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US has no plan to hand over Guantanamo to Cuba, aims at closing down the prison

US President Barack Obama does not plan to return the territory on which the Guantanamo Bay naval base is located to Cuba, although he aims at closing down the prison set up there, the White House said.

During a speech on Wednesday at the Community of Latin American and Carribean States (CELAC) summit in Costa Rica, Cuban President Raul Castro mentioned the return of Guantanamo Bay as one of the matters pending in the process launched to normalise relations with Washington. However, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Thursday that the US government was planning to retain the territory it holds at Guantanamo.

When asked if the US would return that territory to Cuba if the prison there was closed, Earnest said “no” and added that there were no bilateral discussions underway on that issue.

The prison needed to be shut down, but the naval base there was not something that should be closed, Earnest said.

Cuba’s claim to the Guantanamo territory would not be included in the final declaration of the third CELAC summit held in Costa Rica, authorities confirmed to EFE on Thursday.

CELAC, however, will ask the US to end its economic blockade of Cuba and remove the island from the list of countries sponsoring international terrorism. This call would be along the lines of the demands expressed by Raul Castro.
Agencies

Agencies

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