Bildner Center » Events

The Leasing of Guantanamo Bay

April 26, 2010 - 4:00 pm

Michael Strauss, Centre d’Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques (Paris)

This talk will look at the bilateral lease by which the United States controls part of Cuba’s sovereign territory – Guantánamo Bay. It explains the details and workings of the lease – how it came about, what it says, how it has functioned, and why it still exists. Among topics covered are the annual rent (does the U.S. actually pay it to Cuba?), the so-called legal “black hole” (the lease put the territory completely outside of Cuba’s domestic legal system and partly outside the U.S. domestic legal system), and scenarios for the future of the lease.

Michael J. Strauss lectures on geopolitics at the Centre d’Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques (Center for Diplomatic and Strategic Studies) in Paris. He researches and writes about issues pertaining to territory and sovereignty, and is a recognized authority on territorial leases and servitudes between states as phenomena of international relations and international law. His book, The Leasing of Guantanamo Bay, was published by Praeger in 2009 and examines the U.S.-Cuban lease that made Guantanamo Bay a distinct legal and political entity. Another book, The Viability of Territorial Leases in Resolving International Sovereignty Disputes, is forthcoming. Before entering academia, Dr. Strauss was a journalist for international news services, including Dow Jones, Knight-Ridder and Agence France-Presse’s AFX News. He served as bureau chief in several cities in the United States and Europe.
Michael Strauss earned his Ph.D. summa cum laude in international relations and diplomacy from the Centre d’Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques. Previously, he was an International Fellow at the School of International Affairs at Columbia University, and he holds degrees in journalism from the University of Minnesota and Columbia.