U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commented today on her ongoing efforts to prevent the development of Cuba's oil-drilling industry and to protect against potential disasters similar to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"We need to take responsible precautions to ensure that a disaster like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill does not happen again. This must include preventing investments that help the Cuban regime pursue its own wild oil-drilling endeavors so close to U.S. shores.
"For several years, I have been pushing legislation I authored that imposes sanctions and other penalties on individuals and entities involved in Cuba's oil-drilling operations.
"Some deeply troubling drilling partnerships have already been established but others have yet to materialize. We need to make sure the pressure stays on to keep these deals from happening so that we can protect our shores from a potential Cuban oil-drilling disaster."
Note: Ros-Lehtinen introduced H.R. 5620, the Caribbean Coral Reef Protection Act of 2010, in the last Congress. This bill would amend 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.