McDonalds and Starbucks have branches in hell on earth Guantánamo Bay

McDonald's and Starbucks have been accused of "double standards" after announcing they will be closing 800 restaurants in Russia while they remain open in Guantánamo Bay.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin's ordered troops into Ukraine, sporting leagues, blue tick companies and brands around the world have announced boycotts of the country.

Yesterday (Tuesday, March 8), Ronald McDonald and Co. followed suit stating that they would be closing their restaurants temporarily and joined "the world in condemning aggression and violence and praying for peace."

Meanwhile, Starbucks also revealed that they would be “suspending all business activity in Russia”.

However, both chains still operate branches in Guantánamo Bay leading some to accuse the companies of hypocrisy.

The prison, which has been touted to close, has a ghastly reputation around the world with rumours of abuse and degradation within its walls.

Many former inmates have said that life in the prison was "hell on Earth" and claimed they had been waterboarded, sexually assaulted, made to stay awake for days at a time and subjected to brutal rectal exams.

It is believed around 40 prisoners still remain there, some who have been held for nearly two decades without being charged or tried.

The camp's military trainers reportedly based their "enhanced interrogation" – the CIA's euphemism for torture – on techniques used by Chinese communists during the Korean War, the New York Times reported in 2008.

This involved depriving inmates of sleep and forcing them to hold "stress positions" for long periods of time, during which the discomfort would eventually become unbearable.

Somalian Mohamed Saleban Bare spent eight years in the prison despite never being told what he'd been charged with.

"Guantánamo Bay is like hell on Earth," he told media after being released in 2009.

"Some of my colleagues in the prison lost their sight, some lost their limbs and others ended up mentally disturbed."

Those who got away lightly were given one biscuit a day and not allowed to sleep for "at least four nights in a row", while unlucky inmates were electrocuted and beaten.

"They use a kind of psychological torture that kills you mentally."

The presence of family-friendly chains McDonald's and Starbucks in close proximity has naturally raised a few eyebrows.

According to the Baltimore Sun, inmates used to be fed McDonald's from time to time during their interrogations.

Speaking in 2003, Warrant Officer James Kluck said interrogators "go up on the base and get [the prisoner] a Happy Meal."

This practice was eventually discontinued in 2015 due to health and safety risks.

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The news that the chains still operate in the base has not been warmly received.

Taking to Twitter, one person wrote: "It was just announced that both McDonald’s and Starbucks are shutting down all of their locations inside of Russia.

"Meanwhile, both McDonald’s and Starbucks will continue to operate inside of the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay, home to the world’s most notorious torture camp."

"Double standards!" agreed another.

Guantánamo Bay was set up by the US in January 2002 in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The Daily Star has approached McDonald's and Starbucks for comment.

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