Guantanamo Bay

Good Essays
Topics: United States
Sovereignty and jurisdiction are similar to a toothbrush and toothpaste. Just as a toothbrush is pointless without toothpaste, sovereignty is nothing without jurisdiction. One who claims to be sovereign must have jurisdiction to truly be sovereign, just as one who wants to use a toothbrush must have toothpaste. The toothpaste also needs the toothbrush to correctly function, sure one can argue that only toothpaste and a finger are needed to brush one’s teeth but by doing that you will never correctly have brushed your teeth. Similarly, one can argue that a state may have jurisdiction without being sovereign, but I claim otherwise. A state cannot have true jurisdiction if it is not sovereign because, in the end, he who is the sovereign can simply over ride any legal decision or judgment he who claims to have jurisdiction has made. To brush your teeth you must possess a toothbrush and toothpaste, and to rule a state, you must have sovereignty and jurisdiction. The U.S has claimed since 1903 to have complete authority over the naval base in Guantanamo Bay while Cuba has “ultimate sovereignty” (Kaplan 384), which simply does not make any sense. If Cuba truly had ultimate sovereignty they would also have the official power to make legal decisions and judgments, something they clearly do not. All this claim, that the U.S has jurisdiction while Cuba has sovereignty, does is bring up the question many people have “where is Guantanamo bay?” a simple, but quite complex question. Guantanamo bay is everywhere, but it is nowhere. Guantanamo bay can be theoretically located in Cuba, since the U.S claims that Cuba has ultimate sovereignty, but it can also theoretically be located in the U.S, since the U.S has complete authority which gives it jurisdiction over the base. In reality, none of these theories are true. Guantanamo bay is neither in the U.S nor Cuba; Guantanamo bay is nowhere. It is nowhere because according to the separation of sovereignty and jurisdiction no one

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