2016 • $29.00 • 188 pp • paper
Small-Town GTMO offers a fresh and first-person perspective on Guantánamo legal issues, focusing on the threshold issue of whether the United States can be there at all rather than the more common issue of whether the military base should be used as a terrorist detention site. This book offers a unique combination of analysis and personal narrative to answer a fundamental question: Is there legal justification for the U.S. naval station at Guantánamo Bay? Reaching back to the founding of the naval station in 1898 and the original lease documents in 1903, the author provides a powerful answer: Yes, based on a structure of layered property interests and layered sovereignties. Cuba’s future estate and sovereignty are reversionary, lying dormant and perpetually beneath the United States’ present estate and sovereignty. Vivid photographs and descriptions of the author’s experiences in Guantánamo frame the analysis, and this personal account illustrates how the tangible layers of soil reflect the legal layers of estate and sovereignty. Small-Town GTMO presents an innovative argument for the legitimacy of the United States’ base under principles of sovereignty, contract law, and property law, and provides a rare look inside the Guantánamo naval station.