Chasing the Ghost of Castro's Oil

Friday, November 15, 2013
Remember when media reports made it seem as though Cuba was going to become the next Saudi Arabia?

Remember the Castro regime's highly publicized lease-block map?

Remember when the Chinese were supposedly "drilling" off Cuba's shores?

Remember when "oil industry experts" testified to the U.S. Government that this was a sure thing?

Remember when the Castro regime's allies in the U.S. lobbied Congress to lift sanctions because American oil companies were going to be left out of the bonanza (argument for Republicans)?

Remember when the Castro regime's allies in the U.S. lobbied Congress to normalize relations with Cuba's dictatorship for the environment's sake (argument for Democrats)?

Well, the specter of Cuban oil (both off-shore and near-shore) was a charade.

But apparently, the U.S. Government still hasn't gotten the memo.

So today, U.S. and Cuban officials are meeting in St. Petersburg to hash out a technical agreement on how to deal with the "possibility" of future oil spills.

Except there is no "possibility."

(Learn more about Castro's oil charade here.)

In other words, they are meeting for no reason whatsoever -- other than to give the Cuban dictatorship another platform to conduct "business as usual."

Of course, today's story in the The Tampa Tribune downplays this fact:

"Recent oil exploration on Cuba’s northern shore led by Spain’s Repsol oil company came up dry. However, experts expect more exploration because of estimates that some 5 billion to 20 billion barrels of oil and 8 billion cubic feet of natural gas will be found beneath Cuban waters."

First of all, it wasn't just Spain's Respol that pulled out.

It was Repsol, Malaysia's Petronas, Venezuela's PDVSA and Russia's Zarubezhneft that pulled out.

Even before them, Brazil's Petrobras warned of the hype.

Thus, there are no credible plans for future off-shore or near-shore Cuban oil exploration.

Moreover, we've been hearing "expert" estimates about Cuban oil for over a decade.

The only difference now is that the "experts" are too embarrassed to be identified by name.

But why stop a good narrative for the Castro regime (and chasing ghosts), rather than focusing on the very real concerns its dictatorship poses (i.e. increasing repression, violation of international norms, weapons proliferation, etc.).