Joint U.S.-Cuba Military Exercise

Tuesday, July 21, 2009
US and Cuba start to play ball

In another sign of improving, if not incremental change in relations between the United States and Cuba, the U.S. military formally acknowledged a joint disaster-preparedness exercise last week between American and Cuban soldiers. Troops stationed on the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay crossed over into Cuban territory to set up a mock triage area that would be used by military personnel from both countries, if an actual emergency occurred. Meanwhile, a Cuban military helicopter was allowed to fly over the Navy base to drop water on a simulated wildfire. The exercise itself is not something new, having first been arranged in the 1990s. But last week’s event was the first time anyone on the U.S. side provided details and admitted to the exercise’s existence.

Retired U.S. Marine Corps General Jack Sheehan told The Miami Herald that the public acknowledgement represented a “trial balloon” by the Obama administration to test American—especially Cuban-American—feelings for closer relations with Havana. In addition to the joint exercise, Washington has resumed diplomatic talks on immigration issues, allowed more visits to Cuba, and signaled it might allow the Communist government to have a representative in the Organization of American States for the first time in almost 50 years.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Disaster Drill Illustrates New Approach to Cuba (by Carol Rosenberg, Miami Herald)


Kyle Kuersten 12 years ago
That's good to see. Start with the things that are obligatory out of common decency and work from there.

Leave a comment