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1903 Lease Agreement With Cuba

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According to the lease agreement signed on July 2, 1903, the United States must send $2,000 in gold to the Cuban government each year. After the removal of the U.S. gold standard by the Gold Reserve Act of 1934, rents were paid in dollars. The payment due on July 2, 1974 was made by cheque for $4,085. [3] In the event of inflation, $2,000 out of 1903 in 1934 would be worth about $4,085 and would still be raised to more than $52,000 in 2013; however, the payment remains at 4.085 USD. Since the Cuban revolution, the Cuban government has cashed one of these cheques only because of the «confusion» of the beginnings of the revolution. The other cheques sent to the Treasurer General of the Republic, a position that had not existed since 1959, were shown once in Castro`s office during a television interview with him in a desk drawer. [4] A lease agreement that achieved what the contract had envisaged had been executed at the beginning of the year and a second lease was executed later in the year. The lease concluded from February 16 to 23, 1903 provides that the Republic of Cuba leases certain lands to the United States in Cuba, in particular the country surrounding Guantanamo Bay, for coal and sea stations for as long as necessary.

The lease provides for the United States to «exercise full jurisdiction and control,» while recognizing «the pursuit of the ultimate sovereignty of the Republic of Cuba.» Cuban ships involved in trade will have free passage into the waters. The United States has the right to change the waters if necessary. These agreements are different from those reached in recent years with respect to military bases, with the United States having the right to «full jurisdiction and control» in a defined base area. The Guantanamo agreement is more like the agreements with Panama on the canal area than the military base agreements that the United States has reached with NATO allies and others over the past 12 years. In the case of the canal zone, the United States has obtained «sustainably the use, occupation and control» of the area. The grant included «all rights, powers and powers within the area … that the United States owns and would exercise if it were the sovereign of the territory. Another analogy is Article III of the peace agreement with Japan7, which gave the United States «the right to exercise all administrative, legislative and jurisdiction over the territory and inhabitants» of the Ryukyu Islands until these islands are placed under guardianship.

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