Guantánamo Public Memory Project

Tag: Base Workers

This Week in Guantánamo: 2015 and 2008

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August 4 2015: An ongoing investigation into whether there are carcinogens present in GTMO’s court facilities is currently taking place. The investigation comes amid recent reports that seven people who had worked on detainee trials, both military officials and civilian lawyers have been diagnosed with cancer. Three of these seven cases have been fatal, with…

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Exciting GPMP News

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In the past few weeks there have been some very exciting developments for GPMP….. First off, three weeks ago GPMP was granted funding from LAMP (Latin American Microform Project) for digitization of The Guantanamo Bay Gazette. Old editions of the Gazette are now being digitized and uploaded to GPMP’s online GTMO archive, hosted by Dloc (The Digital…

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Guantánamo Bay: Tropical Mayberry or Extralegal Prison?

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The story of Dennis Miller, who runs the Cuban Club on GTMO, struck me as profoundly troubling. Having been born on the base to a Cuban exile in 1965, Dennis has no country—he’s considered neither Cuban nor American. His story illustrates the difficult decisions Cubans faced during the early days of Castro’s regime, but also…

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Visions for the Future of Guantánamo

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In the course of doing research on whether the Guantánamo base can be closed, and if so, what to do with the space when the U.S. is no longer using it for Navy operations, the question of how to best use the site has become more difficult than I originally thought. At the beginning of…

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Family Life at GTMO

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  “It was easy [to raise children] because I felt that if John walked down the street at midnight, I wouldn’t have to worry about him. It was a very safe place. We never locked our doors, and there was always something for the children.” -Dot Arguelles when asked about the safety of GTMO I…

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Balancing Acts

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In researching the history of GTMO, I was struck by the delicate balance Cuban workers were forced to maintain between two rival spheres on a day-to-day basis. I found it interesting that, no matter where Cubans traveled between the two separate spheres of the U.S. and Cuba, each dictated in some way, shape, or form,…

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The Affect of Castro’s Revolution on Guantánamo’s American Population

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In 1952, an eight-year-old, Dale Ward Gordon, arrived at Guantánamo Bay with her parents and older brother.  She stayed on the base as a dependent for eleven years until aspirations for a college education drew her back to the United States in 1963.  An interview that I recorded with her in September 2012 gave me…

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The Politics of Nostalgia

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  Is there any danger in fond remembrance? Most people look back on some point in their lives with happiness or even wistfulness; their memories of that time constitute an essential part of their self-understanding. Memory is vital to both the personal/individual and political/collective human experience: oral history projects across the globe have shown us…

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Jamaican Workers

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After the dismissal of Cuban workers at Guantánamo Bay in 1964, the United States hired 489 Jamaican workers to fill their spots. The Cuban workers were replaced because of Cold War tensions between Cuba and the U.S.; the Jamaicans were considered “inexpensive” employees. The U.S. feared that the Cuban workers could be spies passing along…

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