Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Interview: Helen Clark, UN Secretary-General candidate

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Trade trouble: Will TTIP agreement see the light of day?

Read more

FOCUS

On the trail of US-exiled cleric Gulen, arch enemy of Erdogan

Read more

ENCORE!

Discovering the 'father of African photography' and Nobuyoshi Araki’s erotic art

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US presidential race: Trump triumphs over Republican rivals

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Time for a third party'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US doubles recall of faulty airbags

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Papa Wemba is buried in Kinshasa

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Some Republican Party members dump Trump for Hillary

Read more

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. And you can watch it online as early as Friday.

REPORTERS

REPORTERS

Latest update : 2012-01-13

Guantanamo prison, through Cuban eyes

Despite US President Barack Obama’s promise to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, 171 men are still locked up there. Our reporters went to the two villages closest to the barbed wire surrounding the military base and met the Cubans living beside these awkward neighbours. It is a sensitive zone, just a few metres from the American watchtowers.

You always get the same feeling as soon as you leave the village of La Maya, half-way between Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo, that of arriving on a forbidden planet. This is due to the phantasmal word GUANTANAMO. For many people, Guantanamo still brings to mind the notorious image of the prison of suspected Taliban fighters. Approaching it does nothing to contradict this feeling.

Half-way down the 20-kilometre-long strip of tarmac which leads to the town, you are ordered to slow down. A “verde”, a Cuban soldier, comes out of his post, asks for your documents and inspects the boot. Guantanamo is tense...

And yet... It all changes as soon as you head to parque Marti, in the town centre. A few “yumas”, tourists, few and far between, who are on their way to Baracoa in the north, discover, much to their surprise, that there are no bars on the windows, that the prison wardens are mostly female, smiley and attractive, and that the public notices do not announce the curfew but rather a “descarga” evening, a salsa night, at the Casa de la Musica.

Guantanamo Town is 20 kilometres from “Guantanamo prison”, on the US military base.

By François MISSEN , Alexandre DEREIMS

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2016-04-28 USA

The vicious cycle of student debt in the US

Student debt in the United States now stands at over a trillion dollars. And it’s going up, to the tune of 2,700 dollars per second. FRANCE 24 reporters Philip Crowther and...

Read more

2016-04-22 Syria

Exclusive: Interethnic coalition takes on the IS group in Syria

FRANCE 24 brings you a rare documentary filmed inside Syria. Our reporters gained exclusive access to the Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab militias, as...

Read more

2016-04-14 Turkey

The forgotten shipwrecked migrants of the Aegean Sea

The Aegean Sea, between Turkey and Greece, is a transit point for refugees fleeing the war in Syria or the Taliban in Afghanistan and trying to reach Europe. But their makeshift...

Read more

2016-04-07 Corsica

Corsican nationalism: The test of power

Last December, Corsican nationalists won a historic and unexpected victory in France’s regional elections. After decades of violence, they now have two years to prove themselves...

Read more

2016-04-01 mafia

Video: Vast mafia network on trial in Rome

In November 2015, the trial of a vast mafia network opened in Rome, with 46 people in the dock. They stand accused of extortion, corruption and misappropriation of public funds....

Read more