Guantánamo Bay


Guantánamo Bay
a bay on the SE coast of Cuba.

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Inlet of the Caribbean Sea, southeastern Cuba.

It is one of the largest bays in the world: its harbour is about 6 mi (9 km) wide and 12 mi (19 km) long. Its strategic importance was recognized during the Spanish-American War, when U.S. marines landed there in 1898. A U.S. naval base, established in 1903, remained there even after hostilities erupted between the two countries in 1959; the base served as an internment facility for suspected Islamic militants beginning in 2002.

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bay, Cuba
Spanish  Bahía de Guantánamo 

      inlet of the Caribbean Sea, indenting southeastern Cuba. One of the largest and best-sheltered bays in the world, it has a narrow entrance to a harbour approximately 6 miles (10 km) wide and 12 miles (19 km) long and capable of accommodating large vessels.

 The strategic importance of the bay—close to the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti that links the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea and Panama—was recognized during the Spanish-American War, in 1898, when U.S. marines landed there. A large, 45-square-mile (116-square-km) U.S. naval base, which now includes fortifications and airfields, was established by treaty in 1903. Since the 1959 Revolution, the Cuban government has protested the U.S. presence and periodically has threatened to seize the base. Often called “Gitmo” by naval personnel assigned there, it is used primarily as a U.S. fleet training base in the Caribbean Sea. From 2002 it served as an internment facility for Muslim militants following the U.S. campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. Guantánamo Bay is served by the ports of Caimanera and Boquerón, which are linked by railroad and highway to the city of Guantánamo, 21 miles to the north.
 

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Universalium. 2010.