No political concessions for Guantanamo return: Fidel Castro (Lead)

January 31st, 2009 - 12:41 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaHavana, Jan 30 (DPA) Cuba will not grant any political concessions to the US for a possible return of the Guantanamo Bay naval base, the country’s ailing revolutionary leader Fidel Castro has said.In an column titled “Deciphering the thought of the new US president”, posted on the government-run website, Castro wrote that US President Barack Obama had to return the territory without any conditions attached.

If Obama did not respect Cuba’s will it would be “an arrogant act and an abuse of immense power against a little country”, said Castro, who turned over power to his younger brother Raul Castro after undergoing intestinal surgery in 2006. Raul officially became president in February 2008.

“Maintaining a military base in Cuba against the will of the people violates the most elemental principles of international law,” Castro wrote.

The US permanently leased the Guantanamo base, on a strategically important bay in the east of the island, on imposed terms as its troops, who had occupied Cuba, left in 1903.

On Thursday, Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque demanded not only the closure of the controversial detention camp, but also the return of the territory from Washington.

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