Gov. Ned Lamont arrives at the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay. US NAVY
Gov. Ned Lamont arrives at the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay. US NAVY

Gov. Ned Lamont interrupted a Florida vacation Friday to make a one-day visit to a Connecticut National Guard military police unit deployed since March at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

His office declined to say if Lamont toured the controversial detention camps on the base.

The National Guard has refused to say whether the unit has been on duty at the detention facilities established in 2002 by the administration of President George W. Bush to hold enemy combatants and others captured in the war on terror.

From a high of about 245 prisoners, the detention camps now hold 40 prisoners, with no immediate plans for closure. According to the New York Times, 14 prisoners are men previously held by the C.I.A. at one or more secret sites overseas. Those prisoners are segregated at a building called Camp 7.

According to disclosures made in court proceedings, most or all of the other 26 prisoners are being held at buildings called Camp 5 and Camp 6.

The governor’s office declined Friday to describe the Guard unit’s duties in Cuba. The governor said in an emailed statement he wished to thank the personnel for their service away from home.

“Deployment means many months away from families, friends, and personal responsibilities,” Lamont said. “They are missing birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. It was important for me to tell them they are appreciated, they are not forgotten, and we can’t wait to welcome them back home to Connecticut.”

The governor was joined by the leadership team of the Connecticut National Guard: Major General Francis J. Evon, Jr., Command Sergeant Major John Carragher, and Chief Warrant 5 Brian Erikson.

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Mark PazniokasCapitol Bureau Chief

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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1 Comment

  1. The governor, who in times past ran for US Senate as an antiwar candidate, said nothing about Guantanamo, which is known worldwide as a CIA torture center? He said nothing about Guantanamo, which is known worldwide as the first US foreign military base, essentially stolen from the Cuban people over 100 years ago and secured by a contract from which Cuba cannot unilaterally exit? He said nothing about landing on Cuban soil as President Trump is trashing the progress President Obama made in reconnecting diplomatic relations with Cuba? Governor Lamont didn’t speak of the health care the Guantanamo prisoners supposedly get that may be as good as all Cubans get, but certainly surpasses what so many residents of Connecticut fail to get? Governor Lamont failed to speak to the Connecticut jobs that Congresswoman DeLauro was seeking in her recent visit that could be created if the US wasn’t waging economic warfare on Cuba? Who will help Governor Lamont connect the dots?

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