Co-coordinator of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) Joe Lombardo told Sputnik that Anti-war activists in the United States would stage a series of protests across the country this month to demand the closure of the notorious Guantanamo Bay military detention center.
"The antiwar movement in the US is gearing up for protests in cities across the country to demand that Guantanamo be closed and the land be returned to Cuba,” Lombardo said. "The United States has no right to have a military base in a country where the government does not want them to be,” Lombardo added. "This, in itself, is an act of aggression. It does not make the people of the US, Cuba or the rest of the world safer, but brings us closer to war."
“Trump said that he wants to keep it open as a place to keep 'terrorists' who are captured. This means he intends it for additional prisoners,” Lombardo said. “The US admits that most who are in prison there now are not guilty of any crime. Keeping them off of US soil allows the US to not afford them the rights that other prisoners in the US have. All who are there now are Muslim. This is part of the US attack on the Muslim religion, which is used to support its so-called 'War on Terror.'”
Lombardo said Trump's decision on Guantanamo dovetails with a broader administration strategy of US military expansion and aggressive foreign policy.
In 2014, the US Senate Intelligence Committee produced a 6,700-page report that detailed appalling incidents of wrongful detention at prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency, including a CIA facility at Guantanamo. Prisoners were routinely subjected to "brutal" abuse, including water boarding, extreme sleep deprivation and forced rectal rehydration, according to the report.
In December 2017, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nilis Melzer criticized the United States for failing to hold the perpetrators of the abuse accountable and reiterated a long-standing request to visit the Guantanamo detention facility and interview detainees.
The demonstrations come on the heels of US President Donald Trump's announcement that he signed an executive order to keep the facility open. Former President Barack Obama tried but failed to close the Guantanamo detention center, which gained worldwide notoriety after evidence emerged of widespread torture and abuse of detainees.