Trump Reportedly Plans on Keeping Guantánamo Bay Open

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A draft executive order obtained by Politico indicates the Trump administration plans to reverse Barack Obama’s directive to close down the infamous military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the outlet reported Thursday evening. Sources also tell Politico that Trump is likely to announce the change during his State of the Union address next Tuesday, Jan. 30.

The decision is far from unexpected—after winning Nevada’s Republican primary during the 2016 presidential election, Trump promised in a victory speech at his Las Vegas hotel that, should he become president, “we’re going to keep—as you know Gitmo, we’re keeping that open, and we’re going to load it up with bad dudes.”


While then-president Obama said he would close the prison down as quickly as possible, he didn’t do so, despite transferring about 200 inmates to the custody of foreign countries. There are 41 inmates in Guantánamo today.

From Politico:

The executive order, according to a draft State Department cable that officials are planning to soon send to U.S. embassies around the world, would rescind part of a separate 2009 order signed by then-President Barack Obama mandating that the facility be “closed as soon as practicable.” [...]

The draft cable instructs U.S. diplomats to begin informing officials from other countries about the executive order after the State of the Union speech, though embassies in London, Paris, Berlin and a few other cities can begin filling in foreign governments on Monday “with the request that they should not discuss the matter publicly until after the address.”


Last November, Trump said he would consider sending the man charged with mowing down pedestrians on a bike path, killing eight, to Guantánamo.