Arts, Culture & Media

The Era of Cuban Workers at US Military Base Ends

For the Geo Quiz, we are looking for a city in southeast Cuba.

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About a quarter million people live in this city that's bordered by the Sierra Maestra mountains in the north and the Caribbean Sea in the south.

It is where you will find a very famous bay which shares its name with the city. The bay boasts the largest natural harbor on Cuba's southern shores.

Columbus and his crew of sailors called it Puerto Grande, but today the name has become synonymous with "terrorist prison" and "military tribunal" because of the US naval base that's located there — on land controlled by the US government for the past century.

Guantanamo is the answer to the Geo Quiz.

Over the past century, thousands of Cubans have worked at Guantanamo as contract military and government employees, and domestic workers. That era officially came to end Friday when the last two Cuban employees retired. But there are many memories associated with Guantanamo.

Here are two perspectives on this "place". Liz Å evčenko directs the Guantanamo Public Memory Project, an effort "to build public awareness of the long history of the US naval station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba by fostering dialogue and creating a space for people to share memories and connect." Alberto Jones is from Guantanamo, Cuba. He worked at the base for over a decade until the frightening days of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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