Guantánamo: Fear and hunger

Taken from a May 27 audio column at  The writer is a political prisoner at SCI Mahanoy in Frackville, Pa. 

The word “Guantánamo” has become a watchword for the world.  It is a temple of stated terror, of Imperial fear and American hypocrisy.

Since 2002, it has been transformed from a U.S. naval base on Cuban soil against the wishes of the Cuban government, it must be said — to a global torture chamber and an interrogation center.

Opened under Bush/Cheney and maintained under Obama, it has been a detention center designed for perpetual detention — of hundreds of men — and boys.

An international outcry forced the government to release over 500 men back to half-a-dozen countries.

Today, 166 men remain languishing there — with dozens on a hunger strike — an act of sheer desperation after a decade in Guantánamo without charges.

Eighty-six men have been cleared for release but remain in chains years later.

President Barack Obama campaigned on Guantánamo’s promised closure, but five years later and it remains.  In the last few months the Obama administration began seizing family letters and photos; the only connection to their loved ones as they can’t receive family visitors.

In desperation, dozens of men have launched the hunger strike — a desperate measure for a desperate situation.

The government’s response? To lower cell temperatures and to force-feed them by stuffing a filthy tube down their throats to fill aching stomachs.

Thus, they are torturing men by force-feeding them, so that they can live in the torture of indefinite detention.

America boasts to the world of its human rights and its “values,” but the world can’t hear them over the cries and moans of the Guantánamo detainees.

Demand that Guantánamo be closed immediately!

Free the Guantánamo detainees and return them to their home countries!

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