5 Things You Didn't Know About Guantanamo Bay

On February 24, 1903, President Roosevelt signed an agreement with Cuba to lease 45 square miles of land and water around Guantanamo Bay.  Here are five surprising things you didn’t know about Guantanamo Bay...


The U.S. Leased The Land For Guantanamo From Cuba The United States leases 45 square miles of land and water at Guantanamo Bay. These rights originally came from the 1903 Platt Amendment, which resulted from the American occupation of Cuba that began during the Spanish-American War.

The Lease Rent Is Equal to an Expensive House Leasing the Guantanamo Bay area is supposed to cost the United States $4,085 each month, paid to the Cuban government. Former President Fidel Castro protested Americans' occupation on Cuban soil, and refused to cash these checks for over half a century. Cuba accidentally cashed just one check 60 years ago by mistake. According to Castro, that check was cashed in 1959 due to confusion during the Cuban revolution.


Guantanamo Is The Most Expensive Prison in The World The U.S. government is estimated to be spending between $9.5 – $13 million per year on each prisoner. Currently, there are 40 inmates. Sheikh Mohammed, a suspected mastermind of the 9/11 terror attack in the United States, has spent 17 years at Guantanamo Bay. This means that $161.5 million of US taxpayers’ money has been spent on just him alone. In total the prison has cost taxpayers $6 billion since it was established by the Bush Administration. 

Close to 6,000 People Live There They include families of American sailors and long-term contractors with about 250 school-aged children who go to a K-12 school system run by the Department of Defense. The Naval base has a seaport and airstrip, which are both run by the Navy. It also has a McDonald’s, a nine-hole golf course, beaches, a bowling alley and a chapel complex.

1/3 Of The Residents Work At The Military Prison Nearly a third of the residents — 1,800 troops and contractors — are assigned to the Detention Center Zone. It’s a base within the base where the Pentagon has 40 war-on-terror prisoners, all sent there by the George W. Bush administration.