Saturday, January 12, 2013

Guantanamo by Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan
 January, 2007
Havana, Cuba
As I, and about a dozen others made the arduous (by today’s standards) journey to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from the states in January of 2007, I was already showing signs of the exhaustion and illness that would lead to my very publicized “resignation” from being the “face” of the antiwar movement,

Besides me, a mother whose son was killed in Iraq, in our group were also a mother whose son was killed on 9/11 and who was a member of 9/11 Families for a Peaceful Tomorrow and a mother whose son, Omar Deghayes, was still being illegally detained by the United States at what has come to be known as “Gitmo.”

Asif Iqbal, whose story of illegal capture in Afghanistan in 2001 in a “sweep” where many Muslim men were captured, kidnapped, and transported to Guantanamo, was also in our contingent to Guantanamo. Asif and three other friends were born in Great Britain and the British government could prove that they were innocent, but Asif, and his friends, were still detained for over two years and subjected to the most horrible conditions and torture at the hands of the “good guys,” the American soldiers and CIA stationed there. The story of the “Tipton 3,” (one of their friends was lost and never heard from again), is told in the docudrama, The Road to Guantanamo.
On January 11th, 2007, our group, many Cubans and a vast cadre of international media, set up camp outside the barbed wire check point of the prison camp in Guantanamo Cuba.

That day was a blazing hot one and the sun baked down upon us. As this was my first trip to Cuba, I was amazed at the bucolic nature of the town and it seemed that I had taken a trip in the Way Back Machine where horses and buggies clip-clopped down the lanes and electricity was a luxury. Guantanamo, and indeed many places in Cuba, are gorgeous in a very romantic and primitive way, but that does not diminish the hardships that the decades long blockade from the Empire has placed on that undeserving country.

We were all there, of course, to demand that the US shut the prison camp down, free the detainees that had no evidence incriminating them; where it was obvious (as it was with the Tipton 3) that most of the men tortured there were at the wrong place at the wrong time; and, finally, put the ones who may have been guilty of something, on trial: trials that would be fair and transparent with all due process given to the accused.

January 11th was the 11th dark anniversary of the opening of that torture facility, but, despite Obama's empty promises, Gitmo remains open with 166 detainees remaining: despicable, illegal, immoral, and just plain degrading to the tortured and torurers alike.

I perused the news and there was not one mention of this dark anniversary. However, there are many stories today of the flu and Obama’s appointments to fill vacant cabinet posts: Well, played, Empire.

There were a couple of hundred of us protesting in DC today in front of the Supreme Court demanding its immediate closure.

We still care.

We still want it closed!

Cindy and Gold Star Aunt, Missy Beattie





  1. Guantanamo is a national disgrace, but then it does join a long list of such disgraces does it not? We are being ruled not represented and the fault, my friends, is ours.



Please limit your comments to the content of the posts---not your self-perceived, self-righteous, personal opinions of the authors/activists who post at this blog. Personal attacks, or threats of violence will not be posted....moderator.