No man's land  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

No man's land is a term for land that is unoccupied or is under dispute between parties that leave it unoccupied due to fear or uncertainty. The term was originally used to define a contested territory or a dumping ground for refuse between fiefdoms. It is most commonly associated with the First World War to describe the area of land between two enemy trenches that neither side wishes to openly move on or take control of due to fear of being attacked by the enemy in the process.

Cold War

During the Cold War, no man's land was the territory close to the Iron Curtain. Officially the territory belonged to the Eastern Bloc countries, but over the entire Iron Curtain there were several wide tracts of uninhabited land, several hundred meters in width, containing watch towers, minefields, unexploded bombs and other such debris.

The U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba is separated from Cuba proper by an area called the Cactus Curtain. In late 1961, Cuba had its troops plant an 8 mi barrier of Opuntia cactus along the northeastern section of the fence surrounding the base to prevent economic migrants from fleeing Cuba to resettle in the United States. This was dubbed the "Cactus Curtain", an allusion to Europe's Iron Curtain and the Bamboo Curtain in East Asia. U.S. and Cuban troops placed some 55,000 land mines across the no man's land, creating the second-largest minefield in the world, and the largest in the Americas. On 16 May 1996, U.S. President Bill Clinton ordered their removal. The U.S. land mines have since been replaced with motion and sound sensors to detect intruders. The Cuban government has not removed the corresponding minefield on its side of the border.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "No man's land" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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