Guantanamo Bay: $4,085 a year

For over 47 years, Fidel Castro has waged a silent protest against the U.S. military by simply not cashing an annual check sent religiously every year by the U.S. Treasury.

Let me explain. According to a story published this week in Los Angeles Times, the U.S. Treasury sends a check for $4,085 every year to the Cuban government to pay for the annual rent of 160 kilometers in Guantanamo Bay. But those checks have not been cashed in 47 years.

In case you were wondering, the U.S. controls Guantanamo Bay since 1903 but what not many people know is that the 103-year-old agreement limits use of the Cuban territory to “coaling and naval purposes only,” neither of which appears to cover the prison or tribunal operations.

Does this mean the current landlord can claim the land back? Mr. Castro might be now too old and tired to use the force and get Guantanamo back, but how about cashing the checks? What to do with almost $200,000? (Nothing much, actually. I guess not even enough for the annual maintenance fee of Saban’s $12 million Las Brisas estate.)

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