As the first step in normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba, flag-raising ceremonies were supposed to fill Cubans and Americans alike with the warm fuzzies. (Cuban dissidents arrested and jailed in the weeks before the ceremony were unavailable for comment.)
In his comments on the historic event, President Obama neglected to mention a Reuters report revealing that, as a part of the renewed relationship, Cuba would be demanding that the U.S. return Guantanamo Bay to Cuban sovereignty, a demand that Raul Castro repeated in his speech welcoming Pope Francis.
In the meantime, a team has been touring the United States looking for a new home for the prisoners currently held in Cuba, making stops at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina. In response, Governors Nikki Haley and Sam Brownback sent a letter to the Department of Defense stating, “We will not be part of any illegal and ill-advised action by this Administration, especially when that action relates to importing terrorists into our states.”
The AP reports that the search team on Tuesday started scouting out sites in Colorado.
Pentagon starts scouting sites in Colorado to hold prisoners from base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: http://t.co/MLILj5s7dT
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 13, 2015
The team planned to assess facilities at the Federal Correctional Complex in Florence and the state penitentiary in Canon City as alternatives for a “limited” number of detainees from Guantanamo, said Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman.
Among the sites that are being assessed by the Pentagon team is the Supermax in Florence, Colorado, which has been dubbed “Alcatraz of the Rockies,” and already holds convicted terrorists.
Business Insider reported on the reactions of residents of Carson City:
“This is a concentrated group of people who are bent on the destruction of America and the American way of life,” said longtime real estate agent Preston Troutman, president of Canon City’s chamber of commerce. “We don’t have the answers for that.”
— WhereIsMyUSA (@DanielsSisterSu) October 14, 2015
@AP Ooh- that's not good. Isn't there somewhere else 2 send them NOT in the United States?
— Robyn Harms (@rockinrobyn59) October 13, 2015
— CW (@dfwtexn) October 13, 2015
— Great_2_be_aGamecock (@uscharvickfan) October 13, 2015
@AP Colorado the state that ignores Federal law over illegal drugs by legalizing them will be expected to follow Fed prison laws?
— Trawling Troll (@TrawlingTroll) October 13, 2015
@AP We don't want them around here. Put 'em on a boat & sink it!
— B. B. (@Jrlvr88) October 13, 2015
Isn’t that what they call “waterboating”?
@AP give them to Texas, Texans will take care of them……
— Rio Smythe (@RioSmythe) October 13, 2015
— High Horse (@CharlesHamerle) October 13, 2015
@AP How about in DC where they could keep a real close eye on them?..
— Jim Deckman (@JamesMDeckman) October 13, 2015
@AP put up a prison for them just outside Washington D.C.
Lets see how politicians like it when those prisoners are right next door.
— Brandon (@Histand402) October 13, 2015