AP PHOTOS: A glimpse into life in Cuba's 2 Guantanamos

GUANTANAMO, Cuba (AP) — While Muslims detained at the U.S. naval station base at Guantanamo Bay bowed their heads in prayer on a recent day, Cuban men in the nearby city of Guantanamo tooted horns and banged on drums as they prepared for a carnival.

The two Guantanamos have been a contrast since the U.S. opened the base at the southeastern tip of the island in 1903, following the Spanish-American War, and the divide has only grown under Cuba's communist government, which refuses to cash the annual rent checks from Washington as it insists the U.S. leave.

People on both sides of the closely monitored boundary have long led different lives, yet they all live under government restrictions and appeals to patriotism.

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A glimpse into life in Cuba's 2 Guantanamos
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A glimpse into life in Cuba's 2 Guantanamos
In this July 24, 2018 photo, men stand on a home's roof to cool off from the afternoon heat in Guantanamo, Cuba, near the U.S. Guantanamo bay naval base. The two Guantanamos have been a contrast since the U.S. opened the base at the southeastern tip of the island in 1903, following the Spanish-American War, and the divide has only grown under Cuba's communist government, which refuses to cash the annual rent checks from Washington as it insists the U.S. leave. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this June 6, 2018 photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, a U.S. soldier stands between two cells, one used as a library and the other a gym, inside the Camp VI detention facility at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba. Soldiers are deployed for about one year to the naval base, which now holds 40 detainees. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this July 25, 2018 photo, a man rinses his horses off in the Bano River after washing them in Guantanamo, Cuba, near the U.S. Guantanamo Bay naval base. Locals use the river for swimming, cooling off their work horses and washing cars. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

In this July 25, 2018 photo, residents wait for the train to move so they can cross the track in Guantanamo, Cuba, near the U.S. Guantanamo Bay naval base. The "El Guantanamero" train connects Guantanamo with the capital city of Havana, and is used to transport passengers as well as cargo. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

In this June 6, 2018 photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, sunflowers grow in a recreational field used by detainees, planted and cared for by the prisoners at the Camp VI detention facility on the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba. Cubans living outside the base in the city of Guantanamo, Cuba grow chocolate, sugarcane and coffee. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

In this June 6, 2018 photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, U.S. flags and plants decorate the entrance to a soldier barrack on the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba. This barrack had two beds separated by a wall, and one bathroom. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

In this July 25, 2018 photo, a youth jumps into the Bano River in Guantanamo, Cuba, near the U.S. Guantanamo Bay naval base. The man at left wears a shirt featuring Barcelona F.C. soccer player Lionel Messi. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this July 24, 2018 photo, residents practice ahead of the town's upcoming carnival celebrations in Guantanamo, Cuba, near the U.S. Guantanamo Bay naval base. Guantanamo's carnival, which runs Aug. 9-12, show cases parades of dancers, floats that compete for prizes, food stands and music. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

 

In this June 6, 2018 photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, a building in Cuba carries the Spanish message "Republic of Cuba. Free American Territory," behind a gate marking the border with the U.S. Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba. The two Guanatanamos are separated by a "cactus curtain" planted by Cuban soldiers in the early 1960s following the revolution led by Fidel Castro, to deter Cubans from trying to find refuge at the base. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

In this June 6, 2018 photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, detainees talk to each other before praying inside the Camp VI detention facility at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba. This is a recreational space where detainees visit and eat. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this June 5, 2018 photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, a bird perches on barbed wire where a U.S. flag flies at the Camp VI detention facility on the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba. The two Guantanamos have been a contrast since the U.S. opened the base at the southeastern tip of the island in 1903, following the Spanish-American War, and the divide has only grown under Cuba's communist government, which refuses to cash the annual rent checks from Washington as it insists the U.S. leave. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this July 24, 2018 photo, a woman talks to men playing chess as another resident stands outside his home on the hot afternoon in Guantanamo, Cuba, near the U.S. Guantanamo Bay naval base. Chess games can be spotted on sidewalks and plazas across the island, where players tend to bet on no more than a cold beer. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this June 6, 2018 photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, a detainee prays inside the Camp VI detention facility at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba. The detention center that opened here in January 2002 now holds 40 detainees, including five men facing trial by military commission for planning and aiding the 9/11 terror attack on the U.S. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this June 5, 2018 photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, a bobblehead statue of Fidel Castro standing on a radio is displayed for sale as a souvenir to visitors at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba. GTMO Radio is the official radio station at the U.S. base, and its motto is "Rockin' in Fidel's Backyard." (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this June 6, 2018 photo, an Iron Spartans statue stands on the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba. The statue represents the 591st U.S. Military Police Company which was deployed at one time at the base. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this July 25, 2018 photo, a youth rides his bike past a building covered by a mural of a Cuban flag and Fidel Castro jumping off a tank during the Bay of Pigs invasion, inspired by a photograph, in Guantanamo, Cuba, near the U.S. Guantanamo Bay naval base. Even though Fidel Castro died nearly two years ago, he lives on in the two Guantanamos. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this July 24, 2018 photo, a youth works out on an exercise bar at a park by Revolution Plaza in Guantanamo, Cuba, near the U.S. Guantanamo Bay naval base. Some land mines are believed to remain on Cuban soil, while the troops on the U.S. side rely on sound and motion sensors. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this June 6, 2018 photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, a female army soldier looks out at the ocean from the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba. A military judge presiding over the Sept. 11 war crimes proceedings ruled in 2016 that he would eventually lift his order prohibiting female guards from having physical contact with the five defendants. Prisoners lawyers' said contact with women unrelated to the defendants offended their Muslim beliefs. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this June 6, 2018 photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, a U.S. army soldier stands guard outside Camp Delta as other soldiers jog past on the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba. Some 5,000 U.S. military personnel, dependents and civilian contractors live on the base. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this July 25, 2018 photo, a pig head hangs for sale at a butcher shop in Guantanamo, Cuba, near the U.S. Guantanamo Bay naval base. Pork is the most accessible meat in Cuba, where the pig even has its own song: "El Puerco Mamífero Nacional," or National Mammal Pork," by the Buena Fe band. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this June 5, 2018 photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, a U.S. soldier carries food past the Camp VI detention facility at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba. Some 5,000 military personnel, dependents and civilian contractors live on the base. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this July 24, 2018 photo, a taxi driver steers his classic American car past a sign that says in Spanish "I'm Fidel" on the road to Guantanamo, Cuba, near the U.S. Guantanamo Bay naval base. People on both sides of the closely monitored boundary have long led different lives, yet they all live under government restrictions and appeals to patriotism. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this June 7, 2018 photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, workers wait at sunrise to board a ferry leaving Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba. The U.S. opened the base at the southeastern tip of Cuba in 1903, following the Spanish-American War. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this July 25, 2018 photo, the sun rises behind a man walking on the road away from Guantanamo, Cuba, near the U.S. Guantanamo Bay naval base. The city of Guantanamo is home to about 200,000 Cubans, many of whom work in agriculture. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this June 5, 2018 photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, a U.S. solider drives a military vehicle past the Camp VI detention facility at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Some 5,000 U.S. military personnel, dependents and civilian contractors live on the base. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this July 25, 2018 photo, a Cuban special brigade first lieutenant police officer walks with his son to a neighborhood party where they will cook a large stew, in Guantanamo, Cuba, near the U.S. naval base. It is tradition in Cuba for neighbors to pool their efforts to cook a large stew, using pork. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
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They are separated by a "cactus curtain" planted by Cuban soldiers in the early 1960s following the revolution led by Fidel Castro, to deter Cubans from trying to find refuge at the base. Some land mines are also believed to remain on Cuban soil, while the troops on the U.S. side rely on sound and motion sensors.

Some 5,000 U.S. military personnel, dependents and civilian contractors live on the base. The detention center that opened there in January 2002 now holds 40 detainees, including five men facing trial by military commission for planning and aiding the 9/11 terror attack on the U.S.

The city of Guantanamo is home to about 200,000 people, many of whom work in agriculture. They cultivate cocoa, sugarcane, coffee and other crops, compared with the small garden featuring sunflowers at the base that detainees tend as the Stars and Stripes flutter overhead.

Hours after the harsh sun reaches its peak, Marines and sailors at the base sometimes head to the beach in their uniforms. Cubans in Guantanamo strip off their clothes and jump into a bright green river where horses also take a refreshing dip. At dawn, U.S. military personnel put on sneakers and head out for runs, while young Cubans clad in flip-flops exercise at a small park in the city.

Even though Fidel Castro died nearly two years ago, he lives on in the two Guantanamos. His name is emblazoned on a concrete sign on the highway leading into the city that reads, "Yo Soy Fidel." A bobble-head figure of the former leader chomping on his trademark cigar is sold at the base radio station, whose motto is "Rockin' in Fidel's Backyard."

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