Cuban oil plans irk Florida congresswoman
Published: Dec. 18, 2012 at 8:35 AM
WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) — Ileana Ros-Lehtinen" class="tpstyle">U.S.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said she was concerned about Cuba's
commitment to energy safety now that a Russian company started oil work
Russia oil company Zarubezhneft is expected to start drilling for oil
off Cuba's coast through a joint venture with state-run oil company
Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said
the administration of Cuban President Raul Castro was rushing to exploit
potential offshore reserves while it continued to impose an "iron grip"
over the people. This, she said, was a U.S. national security risk.
"The administration (of President Barack Obama) must wake up and see
that a Castro regime rich in petrodollars is not in the interest of our
national security," she said in a statement.
Cuba is looking into cutting the amount of oil it imports from Venezuela
through development of offshore reserves. The U.S. Energy Information
Administration estimates that, as of 2009, Cuba had less than 1 billion
barrels of oil reserves.
Members of the House of Representatives, all of Cuban descent, from both
parties criticized Obama in a letter last year for not standing against
foreign investments planned for Cuba's energy sector. Ros-Lehtinen, a
harsh critic of Cuba, was one who signed the letter.