The chief of the U.S. Southern Command reportedly thinks there’s nothing military officials can do to stop the hunger strike by more than 100 detainees demanding the prison’s closure.
The Miami Herald reports that the protest will continue “until they get tired of doing what they’re doing,” according to Marine Gen. John Kelly, who added that up to 60 of the 166 captives routinely seek private meetings with the military and that, in his analysis, the power to end the hunger strike is “entirely in their hands.”
Prison staff said 103 captives were on hunger strike at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba as of Tuesday, and 38 of them were getting tube feedings from Navy medical workers.
But Kelly criticized the description by President Barack Obama and others that the military is force-feeding the captives at Guantanamo. Hunger strikers who fall below a certain body weight are taken twice daily to a feeding chair and given a choice to eat or be force-fed a can of Ensure dietary supplement, the newspaper reports.
“They’re all eating something,” Kelly said, who called Guantanamo’s current protest a “hunger strike light.”