Obama critic urges detainees remain
Jorge Royan via Wikimedia
to Cuba can soon use
cell phones for doing
more than just taking
Cuban tourists to have enhanced cell phone
the A.M. Cuba
AT&T has reached a
deal for enhanced roaming and other
cellphone services for wireless customers
Monday, the Dallas-based telecommunications
giant Monday announced the agreement with
the state telecommunications company,
Etecsa. Terms were not released.
An AT&T statement says a start date and
pricing for the wireless roaming in Cuba
including talk, text and data will be
Sprint announced a roaming agreement with
Etecsa last fall to allow subscribers
visiting Cuba to send and receive calls and
Aug. 24, 2016
Sen. Ayotte says "worst of the worst"
the A.M. Cuba
A report giving a brief synopsis of each
of the more than 100 detainees still being
held at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba, was released Wednesday by a critic of
the Obama administration's plan to close the
The Pentagon gave the report to Republican
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who posted it online
The information in the unclassified report
details each of the 107 detainees being held
in Guantanamo as of November 25, 2015. The
detainees vary from former al-Qaida bomb
makers and bodyguards to low-level militant
cooks and medics.
Many of the detainees have been held
without charge for more than 14 years. About
30 have been released since November and the
prison currently holds 76 detainees. Of those,
more than 30 have been cleared for transfer
out of the prison.
Ayotte said the report highlights the
detainees' past terrorist activity and their
continuing extremist views, and is an
indication of why they must remain in prison.
"Most of the detainees who remain at
Guantanamo are the worst of the worst, as
demonstrated by the fact that 93 percent of
the detainees who remained there as of late
last year had been assessed as a high risk for
a return to terrorism," she said in a
She has said closing the detention center
is a security risk and has pushed the Pentagon
to release more information on those being
held at the naval base.
"By clearly detailing some of the
disturbing terrorist activities and
affiliations of detainees at Guantanamo, the
report demonstrates why these terrorists
should not be released -- they pose a serious
risk to our national security," the New
Hampshire senator said in an email statement.
Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Valerie
Henderson said Wednesday the information in
the report has been publicly available for
some time, for "several years," in some cases.
David Remes, a human-rights lawyer who
represents several detainees, said dangerous
men are not being released.
"Holding the men at all was a deep
injustice and a lasting stain on the U.S.
These men shouldn't have been in Guantanamo in
the first place," Remes told The Associated
Press. "It's one thing to prosecute detainees
for attacks on the U.S. ... It is quite
another thing -- and contrary to the values
the U.S. says it is committed to -- to hold
men for many years who are accused of no
On his second day in office in January
2009, President Barack Obama issued an
executive order directing the U.S. prison in
Cuba to be closed. However, the Republican-led
Congress has stymied his efforts to do so.
In addition to transferring some inmates
to other countries, Obama would also like to
send some of the inmates to the United States
for incarceration, but Congress also has
opposed that proposal.
The prison was opened in January 2002,
four months after the terrorist attacks on New
York and Washington and shortly after the
ensuing U.S. offensive began against the
Taliban in Afghanistan.
Guantanamo once held nearly 800 men, but
then President George W. Bush transferred more
than 500 of the detainees to other countries
for prosecution or imprisonment. So far, Obama
has transferred 162 detainees to other
Aug. 13, 2016
US Coast Guard busy sending Cubans back to
the A.M. Cuba
Since Oct.1, at least 5,485 Cubans have
attempted to migrate to the U.S. over waterways
compared to 4,473 in fiscal 2015. Most are still
trying to reach Florida through the Florida
J. Johnson via Wikimedia Commons
Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore
intercepting Cuban refugees
in the year.
"We discourage anyone from taking to the sea and
attempting to reach U.S. soil illegally - they
are risking their lives with very little chance
of success," said Capt. Mark Gordon, chief of
enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District.
Gordon said that navigating the Florida Straits
can be extremely dangerous for the unprepared on
illegal voyages and often leads to injury or
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants
receive food, water, shelter and basic medical
There has been speculation that the uptick in
Cubans trying to reach the U.S. is tied into the
possible elimination of a Cold War era law that
gives Cubans residency if they reach the U.S. by
foot or by sea. Many U.S. legislators,
particularly those in the Republican party, have
been putting pressure on Congress to eliminate
the law, which they perceive as a loophole.
Central America, especially Costa Rica, has been
flooded with Cuban migrants over the past year
trying to reach the U.S. on foot.
July 30, 2016