There is no Guantánamo Bay

That’s right. In English, the name is “Guantanamo Bay.” There is no accent in the English spelling.

It’s not “Guantánamo Bay” in Spanish either. They call it “Bahía de Guantánamo.”

But we’re usually not even talking about Guantanamo Bay itself. Most of the time, we’re talking about Guantanamo Bay Naval Base or the detention center. Being American facilities, neither of them have accents in their names.

Do we do this for Deutschland or München? No, we call those Germany and Munich. We do this even though just about anybody dealing with Germany knows that they call it Deutschland.

Admittedly, this is a small thing. But I have to admit I find it funny.

Let’s be honest about what’s going on here.

First, most Americans are monolingual. Using an accented character allows people to feel pretendo multilingüismo. It’s like saying “internationale” when you really just mean “international.” (Yes, people actually do that.)

And second, let’s face it: Guantanamo is a hot-button issue that progressives like to claim they care about. Calling it by a half-Spanish name must appeal to their “¡No pasarán!” spirit of Résistance.

This is the kind of stuff you get when people learn Orwell from Stalinists.

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