The city is c.20 mi (30 km) inland from its port, Caimanera, on landlocked
A prison camp for several hundred persons accused of having Taliban or Al Qaeda ties was established (2002) there after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan during the Bush administration. Guantánamo was chosen because the Bush administration believed that federal constitutional protections should not apply to the base, which legally is not part of the United States; that argument was rejected by the Supreme Court in 2004. There have been accusations, some based on FBI e-mail, that prisoners there have been abused and tortured; several prisoners have committed suicide. In 2009 President Obama ordered the closure of the prison camp within a year, but difficulties associated with the process made closing it unachievable. When President Trump took office in 2017, he ended the closure process. In 2020, 40 prisoners remained of some 780 that been held at the base. Some 540 were released under President Bush, and some 200 under President Obama; most of those held there were never tried.
See S. I. M. Schwab,
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