Contract Workers, Exiles, and Commuters

Jana K. Lipman

in Guantanamo

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780520255395
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942370 | DOI:
Contract Workers, Exiles, and Commuters

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The U.S. Navy employed Jamaican workers as a result of the 1964 layoffs. GTMO unconsciously developed a new military model, which separated the base and its geography through this process. The majority of base workers would soon be migrants from developing countries with neocolonial ties to the United States. They performed service-oriented tasks, such as tending to the military's mess halls, account books, and manicured lawns. GTMO reflected postmodern global trends toward outsourcing labor, recruiting foreign migrants on a contract basis, and separating the work-place from the people who lived there. The U.S. military also reserved a diminishing number of Cuban commuters and exiles, but their experiences became more and more anachronistic over the years. Base workers continued to negotiate for rights and benefits, but their ability to do so was increasingly constricted. GTMO gained unprecedented independence from Cuban politics and the Guantánamo community.

Keywords: Jamaican workers; mess halls; exiles; Cuban politics; neocolonial ties

Chapter.  10076 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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