1985: Castro Says He Wants the U.S. Out

In a speech during a visit to Nicaragua, Castro addresses the potential use of military violence to recover the territory; “What interest can we have in waging a war with our neighbors?” he says. “In our country we have a military base against the will of our people. It has been there throughout the twenty-six years of the revolution, and it is being occupied by force. We have the moral and legal right to demand its return. We have made the claim in the moral and legal way. We do not intend to recover it with the use of arms. It is part of our territory being occupied by a U.S. military base. Never has anyone, a revolutionary cadre, a revolutionary leader, or a fellow citizen, had the idea of recovering the piece of our territory by the use of force. If some day it will be ours, it will not be by the use of force, but the advance of the consciousness of justice in the world.”

Later that year, in an interview with Soviet journalists, U.S. President Ronald Reagan affirms that the purpose of the base is political: to impose the U.S. presence, even if the Cubans don't want it.

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