Cuban citizens and the world's media were today aghast as de facto leader Raul Castro evicted the US military from Guantanamo Bay.
Castro seen holding a county court summons and flanked by two bailiffs quietly ushered the military personnel, all of their belongings and some 2000 prisoners into waiting container trucks.
Today's events were the culmination of a process invoked by Castro in November 2007 when he filed an online money claim for non payment of rent and breach of tenancy agreement. Washington's Federal Administration submitted a defence stating "George thought Laura had paid it, Laura thought George had paid it."
On this basis it was transferred for allocation at the Havana County Court. The defendant failed to show up to defend the case. Judgement was awarded in default and an eviction warrant was issued.
In an interview to Cuban State television station "Televisión Cubana" Castro said "It's one thing having those Yanks running their mouths in our back yard, but it's something else when they don't even pay their rent."
Asked about his plans for the 1500 acre site, Castro claimed that the Cuban Government hoped to build upon the "Guantanamo" and "Camp X-Ray" brands by continuing to operate a military base and illegal detention centre with a dubious human rights record.
In terms of future tenants it seems nothing has been signed yet, however the Chinese government have "had a second viewing" and paid a holding deposit for Cuba to take it off the market.
A promising early deal with Venezuela fell through after Hugo Chavez bowed to pressure from his wife to "find somewhere with an indoor pool"