Life at the US detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, which once shocked the world with allegations of torture of convicts, is not what you'd expect.Following a waiting period of three months and filling out dozens of forms,I received permission to enter the base at Guantanamo.Since early 2002, the beginning of the US-led War on Terror, the base has housed those suspected of terrorist activity or of having ties to al-Qaeda or the Taliban. In addition to being a detainment facility, Guantanamo is also an important US naval base. It was not easy to fly to Guantanamo, as only one company, Air Sunshine, has flights to the area.Guantanamo has an area of 121 square kilometers, and it cannot be entered without permission from US authorities.There are currently 176 inmates in the prison, which was once described as “a knife stuck in the heart of Cuba's dignity and sovereignty” by Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Most of these inmates are from Yemen.Guantanamo, which is the world's most protected and expensive prison, has the potential to become one of the most popular tourism resorts in the world -- if only the prison and the US naval base weren't there.The Guantanamo prison has three blocs numbered four, five and six in which inmates are placed according to their compliance with prison rules.In what might come as a surprise to many, there are many recreational facilities at the naval base, from a golf course to an open-air cinema as well as a Starbucks Coffee and a McDonald's restaurant. Ninety percent of those working in the service sector are Filipinos and Jamaicans. There are 2,000 soldiers and 5,000 civilians.

Copyright © All rights reserved.
Using Format