Maggie Alarcón

Full Speed Ahead!

In Blockade, Cuba, Cuba/US, Cuban Embargo, Economics, US on January 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm
Scarabeo 9

Margarita Alarcón Perea

I never thought I’d find beauty in the image of an oil rig. I guess it comes from belonging to the generation that first began the “no blood for oil” chants and the rest of the anti OPEC bumper sticker craze of the late 60’s and 70’s.

I grew up believing in the importance of renewable energy sources and the beauty of nature and preserving it to the core. I still believe in those concepts and I insist they are the way to go.

I also have, to be objective and let’s face it, get real.

Scarabeo, which means beetle in Italian, is in Cuba since early this morning. It is an oil rig, a huge piece of modern engineering, a semi submersible rig  that will begin perforating Cuba’s offshore oil supply. And i have to admit, it is a sight to be seen! Maybe more for what it means in the long run than for its actual esthetic beauty, but still, it is a beauty.

At the beginning of this week, while stationed in the waters of Trinidad & Tobago, Scarabeo 9 underwent close inspection by specialists from the United States Department of the Interior who pronounced the rig in full compliance with US standards and regulations. One might wonder why on earth a Chinese built oil rig under contract from the Spanish Oil Company Repsol, with the intention of drilling off shore in Cuban waters would have to do with a US inspection. The issue is simple: if an accident were to occur, the US is the ONLY nation who would not be able to send help. Why? I remit the reader to page gazillion and five of the Helms Burton Bill, and do not use the term gazillion lightly, the document is so long I’ll bet the first 100 barrels extracted from Cuban waters that over half of the US Congress hasn’t had the time or the stomach to read it.

Use of a preposition instead of a conditional.

The president will most likely sign some sort of Embargo waiver which will enable Oil Companies in the US to help out if an accident were to occur.

It would be so much better if instead of a waiver, and the use of a conditional we could replaced it for “with” and  “doing away with the embargo” and “establishing a collaborative effort with Cuba.” Jobs would be created in the US by the hundreds, oil prices would have to go down on both sides of the straights, and possibly the most important part, given the experience the US has with drilling off shore and inland, the “if” accident would have a slimmer chance of becoming a reality.

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