Cuban government opposes the presence of the naval base, claiming that the lease is invalid under international law. The U.S. government claims that the lease is valid.

Since 2002, the naval base has contained a military prison, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, for persons alleged to be unlawful combatants captured in Afghanistan and later in Iraq. The alleged mistreatment of the prisoners, and their denial of protection under the Geneva Conventions, has been a source of international controversy.

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History

The bay is located in Cuba and was originally named Guantánamo by the Taíno. Christopher Columbus landed at the location known as Fisherman's Point in 1494, naming the bay Puerto Grande. The bay was briefly renamed Cumberland Bay when the British took it in the first part of the 18th century during the War of Jenkins' Ear. In 1790, the British garrison at Cumberland died of yellow fever as had a previous British force,[2] before they could attack Santiago by land.[3]

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