Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding the plans by Venezuelan oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), to start drilling for oil off Cuba's coast.
"This joint Castro-Chavez venture poses an even greater environmental threat than previous drilling schemes because unaccountable dictatorships will be working side by side. We can be assured that the Chavez oil conglomerate will not cooperate with responsible nations to verify its safety plans and drilling methods. These companies such as Russia's Gazprom, PDVSA and others only care about their profits and not about the abysmal human rights situation of the Cuban people at the hands of the dictatorship of the Castro brothers.
These conglomerates drilling for oil off Cuban waters pose a great threat to ecologically delicate marine ecosystems in the Florida Keys. These risks could have been prevented if the Obama administration would have used all of its diplomatic resources to stop Repsol from drilling, which led to the door being opened wide for other companies to follow in their misguided footsteps.
My colleagues and I have had serious concerns regarding this dangerous scheme of the Castro tyranny and we object to any company drilling off the coast of Cuba. Any investments in Cuba's energy sector would bring much needed economic gains to a despotic regime that undermines and threatens U.S. interests and allies.
Just last week I authored broader legislation aimed at improving security in the Western Hemisphere to protect U.S. national security interests and bring much needed attention back to our Hemisphere. This legislation also contains provisions that would impose sanctions on corporations and persons that seek to enrich themselves and the moribund Castro economy while endangering our security and environment."