(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the news that the Russian oil company Zarubezhneft will begin exploratory drilling off the coast of Cuba in a joint venture with Cuba’s state-run oil company Cubapetroleo. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“Apparently three failed attempts at striking oil is not enough for the Castro regime. In their quest to become the oil barons of the Caribbean, the Castro brothers are once again trying their hand at striking it rich off the Cuban coast, and this time they have enlisted the aid of Russian oil company Zarubezhneft. Despite its repeated failed attempts, the Castro regime will stop at nothing to find viable sources of oil off Cuba’s coast, even at the expense of the environment, to continue to impose its iron grip over the Cuban people.
“As these exploratory attempts continue, the Castro regime’s blatant disregard for safety puts the U.S. coastline and our fragile marine environment at risk. The Obama Administration has sat idly by as the Castro brothers have granted access to any willing collaborator looking to profit off the suppression of the Cuban people and eager to do business with a U.S. designated State Sponsor of Terrorism. The Administration must wake up and see that a Castro regime rich in petrodollars is not in the interest of our national security.”
NOTE: Ros-Lehtinen is the author of H.R. 6067, the Western Hemisphere Security Cooperation Act, which amends the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 to deny U.S. visas to aliens contributing to Cuba’s ability to develop petroleum resources off its coast. The bill would also impose export sanctions and other penalties on persons and entities investing in the development of Cuba’s petroleum resources.
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