Friday, April 3, 2009
Problem solved: Venezuela wants Gitmo detainees
Problem solved. Just when it looked as if there was no way out for the United States short of living up to its principles and accepting never-convicted inmates when the detention center closes at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base on Cuba, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced Thursday that his country would be willing to accept any former prisoners. "We would not have any problem with receiving a human being," said a government news release quoting an interview gave to Al-Jazeera television on Wednesday, according to Cable News Network (CNN). Chavez also said he hoped the United States would return the land on which the naval base is located to Cuba. The United States acquired the land for the Guantanamo base in 1903 after the Spanish-American War of 1898. Then-President George W. Bush opened the detention center in 2002 to hold what he characterized as "enemy combatants" captured in the so-called war on terror. The new administration of Barack Obama, which took over the White House in January, has not disclosed its plans for the prisoners when the detention center closes. Obama has pledged to close the prison.