This article examines the case of nearly 300 HIV-positive Haitian refugees the US state indefinitely detained on its Guantánamo naval base from 1991 to 1994. It argues that the predicament of these refugees emerged out of a nexus of historical threads that became entangled at Guantánamo, including the US state's near absolute exclusion of Haitian refugees, the legacy of antiblack and anti-Haitian racism, the discourses of disease that were linked to Haitian bodies, and the history of US (neo)imperial interests in the Caribbean. Its analysis centers on legal discourses and key federal court cases leading to US anti-Haitian refugee policies, including Haitian Refugee Center v. Civiletti (1980) and Haitian Centers Council v. Sale (1993), while examining the history of Haiti's political economy and relation to the United States, as well as discourses of race, nation, and contagion as they relate to Haitian migrants.

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