Russia and Cuba Cooperate on Caribbean Oil Exploitation
Vladimir Putin is calling for Russia to regain the influential position it used to hold with its former Cold War ally Cuba. “We must restore our position in Cuba and other countries,” the Russian prime minister said on August 4 while listening to a report on a Russian delegation’s recent trip to Cuba. The areas of Russian-Cuban cooperation currently under negotiation include energy, mining, agriculture, transportation, tourism, banking and oil exploration.
The Russian delegation, headed by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, traveled to Cuba during the last week of July. As part of the Russian-Intergovernmental Cuban Commission, its purpose was to foster increased economic cooperation between Russia and Cuba. Delegates disccussed Cuba’s oil-exploitation program, and it was indicated that the Kremlin may soon team up with Cuban oil companies in order to exploit oil reserves located off the northwest coast of the island.
Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko indicated that the Russian Energy Ministry may even draft an agreement with the Cuban Ministry of Basic Industry that would provide for joint Cuban-Russian-Venezuelan development of these crude oil reserves. Such an agreement, according to Shmatko, could even go as far as providing Russian assistance in an overhaul of Cuba’s existing oil-production infrastructure.
Of course, by providing Cuba with all this technology, money and oil-field-developmental assistance, Russia would also be securing its own access to the crude oil wealth of the Caribbean Sea.
Russia is allying with Cuba in order to more effectively tap the oil reserves under Cuba’s territory in the Caribbean, while America refuses to even start developing the oil reserves on its portion. Americans need oil reserves to get them through energy crises, but instead of developing their own reserves, they have protected those areas and refused to drill ostensibly for the sake of the environment. Now, the oil is going to be drilled anyway as the Russians and Cubans start sucking it out for their own purposes.