Connect the dots
Venezuela and Cuba, major targets indeed of the neocons, have something else in common. Oil. Venezuela has huge deposits of oil, and sells to Cuba. And Cuba may be on the verge of a major oil finds itself.
Spanish seek oil off Cuba, as Americans watch silently
Recent announcements from Repsol YPF, the big Spanish oil and gas company, indicate an ambitious expansion program, with projects planned for countries like Libya and Equatorial Guinea that are not for the risk-averse. But none has attracted as much attention as its gamble on Cuba.
A significant find by Repsol would, of course, be a boon for Cuba, which imports most of its fuel, mainly from Venezuela, and often struggles to find the hard currency to pay the bills.
Indeed, as the Havana Journal speculates:
Cuba Oil – Would Chavez’s demise affect Cuban Economy?
Since an agreement was fashioned between Cuba’s President Fidel Castro and Chavez in 2000 to permit the sale to Cuba of up to 53,000 barrels per day of crude oil and fuel derivatives, Cuba and Venezuela have cultivated a relationship of steady trade. But instead of compensating the Venezuelan government for the oil it has imported with cash, the Cuban government has exported a less commonly traded commodity: human capital in the form of 12,000 doctors, sports instructors, literacy experts and others.
All of which helps explain why the Bushies engineered that failed coup against Chavez. Knocking off him might hurt Cuba too. Yet Cuba has survived ten US presidents trying to overthrow their government, their populace is well-armed, and most reports indicate their citizenry would strongly resist any US attempt at invasion, Castro or no Castro.
Cuba travel licenses harder to get; some challenging blockade
250 US citizens, including pastors, will be travelling to Cuba this week, in a direct challenge to the onerous new rules.
The BBC suggests the reason for Dubya gittin’ tough on Cuba is to appeal to Cuban voters in Florida, and thus help win the election. However –
But there is also now a younger group who don’t take such a hard-line stance. They certainly don’t like Castro, but they also value contact with their families on the island.
They want the regime to fall but they don’t yearn for it with every fibre of their bodies like their grandparents who have active memories of life on the island.