The New York Times carried an article today titled "Oil Find Hints at a Less Dependent Cuba". President Fidel Castro [durational ratio of Cuban presidents to U.S. presidents: 1/10] announced on Christmas day that estimated reserves of 100 million barrels of oil had been found in Gulf of Mexico.
Mr. Castro, in an announcement that raised eyebrows in the executive suites of energy companies here, disclosed that [two] Canadian companies[Pebercan and Sherritt International] had discovered estimated reserves of 100 million barrels. That was the good news. It was also the bad news.
The deposits, which are expected to produce oil as early as next year, may provide Cuba's government with some relief as it presses forward with efforts to use hard currency for purposes other than petroleum purchases from abroad. Shortly after Mr. Castro announced the discovery, the central bank said it was tightening measures intended to centralize the control of dollars circulating in the Cuban economy.
Endless irony-- first, that Godless Communist Cuba would get such a Christmas gift (no, wait-- it must be a holiday gift!)-- but more importantly, the discovery was made by Canadian-- not U.S. -- oil companies. If Miss Beazley ever jumps up and bites the President on the ass, the Bushes could change her name to Embargo.
The Cuban gulf oil reserve estimate places the amount of oil as being far below even modest estimates of that in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Insofar as the geopolitically strategic oil supply is concerned, this discovery will have little impact. (Here in the U.S., we could make it disappear in an instant.)
That may be the best part of the news for Cuba: we probably won't be looking for WMDs in Havana any time soon.