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Dan Gilmore / May 12, 2015

Gitmo Changing Radio Station Because It Might Offend Castro

For years, the soldiers at Guantanamo Bay have lived on an island within an island. The Americans don’t leave the 45 square mile base, and the native Cubans don’t interact with the U.S. soldiers. Everything the base needs has to be shipped in. Therefore, it’s understandable that “Rockin’ in Fidel’s Backyard” is the motto for Radio GTMO, the three radio signals that broadcast from the base in part to boost morale. But according to VICE News, that will soon change. Now that Barack Obama is taking a blowtorch to the frozen relationship between Cuba and the U.S., the military is changing the radio stations’ motto because it might be too offensive for the communist dictator. The officer heading the Armed Forces Network at the base, Steven Jaquin, told VICE, “Since there is not an appointed timeline or issued guidance from the [Department of Defense or State Department] regarding the normalization of relations with Cuba, we are not hard-pressed at the moment to make sudden changes. The simple answer is, ‘Yes, we are going to change the motto and logo.’ When? That remains to be determined.” What’s some joking among friends? No one gets bent out of shape when there some jokes about whooping Redcoats and white flag-waving Frenchmen. Still, the military’s top brass, or the Obama administration, is worried about a radio station possibly derailing international relations.

Meanwhile, Russia Today reports on an odd little story that Russia wants to reopen a spy base there that eavesdrops on U.S. radio signals. In 1992, Moscow started shuttering the base because Cuba asked for hundreds of millions of dollars to keep it operational. In a twist, the Castro regime doesn’t cash the monthly checks of $4,085 the U.S. sends every month as rent for Guantanamo Bay. While the communist government complains that the U.S. military’s presence is an occupation or is illegal, the U.S is essentially staying there for free.

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