Main street in front of post office
Guantánamo municipality (red) within
Guantánamo Province (yellow) and Cuba
|• City||741.4 km2 (286.3 sq mi)|
|Elevation||46 m (151 ft)|
|• Density||280/km2 (740/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|Area code(s)||+53 21|
The municipality is mountainous in the north, at Humboldt National Park, where it overlays the Sierra Maestra (mountains), and borders the Windward Passage of the Caribbean Sea in the south. It is crossed by the Bano, Guantánamo, Yateras, Guaso, San Andrés and Sabanalamar rivers. The city is spread with a square plan and is crossed in the middle by the Carretera Central highway. Guantánamo Bay is a natural harbour south of it.
The municipality borders with El Salvador, Niceto Pérez, Caimanera, Yateras, Manuel Tames and Sagua de Tánamo; this one in Holguín Province. It counts the villages of Argeo Martínez, Arroyo Hondo, Glorieta, Las Lajas and Paraguay.
Prior to 1976 it was divided into the barrios and villages Arroyo Hondo, Baitiquirí, Bano, Bayate, Caimanera, Camarones, Caridad, Corralillo, Cuatro Caminos, Filipinas, Glorieta, Gobierno, Guaso, Hospital, Indios, Isleta, Jaibo Abajo, Las Lajas, Macurijes, Mercado, Ocujal, Parroquia, Palma de San Juan, Rastro, Tiguabos and Vínculo. After 1976 reform part of municipal territory was split in the municipalities of El Salvador, Niceto Pérez, Caimanera and San Antonio del Sur.
About 15 km away from the city lies the Guantánamo Bay, a superior natural harbor which has been utilized by the United States since 1898, when it was captured from Spain in the Battle of Guantánamo Bay. In 1903 Cuba leased it to the U.S. under duress as it had committed to in the Cuban–American Treaty of Relations, and remains the site of a US Navy base, as well as the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
Notable natives of Guantánamo include athletes Joel Casamayor, Erislandy Lara, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Yumileidi Cumbá, Jaime Jefferson, Yargelis Savigne, Dayron Robles, Luis Delís, Cuban-American gymnast Annia Hatch, and cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez.
The city is served by the Carretera Central highway, and is the western terminus of the A1 motorway, that is mainly under construction and will link Guantánamo with Havana. The city airport "Mariana Grajales" is located near the villages of Las Lajas and Paraguay.
The song "Guantanamera"
"Guantanamera" (Spanish: "from Guantánamo [feminine]", thus "woman from Guantánamo") is perhaps the best known Cuban song and that country's most noted patriotic song. In 1966, a version by American vocal group The Sandpipers, based on an arrangement by Pete Seeger, became an international hit.
A sculpture of an ox in the "Zoológico de Piedra" (i.e.: "Stone Zoo")
- Jonathan M. Hansen, Guantánamo: An American History. New York: Hill and Wang, 2011.
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