In half a heartbeat the Obama team could put the kibosh to the most dangerous offshore oil drilling ever proposed near U.S. shores, scheduled to begin in December by a Spanish/Cuban corporation. By fighting this drilling his “Environmentalist” allies could get the biggest bang for their lobbying buck in their history.
But all bets are off. This drilling, you see, won’t be by tacky/villainous U.S. oil companies. Instead a Spanish-Cuban oil company will be the outfit drilling in Cuban waters 60 miles from Key West. U.S. companies are banned from exploring anywhere within 125 of the Florida Coast, by the way.
But none of the usual histrionics and fist-shaking from the usual “Environmentalist” quarters against “rapists of Mother Earth!” “despoilers of our coasts and oceans!” and “obscene profiteers!” have manifested against Castro’s business partners. None whatsoever. Instead, as a contingency against any drilling mishaps, the above parties have already found a way to blame –you guessed it—Republicans! More specifically, the most lop-sidedly Republican voters in U.S. history: Americans of Cuban heritage, who supposedly single-handedly maintain the so-called embargo against Cuba, and thus prevent any co-operation with Cubans in case of a spill.
“We’re shooting ourselves in the foot by not working together,” groused The Environmental Defense Fund’s Bill Whittle after returning absolutely enchanted from a recent meeting with members of Cuba’s Stalinist nomenklatura: “They’re taking the lessons of the BP spill very seriously. They could have easily distanced themselves from what happened and said theirs is a different situation from BP, and said ‘Thank you very much. The very opposite happened.”
Awwww, why those fine folks down in Cuba just couldn’t have been more kind, helpful and accommodating! Now us blockheaded Yankee bullies? Hopeless!
You see, a team headed by the chairman of Obama’s BP Spill Task Force, William Reilly, and including Dan Whittle, an attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund, just visited Cuba to assist them with their drilling plans. Now when the Bush administration planned to open areas off Florida to U.S. oil companies, this same Environmental Defense Fund went ballistic:
“Offshore drilling poses an unacceptable level of risk to two of Florida's most important economic sectors.” They thundered. “Opening a new 1.5 million acre swath of the Eastern Gulf to oil drilling unnecessarily threatens marine life with pollution and puts Florida beaches at a much greater risk for spills. Given the environmental risks….this seems like an ill-considered move by the Bush administration. Opening more of the Gulf to drilling now makes little environmental, economic or political sense."
The drilling rig on its way to a site 60 miles from Florida’s coast is Chinese-built, Italian–owned and Spanish-leased. Its purpose is to enrich Cuba’s Stalinist nomenklatura enabling them to better sponsor terrorism and torture people. If only The Obama-Environmental alliance team could muster the same contempt for this alliance as they do for tacky Texans.
Texas-based Seahawk Drilling, for instance, among the biggest drillers in the Gulf, filed for bankruptcy last February. The company was battered and finally killed off by “the slowdown in the issuing of shallow-water (drilling) permits in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico following the Macondo well blowout,” read their press release.
Louisiana’s Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu blamed, “the administration’s excruciatingly slow release of oil and gas permits…How many more rigs have to leave and how many more businesses have to close before it realizes the havoc the de facto moratorium is wrecking on the Gulf Coast?” The Energy Information Agency believes more than 59 billion barrels of recoverable oil reside in U.S. offshore waters. But given environmental legislation ,U.S. drillers are forbidden from going anywhere near this treasure trove.
As it happens, the Spanish based Oil company Repsol, holds leases on U.S. territory. As mentioned, it also partners with the Castro regime. U.S. laws loosely termed the “U.S. Embargo of Cuba,” call for penalties against such accessories to theft. Meticulously and relentlessly “overlooked” by the MSM is why the so-called U.S. Embargo against Stalinist Cuba was originally enacted.
To wit: In July 1960 Castro’s KGB-trained security forces stormed into 5911 U.S.-owned businesses in Cuba and stole them all at Soviet gunpoint – $2 billion were heisted from outraged U.S. businessmen and stockholders. Not that all Americans surrendered their legal and hard-earned property peacefully. Among some who resisted where Bobby Fuller whose family farm would contribute to a Soviet-style Kolkhoze and Howard Anderson whose profitable Jeep dealership was coveted by Castro’s henchmen. Both U.S. citizens were murdered by Castro and Che’s firing squads.
Many of the Canadian, European and Chinese companies partnering with Castro occupy property and operate assets in Cuba stolen at Soviet gunpoint from U.S. businessmen and stockholders. For the most part these foreign corporations blow their noses on U.S. laws.
Last week a letter drafted by the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Relations Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, signed by a bi-partisan group of 34 House members, and addressed to Repsol’s President, hints at the testicular grip we actually hold on the Spanish corporation-- and could tighten on a whim:
“Dear Mr. Antonio Brufau Niubó,
Repsol’s partnership with the Cuban regime could violate U.S. law, and may run afoul of pending legislation in the U.S. Congress….As to current law, Repsol may be in jeopardy of subjecting itself and its affiliates to criminal and civil liability in U.S. courts. Violations of the Trading with the Enemy Act, the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Trade Sanctions Reform and Enforcement Act can lead to serious ramifications for individuals or businesses that deal with the Cuban regime.”
It’s a long–shot, but there’s a chance the Obama team will see fit to bring the hammer down on a State-Sponsor-of-Terrorism that came closest to nuking us, stole billions from U.S. citizens and most seriously threatens Florida’s beaches, rather than exclusively against domestic oil companies that fuel our economy and employ millions of our fellow citizens.
Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.