When President Obama appointed Daniel Fried (aka “the Guantanamo Closure Czar”) to oversee the closing of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, many people let out a sigh of relief. Some would like to close Gitmo’s doors and forget about the alleged torture that took place there. But those who forget their history are destined to repeat it, so we’ve approached Mr. Fried with a better idea.
We’ve written a letter to Mr. Fried suggesting that, once all of the detainees have been relocated, Gitmo keep its doors open as an “empathy center.” The detention center would change its name to the Guantanamo Bay Empathy Exhibit (GBEE) and display our Animal Liberation Project. The GBEE would teach people that—regardless of race, religion, ability, gender, or species—everyone deserves respect and compassion, and it would allow people to explore ways that they can promote nonviolent and non-exploitive relationships with all beings.
We really hope that Mr. Fried takes us up on our offer. With the Senate’s proposal to lift the 47-year-old ban on travel to Cuba, now is a great time to show the world that we are willing to learn from our mistakes. After all, if the U.S. and Cuba can break down barriers, shouldn’t people be able to do the same with animals?
Written by Shawna Flavell