While North Korea is still fuming at the news of the US deploying a nuclear-armed submarine to South Korea, another US adversary, Cuba, claimed that the US Navy recently docked a nuclear-powered submarine at its military installation at Guantanamo Bay, terming the act as “provocative.”
Cuba’s foreign ministry said, “The presence of a nuclear submarine there at this moment makes it imperative to wonder what is the military reason behind this action in this peaceful region of the world.” The United States did not confirm this information.
The Cuban ministry stated that the submarine was docked at the base from July 5 to July 8 last week. However, the authorities couldn’t tell whether this submarine was armed.
On its part, the US State Department refused to divulge information about the movement of its military assets. The US Navy rarely discloses the details about the movement of its submarines, which is crucial for their security.
Cuba is not the only enemy of the United States that is infuriated with its unprecedented docking of nuclear submarines close to its territory. A US nuclear-powered submarine berthed, USS Michigan, a cruise-missile submarine, docked in South Korea for the first time in almost six years last month.
As expected, with the arrival of a US nuke submarine to South Korea amid burgeoning tensions, North Korea also labeled the move “provocative,” much like their Cuban counterparts.
Going a step forward, however, it warned of severe escalation if the US-South Korean military activities didn’t stop intensifying near its borders.
The US is all set to deploy its nuclear-armed submarines to South Korea under an agreement called the Washington Declaration signed between the two allies.
This has drawn widespread flak in North Korea, with some analysts going so far as to warn that the deployment could bring the world to the brink of a nuclear escalation again, akin to what happened in Cuba in 1962.
🚨 US, KEEP YOUR NUKES OUT OF CUBA!
⚠️ A US nuclear-powered submarine arrived in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba on July 5 2023 & stayed until July 8.
🇺🇸🇨🇺 This is a clear provocation by the US in its Cold War against Cuba. Cuba has done nothing but seek peaceful relations with the US. pic.twitter.com/TPIRWeKnp7
— National Network on Cuba 🇨🇺 (@NNOCuba) July 11, 2023
The claims by Cuban authorities are likely to worsen tensions, especially after allegations that China is constructing a spy base in Cuba under an agreement reached between Beijing and Havana. Both countries, however, denied these allegations.
The location of such an outpost, which would be about 100 miles from Florida, has been rumored to theoretically allow China to monitor various communications, including emails, phone calls, and satellite broadcasts throughout the Southeast United States, home to many military sites.
On their part, military watchers suggested that the possible motive behind any such docking could be “power projection” or “show of force” to send a clear signal to authorities in Havana, much like it does with its submarine visits to South Korea. Some others said it may be due to a technical issue in the submarine.
However, it is the location of the docking of the US nuke submarine which was the most alarming for Cuba. The country has long demanded that the United States vacate the military jail it constructed in Guantanamo Bay in 2002 and its 121-year-old naval station in the eastern half of the island.
Cuba Wants US To Leave Guantanamo Bay
Guantánamo Bay, also known as Bahia de Guantánamo, is a bay located in the province of the same name in Cuba’s southeast. It is the largest harbor on the island’s south side, and the steep hills surrounding it have isolated it from the nearby countryside.
The United States acquired legal dominion over the southern part of Guantánamo Bay under the terms of the 1903 Lease. While acknowledging that Cuba has ultimate sovereignty, the United States exerts jurisdiction and authority over this region.
The Cuban government, however, considers the American presence in Guantánamo Bay to be an unlawful occupation because the Cuban-American Treaty “was obtained by threat of force and is in violation of international law.”
The region is home to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. The detention center began operations after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and was the most active under President George W. Bush’s administration.
The purpose of this prison camp was to serve as a facility for questioning terrorist suspects. However, many detainees have allegedly been held indefinitely without cause or a court date with more severe allegations regarding their abuse.
The Cubans object to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base since the country has no diplomatic relations with the United States and considers it a forceful occupation of its territory that has progressively been militarized.
In its latest rebuke to the alleged docking of a US nuclear submarine, the Cuban ministry reaffirmed calls for the United States to withdraw its military presence on the island, claiming that this only served to “outrage Cuba’s sovereign rights” and allowed for acts of detention, torture, and routine human rights violations.
It further asserts that American military officials have publicly stated their intentions to use its “war capabilities” to pursue their objectives regarding the region’s natural riches.
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