MONTEVIDEO – Uruguayan President Jose Mujica has displayed a letter sent by the United States stipulating there is no information linking the six Guantanamo prisoners sheltered as refugees in Uruguay to terrorist activities.
“But what the document says is something we already knew,” said Mujica at a press conference Tuesday at the headquarters of the PIT CNT trade union which has offered the six temporary accommodation and is assisting them in adjusting to life outside prison.
The letter by U.S. Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure Clifford M. Sloan certifies that “there is no information that demonstrates that these persons were involved or had facilitated terrorist activities against the United States, its partners or allies.”
Guantanamo, located on a U.S. military enclave in Cuba, was set up by the former Bush administration to hold and try suspected terrorists away from the legal protections that apply in the U.S. federal justice system.
The six men, four Syrians, a Palestinian and a Tunisian, arrived in Uruguay last week.
Before agreeing to accept the six, Mujica is said to have consulted with Cuban President Raul Castro because of Guantanamo’s location in Cuba.
Castro is said to have given Mujica the green light.
Although in his last meeting with Obama in March 2014 Mujica accepted the transfer of the prisoners without conditions, in a recent letter made public he demanded that the U.S. free three Cuban prisoners and urged independence for Puerto Rico.
Mujica said despite sending this request on several occasions no response has been received from Obama.
He also displayed another letter written by the former prisoners expressing their thanks for his decision, and to Uruguay and to members of the PIT CNT trade union.