GUANTANAMO'S REFUGEE PROBLEM

By Jug Varner

As one who served in Guantanamo Bay in years past, I can't believe what is happening there today. We have turned this great training facility into a detention camp for almost 30,000 Haitians and Cubans, none of whom want to be there and many of whom are little else than trouble makers.

If the decision wasn't bad enough, the expense of it is even worse. It is costing us a fortune to look stupid to the rest of the world. Why are we trying to tell these countries how to run their domestic program anyhow, when our own is so bad and getting worse? That money could be far better spent to solve some of our own domestic or military problems. If defense money is so critical that we are closing bases and downsizing our forces, where is the money coming from to support this ridiculous situation?

There is a simple solution, but I'm not sure those in power are smart enough to do something simple. Why not just take the Cubans to the base's main gate and let them all walk home. Then put all the Haitians on a ship, deliver them to “our” restored Haitian President, and say, “you take care of your people.” Then load our forces aboard and come home.

If the new Republican Congress wants to change things for the better, one thing they could do is rise up against committing our forces to foreign action unless it is for real military purposes and an actual threat to America's security. We can't afford to be the world's housekeepers.

The word came down in late November that the families might never be able to return to Gitmo. What a shame. As long as we have a base there for training operations, the families should be a part of it — as they have been for most of this century except for emergencies.

They were evacuated in WWII and again during the Cuban missile crisis of the 1960s, but that was eminent danger. This current problem is one which our own government created. Among other errors was sending the wrong people home. Send Cubans and Haitians home and bring the families back!