Need a job? McDonald's has an opening at Guantanamo

Miami HeraldNovember 10, 2009 

Out of work and willing to relocate? McDonald's is advertising for an assistant manager for its sole franchise in Cuba — serving up burgers and fries that sometimes feed detainees at the prison camps at Guantanamo Bay.

The help wanted ad popped up recently at the McVirginia.com careers Web site featuring the Golden Arches, a headline "Find a Career @ McDonald's" and this enticement: "Enjoy the perks."

It didn't specify salary but said, "Candidates must have restaurant management experience, possess a valid United States passport and be willing to relocate to Cuba."

Other incentives include half your rent paid and, potentially, tax-free status for year-round residents.

Apparently no special security clearances are necessary for the job that requires you to both live and work on the 45-square-mile base of some 6,000 residents. Customers include sailors and their families, at last count 215 war-on-terror captives and their guards, as well as hundreds of Jamaican and Filipino guest workers.

"This restaurant has been there since 1986 and is independently owned and operated by a McDonald's franchisee," McDonald's USA spokeswoman Danya Proud said by e-mail from Oak Brook, Ill.

Frozen fries and burgers arrive by barge from Jacksonville. Early on, prison camp commanders said they allowed interrogators to bring Big Macs and fries as incentives for cooperation — a kinder, gentler concept than the screeching heavy metal music that was blasted at times to soften up suspected hardened al Qaida fighters.

Now, with the goal to empty the place, captives cleared by the courts and segregated in a special compound called Camp Iguana can get takeout orders, brought by guards.

In one noteworthy omission, the ad never once mentions the name Guantanamo.

"The job listing states this restaurant is located on the United States Naval base in Cuba, which is where this restaurant is located," Proud said.

How many had applied so far?

The spokeswoman wouldn't say.

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