Cuba Coast to Coast: U.S.-Cuba leasing agreement for Guantanamo
Signed by the President of Cuba, February 16, 1903; Signed by the President of the United States, February 23, 1903
Between the United States of America and the Republic of Cuba for the lease (subject to terms to be agreed upon by the two Governments) to the United States of lands in Cuba for coaling and naval stations.
The United States of America and the Republic of Cuba, being desirous to execute fully the provisions of Article VII of the Act of Congress approved March second, 1901, and of Article VII of the Appendix to the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba promulgated on the 20th of May, 1902, which provide:
"ARTICLE VII. To enable the United States to maintain the independence of Cuba, and to protect the people thereof, as well as for its own defense, the Cuban Government will sell or lease to the United States the lands necessary for coaling or naval stations, at certain specified points, to be agreed upon with the President of the United States."
have reached an agreement to that end, as follows:
The Republic of Cuba hereby leases to the United States, for the time required for the purposes of coaling and naval stations, the following described areas of land and water situated in the Island of Cuba:
1st. In Guantanamo (see Hydrographic Office Chart 1857). From a point on the south coast, 4.37 nautical miles to the eastward of Windward Point Light House, a line running north (true) a distance of 4.25 nautical miles;
From the northern extremity of this line, a line running west (true), a distance of 5.87 nautical miles;
From the western extremity of this last line, a line running southwest (true) 3.31 nautical miles;
From the southwestern extremity of this last line, a line running south (true) to the seacoast.
This lease shall be subject to all the conditions named in Article II of this agreement.
2nd. In Northwestern Cuba (see Hydrographic Office Chart 2036).
In Bahia Honda (see Hydrographic Office Chart 520b).
All that land included in the peninsula containing Cerro del Morrillo and Punta del Carenero situated to the westward of a line running south (true) from the north coast at a distance of thirteen hundred yards east (true) from the crest of Cerro del Morrillo, and all the adjacent waters touching upon the coast line of the above described peninsula and including the estuary south of Punta del Carenero with the control of the headwaters as necessary for sanitary and other purposes.
And in addition all that piece of land and its adjacent waters on the western side of the entrance to Bahia Honda including between the shore line and a line running north and south (true) to low water marks through a point which is west (true) distant one nautical mile from Pta. del Cayman.
The grant of the foregoing Article shall include the right to use and occupy the waters adjacent to said areas of land and water, and to improve and deepen the entrances thereto and the anchorages therein, and generally to do any and all things necessary to fit the premises for use as coaling or naval stations only, and for no other purpose.
Vessels engaged in the Cuban trade shall have free passage through the waters included within this grant.
While on the one hand the United States recognizes the continuance of the ultimate sovereignty of the Republic of Cuba over the above described areas of land and water, on the other hand the Republic of Cuba consents that during the period of the occupation by the United States of said areas under the terms of this agreement the United States shall exercise complete jurisdiction and control over and within said areas with the right to acquire (under conditions to be hereafter agreed upon by the two Governments) for the public purposes of the United States any land or other property therein by purchase or by exercise of eminent domain with full compensation to the owners thereof.
Done in duplicate at Habana, and signed by the President of the
[SEAL] Republic of Cuba this sixteenth day of February, 1903.
T. ESTRADA PALMA
Signed by the President of the United States the twenty-third of February, 1903.