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Montevideo, November 17th 2018 - 11:41 UTC

It's official: Uruguay will not receive any more Guantanamo inmates

Tuesday, March 24th 2015 - 04:23 UTC
Full article 12 comments
“It is being studied. What is certain is that no more prisoners are going to come from Guantanamo. That is absolute,” said foreign minister Nin Novoa “It is being studied. What is certain is that no more prisoners are going to come from Guantanamo. That is absolute,” said foreign minister Nin Novoa
One of the inmates, Abu Wael Dihab announced on Monday he was planning a hunger strike in front of the US embassy in Montevideo One of the inmates, Abu Wael Dihab announced on Monday he was planning a hunger strike in front of the US embassy in Montevideo
“We have offered our hospitality to human beings who were suffering...in Guantanamo. The unavoidable reason is humanitarian,” said Mujica “We have offered our hospitality to human beings who were suffering...in Guantanamo. The unavoidable reason is humanitarian,” said Mujica

Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said on Monday that Montevideo absolutely will not accept any more inmates from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo, in contrast to the previous government of Jose Mujica, who took in - as refugees - six Middle Eastern men who had been held at the facility.

 In remarks to the press, Nin Novoa addressed the issue in responding to a question about whether the government of Tabare Vazquez, which took power on March first, plans to comply with one of the recent requests made by the six former prisoners to receive land from the Montevideo authorities on which to build a mosque.

“It is being studied. What is certain is that no more prisoners are going to come from Guantanamo. That is absolute,” he said.

The arrival of the six men - against whom no terrorism or other charges were ever filed and who are considered to be low risk individuals - occurred last Dec. 7 in response to Mujica's commitment to cooperate with U.S. President Barack Obama in the program to close Guantanamo, a detention center set up to house terrorism suspects on the U.S. base in Cuba.

“We have offered our hospitality to human beings who were suffering ... in Guantanamo. The unavoidable reason is humanitarian,” said Mujica two days before the arrival of the refugees - four Syrians, a Tunisian and a Palestinian - a move that was harshly criticized by the political opposition, and rejected by public opinion polls.

One of the inmates, Abu Wael Dihab announced on Monday he was planning a hunger strike in front of the US embassy in Montevideo. Before being picked to come to Uruguay, Aby Wael Dihab had been on a prolonged hunger strike (and force fed) in Guantanamo and seems to be the most unstable of the group.

While still president Mujica had to go and talk to the six after it surfaced that they were complaining about housing and refused to get jobs. The situation has not changed since, according to the latest news.

Last week, Obama said that he should have closed Guantanamo when he moved into the White House in 2009, when there seemed to be consensus with Republicans regarding its closure.

His administration is working against the clock to close the detention center before his term ends in January 2017, but the process is meeting stiff opposition from Republicans, who wound up with control of both houses of Congress in the midterm elections last November.

Nin Novoa however confirmed that Uruguay is considering complying with its commitment to bring a second batch of Syrian refuges sometime in mid year, a legacy of the Mujica administration.

“We're considering the issue; we believe this could be completed sometime after the second quarter”, said Nin Novoa. The many children of the Syrian families seem to have adapted to Uruguay's customs, but there have been cases of domestic violence among parents.

Top Comments

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  • Hepatia

    This is a problem. Its been 14 years and we are still stuck with GWB's mess. Got to be the worst US president ever!

    Mar 24th, 2015 - 04:47 am 0
  • Brasileiro

    The United States in its fierce saga invaded the Middle East in order to steal the oil of the Arab people.

    USA must learn to pay its own sins!

    Good Cisplatin!

    Mar 24th, 2015 - 11:03 am 0
  • Conqueror

    @1. A problem for whom? A little bit of research would do you no harm. Here's an example. An individual called Shaker Aamer. He's not British. All he has is permission to reside. His 'family' are in the UK. On benefits. He's been cleared for release to his home country, Saudi Arabia, twice. He refuses to go. Get the picture? Aamer wants what HE wants. He could be released to Saudi and his family could join him there. But he wants Britain to support him and his family. The 'sense' of entitlement of muslims! And these muslims in Uruguay complain about everything and refuse to get jobs. What a pity that the US doesn't take the simplest solution. “You go where we send you, or we shoot you”.
    @2. Yeah, it's terrible. Might be an idea to read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabs Whoops, arabs should only be in the Arabian Peninsula. What an amazing coincidence; Arabs, Arabian Peninsula! It's difficult to countenance accusations from the home of one of the biggest oil industry corruption cases in the world against a country that, one way or another, pays for what it obtains. Perhaps you have satellite photos of columns of American oil tanker vehicles loading up and heading for the nearest port? How about evidence of the secretly-constructed underground pipeline?

    Sorry, girlie, you'll have to do better. A lot better. But you can't, can you? Does Dilma pay you? Or are you just thick?

    Mar 24th, 2015 - 11:57 am 0
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