Castro is Dead! Long Live Guantanamo Bay!


Wednesday marked the fifteenth anniversary of the setting up of the Guantanamo Detention Camp on
the island of Cuba. Less than two months ago World leaders bade farewell to the former Cuban
Dictator Fidel Castro, whose stoic resistance to the US blockade of his country was to
epitomize the now bygone era referred to by historians as ‘The Cold War’. And, with President-elect Donald Trump just days away from taking up Presidential office, Democrats have urged his
soon to depart predecessor to send the prison the same way as the one time Cuban ‘comandante’
before he stands down.

In a document quoted in the Guardian newspaper, a group known as the Congressional
Progressive Caucus, which includes John Lewis of Georgia, who as former chairman of the Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was to become one of the principal overseers of the
1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, have urged President Obama to fuilfill his inaugural
pledge to close the detention camp once and for all. Their primary concern it would seem is
that there is quite possibly going to be what the Guardian refers to as a resurgence of torture
under the Republicans; and their main aim is to deny Trump the use of this facility in what may
end up as a witch hunt of real and imaginary opponents once he is in the White

Thursday saw a report on the website of the Russian news service RT claiming that Trump’s
recently named nominee for the directorship of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, favours the
setting up of what it referred to as a ‘domestic intelligence database’, as part of what may
end up being a crack down on anyone who doesn’t see eye to eye with the President-elect.
Although he himself ruled out the use of torture under President Trump in his testimony to his
confirmation hearing for the directorship, veteran whistle blower John Kiriakou’s historic
revelations have clearly demonstrated that the previous Republican administration was less than
honest with the American people in certain matters of this very nature.

Although President Vladimir Putin was to pay tribute to Fidel Castro in what could only be described
as glowing terms in a personal statement directly after the former dictator’s death, President-elect Trump was to refer to him as a “brutal dictator” who inflicted “unimaginable suffering, poverty, and the
denial of fundamental human rights” upon the Cuban people. As Guantanamo Bay reached its
fifteenth year in existence the Scottish comedian and writer Frankie Boyle boldly declared from
the internet ‘Trump wants to restock Guantánamo. Who’s the ‘worst of the worst’ now?’ Who


Photo Credit: Kathleen T. Rhem [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Rupert Ferguson
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Rupert Ferguson

Journalist at Distract The Media
Rupert Ferguson is a published author, journalist and radical film maker with specialist interests in local government, politics, environmental issues and Traditional English and Scottish Folk Music. His academic work has been endorsed by the likes of Sir Melvyn Bragg, the late Sir James Watt KBE and the former head of Humanities at Bingley College in Yorkshire, England; James Reed.

Having begun his career as a junior researcher at Thames Television in London, he has written for a wide range of publications including 'The Brighton Reporter', 'Durham Town and Country', 'The Brighton and Hove People' and 'The New Celtic Review'. As an exhibited film maker he has been a regular contributor and award nominee at the Portobello Film Festival in London; and has seen his work shown at the annual London Film Makers' Convention at the prestigious Round House Theatre.

As well as receiving enthusiastic reviews from BBC Radio 4 and others for his book on Sir Walter Scott, his pioneering work as an Underground Film Maker on the fledgeling Goa Trance Scene has set him in a field of his own amongst many of his contemporaries; both in the UK, where he presently resides, and elsewhere. Current projects presently in hand include a book centred on his 'Legendary London' series of documentary films, which have stimulated an enthusiastic response from the likes of Glenda Jackson and others; and a novel set in France and Edinburgh during the eighteenth century Scottish Enlightenment.

For more about Rupert, his endorsements and points of contact please follow the link to his linked-in profile:
Rupert Ferguson
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