The Castro brothers in Cuba extended a warm welcome to Obama into the political limelight. This message was relayed through Argentina‘s President, Cristina Kirchner, who recently returned to Buenos Aires after a brief visit to Havana.
Within 24 hours, Obama has already halted proceedings involving two Guantanamo detainees and intended to close Guantanamo by the end of the year — and likely much earlier.
While most would like to see Gitmo gone as soon as possible, it appears there is a slew of red tape that could slow this process:
- the decision must be made at the Cabinet level, and Clinton has been reluctant to conform to Obama’s views of Guantanamo in particular
- the prisoners will be displaced and moved to several other prisons around the world, which still remains a logistical question mark
- legal actions on all 200+ detainees must first be issued before official closure can occur
Amid the increased attention on Obama, Fidel and Raúl Castro, and Guantanamo, there still remains an awkward silent treatment among all parties. Obama has yet to open talks with Castro (or vice versa) and Gitmo prisoners are showing their displeasure through hunger strikes and complaints of harsh mistreatment.
Right now, Gitmo and relations between America and Cuba as a whole remains a “wait-and-see” endeavor, but with Obama comes a dramatic changing of the guard that could soften the strained emotions all are feeling right now.