map of guantánamo bay showing approximate u.s. naval base boundaries
guantanamo bay naval base (spanish: base naval de la bahía de guantánamo), officially known as naval station guantanamo bay or nsgb, (also called gtmo because of the abbreviation of guantanamo or gitmo because of the common pronunciation of this word by the u.s. military) is a united states military base and detention camp located on 120 square kilometers (45 sq mi) of land and water at guantánamo bay, cuba, which the u.s. leased for use as a coaling station and naval base in 1903. the lease was $2,000 in gold per year until 1934, when the payment was set to match the value in gold in dollars; in 1974, the yearly lease was set to $4,085. the base is on the shore of guantánamo bay at the southeastern end of cuba. it is the oldest overseas u.s. naval base. since the cuban revolution of 1959, the cuban government has consistently protested against the u.s. presence on cuban soil and called it illegal under international law, alleging that the base was imposed on cuba by force.
since 2002, the naval base has contained a military prison, the guantanamo bay detention camp, for alleged unlawful combatants captured in afghanistan, iraq, and other places during the war on terror. cases of torture of prisoners, and their denial of protection under the geneva conventions, have been condemned internationally.