Located in the Oriente Province on the southeast corner of Cuba, the base is about 400 air miles from Miami, Fla. The installation is the oldest overseas U.S. Naval base and is the only base located in a country with which the U.S. does not maintain diplomatic relations.

In February 1903, the United States leased 45 square miles of land and water at Guantanamo Bay for use as a coaling station. As technology advanced, it evolved into a refueling station. The treaty was finalized, ratified by both governments and signed in Havana in December 1903.

A 1934 treaty reaffirming the lease granted Cuba and her trading partners free access through the bay, modified the lease payment from $2,000 in gold coins per year, to the 1934 equivalent value of $4,085 U.S. Treasury dollars, and added a requirement that termination of the lease requires the consent of both the U.S. and Cuba governments, or the U.S. abandonment of the base property

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