Cuba Oil Aff - 2 Week Varsity

SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
***1AC LEVEL ...........................................................................................................................................................3
1AC – Plan Text ....................................................................................................................................................4
1AC – Inherency....................................................................................................................................................5
1AC – Oil Spills Advantage ...................................................................................................................................7
1AC – Relations Advantage ................................................................................................................................11
1AC – Cuban Economy Advantage .....................................................................................................................17
1AC – China Advantage ......................................................................................................................................20
1AC – Solvency ...................................................................................................................................................23
***SOLVENCY .........................................................................................................................................................26
UQ – Status Quo Regulations Fail ......................................................................................................................27
Cuba Say Yes .....................................................................................................................................................28
US Key – Economy .............................................................................................................................................29
US Key - Equipment ............................................................................................................................................30
US Key – Spill Response ....................................................................................................................................32
US Key – Safe Drilling .........................................................................................................................................33
***CHINA ADVANTAGE ..........................................................................................................................................35
UQ – China Looking to Caribbean Now ..............................................................................................................36
Embargo Solvency – Human Rights....................................................................................................................37
***SPILLS ADVANTAGE .........................................................................................................................................38
Spills Internal .......................................................................................................................................................39
Biodiversity  Extinction ....................................................................................................................................40
Biodiversity Internal .............................................................................................................................................41
Coral/Beaches Extension ....................................................................................................................................42
Environment/Econ Internal ..................................................................................................................................43
***RELATIONS ADVANTAGE .................................................................................................................................44
Russia Drills Now ................................................................................................................................................45
Cuba Says Yes/Solves Relations ........................................................................................................................47
Now Key – Relations ...........................................................................................................................................49
A2: Can’t Solve Relations ....................................................................................................................................50
Relations Solve Spills ..........................................................................................................................................51
Relations Solve Biodiversity ................................................................................................................................52
***ECONOMY ADVANTAGE ...................................................................................................................................53
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
Now Key ..............................................................................................................................................................54
Solvency – Econ..................................................................................................................................................55
Transition Stable Now .........................................................................................................................................56
***2AC LEVEL .........................................................................................................................................................57
2AC Renewables Add-On ...................................................................................................................................58
***NEGATIVE ANSWERS .......................................................................................................................................60
Monitoring CP......................................................................................................................................................61
Advantage CP – Spills.........................................................................................................................................62
No Impact – Can’t Determine Effect of Spill ........................................................................................................64
A2: US Key ..........................................................................................................................................................65
Relations – No Solvency – Small Changes Don’t Solve ......................................................................................66
No Solvency – Cuba Say No ...............................................................................................................................67
No Solvency – Drilling Fails .................................................................................................................................68
No Solvency – Too Many Barriers .......................................................................................................................69
Venezuela DA Link ..............................................................................................................................................70
Politics – Plan Popular ........................................................................................................................................71
***GENERIC EMBARGO STUFF ............................................................................................................................72
Embargo Bad – Disproportionately Affects Black Cubans...................................................................................73
Embargo Good – Human Rights .........................................................................................................................74
Embargo Good – Democracy ..............................................................................................................................75
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
1AC – Plan Text
The United States federal government should authorize the licensing of companies based in
the United States to participate in the development of Cuba’s energy resources.
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
1AC – Inherency
Now is the key time to modify the embargo – Cuba is facing a crossroads but will commit to
drilling for oil
Helman ‘11(; “Cuba's Oil Drilling Plan Is A Great Reason To End U.S. Embargo”; Christopher Helman[Forbes
staff writer])
The U.S. economic embargo against Cuba is clearly a failure and now that the Cold War is over its
continuation has only served to force Cuba into the arms of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, who provides Cuba
with 100,000 bpd of cut-price oil through Pdvsa. Now is the time to lift the embargo, or at least ease it to allow U.S. oil
companies and drilling contractors to compete for drilling prospects in Cuba. It’s a no-brainer that we would
rather have Chevron drilling 100 miles off Florida than Gazprom or Pdvsa. Plus, the U.S. offshore drilling industry needs the
business–which would be substantial if estimates of a possible 20 billion barrels come to pass.
Though BOEMRE has finally begun to issue new drilling permits in the U.S. part of the Gulf, the pace of activity remains glacial. It makes no
economic or even political sense to prevent American capital, know-how, and newfound emphasis
on deepwater safety from being deployed in Cuba. President Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar met with officials in Mexico
Monday to discuss the creation of a “gold standard” on drilling in the Gulf. But any agreement would be more like a lead standard unless Cuba were included.
And, the current embargo prevents all US oil drilling in Cuba
Sadowski, ’11 (Richard, Sadowski is a Class of 2012 J.D. candidate, at Hofstra University ¶ School of Law, NY.
Mr. Sadowski is also the Managing Editor of Production of ¶ the Journal of International Business and Law Vol.
XI.“Cuban offshore drilling: Preparation¶ and Prevention within the framework¶ of the united states’ embargo”,
Sustainable Development Law & Policy Volume 12 Article 10 page 38, Fall 2011,
%2522%2B~US%26hl%3Den%26as_sdt%3D0%2C45#search=%22Cuba%20oil%20%7EUS%22) LA
The embargo on Cuba has widespread and significant ¶ economic effects for both the United States and Cuba. Various ¶ provisions
of the
embargo impact Cuba’s ability to obtain U.S. ¶ technology and to work with U.S. companies.22 Additionally, ¶ TWEA
prohibits U.S. oil exploration companies from dealing ¶ with Cuba by prohibiting the transfer of assets in
which the ¶ Cuban government or Cuban nationals have an interest.23
And, other countries will beat the US there – US must act in response to inevitable drilling
Padgett 12 (Tim Padgett, Jan. 27, 2012. “The Oil Off Cuba: Washington and Havana Dance at Arms Length Over
Spill Prevention.” Times.,8599,2105598,00.html)
On Christmas Eve, a massive, Chinese-made
maritime oil rig, the Scarabeo 9, arrived at Trinidad and Tobago for inspection. The
Spanish oil company Repsol YPF, which keeps regional headquarters in Trinidad, ferried it to the
Caribbean to perform deep-ocean drilling off Cuba — whose communist government believes as much as 20 billion barrels of crude
may lie near the island's northwest coast. But it wasn't Cuban authorities who came aboard the Scarabeo 9 to give it the once-over: officials from the U.S. Coast
Guard and Interior Department did, even though the rig won't be operating in U.S. waters.¶ On any other occasion that might have raised the ire of the
Cubans, who consider Washington their imperialist enemy. But the U.S. examination of the Scarabeo 9, which Repsol agreed to
and Cuba abided, was part of an unusual choreography of cooperation between the two countries. Their otherwise bitter cold-war feud (they haven't had
diplomatic relations since 1961) is best known for a 50-year-long trade embargo and history's scariest nuclear standoff. Now, Cuba's
to offshore oil exploration — drilling may start this weekend — raises a specter that haunts both nations: an oil
spill in the Florida Straits like the BP calamity that tarred the nearby Gulf of Mexico two years ago
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
and left $40 billion in U.S. damages.¶ The Straits, an equally vital body of water that's home to some of the world's
most precious coral reefs, separates Havana and Key West, Florida, by a mere 90 miles. As a result,
the U.S. has tacitly loosened its embargo against Cuba to give firms like Repsol easier access to
the U.S. equipment they need to help avoid or contain possible spills. "Preventing drilling off Cuba
better protects our interests than preparing for [a disaster] does," U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida tells TIME, noting
the U.S. would prefer to stop the Cuban drilling — but can't. "But the two are not mutually exclusive, and that's why we should
aim to do both."¶ Cuba meanwhile has tacitly agreed to ensure that its safety measures meet U.S.
standards (not that U.S. standards proved all that golden during the 2010 BP disaster) and is letting
unofficial U.S. delegations in to discuss the precautions being taken by Havana and the
international oil companies it is contracting. No Cuban official would discuss the matter, but Dan Whittle, senior attorney for the
Environmental Defense Fund in New York, who was part of one recent delegation, says the Cubans "seem very motivated to do the right thing."¶ It's also the
right business thing to do. Cuba's threadbare economy — President Raúl Castro currently has to lay off more than 500,000 state workers — is acutely energydependent on allies like Venezuela, which ships the island 120,000 barrels of oil per day. So Havana is eager to drill for the major offshore reserves geologists
discovered eight years ago (which the U.S. Geological Survey estimates at closer to 10 billion bbl.). Cuba
has signed or is negotiating
leases with Repsol and companies from eight other nations — Norway, India, Malaysia, Vietnam,
Brazil, Venezuela, Angola and China — for 59 drilling blocks inside a 43,000-sq.-mile (112,000 sq km) zone. Eventually, the
government hopes to extract half a million bpd or more.¶ A serious oil spill could scuttle those drilling operations —
especially since Cuba hasn't the technology, infrastructure or means, like a clean-up fund similar to
the $1 billion the U.S. keeps on reserve, to confront such an emergency. And there is another big economic anxiety:
Cuba's $2 billion tourism industry. "The dilemma for Cuba is that as much as they want the oil, they care as much if
not more about their ocean resources," says Billy Causey, southeast regional director for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's marine sanctuary program. Cuba's pristine beaches and reefs attract sunbathers and scuba divers the world over, and a quarter of its
coastal environment is set aside as protected.¶ So is much of coastal Florida, where tourism
generates $60 billion annually — which is why the state keeps oil rigs out of its waters. The Florida
Keys lie as close as 50 miles from where Repsol is drilling; and they run roughly parallel to the 350-mile-long (560 km)
Florida Reef Tract (FRT), the world's third largest barrier reef and one of its most valuable ocean eco-systems. The FRT is already under assault from global
warming, ocean acidification and overfishing of symbiotic species like parrotfish that keep coral pruned of corrosive algae.
If a spill were to
damage the FRT, which draws $2 billion from tourism each year and supports 33,000 jobs, "it would
be a catastrophic event," says David Vaughan, director of Florida's private Mote Marine Laboratory.¶ Which means America has
its own dilemma. As much as the U.S. would like to thwart Cuban petro-profits — Cuban-American leaders like U.S. Representative and
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami say the oil will throw a lifeline to the Castro
dictatorship — it needs to care as much if not more about its own environment. Because fewer than a tenth of
the Scarabeo 9's components were made in America, Washington can't wield the embargo cudgel and fine Repsol, which has interests in the U.S., for
doing business with Cuba. (Most of the other firms don't have U.S. interests.) Nor can it in good conscience use the embargo in
this case to keep U.S. companies from offering spill prevention/containment hardware and services
to Repsol and other drilling contractors.
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
1AC – Oil Spills Advantage
We’re on the brink – US-based parts are crucial to immediately respond to spills – any spill
in the status quo would be catastrophic
Almeida 12’ (BY ROB ALMEIDA ON MAY 18, 2012 Rob Almeida is Partner and Chief Marketing
Officer at gCaptain Drilling Off Cuba, and How the Embargo Could be Very Costly for the US )
This was the subject of last week’s panel discussion at the Carnegie Center for International Policy in Washington, DC.“
There is no standing agreement
with Cuba on what to do in case of a blowout,” says Wayne Smith, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and director of the Cuba
Project.Nobody is predicting a catastrophe, the panel reiterated, and reports indicate that Cuban drillers on board the Scarabeo 9 are being exceedingly cautious,
but there’s no substitute for being prepared in case disaster strikes. Prior to commencing drilling operations, Repsol contracted
Helix Energy Solutions Group to provide immediate well intervention and other subsea services in case of well issues.It’s a great start, and Helix certainly proved their capabilities during
Cuba is under a full economic and diplomatic embargo with massive
implications. This means:1) The Scarabeo 9’s blowout preventer, the most crucial piece of well control equipment on
board the rig was made by a US company. The trade embargo prohibits OEM spare parts or repair
items to be sold to Repsol. Also, technical expertise from the OEM cannot be provided.2) The “capping
stacks” which have been created by Helix ESG, BP, the MWCC and others, are not authorized for use in Cuban waters. This means, if an
uncontrolled blowout does occur, these essential piece of equipment will not be available until authorization
the 2010 Macondo well blowout and oil spill, however
is given and a delivery method determined.This is a significant issue considering the BP “capping stack” weighs somewhere around a half million pounds. Reports indicate there are no
The deepwater drilling experts in the US are not
authorized to provide assistance to Cuba in case of a disaster.4) All the training programs that have been developed post-Macondo
cranes in Cuba capable of lifting such a piece of gear that massive on to a ship.3)
are not available for Cuban nationals. In fact, any training that will result in a professional license or certification is off limits to Cubans.) Tyvek suits, the essential work-wear for
HAZMAT cleanup, are not authorized to be brought into Cuba due to supposed military applications.In addition…The Scarabeo 9 was classed by DNV on 19 August 2011 in Singapore,
and she is due for her 1-year “checkup” on 19 August 2012, with a 3 month window on either side of that date. As expected, DNV has told us that there will be no US-based employees
Bilateral relations between Cuba and the US are key to solving for oil spills – regional
expertise is the only way to solve
Boom ’12 (BRIAN M. BOOM, Brian M. Boom is the director of the Caribbean Biodiversity Program and Bassett
Maguire Curator of Botany at the New York Botanical Garden. 08/14/12.
The most urgent environmental problems requiring bilateral action are broadly classified as
disasters—both those that occur naturally and those that are man-made. Hurricanes are the clearest examples of shared natural disasters. During the twentieth century, 167
hurricanes struck the U.S. mainland. Of these, 62 were major (categories 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale). During the same period, 36 hurricanes, half of which were major, made landfall over Cuba. Because
many hurricanes—Katrina and Ike being twenty-first century examples—strike both countries, there exists a shared need after such disasters to respond to the negative effects, including environmental problems
created by rain, wind, and storm surges. Most major hurricanes occurring in the Caribbean during the past century have resulted in documented extensive perturbations of shallow-water marine ecosystems,
particularly to coral reefs, seagrass beds, and coastal mangroves.2 Aside from physical damage to such ecosystems from more turbulent water, hurricanes can also negatively impact water quality. On land,
hurricane damage to ecosystems can be even more severe than in the ocean. For example, damaged native vegetation will possibly be more prone to colonization by exotic, noxious species such as Australian pine
and Brazilian pepper.3 While Cuban and U.S. scientists have shared motivation to assess, monitor, and remediate the marine and terrestrial ecosystems that are damaged by hurricanes, they currently cannot do so
Man-made environmental disasters, such as oil and natural gas leaks, can likewise be of shared
concern to the Cuban and U.S. governments. The Gulf of Mexico is a rich source of oil and gas and
will remain so for decades to come. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there exist nearly 4,000 active oil and gas platforms in the
Gulf of Mexico off the U.S. coastline. Cuba also has plans for new oil and gas platforms off its northern coast.4 Given the near- and long-term implications of
gas, oil, and chemical dispersants on the Gulf of Mexico’s biodiversity, it is imperative for the
economic and ecological wellbeing of both Cuba and the United States that exploration is pursued
with enhanced safeguards to avoid the mistakes of past disasters, such as the dramatic explosion
of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. While Cuba and the United States are signatories to several international protocols for cooperation on containment of oil spills, there is
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
scant cooperation between them on this front—although there were at least some low-level meetings between the countries after the Deepwater Horizon
blowout.5 Given the potential of currents in the Gulf of Mexico to disperse spills from off the coast of one country to the waters and shores of the other, there were ongoing concerns about the possible reach of the
disaster. Fortunately, relative to its potential, the Deepwater Horizon spill remained mostly contained. However, with increased drilling in the area, including deep wells, more than luck will be needed to avert future
. Even if oil and gas leaks or spills are restricted to Cuban or U.S. waters, the negative
environmental impacts can be important regionally. The two nations’ shared marine ecosystem is the foundation for the mid Atlantic and Gulf Stream
fisheries. Many important commercial and sport fish species breed and feed in Cuban waters. So destruction of Cuban mangroves and coral reefs will impact stocks of species such as snapper, grouper, and tuna,
along with myriad other animals, plants, and microbes that spend different parts of their life cycles in the territorial waters of each country.6Given that urgent environmental
problems can arise rapidly and harm the economic and ecological health of the United States and
Cuba, it is imperative that there should be a mechanism for rapid, joint response to these shared
Timeframe immediate- oil spill would reach Florida in 5 days
Weisberg, ’12 (Robert H. Weisberg, Special to the Times, Professor, Ph.D., University of Rhode Island, 1975. Dr. Weisberg is an experimental physical
oceanographer engaged in ocean circulation and ocean-atmosphere interaction studies in the tropics, on continental shelves, and in estuaries. As director of the
USF Ocean Circulation Group and co-director of the USF Coastal Ocean Modeling and Prediction System his research presently emphasizes in-situ
measurements, analyses, and models of the West Florida Shelf circulation and the interactions between the shelf and the estuaries, February 4, 2012,¶ LA
Numerous articles continue to be written about oil exploration off the coast of Cuba. Some federal officials, while discussing potential
spill mitigation, claim that the swift currents of the Gulf Stream will protect South Florida by carrying most
oil away before it could hit the beaches. Is this correct, or might a threat to South Florida's beaches exist, given a drilling mishap?¶ The
Gulf Stream indeed is swift, but if it isolated Florida from Cuba, then how did so many Cuban rafters reach the
shoreline between Miami and Palm Beach over the past 50 years? To address this and the potential for oil to reach the Florida coastline, it is
important to consider the Gulf Stream in its entirety.¶ There are two primary components of flow. The first, driven by the large-scale winds over the Atlantic
Ocean, is geostrophic. The second is driven by local winds. Neglecting eddies, the geostrophic part alone would tend to isolate Cuba from Florida because it
would be difficult for surface oil picked up on the Cuban side of the Gulf Stream to traverse across the region of maximum speed to the Florida side. However,
the local wind-driven part can achieve this.¶ The geostrophic part is a balance between two forces, the pressure difference across the Gulf Stream and the
Coriolis force by the Earth's rotation. The result is a flow that nearly parallels the coastline. The local wind driven part is also a balance between two forces, the
friction of the wind on the sea surface and the Coriolis force by the Earth's rotation. The result is a net transport of water directed to the right of the wind.¶ This
Ekman transport, named after the discovering scientist, explains why sea level is higher than the normal high tide level on Florida's East Coast under northerly
winds and lower than the normal high tide level under southerly winds. The reason is that water under the influence of northerly winds is driven toward Florida's
East Coast. The converse occurs along Florida's West Coast. Thus flooding of low-lying areas on the East Coast tends to occur after the passage of strong
weather fronts when the winds are northerly, whereas this tends to occur on the West Coast in advance of the front when the winds are southerly.¶ Given this
conceptual discussion, it is possible to simulate the movement of oil that may be spilled on the surface using a computer model
that contains these physics (geostrophic and Ekman motions). One particularly suited for the task is run by the Navy along with academic partners.¶ By
downloading the modeled velocity fields and inserting virtual particles indicative of surface oil, my associates and I can track where the oil might go in time and
space. For illustrative purposes, we used January 2012. Neutrally buoyant
particles were distributed about an exploration
site claimed to be 22 miles north of Havana, and new particles were seeded every three hours to mimic a
continual release of oil.¶ Two examples are provided, one for a period of time when virtual particles encountered East
Coast beaches about five to seven days after release , the other for a period of time when they did not. The differences are due
to the local winds during these week-long simulation intervals.¶ Recognizing that weather fronts regularly transit the Florida peninsula, with southerlies on the
leading side and northerlies on the trailing side, and that the interval between successive fronts is days to a week or so,
we can expect that a
prolonged spill would likely bring oil to South Florida beaches . Regardless of these simulations, simply recall the tar on
South Florida beaches in the 1970s before the Clean Water Act restricted offshore bilge pumping.¶ Whereas a vibrant economy requires energy, risks are
inherent to oil exploration and production. Such risks increase with deepwater drilling in swift
currents, and the swift Gulf Stream regularly transits the deepwater region north of Cuba. It is unfortunate
that we were unable to surmount the political and diplomatic issues pertaining to the present oil exploration in Cuban waters because once the oil potential was
identified years ago, drilling was inevitable. Without readily achievable energy alternatives to hydrocarbons, other than nuclear, it is ever more important for the
United States to adopt a sound energy policy.¶
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
Cuban oil spill trashes the Florida ecosystem – takes out key coral reefs and mangroves
that are critical to biodiversity – Florida is a unique hotspot for this collapse
Emily A. Peterson¶ Daniel J. Whittle, J.D.¶ and Douglas N. Rader, Ph.D¶ December 2012 “Bridging the Gulf¶
Finding Common Ground on Environmental and ¶ Safety Preparedness for Offshore Oil and Gas in Cuba”,
If a spill were to occur in Cuban waters, marine and coastal resources of the United States, Cuba, ¶
and the Bahamas could be placed at significant risk . Fisheries, coastal tourism, recreation, and ¶ other natural resources-based
enterprises and activities in the region could experience adverse impacts on the scale of weeks to years, or even decades. Multiple factors—including the type ¶
and amount of oil spilled, the environment in which the oil spilled, and prevailing weather and ¶ ocean current conditions—would play key factors in determining
the extent and gravity of a ¶ spill’s impact.45¶ In
Cuba, marine and coastal habitats could suffer substantial long-
term harm which could ¶ degrade , in turn, entire populations and habitats downstream in the U.S. Gulf
of Mexico . ¶ According to Dr. John W. Tunnell, Jr., associate director of the Harte Research Institute and
an ¶ expert on the Gulf of Mexico marine environment, the primary three habitats at risk on Cuba’s ¶
North Coast
near the area where exploration is occurring are coral reefs , seagrass beds, and lush ¶
mangrove forests .46 These habitats are found throughout the region, but in greatest abundance ¶ in the Archipelago Sabana-Camaguey and the
Archipelago Los Colorados, where they provide ¶ breeding, nursery, and feeding habitats for commercial fish species, including grouper, snapper, ¶ and grunts.¶
If chemical dispersants were used as part of the clean-up effort, they could reduce impacts ¶ on fauna for which oiling per se is the greatest threat (e.g. birds) but
also add additional toxicity, ¶ as well as alter the transport and ecological fate of oil constituents moving through the water ¶ column and then into the air or back
towards the bottom. Dispersed
oil could have greater ¶ deleterious effect on Cuba’s coral reefs, which are
fragile, slow-growing, and have low resilience ¶ to physical and chemical stresses.47 Like salt marshes, coastal
mangrove swamps are also ¶ difficult to clean up in the aftermath of an oil spill, and mangroves can die within a week to ¶ several months as a result of oil
exposure.48 Reduced
ability to support
from their formerly healthy, vibrant state, ¶ such important habitats could lose their
the fisheries and
marine life that ¶ depend on them .
Coral collapse destroys the ecosystem, leading to extinction
Robin Kundis Craig (Associate Prof Law, Indiana U School Law) 2003
Biodiversity and ecosystem function arguments for conserving marine ecosystems also exist, just as they do for terrestrial ecosystems, but these arguments
have thus far rarely been raised in political debates. For example, besides significant tourism values - the most economically valuable ecosystem service coral
reefs provide, worldwide - coral reefs protect against storms and dampen other environmental fluctuations, services worth more than ten times the reefs' value for
food production. n856 Waste
treatment is another significant, non-extractive ecosystem function that intact coral reef
ecosystems provide. n857 More generally, " ocean ecosystems play a major role in the global
geochemical cycling of all the elements that represent the basic building blocks of living
organisms , carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur, as well as other less abundant but necessary elements." n858 In a very real and
direct sense, therefore, human
degradation of marine ecosystems impairs the planet's ability to support
life . Maintaining biodiversity is often critical to maintaining the functions of marine ecosystems. Current
evidence shows that, in general, an ecosystem's ability to keep functioning in the face of disturbance is strongly dependent on its biodiversity, "indicating that
more diverse ecosystems are more stable." n859 Coral
reef ecosystems are particularly dependent on their biodiversity .
[*265] Most ecologists agree that the complexity of interactions and degree of interrelatedness among component
species is higher on coral reefs than in any other marine environment. This implies that the ecosystem functioning
that produces the most highly valued components is also complex and that many otherwise insignificant species have strong effects on sustaining the rest of the
reef system. n860 Thus, maintaining and restoring the biodiversity
of marine ecosystems is critical to maintaining
and restoring the ecosystem services that they provide. Non-use biodiversity values for marine ecosystems have been calculated in the
wake of marine disasters, like the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. n861 Similar calculations could derive preservation values for marine wilderness. However,
economic value, or economic value equivalents, should not be "the sole or even primary justification for conservation of ocean ecosystems. Ethical arguments
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Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
also have considerable force and merit." n862 At the forefront of such arguments should be a recognition of how little we know about the sea - and about the
actual effect of human activities on marine ecosystems. The United States has traditionally failed to protect marine ecosystems because it was difficult to detect
anthropogenic harm to the oceans, but we now know that such harm is occurring - even though we are not completely sure about causation or about how to fix
every problem. Ecosystems
like the NWHI coral reef ecosystem should inspire lawmakers and policymakers to admit that
most of the time we really do not know what we are doing to the sea and hence should be preserving marine wilderness whenever we
can - especially when the United States has within its territory relatively pristine marine ecosystems that may be unique in the world. We may not know much
about the sea, but we do know this much: if we kill the ocean we kill ourselves, and we will take most of the biosphere
with us .
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
1AC – Relations Advantage
Relations won’t thaw in the status quo – prolonged sanctions have caused Cubans to be
Lee 1-31 (; “U.S.-Cuba Relations”; Brianna Lee[Senior
Production Editor for Council of Foreign Relations] )
Successive U.S. administrations have employed
tough measures against the country, including prolonged economic sanctions and designation of
Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but none have substantially weakened Castro's rule . In February
2008, longtime president Fidel Castro formally resigned from office, sixteen months after transferring many powers to his brother Raúl due to illness. Despite stirrings
of U.S. economic interest in Cuba and some policy softening under President Barack Obama,
experts say that normalization of bilateral relations is unlikely in the near to medium term. Tensions
Cuba has been at odds with the United States since Fidel Castro assumed power in 1959.
between the two countries peaked with the 2009 arrest of U.S. citizen Alan Gross, who was tried and convicted of attempting to destabilize the Cuban regime through a U.S.-sponsored
program. Recently, Raúl Castro has implemented major reforms, including the lifting of fifty-year-old travel restrictions for Cuban citizens, which, analysts say, are helping the country
status of U.S.-Cuba relations
are virtually nonexistent
strengthen ties with its Latin American neighbors.What is the
? They
. There is a U.S.
mission in Havana, Cuba's capital, but it has minimal communication with the Cuban government. Since 1961, the official U.S. policy toward Cuba has been two-pronged: economic
embargo and diplomatic isolation. The George W. Bush administration strongly enforced the embargo and increased travel restrictions. Americans with immediate family in Cuba could
visit once every three years for a maximum of two weeks, while family remittances to Cuba were reduced from $3,000 to just $300 in 2004. However, in April 2009, President Obama
eased some of these policies. He went further in 2011 to undo many of the restrictions imposed by the Bush administration, thus allowing U.S. citizens to send remittances to non-family
members in Cuba and to travel to Cuba for educational or religious purposes. Congress amended the trade embargo in 2000 to allow agricultural exports from the United States to
Cuba. In 2008, U.S. companies exported roughly $710 million worth of food and agricultural products to the island nation, according to the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council.
However, that number fell by about 50 percent in 2012. Total agricultural exports since 2001 reached $3.5 billion as of February 2012. Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas have all
Despite initial optimism over Obama's election, Cuban politicians and
citizens are less hopeful of a positive relationship developing between the two countries.
brokered agricultural deals with Cuba in recent years.
Plan is key to shift relations – Cooperation with Cuba on Energy is the first step to
Grogg ‘12(; “CUBA: Oil Drilling Opens
Up New Possibilities”; Patricia Grogg[staff writer for Inter Press Service (IPS)])
HAVANA, Feb 16 2012 (IPS) - The search for oil in Cuba’s Gulf of Mexico waters, launched by the Spanish firm Repsol, has triggered speculation about future prospects for Cuba and
Moreover, given its strategic importance for both
the United States and Cuba, some analysts believe that e nergy offers a potential area for
the possibility of this country one day making the transition from importer to exporter of crude.
cooperation that could eventually help pave the way to the normalisation of relations between the
two countries . This scenario, “combined with the package of measures being implemented as a
result of the ‘updating’ of the Cuban economic model, will heat up the issue of the blockade,” said
Martirena. Under the U.S. economic embargo against this Caribbean island nation, in place for 50
years this month, U.S. companies are shut out from profiting from a potential oil boom in Cuba. In
Martirena’s view, if the U.S. Congress wants to be pragmatic, “it will have to choose between
continuing to support the hysterical Cuban-American bloc that does so much lobbying around the
issue of the blockade, or simply accepting reality – that there is no reason to maintain this policy.”
Cuban-American members of Congress headed up by the chairwoman of the influential House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, have attempted to block Repsol’s
drilling operations in Cuban waters. While they claim that their opposition is based on concerns for the environment and the security of the United States, analysts believe that their
motivation is primarily political. Before arriving in Cuban waters, the Scarabeo 9 drilling rig – built in China and assembled in Singapore, and therefore exempt from the prohibitions of
the U.S. embargo – successfully passed inspection by personnel from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the U.S. Coast
Guard. CUPET has also vouched that the cutting-edge equipment leased by Repsol for its drilling operations has been duly verified to include the necessary features to guarantee the
utmost efficiency and safety. The exploratory drilling is expected to last roughly two and a half months. “Technically speaking, the chances of a mishap occurring in Cuba’s economic
area are extremely small, not only because of the precautions taken, but also for purely statistical reasons. This is one drilling rig out of the countless rigs operating outside of Cuban
waters” in the Gulf of Mexico, economist Luis René Fernández commented to IPS.
An expert on Cuba-U.S. relations, Fernández noted
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that while there are political risks associated with the issues of security and environmental impacts,
there are also experiences that indicate that these “could and should be reduced.” “(Socialist) Venezuela has not
stopped supplying oil to the United States, although it has tried to diversity its markets,” he mentioned as an example. He also pointed to the migration accords signed by Havana and
Washington and Cuba’s purchases of food from U.S. companies despite “all of the restrictions and limitations.” “In these cases, among the reasons for a certain type of communication
There are common issues in which it is more beneficial for
both sides to address them directly and even to cooperate. Not doing so could have high costs, not
only economic, but also for the environment and security,” he said. Fernández stressed that the U.S. government is not a
“unified actor” and that there are different agencies that deal with matters such as energy and the environment. “There are experts and professionals
who fulfil their missions and could have real impacts on the concrete political situation,” he said, due to geographical proximity but
also because “it is advisable to cooperate in spite of political and ideological differences.” In his opinion,
both countries are moving in the mid term and especially in the long term towards the
and collaboration, it always boils down to the importance of geography .
normalisation of relations, regardless of the particular political circumstances in the United States.
“On the Cuban side, there is a well-known willingness to cooperate and even to debate, on respectful and
equal terms, all of the aspects of the bilateral conflict,” he stressed. “This could be another important
area for cooperation, precisely because of the strategic significance of energy sources for both the
United States and Cuba. Are there risks? Without a doubt. But the benefits of cooperation
definitely outweigh them ,” Fernández concluded.
Timeframe is now – Russia has committed to drill in 2014, cementing influence in the region
Goodhue 6/6 “Last Cuban offshore oil project ending for now” DAVID GOODHUE June 06, 2013 Keynoter Publishing Company Inc. News from Florida
Keys Keynoter, The Reporter, and Key West Keynoter.
A Russian oil company using a Norwegian-owned drilling rig is temporarily pulling out of Cuban
waters without finding any significant sources of crude, but industry watchers say it is too soon to dismiss Cuba’s offshore energy potential. The Songa
Mercur was searching for oil in at least two prospects near the Bahamas’ exclusive economic zone with Cuba
— located fewer than 200 miles from the South Florida coast. The Cuban government announced in late May the state-run
Russian company operating the rig, Zarubezhneft, was leaving the area but would return to the
same spot in 2014. The announcement has major implications for Cuba’s energy future. The
communist island nation is heavily dependent on imports from ally nations like Venezuela for its oil
Strong Russo-Cuban ties lead to multiple scenarios for war
Paul Richter (Staff Writer for New York Times) 2008 “Moscow-Havana ties worry U.S.”
But at a time when Russia has intervened forcefully in Georgia and is extending the global reach of
its rebuilt military, some senior officials fear it may not be only bluster.¶ Russia "has strategic ties to
Cuba again, or at least, that's where they're going," a senior U.S. official said recently, speaking, like others, on condition of anonymity
because of the sensitive implications of the assessments.¶ The officials said they doubted the Russians would risk stationing nuclear bombers on Cuba. But
some believe that Moscow might seek to restore its once-energetic intelligence cooperation with
Havana, and to resume limited military cooperation, possibly including refueling stops for aircraft and warships.¶ In the current
environment, such contacts would make U.S. officials uneasy, serving as a reminder of a military
relationship between Havana and Moscow that stretched from the Cuban Revolution in 1959 until a weakened, post-Soviet Russia
finally closed a massive electronic intelligence complex in Lourdes near Havana in 2001.¶ One senior military officer said a return of Russian
ships or planes could force additional U.S. deployments in the region. But the Bush administration and Pentagon
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declined to comment publicly on the implications.¶ " It
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
is very Cold War retro ," said a government official. "The topic could be
reminiscent of the Cuban missile crisis , and that is a chapter that people don't want to revisit."¶ The
Russian Defense Ministry dismissed a report in the newspaper Izvestia in July that quoted an unidentified Russian official as saying the government intended to
begin basing Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack and Tupolev Tu-95 Bear nuclear bombers in Cuba.¶ However, the report was taken seriously enough in Washington that
Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, the new Air Force chief of staff, said during his Senate confirmation hearing at the time
that sending the bombers would cross a " red line in the sand."
Russian presence in the Caribbean leads to miscalc
Jose Orozco (Correspondent for Christian Science Monitor) 2008 “Cold war echo: Russian military maneuvers
with Venezuela,”
The last time a Russian Navy ship plied the azure waters of the Caribbean for major joint
maneuvers with an anti-US country was during the cold war.¶ But in a move out of Cuban leader Fidel Castro's historical
playbook, Venezuela's Hugo Chávez announced this week that his nation will host four Russian warships and 1,000 troops in November for joint military
exercises.¶ That was followed Wednesday by the arrival in Venezuela of two Russian long-range bombers.¶ Although
Latin American leaders
so far have shrugged off the moves as another act of bravado in Mr. Chávez's push against what he calls "Yankee
hegemony," some diplomats and US officials see the potential for real trouble.¶ The US typically ignores the leftist
leader's angry tirades, and is playing down the news.¶ Still, an extensive military relationship between Venezuela and
Russia could heighten tensions and signal the start of a new regional cold war.¶ "This is a risky
step that could provoke the US ," says retired Navy Vice Admiral and former Vice Minister of Defense Rafael Huizi Clavier. "Any
incident, any error, could bring problems." This week, Russia announced that it will send a naval squadron, including the nuclearpowered missile cruiser Peter the Great, as well as long-range patrol planes for the upcoming joint exercises with Venezuela.
Miscalc results in global nuclear exchange, which causes extinction
Ira Helfand (past presidents of Physicians for Social Responsibility) and John O Pastore (past presidents of
Physicians for Social Responsibility) March 31, 2009, “U.S.-Russia nuclear war still a threat”,]
President Obama and Russian President Dimitri Medvedev are scheduled to Wednesday in London during the G-20 summit. They must not let the current
economic crisis keep them from focusing on one of the
greatest threats confronting humanity: the danger of nuclear
war. Since the end of the Cold War, many have acted as though the danger of nuclear war has ended. It has not. There remain in the
world more than 20,000 nuclear weapons. Alarmingly, more than 2,000 of these weapons in the U.S.
and Russian arsenals remain on ready-alert status, commonly known as hair-trigger alert . They can be
fired within five minutes and reach targets in the other country 30 minutes later. Just one of these weapons can
destroy a city. A war involving a substantial number would cause devastation on a scale
unprecedented in human history. A study conducted by Physicians for Social Responsibility in 2002 showed that if only 500 of the
Russian weapons on high alert exploded over our cities, 100 million Americans would die in the first 30 minutes. An
attack of this magnitude also would destroy the entire economic, communications and transportation infrastructure on
which we all depend. Those who survived the initial attack would inhabit a nightmare landscape with huge
swaths of the country blanketed with radioactive fallout and epidemic diseases rampant. They would have no food,
no fuel, no electricity, no medicine, and certainly no organized health care. In the following months it is likely the vast majority of the U.S. population would
die. Recent studies by the eminent climatologists Toon and Robock have shown that such a war would have a huge and immediate impact on climate world
wide. If
all of the warheads in the U.S. and Russian strategic arsenals were drawn into the conflict,
the firestorms they caused would loft 180 million tons of soot and debris into the upper atmosphere —
blotting out the sun. Temperatures across the globe would fall an average of 18 degrees Fahrenheit to levels
not seen on earth since the depth of the last ice age, 18,000 years ago. Agriculture would stop, eco-systems
would collapse, and many species, including perhaps our own, would become extinct . It is common to
discuss nuclear war as a low-probabillity event. But is this true? We know of five occcasions during the last 30 years
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when either the U.S. or Russia believed it was under attack and prepared a counter-attack. The most
recent of these near misses occurred after the end of the Cold War on Jan. 25, 1995, when the Russians mistook a U.S. weather rocket launched from
Norway for a possible attack. Jan. 25, 1995, was an ordinary day with no major crisis involving the U.S. and Russia. But, unknown to almost every
inhabitant on the planet, a misunderstanding led to the potential for a nuclear war. The ready alert status of nuclear weapons that existed in 1995 remains
in place today.
Furthermore, improved US Cuban relations solves key issues in Latin America, leads to
better disaster prevention and decreases the risk of drug-related terrorism
Brenner and Stephens 2012 PHILIP BRENNER and SARAH STEPHENS 5/22/12 “Improved relations with Cuba would benefit U.S.” Politico
Opinion Contributor, Philip Brenner is a professor of international relations at American University. Sarah Stephens is executive director of the Center for
Democracy in the Americas.
In recent years, they have. Varela has been allowed into the U.S. to play his music. Eusebio Leal, the historian who has led the renovation of dilapidated sections of Havana, and other
Cuban intellectuals have received visas to lecture, do research or teach in the U.S. These visits
have not been party-line productions. They have been characterized by open and serious dialogue —
though one Cuban scholar did call Cuba the “Jurassic Park of socialism” as he invited a roomful of congressmen to visit the island. Against this backdrop of a
more measured visa policy, LASA decided to return to the U.S. Obama administration officials reportedly promised that
they would issue visas to genuine Cuban scholars who were invited. They have indeed granted 63
visas to the 85 Cubans who applied this year. The administration even gave a visa to Mariela Castro Espin, a champion of gay rights and a leader
in Cuba’s successful program to fight HIV-AIDS. She also happens to be President Raúl Castro’s daughter — which brought her participation at the LASA meeting to the attention of
Some State Department officials have sought appreciation from Latin
American scholars for issuing the 63 visas, including one for Castro’s daughter. Their decisions
here lack consistency, transparency and logic. U.S. interests should not be held hostage to the
narrow objectives of extremists in both countries. Improved relations with Cuba would benefit the
hard-line Cuban-Americans in Congress.
U.S. by enabling us to work together on problems of drug interdiction, terrorism, natural disaster
preparation and human disaster prevention, like oil spills . It would make family reunification easier and normalize cultural exchange.
It could also help Washington improve relations with its major Latin American allies and trading
partners, several of which announced last month that they would not attend any future summit of
the Americas unless Cuba participated.
Hezbollah ties mean it’s try or die to prevent cartel-related terrorism – plan solves nuclear
terror and miscalc with Iran and Saudi Arabia
Analysis Intelligence 11 (“Iron Triangle of Terror: Iran, Hezbollah, and Los Zetas?” on December 19, 2011. - Analysis
Intelligence makes projections about foreign policy using open source public records.)
What would the ultimate border security nightmare look like? Might it involve drug cartels, rogue special
forces soldiers, or transnational terrorists? How about all three? This scenario sounds like something out of a Hollywood movie. The problem is
that for the United States this nightmare may have come true.Zetas OSINT¶ On December 15th it was revealed in an
indictment that Hezbollah has a substantial drug connection to the Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas. The
Lebanese druglord Ayman Joumaa was indicted in absentia for, “conspiring to smuggle over 90,000 tons of cocaine into America and laundering over
$250 million for the cartels”. The druglord has close ties to Hezbollah and functioned as a middle man between the
terrorist organization and the cartels. In terms of raw numbers, the amount of cocaine that he tried to smuggle was equivalent to a cargo
of 2,250 eighteen wheelers. The sheer volume of this transaction is cause for concern, but the fact that Hezbollah and Los Zetas are
working together is far worse.¶ ¶ So why is this new development so significant to US border security? We must first consider the history and
background of these groups. Hezbollah is one of the world’s largest terrorist groups and is based in southern Lebanon. The
Shiite organization receives funding from Iran and engaged in a proxy war with Israel in 2005. It is responsible for some of the worst terrorist attacks of the last
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two decades, including the 1983 Beirut bombing that killed 241 Americans. Hezbollah
may be the most influential organization
preventing stability in the Middle East.¶ ¶ Los Zetas are the cartel equivalent of Hezbollah in Latin
America. The Zetas are described as, “ highly trained, highly motivated commandos formerly with the Mexican military…[that] represent law
enforcement’s worst nightmare come true”. The Zetas began as a group of paramilitary soldiers that were turned by the Gulf cartel.
After falling out with the cartel, the Zetas formed their own. They are considered to be the “most dangerous drug cartel”
and the second most powerful in Mexico. The organization has participated in a number of hideous acts including the 2011 Tamaulipas
massacre that killed some 200 civilians. Los Zetas is considered to be one of the best trained and violent groups in
Latin America.¶ ¶ What is the regional significance of Hezbollah working with the drug cartels? Let’s
consider Hezbollah’s cell activity in Latin America and examine its relationship with the cartels.¶ Hezbollah’s influence in the region dates back several years.
Click here to see the interactive timeline.¶ Hezbollah has been involved in the drug trade in Latin America since the mid-1980s. The group is primarily located in
the tri-border area Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. Its primary functions are to launder money and receive profits from the drug trade. Hezbollah had an,
“estimated 460 operatives in the TBA by mid-2000” and this number has probably increased dramatically. Profits from criminal activity in the region are estimated
to be in the millions of dollars. Over the past 25 years, Hezbollah has carefully trained its top operatives to form cells and set up shop in North and South
America.¶ If Hezbollah were a drug cartel or a separatist movement, it would not be as much of a threat to the United States. However, Hezbollah is a very
connected organization that has killed hundreds of Americans and fought a war with Israel. The
most important fact about Hezbollah is
that it is a state sponsored terrorist organization, “ Hezbollah clearly acts as a proxy for Iran —
specifically, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Qods Force—globally and in Latin America. Thus, Hezbollah’s escalating
presence in the Western Hemisphere can be understood only in the context of its patron Iran’s
pursuit of its strategic objectives”. The fact that Iran is a state sponsor of Hezbollah means that
the organization has the finances and the expertise to commit substantial acts of terrorism.¶
In July,
members of Congress were briefed on the growing influence of Hezbollah in the region. One report indicated that the threat to the US border is already here,
were already infiltrating the southern border with Mexico as well as Canada. In July 2010, the first
improvised explosive device exploded in the U.S.-Mexico border town of Ciudad Juarez”. This problem
seems to have been severely overlooked by the mainstream media. It is quite surprising because Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega even made a
statement saying that, ” I
believe there will be an attack on U.S. personnel, installations or interests in the
Americas as soon as Hizbullah operatives believe that they are capable of such an operation
without implicating their Iranian sponsors in the crime”. It is highly significant that a former top US official has come out and
said that an attack by Hezbollah is likely.¶ However, it appears that the salience of the issue has grown over the past few months:¶ The issue has increased in
momentum over the past few months¶ US websites dedicated to border issues and even one of the Republican presidential candidates mentioned the “significant
and imminent threat of the Iran-Latin America nexus”. Others have indicated that Hezbollah functions as a sort of insurance policy for Iran in those regions. The
state can fund the terrorist group and still exercise plausible deniability in the event of a major attack. Iran perceives its support of Hezbollah as a way to pressure
the United States within its strategic sphere of influence in the Americas.¶ Some sources have said that the strengthening relationship between Iran and
Venezuela has increased Hezbollah’s influence in the region. Both leaders are staunchly anti-American, and it is reasonable to think that they would pursue
activities that would undermine US interests. Roger Noreiga, the same official that warned of an attack by Hezbollah, indicates that Venezuela, “has allowed Iran
to mine uranium” and that Venezuela’s Margarita Island has eclipsed the infamous TBA as the principal safe haven and center of Hezbollah operations in the
Americas”. This is particularly disturbing as Iran
is suspected of pursuing a nuclear weapon while simultaneously
funding Hezbollah close to the US border. Therefore, there major concerns that if Iran obtains a
nuclear weapon it might share the weapon with Hezbollah. There are two major Hezbollah networks operating in the
Americas under the direction of the Iranian Quds Force. The first is the Nassereddine network, operated by a former Lebanese citizen that became a Venezuelan
and is now the second-ranking diplomatic official to Syria. He currently resides on Margarita Island and runs money laundering operations for the group. The
other network is purportedly run by Hojjat al-Eslam Mohsen Rabbani, a culutral attaché from Iran who is involved in various recruitment activities and frequently
Now back to the
cartels. Why is the link between Hezbollah and Los Zetas so important? The main concern is that if
Hezbollah and Los Zetas are cooperating on drugs (which they are to the tune of hundreds of millions), then why would
they not cooperate on weapons? Hezbollah and other extremists may be willing to export their
knowledge of IEDs to the cartels. The relationship between Hezbollah and Los Zetas appears to have already expanded beyond drugs. In
October 2011, the US authorities revealed that there was an attempt made by Iran to assassinate the Saudi
ambassador on US soil. It looks like Los Zetas was intricately involved with Iran in this and other related plots, “The
alleged plot also included plans to pay the cartel, Los Zetas, to bomb the Israeli Embassy in
Washington and the Saudi and Israeli Embassies in Argentina, according to a law enforcement official…The plotters also
travels under false papers in Latin America. The two networks together make up the majority of Hezbollah’s activity in the Americas.
discussed a side deal between the Quds Force, part of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and Los Zetas to funnel tons of opium from the Middle East to
Mexico”. Other information that we have found would corroborate the existence of a relationship between Hezbollah and Los Zetas.
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Nuclear terror escalates to global nuclear war
Robert Ayson, Professor of Strategic Studies and Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies: New Zealand at
the Victoria University of Wellington, 2010 (“After a Terrorist Nuclear Attack: Envisaging Catalytic Effects,” Studies
in Conflict & Terrorism, Volume 33, Issue 7, July, Available Online to Subscribing Institutions via InformaWorld)¶
A terrorist nuclear attack, and even the use of nuclear weapons in response by the country attacked in the first place, would not necessarily represent the worst
of the nuclear worlds imaginable. Indeed, there are reasons to wonder whether nuclear terrorism should ever be regarded as belonging in the category of truly
existential threats. A contrast can be drawn here with the global catastrophe that would come from a massive nuclear exchange between two or more of the
sovereign states that possess these weapons in significant numbers. Even the worst terrorism that the twenty-first century might bring would fade into
insignificance alongside considerations of what a general nuclear war would have wrought in the Cold War period. And it must be admitted that as long as the
major nuclear weapons states have hundreds and even thousands of nuclear weapons at their disposal, there is always the possibility of a truly awful nuclear
exchange taking place precipitated entirely by state possessors themselves.¶ But these two
nuclear worlds—a non-state actor
nuclear attack and a catastrophic interstate nuclear exchange—are not necessarily separable. It is just possible
that some sort of terrorist attack, and especially an act of nuclear terrorism, could precipitate a chain of events
leading to a massive exchange of nuclear weapons between two or more of the states that possess
them. In this context, today’s and tomorrow’s terrorist groups might assume the place allotted during the early Cold War years to new state possessors of
small nuclear arsenals who were seen as raising the risks of a catalytic nuclear war between the superpowers started by third parties. These risks were
considered in the late 1950s and early 1960s as concerns grew about nuclear proliferation, the so-called n+1 problem.¶ It may require a considerable amount of
imagination to depict an especially plausible situation where an act of nuclear terrorism could lead to such a massive inter-state nuclear war. For example, in the
event of a terrorist nuclear attack on the United States, it might well be wondered just how Russia and/or China could plausibly be brought into the picture, not
least because they seem unlikely to be fingered as the most obvious state sponsors or encouragers of terrorist groups. They would seem far too responsible to
be involved in supporting that sort of terrorist behavior that could just as easily threaten them as well.¶ Some possibilities, however remote, do suggest
themselves. For example, how
might the United States react if it was thought or discovered that the fissile
material used in the act of nuclear terrorism had come from Russian stocks, and if for some reason Moscow
denied any responsibility for nuclear laxity? The correct attribution of that nuclear material to a particular country
might not be a case of science fiction given the observation by Michael May et al. that while the debris resulting from
a nuclear explosion would be “spread over a wide area in tiny fragments, its radioactivity makes it
detectable, identifiable and collectable, and a wealth of information can be obtained from its
analysis: the efficiency of the explosion, the materials used and, most important … some indication of where the nuclear material came from.”41¶
Alternatively, if the act of nuclear terrorism came as a complete surprise , and American officials refused
to believe that a terrorist group was fully responsible (or responsible at all) suspicion would shift
immediately to state possessors. Ruling out Western ally countries like the United Kingdom and France, and probably Israel and India as
well, authorities in Washington would be left with a very short list consisting of North Korea, perhaps Iran if its program continues, and possibly Pakistan. But at
what stage would Russia and China be definitely ruled out in this high stakes game of nuclear Cluedo?¶
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1AC – Cuban Economy Advantage
Cuba’s transition to capitalism is at a crossroads – US action within the next 18 months is
key to stabilize and solidify reforms
AAP 7/24/13 (Australian Associated Press is Australia's national news agency,, “Cuba's economy is
entering crucial stage”)
Communist-led Cuba's experiment with limited capitalism is entering a crucial and transformative
phase this year with the decentralisation of bloated state-run businesses, the island's economic tsar says. Marino Murillo says the goal is to improve efficiency of those businesses and let the successful ones
keep more of their profits. Murillo said the next 18 months would be the "most complex" part of President Raul Castro's
reform program, which has already seen limited openings to private entrepreneurship and a
relaxation of many social restrictions. "The first stage of the reforms has so far, fundamentally, been the elimination of prohibitions in society," Murillo said in just his second
face-to-face encounter with foreign journalists since he rose to prominence three years ago. "During what remains of the year 2013 and in 2014, we will work on ... the most profound transformations," he added.
Castro's economic and social reforms, which began in 2010, aim to resuscitate a flagging economy
with a smattering of free-market principles, though officials insist that a wholesale embrace of
capitalism is not planned. After five decades of a state-dominated economy, hundreds of thousands of people have legally gone into business for themselves, private farmers are
cultivating land with the government's blessing and dozens of independent nonagricultural co-operatives were launched recently under a pilot program. Authorities have also approved home and used car sales,
eased travel restrictions and established mortgages and small-business credits. Outside analysts have questioned the scope and pace of the reforms, saying so far they have been insufficient to turn around the
most Cubans have yet to feel the benefits of a slowly
growing economy. Murillo did not give many details about the next stage of the reforms, such as which companies will be decentralised and what will happen to those that fail. An effort
to give more autonomy to the sugar industry in 2012 that included new leadership and a
restructuring of the once-powerful Sugar Ministry has yet to result in improved harvests. Murillo said the changes
economy and attract foreign investment. In a recent speech, Castro himself acknowledged that
contemplated over the coming months include letting state enterprises keep up to 50 per cent of revenue to reinvest. Currently all earnings go to the government, which controls all spending and distributes resources
to successful and failing enterprises alike. "We must remove all impediments that put the brakes on possibilities," Murillo said. He acknowledged the island must attract more foreign investment, but insisted that Cuba
will do so on its own terms and will not accept business proposals that don't contribute to the island in the way of technology, financing or employment. While some economists have argued that Cuba is in desperate
Cuba does not have access to
international capital markets, and US economic sanctions in place since the 1960s freeze it out of
some potential lending sources. However, the country has grown closer to countries such as China
and Venezuela and has received soft credits particularly from the latter, which supplies enough oil
to meet half of the island's consumption at highly preferential terms. Labour Ministry spokesman Carlos Mateu later told reporters that a
need of an injection of capital, Murillo insisted foreign investment is merely "a complement" to the country's plan for economic development.
plan to eliminate a half-million workers from bloated state payrolls, announced by Castro in 2010, did not turn out as expected. Mateu said that instead there was a kind of realignment of labour, with many workers
leaving government jobs to open or work for small businesses. In other cases, redundant state workers were transferred to posts where there was more of a need. "We realised that a phenomenon of movement was
429,000 Cubans were now licensed as independent workers.
occurring in the labour force," Mateu said. He added that
The government remains
by far the largest employer, accounting for 77 per cent of jobs among the island's five million-strong workforce. The other 23 per cent comprises private entrepreneurs, their employers, independent farmers and cooperatives.
Oil Drilling solves Cuban economy – use as collateral to secure foreign investments from
China and Brazil
Haven ’12 (; “Cuba Oil Production:
Cuba Waits Anxiously For Oil Dreams To Materialize”; Paul Haven[Associated Press Writer])
An oil find could change the game, with Cuba using future oil riches as collateral to secure new
financing, economists say. They point to China and Brazil as potential sources of new funding, but
say neither is likely to put money into the island without reasonable confidence they will get their
investment back. Lee Hunt, the recently retired president of the Houston-based International Association of Drilling Contractors, said the stakes are enormous for Cuba
that one of the wells hits oil before the Scarabeo-9 leaves. Hunt has worked to bring U.S. and Cuban industry and environmental groups together. "If the only rig you can work with is
gone, it's like somebody took your shovel away," Hunt said. "You are not going to dig any holes without a shovel, even if you know the treasure is down there."
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Continued economic malaise risks Cuban internal instability and civil war
Campos 7/8 Pedro Campos, “Cuba’s Burning Economic Contradictions,” Havana Times, 7/8/2013,
A new kind of class confrontation The
new social composition of classes that the “updating” process is creating
presents at one extreme the “unanticipated” bureaucratic political and military class that believes
itself to be the legitimate owner of the country’s entire economy. At the other extreme is the
dispossessed and badly paid class of salaried workers that the state exploits. The new small and
medium capitalists who exploit their own salaried workers represent a kind of nouveau riche class,
benefitted by the updating measures but still held down by the State’s strictures. The salaried workers exploited
by these newly wealthy live better than the State salaried workers and as such prefer private capitalism. Then there are the true self-employed workers who don’t
exploit outside labor – from the intellectuals and artists with large incomes right down to the elderly peanut sellers – all of them burdened by abusive state taxes.
The state throws the new capitalists and their salaried workers into the same sack as the authentic self-employed, all under the label of “cuentapropistas” [selfemployed]. And finally there are the cooperative members, formally organized or not, who work together and divide the profits; they are also smothered by state
regulations. Apart from all these, there is a class that’s not present in Cuba but which continues to push its agenda: the true wealthy capitalist class with large
businesses, settled fundamentally in Miami. This class, exiled from power, has always aspired to return and today continues to plot its comeback on the heels of
large international capital. The bureaucratic bourgeoisie now finds itself confronting all of these other classes and national groupings because it lives off of them
exploiting all of them directly through salaried work or via abusive taxes and monopoly control of the economy, trade, finances and the dual monetary system.
They are the class that is impeding the development of all the others, be it the wealthy classes or the germinating socialist class. Only themselves to blame
There’s no doubt about it: the
productive forces in Cuba, be it for the development of private capitalism or to socialize the economy, are
facing a common obstacle: the centralized state system and its bureaucracy determined to maintain
itself in power indefinitely. I don’t intend to sharpen contradictions that require peaceful and democratic solutions, but objectively the tendency of
the class composition of Cuban society and an analysis of its interests presents the bureaucratic bourgeoisie created by State socialism as a
kind of class that stands in opposition to social and economic advance in Cuba in any direction other than its own strengthening as a hegemonic group. In this
way, they have
positioned themselves against the entire Cuban people, against all of their classes and current social
groupings. According to Carlos Marx, when the productive forces are held back by the relations of production – in this case the
salaried State workers – revolutions appear . Later, let them not blame the imperialists, the “counterrevolutionary” forces, the Miami
“mafia”, the new technologies, nor much less the peaceful democratic and socialist left who have done everything possible to help find the road that they have
blocked. Instead they should seek the causes from within, in their own self-interest, limitations and befuddlement.
Cuban instability spills over into multiple hotspots and leads to global conflict
CRISIS?” 3/18/05,, AD 7/11/13, AK)
Regardless of the succession, under the current U.S. policy, Cuba’s problems of a post Castro transformation only
worsen. In addition to Cubans on the island, there will be those in exile who will return claiming authority.
And there are remnants of the dissident community within Cuba who will attempt to exercise similar
authority. A power vacuum or absence of order will create the conditions for instability and civil
war . Whether Raul or another successor from within the current government can hold power is debatable. However, that
individual will nonetheless extend the current policies for an indefinite period, which will only compound the Cuban
situation. When Cuba finally collapses anarchy is a strong possibility if the U.S. maintains the “wait and see” approach. The
U.S. then must deal with an unstable country 90 miles off its coast. In the midst of this chaos, thousands will flee
the island. During the Mariel boatlift in 1980 125,000 fled the island.26 Many were criminals; this time the number could be several hundred
thousand flee ing to the U.S., creating a refugee crisis. Equally important, by adhering to a negative containment policy, the U.S. may be
creating its next series of transnational criminal problems. Cuba is along the axis of the drug-trafficking flow into the U.S. from Columbia. The
Castro government as a matter of policy does not support the drug trade. In fact, Cuba’s actions have shown that its stance on drugs is more
than hollow rhetoric as indicated by its increasing seizure of drugs – 7.5 tons in 1995, 8.8 tons in 1999, and 13 tons in 2000.27 While
there may be individuals within the government and outside who engage in drug trafficking and a percentage of drugs entering the U.S. may pass through Cuba, the Cuban government is
not the path of least resistance for the flow of drugs. If there were no Cuban restraints, the flow of
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drugs to the U.S. could be greatly facilitated by a Cuba base of operation and accelerate
considerably. In the midst of an unstable Cuba, the opportunity for radical fundamentalist groups to
operate in the region increases. If these groups can export terrorist activity from Cuba to the U.S.
or throughout the hemisphere then the war against this extremism gets more complicated . Such
activity could increase direct attacks and disrupt the economies, threatening the stability of the
fragile democracies that are budding throughout the region. In light of a failed state in the region,
the U.S. may be forced to deploy military forces to Cuba, creating the conditions for another
insurgency . The ramifications of this action could very well fuel greater anti-American sentiment throughout the Americas. A
proactive policy now can mitigate these potential future problems. U.S. domestic political support is also turning against the current negative policy. The Cuban American population in the U.S. totals 1,241,685 or
3.5% of the population.28 Most of these exiles reside in Florida; their influence has been a factor in determining the margin of victory in the past two presidential elections. But this election strategy may be flawed,
because recent polls of Cuban Americans reflect a decline for President Bush based on his policy crackdown. There is a clear softening in the Cuban-American community with regard to sanctions. Younger Cuban
Americans do not necessarily subscribe to the hard-line approach. These changes signal an opportunity for a new approach to U.S.-Cuban relations. (Table 1) The time has come to look realistically at the Cuban
The U.S. can little afford to be distracted by a failed state 90 miles
off its coast. The administration, given the present state of world affairs, does not have the luxury or the resources to
pursue the traditional American model of crisis management. The President and other government and military leaders have warned that the
GWOT will be long and protracted. These warnings were sounded when the administration did not anticipate operations in Iraq consuming so many military, diplomatic and
economic resources. There is justifiable concern that Africa and the Caucasus region are potential hot spots for terrorist
issue. Castro will rule until he dies. The only issue is what happens then?
activity, so these areas should be secure. North Korea will continue to be an unpredictable crisis in waiting. We also
cannot ignore China . What if China resorts to aggression to resolve the Taiwan situation? Will the U.S. go to
Iran could conceivably be the next target for U.S. pre-emptive action. These are
known and potential situations that could easily require all or many of the elements of national
power to resolve. In view of such global issues, can the U.S. afford to sustain the status quo and simply let the
Cuban situation play out? The U.S. is at a crossroads: should the policies of the past 40 years remain in effect with vigor? Or should the U.S. pursue a new approach to Cuba in an effort
war over Taiwan? Additionally,
to facilitate a manageable transition to post-Castro Cuba?
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1AC – China Advantage
China is committed to drilling in Cuba now and will fail – lack of new equipment means past
mistakes get repeated
Bert & Clayton ’12 (Melissa & Blake Melissa Bert is a military fellow (U.S. Coast Guard) at the Council on
Foreign Relations. Blake Clayton is fellow for energy and national security at the Council on Foreign Relations.
“Addressing the Risk of a Cuban Oil Spill”, Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 15, Council on Foreign Relations,
A Chinese-built semisubmersible oil rig leased by Repsol, a Spanish oil company, arrived in Cuban
waters in January 2012 to drill Cuba's first exploratory offshore oil well. Early estimates suggest that Cuban
offshore oil and natural gas reserves are substantial—somewhere between five billion and twenty billion barrels of oil and upward of eight billion
cubic feet of natural gas. Although
the United States typically welcomes greater volumes of crude oil
coming from countries that are not members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC), a surge in Cuban oil production would complicate the United States' decades-old effort to
economically isolate the Castro regime. Deepwater drilling off the Cuban coast also poses a threat
to the United States. The exploratory well is seventy miles off the Florida coast and lies at a depth
of 5,800 feet. The failed Macondo well that triggered the calamitous Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010
had broadly similar features, situated forty-eight miles from shore and approximately five thousand feet below sea level. A spill
off Florida's coast could ravage the state's $57 billion per year tourism industry. Washington cannot
count on the technical know-how of Cuba's unseasoned oil industry to address a spill on its own.
Oil industry experts doubt that it has a strong understanding of how to prevent an offshore oil spill
or stem a deep-water well blowout. Moreover, the site where the first wells will be drilled is a tough
one for even seasoned response teams to operate in. Unlike the calm Gulf of Mexico, the surface currents in the area
where Repsol will be drilling move at a brisk three to four knots, which would bring oil from Cuba's offshore wells to
the Florida coast within six to ten days. Skimming or burning the oil may not be feasible in such fast-moving water. The most,
and possibly only, effective method to respond to a spill would be surface and subsurface dispersants. If dispersants are not applied close to the
source within four days after a spill, uncontained oil cannot be dispersed, burnt, or skimmed, which would render standard response technologies like
containment booms ineffective.
And, increased economic presence cements Chinese hegemony in the region
Economist 6/6/13 (The Economist, “Why has China snubbed Cuba and Venezuela?,” published Jun 6th 2013,
China’s president, from May 31st to June 6th, took him tantalisingly close to
Beijing’s strongest ideological allies in the region, Cuba and Venezuela. Yet he steered clear of both of them. Instead of visiting
XI JINPING'S first visit to Latin America and the Caribbean as
Cuba, as his predecessor Hu Jintao did on his first presidential trip to the region, Mr Xi stopped off in an English-speaking Caribbean nation, Trinidad and Tobago, which (as if to rub it in) is only a short hop from
Caracas. He then travelled to Costa Rica and Mexico (pictured)—two countries that are at least as much a part of America’s orbit as Cuba and Venezuela are part of the “Beijing Consensus”. Why this snub to two
friendly nations that have been lavished with Chinese largesse in recent years, especially at a time when both are struggling to come to terms with the death in March of Hugo Chávez, the Cuba- and China-loving
Venezuelan leader?The short answer is: for simplicity’s sake. Visits to Cuba and Venezuela might well have raised distracting questions when Mr Xi meets Barack Obama in Southern California on June 7th, and
neither socialist government was likely to express publicly any offence at being left off the itinerary. The beauty of having a chequebook as thick as China’s is that if you give your friends the cold shoulder, you can
Venezuela’s oil minister announced that he had secured an extra $4
billion from China to drill for oil, in addition to $35 billion already provided by Beijing. Not quite in
the same league, but significant nonetheless, the Havana Times reported this week that China was
also planning to invest in Cuban golf courses, the island’s latest fad. However, as our story on Mr Xi’s visit to Latin America points out,
always mollify them with money. That may be why, on June 6th,
he may have had other reasons for picking the destinations that he did. Firstly, he may be trying to respond to Mr Obama’s “pivot” to Asia by showing that China is developing its own sphere of influence in America’s
China’s business relationship with Latin America gets less attention than its dealings with
Africa, but in terms of investment, it is much bigger. According to Enrique Dussel, a China expert at Mexico’s National Autonomous University, Latin
America and the Caribbean were collectively the second largest recipient of Chinese foreign direct
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investment between 2000-2011, after Hong Kong. In terms of funding, Kevin Gallagher of Boston University says China has provided
more loans to Latin America since 2005 than the World Bank and the Inter-American Development
Bank combined. The visits to Mexico and Costa Rica may also represent a pivot of sorts in terms of the type of economic relationship China has with Latin America. Up until now, China has
hoovered up the region’s commodities, importing soya, copper, iron, oil and other raw materials, particularly from Brazil, Chile and Venezuela, while flooding the region with its manufactured goods. But its relations
with Mexico, a rival in low-cost manufacturing, have been frosty: China accounts for only about 0.05% of Mexican foreign direct investment, and it exports ten times as much to Mexico as it imports.But as wages in
Beijing may be looking for bases such as Mexico and Costa Rica
where it can relocate Chinese factories and benefit from free-trade agreements with the United
States. This idea thrills the Mexican government, but does it pose an immediate threat to Venezuela and Cuba? Probably not: China will continue to need their
staunch ideological support over issues like Taiwan, for one thing. But it does suggest that China’s economic interest in the region is
broadening, especially along the Pacific coast. If that proves to be the case, Cuba and Venezuela, deprived of the charismatic Chávez to court Beijing on their behalf, will have
China have increased and high energy prices have raised the cost of shipping goods from China to America,
to work hard to stay relevant.
Chinese influence in Latin America threatens US global leadership
Ellis ’11 R. Evan Ellis, Assistant Professor of National Security Studies in the Center for Hemispheric Defense
Studies at the National Defense University, “Chinese Soft Power in Latin America A Case Study,” Joint Force
Quarterly, Issue 60, 1st quarter, 2011,
Analysts looking for signs of imminent Chinese coercion or intervention in Latin America are likely to be disappointed. Nonetheless, Chinese
soft power in Latin
America still raises important national security issues, even if the PRC does not explicitly seek to subvert or marginalize the United States
as part of its reemergence onto the world stage. In Latin America, as elsewhere, China’s currently modest influence is providing it with
triumphs of ever-growing scale in strategically important business, culture, and technology arenas. Although no
specific event may directly threaten the U.S. national interest, the collective effect is to restructure the global flows of value added and
influence in a manner beneficial to China, making the ability of the United States to successfully pursue its
own national goals and interests increasingly dependent on the acquiescence of the PRC. For analysts focused on the
“rise” of China in Latin America and elsewhere, the issue is not whether China is a threat, or whether it has the right to pursue its national interests in Latin America and other parts of
the world. Rather, it
is important to recognize the dynamics that this reemergence creates in a region with close
human, geographical, and economic ties to the United States, and to prepare to mitigate the risks, meet the
challenges, and rise to the opportunities that China’s entry into Latin America makes possible.
Hegemony stops great power wars and creates global stability
Kagan, Senior Fellow at Brookings, 3-14-’12 (Robert, “America has made the world freer, safer and wealthier”
We take a lot for granted about the way the world looks today -- the widespread freedom, the unprecedented global prosperity (even despite the
current economic crisis), and the absence of war among great powers. In 1941 there were only a dozen democracies in the world. Today there are more than 100.
For four centuries prior to 1950, global GDP rose by less than 1 percent a year. Since 1950 it has risen by an average of 4 percent a year, and billions of people have been lifted out of poverty. The first half of the
for the past 60 years no great
powers have gone to war. This is the world America made when it assumed global leadership after
World War II. Would this world order survive if America declined as a great power? Some American intellectuals
insist that a "Post-American" world need not look very different from the American world and that
all we need to do is "manage" American decline. But that is wishful thinking. If the balance of power
shifts in the direction of other powers, the world order will inevitably change to suit their interests
and preferences. Take the issue of democracy. For several decades, the balance of power in the world has favored democratic governments. In a genuinely postAmerican world, the balance would shift toward the great power autocracies. Both China and Russia already protect dictators
like Syria's Bashar al-Assad. If they gain greater relative influence in the future, we will see fewer democratic
transitions and more autocrats hanging on to power. What about the free market, free trade economic order? People assume China and other rising
20th century saw the two most destructive wars in the history of mankind, and in prior centuries war among great powers was almost constant. But
powers that have benefited so much from the present system would have a stake in preserving it. They wouldn't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. But China's form of capitalism is heavily dominated by the
Although the Chinese have been beneficiaries of an open
international economic order, they could end up undermining it simply because, as an autocratic society, their
priority is to preserve the state's control of wealth and the power it brings. They might kill the goose because they can't figure out
how to keep both it and themselves alive. Finally, what about the long peace that has held among the great powers for the better part of six decades? Many people imagine that
state, with the ultimate goal being preservation of the ruling party.
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American predominance will be replaced by some kind of multipolar harmony. But multipolar
systems have historically been neither stable nor peaceful. War among the great powers was a
common, if not constant, occurrence in the long periods of multipolarity in the 16th, 17th, and 18th
centuries. The 19th century was notable for two stretches of great-power peace of roughly four decades each, punctuated, however, by major wars among great powers and culminating in World War I, the
most destructive and deadly war mankind had known up to that point. The era of American predominance has shown that there is no
better recipe for great-power peace than certainty about who holds the upper hand. Many people
view the present international order as the inevitable result of human progress, a combination of advancing science and
technology, an increasingly global economy, strengthening international institutions, evolving "norms" of international behavior, and the gradual but inevitable triumph of liberal democracy over other forms of
there was nothing inevitable about the world that was
created after World War II. International order is not an evolution; it is an imposition. It is the
domination of one vision over others -- in America's case, the domination of liberal free market
principles of economics, democratic principles of politics, and a peaceful international system that
supports these, over other visions that other nations and peoples may have. The present order will last only as long as those
who favor it and benefit from it retain the will and capacity to defend it. If and when American power declines, the institutions and norms
American power has supported will decline, too. Or they may collapse altogether as we transition into
another kind of world order, or into disorder. We may discover then that the United States was
essential to keeping the present world order together and that the alternative to American power
was not peace and harmony but chaos and catastrophe -- which was what the world looked like right before the American order came into being.
government -- forces of change that transcend the actions of men and nations. But
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1AC – Solvency
Cuba will cooperate with the plan and on spill response – the plan sends a clear signal to
private investors that guarantees drilling happens immediately
Washington Post 12 (
Cuba’s first deepwater oil rig, Scarabeo 9, began drilling last month 70 miles south of Key West, Fla. Cuban officials believe the rig may tap as much as 20
billion barrels of oil. (U.S. officials estimate a quarter to half that amount.) If
Cuba’s estimates bear out, this would bring the
country’s oil reserves to roughly equal those of the United States . The Spanish oil company Repsol, as well as other
international companies with offshore leases from Havana, will drill at depths up to 6,000 feet, as the Cuban government pursues an era of energy
independence.¶ It
is vital to the environmental and economic interests of the United States that Cuba get
this right.¶ The Cuban government is overseeing drilling deeper than BP’s Deepwater Horizon well and almost as close to
U.S. shores, but without access to most of the resources, technology, equipment and expertise
essential to prevent
and, if needed, to respond
to spills . We are deeply familiar with the two largest oil spills in U.S. history, from the Exxon
Valdez in 1989 and following the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010. In each case, containing and remediating the spill required the mobilization of vast
resources from the federal government, the private sector and local communities.¶ The Deepwater Horizon spill, 5,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, occurred
under the watch of experienced U.S. regulators, at a well drilled by one of the world’s largest, most experienced oil companies on one of the world’s most
sophisticated drilling rigs. The response effort involved more than 5,000 vessels and is estimated by BP to have cost $42 billion. The International Association of
Drilling Contractors estimates that Cuba has access to less than 5 percent of the resources used in combating the Deepwater Horizon disaster.¶ It
fortunate that a company with a good track record is the first to drill off the Cuba coast. Repsol
communicates with U.S. regulators , providing them access to Scarabeo 9 when it was moored in Trinidad, on its
way to Cuba. But Repsol is also hampered by this country’s embargo on business with Cuba. ¶ The blowout
preventer on Scarabeo, for example, was built in the United States — it constitutes the rig’s maximum 10 percent U.S. content permitted by law. But the company
that made it will not commission or maintain it, nor will it supply replacement parts because it does not have a license to operate in Cuba. One hopes that Cuban
engineers are as ingenious at jury-rigging a blowout preventer as they are with their old American cars.¶
Cuban regulators are preparing
themselves for the challenge ahead. They have sought guidance from Norwegian counterparts
on the
as the safety case, where risks are rigorously identified and factored
into drilling protocols, and they have sent engineers to Brazil to learn about the deepwater oil industry. They also studied in detail
the findings of the Deepwater Horizon commission and its companion technical report, and they have prepared action responses to each of the report’s
key recommendations, as we learned on a September visit with these officials.¶ But these regulators are severely
implementation of a regulatory regime known
hampered by the embargo. They cannot engage in dialogue or share expertise with their U.S.
counterparts . Their engineers can be trained by international companies but cannot attend training in the United States or be certified by any U.S.
organization. The Cuban government and Repsol have stated their intention to comply with U.S. rules to the
best of their abilities, even though the Cuban government can have no direct contact with our regulators to learn more about those rules.¶ ¶ The
U.S. government can , and should, make available the resources that the organizations involved
with Scarabeo need to do their job well. It United States from a potential disaster. In the should also be
prepared, should something go wrong, to protect the waters and beaches of Florida and the southeast event of an emergency,
the U.S. government would likely do that. But the help might well come too late.¶ The private sector needs considerable time to
ready an effective response. Engineers need to understand the rig, well characteristics and marine environment. Companies need to
prepare detailed contingency plans and to allocate appropriate equipment. The only capping stacklicensed for use
in Cuba in the event of a blowout on the ocean floor, for instance, is in Scotland, a week’s trip away, and has no licensed vessel or crew. Certain resources may
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not be available if summoned at the last minute.¶ The
Commerce and Treasury departments have issued some
licenses to spill-response providers and are reviewing others. As welcome as that is, it is not sufficient. The application
process and the threat of very significant fines deter many companies from even considering the prospect. The private sector needs a clear
signal from the executive branch in order to move forward.¶ Precedents exist for communication
between the U.S. and Cuban governments on common interests. The Coast Guard kept Havana apprised of
developments with the Deepwater Horizon spill, at a time when some feared the gushing oil could foul Cuban waters. Cuban and U.S. officials
have shared information on drug interdiction, immigration and weather, and the United States
exports grain and medical supplies to Cuba. All of this has taken place without an official change
in policy since the embargo was imposed in 1962 . The Obama administration has the authority —
without a change in law or regulation — to provide a general license to all qualified U.S. companies that
express an interest in helping prevent and respond to a Cuban oil spill.¶ This is a charged issue, one that many
officials might want to avoid in an election year. Some have proposed further restricting access to U.S. technology for companies working with Cuba, in the hopes
that this might prevent the Cubans from accessing their oil. It is, however, time to face reality. Providing
Repsol and Cuban regulators
with access to resources for spill prevention and response will not further the development of
Cuba’s oil and gas industry. That’s already under way. What it will do is help protect Key West. It is
profoundly in the interest of the United States that we get this right.¶
USFG action is key – no other country could successfully extract Cuban oil
Haven ’12 (; “Cuba Oil Production:
Cuba Waits Anxiously For Oil Dreams To Materialize”; Paul Haven[Associated Press Writer])
If exploitation does go forward, complicated equipment is required to pull oil from such depths.
Several industry experts said the only country that produces the necessary apparatus is the United
States, although Brazil and other countries are working to catch up. Unless they do, the oil could
not be removed unless the U.S. embargo was lifted or altered. "A lot of folks are looking at the energy sector in Cuba because they
are looking at a Cuba of five years from now, or 10 years from now," said Pinon. "So a lot of people are betting that either the embargo is going to be lifted, or the relationship between
the U.S. and Cuba is going to improve in some way." Still, the benefits of hitting a gusher would be enormous for Cuba, and the impact could be felt long before any oil was pumped.
Because of the embargo, Cuba is shut off from borrowing from international lending institutions, and
the island's own poor record of repayment has left most other creditors leery. Cuba, for instance, owes the Paris Club of creditor nations nearly $30 billion.
Cuba says yes – they want the US to loosen economic restrictions
Taylor 13’ (June 18, 2013 By Guy Taylor, The Washington Times
The announcement that U.S. and Cuban officials will hold landmark talks this week toward restarting direct mail service between the two nations prompted a mix of reactions on monday
on whether the
Obama administration plans a broader outreach to the Castro regime in the president’s second
term.Veteran Cuba watchers agreed that the development is unlikely to trigger a wider normalization in relations any time soon. But the notion that the talks — slated forThursday
and Friday — could pull Washington and Havana closer than they’ve been in more than half a century prompted a harsh reaction from at least one Republican on Capitol Hill.Rep.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican, said
that the White House is caving to pressure from Cuban leaders desperate to end trade
restrictions frozen since the 1960s.“The regime is once again manipulating the U.S. administration in this game because it wants us to lift
the embargo and make further concessions,” said Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen, a former chairwoman of the House Foreign Relations Committee and a staunch opponent of easing the
stand-off that has defined bilateral relations since Cuban leader Fidel Castro agreed to house Soviet ballistic missiles in 1961.Mr. Castro, 86, stepped down in 2008, and the top post is
now held by his 82-year-old brother Raul.The State Department said Monday that the postal talks will occur well within policy boundaries set long ago by Congress.he talks will be led
by R. Cabanas Rodriguez, the chief of mission at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, and Lea Emerson, the U.S. Postal Service’s director of international postal affairs.Similar
negotiations in 2009 failed to produce an agreement. Separate negotiations on issues such as immigration have been on hold during recent years amid tensions simmering between the
U.S. and Cuba over the trade embargo and Washington’s unwillingness to remove Cuba from its official list of state sponsors of terrorism.Washington has also demanded that Cuba
release jailed American subcontractor Alan Gross, who was arrested in December 2009 while working for a U.S. Agency for International Development-funded program. Cuban
authorities gave a 15-year prison sentence to Mr. Gross and accused him of illegally delivering satellite phones to individuals in the nation’s Jewish community.Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen
alluded to the case in a statement Monday, asserting that “a U.S. citizen languishes unjustly in a Cuban prison and brave freedom Cuban activists are risking their lives while on hunger
strikes to protest the island tyranny.”ome Cuba policy experts suggested the postal talks could lead to something more ambitiousThis is the way diplomacy is conducted,” said
Christopher Sabatini, senior director of policy at the Council of the Americas in New York. “The idea some have, that these talks represent a concession, when it fact it will open up
precisely the channels of communication we want to have, defies the very notion of diplomacy and the stated goals of our Cuba policy.”“For the past couple of years, there has been
little movement at all — the U.S. has insisted that the unconditional release of Alan Gross was a prerequisite to any action on other issues, and the relationship seemed stuck,” added
Geoff Thale, a program director at the Washington Office on Latin America. “But in the last months, we’ve seen small steps on both sides.”Months prior to Mr. Gross’ December 2009
arrest, President Obama signaled an interest in opening a new era of relations with Cuba. “The United States seeks a new beginning with Cuba,” he said during a speech at the Summit
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of the Americas held in Trinidad and Tobago that year.Advocates of such an opening were largely unimpressed Monday by the announcement that postal talks will be held this week.
“Any step taken toward expanding the free flow of information and resources from the United States to the Cuban people is a step in the right direction, but it does fall short of Obama’s
stated goal of really seeking a new beginning and a new relationship,” said Ricardo Herrero, deputy executive director of the Cuba Study Group, a Washington-based Cuban exile
so much more the administration could be doing now to expand the flow of resources and to
help empower Cuban society,” said Mr. Herrero, who suggested the administration lift import and export bans on certain goods and services for “private Cuban
entrepreneurs.”“If a private Cuban entrepreneur comes up with an iPhone app, that private Cuban entrepreneur should be allowed to sell that app in the iTunes store,” he added.
“The embargo prohibits trade with the Cuban state — with a few exceptions for food and medicine — but this would be trading with private
entrepreneurs and that’s a very different set of circumstances.”
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UQ – Status Quo Regulations Fail
Current regulations don’t solve
Nerurkar & Sullivan ‘11 Neelesh,¶ Specialist in Energy Policy ¶ And Mark P. ¶ Specialist in Latin American Affairs ¶ Congressional research service“Cuba’s
Offshore Oil Development: ¶ Background and U.S. Policy Considerations”¶ November 28, 2011 LA
Oil Spill Risks29 The
Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico heightened concerns over the ¶
potential of an oil spill in Cuban waters and the risk such a spill could affect Florida’s waters and ¶ coastal areas.30 As noted above,
Repsol’s current plans for drilling in Cuba fall within about 55 to ¶ 60 miles south of Key West, Florida. Were an oil spill to occur in these
areas, it could have ¶ environmental impacts in the United States. Oil can be spilled from acute exploration and ¶ production
accidents, through longer-term discharge from operations, or through transportation ¶ accidents, such as a tanker collision or pipeline rupture. ¶ Risks of a Spill in
Cuban Waters ¶ The U.S. agency in charge of enforcing safety and environmental regulations on the U.S. Outer ¶ Continental Shelf, including oil spill response,
is the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of ¶ Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). In addition, several statutes, including the Clean ¶ Water Act and
the Oil Pollution Act, establish a liability regime for oil spills. Offshore exploration ¶ and production operations in non-U.S. waters may not be governed by
analogous regulations or ¶ fall under a liability structure that creates an incentive to minimize oil spills.Since the Repsol ¶ project is only the second deepwater
well to be drilled in Cuba’s EEZ ,
Cuban officials
are in the ¶ process of developing and implementing up-to-date regulations to prevent offshore drilling
accidents and contingency plans to address accidents if they do occur.31 They have pledged to ¶ follow the highest international environmental and safety
have expressed a strong ¶ willingness to cooperate with the United S tates and other countries on
safety measures.32¶ However, as the recent U.S. experience in the Gulf of Mexico illustrates, even the long-time ¶ existence of
regulations and regulator may not always prevent an oil spill. ¶ According to a 2008 American Petroleum Institute study of U.S.
offshore oil spills, the largest ¶ cause of spilled oil is loss of well control or “blowouts” at offshore platforms.33 Currently, only ¶ exploration wells are
planned in Cuba. Their results will be analyzed before production wells and¶ transportation infrastructure is considered. However, there have
been major oil spills from ¶ exploratory wells in the past. Two of the largest accidental oil spills in
standards, and
world history resulted from ¶ blowouts at exploratory wells in the Gulf of Mexico
– the Deepwater Horizon oil
spill in the U.S. ¶ Gulf of Mexico and the 1979 Ixtoc oil spill in Mexico’s section of the Gulf of Mexico. ¶ It is difficult to assess the likelihood of a spill. According to
Saipem, Scarabeo-9 is built to ¶ Norwegian standards, including extra equipment to shut off blown-out wells beyond what is ¶ required in the United States.34
Repsol has significant offshore experience, including projects in ¶ the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. It has had issues with oil spills, which is not abnormal for an oil ¶
company.35 (See “Oil Spill Preparedness and Response” below.) Among other Cuban lease ¶ holders, Statoil has extensive offshore experience, including
projects in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, ¶ and are generally seen as accomplished offshore operators. Petronas, ONGC, and PetroVietnam ¶ also have offshore
experience. PdVSA does not, but its offshore project appears the furthest from ¶ seeing drilling activity among existing licenses. Cuban officials claim they are
taking necessary ¶ regulatory precautions, including incorporating safety practices from the United Kingdom and the ¶ United States.36
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Cuba Say Yes
Cuba wants to work the US on oil
Gould 9 (Jens Erik Gould. April 3, 2009. “Cuba Would Welcome U.S. Oil Companies If Embargo Ends (Update2)”
April 3 (Bloomberg) --
Cuba would welcome U.S. companies’ help developing its oil industry should the 47year trade embargo on the communist island come to an end, said Manuel Marrero Faz, senior oil adviser at the Ministry of
Basic Industries.¶ ¶ “We are open,” said Marrero Faz, noting that Chinese, Russian and Angolan companies are in talks to explore areas about 100
miles off the U.S. coast. “We’re very close to each other. We’re neighbors. Why not do business?”¶ ¶ Should nearby U.S.
companies offer services and supplies, Cuba would be able to lower its costs and pick up the pace
of development, said Marrero Faz, who learned geology as a student in the former Soviet Union. The difficulty of getting equipment from partners
halfway around the world is a key reason only one offshore well has been drilled so far, he said.¶ ¶ Marrero Faz’s comments represent one of
the strongest signals yet that Cuban President Raul Castro is ready for a new relationship with the
U.S. under President Barack Obama. In Washington, Cuba’s incipient oil industry is helping fuel a growing campaign to ease the trade
embargo that President John F. Kennedy imposed in 1962 to try to topple Fidel Castro’s Soviet-allied regime.¶ ¶ U.S. business interests -- watching from the
sidelines as global competitors scoop up contracts -- as well as lawmakers and policy groups are becoming more vocal that the time for a change has come.¶ ¶
‘Taking the Fields’¶ ¶ “It’s stupid that the U.S. prohibits its companies from coming here ,” said Gustavo Echeverria, a
researcher at Cuba’s Center for Petroleum Investigation, who spoke after giving a presentation at a Havana oil conference last month. “Everyone else is taking
the fields on its doorstep.”
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US Key – Economy
With US help Cuba’s economy and political system will develop
Sadon 10 (Rachel Sadon, October 8, 2010. “Cuban Oil Prospects Could Spur Change in U.S. Relations: Experts.”
Inter-American’s Dialogue Latin American Advisor.
As the semi-submersible rig contracted by Spanish energy company Respol nears completion and prepares to begin the trek to drill exploratory wells in the
waters of Cuba's north coast, experts say the development
of Cuba's offshore oil reserves could be a significant
game changer for the Caribbean nation, in particular its fraught relations with the United States .¶
Signals that change is afoot in Cuba have come from several quarters in recent months, including the trickling release of political dissidents from the country's
jails and the announcement that the government would lay off half a million workers by next spring. But experts
said Friday at the InterAmerican Dialogue that the development of Cuba's oil industry could potentially be an even
stronger catalyst for closer relations between Washington and Havana.¶ The U.S. Geological Survey
estimates that Cuba has almost 5 billion barrels of crude in the North Cuba Basin, while the
contested Eastern Gap of the Gulf of Mexico may yield an additional 10 billion to 15 billion barrels
of crude. The development of those reserves could make Cuba energy independent and bring the
country into the global economy in a way it has so far been unable to achieve, Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, an
expert in Cuba's energy sector and professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, said during Friday's event. Such development would
contribute a significant rise in foreign direct investment, allow for a transfer of technology that has
historically been stymied by the embargo, move Cuba toward a hybrid economy, and potentially
even make the country a net exporter of oil.¶ Oil industry veteran Jorge Piñon suggested during the discussion at the Dialogue that
although the Cuban economy will benefit, the political impact of developing Cuba's oil industry would be
even more significant. It would break dependence on Venezuela, which currently supplies more
than 60 percent of Cuba's oil needs at a heavily subsidized rate, and ensure that Cuba does not become a failed state. Piñon said both
outcomes would be in the United States' best interest.¶ Also, while the embargo has historically had few economic
repercussions for the U.S. economy, "Cuba is in a unique situation with energy and oil," said Kirby Jones, president of Cuba-focused consulting firm Alamar
Associates, "For
the first time in 50 years, [Cuba] has something the U.S. needs, something of strategic
importance and you can't say that about anything else that has existed between the two countries
previously."¶ As corporations from around the world compete to develop Cuba's resources, U.S. oil companies have sat on the sidelines. Though
Cuba doesn't need the United States to proceed with its plans, Cuba has signaled that it wants the
involvement of U.S. companies, both for their technological know-how and proximity, said Jones. This
puts the United States at a crossroads in its relationship with Cuba, as it must decide if its
ideological position outweighs allowing other countries, including China, to access those
resources, he added.¶ The potential for deepwater drilling has also raised concerns about emergency contingencies in
the event of another oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The United States has a longstanding agreement with Mexico, but there is no bilateral agreement
between Cuba and the United States that would outline how to proceed in the wake of a disaster,
one which could potentially send oil to U.S. shores in a matter of days.
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US Key - Equipment
US involvement in Cuban oil is safer for the environment—better equipment
Davenport 11 (Coral Davenport, July 29, 2011. “Drill, Bebé, Drill.” National Journal. Coral Davenport is the energy
and environment correspondent for National Journal. Prior to joining National Journal in 2010, Davenport covered
energy and environment for Politico, and before that, for Congressional Quarterly.
Sometime over the next three months, if all goes according to plan, Cuban workers on a Chinese-built, Spanish-owned rig will start drilling for oil in the mile-deep
waters just off the north coast of Cuba, 70 miles from the Florida Keys.¶ If
the drill hits a major oil deposit—and all geologic
signs indicate it will—the discovery will unleash a cascade of developments with profound political,
environmental, and economic consequences.¶ The Cuban government has long wanted to extract the rich reserves of oil and natural
gas believed to lie off its shores. Estimates for oil range from 5 billion to 20 billion barrels, while the estimate for
natural gas is 8.6 billion cubic feet. Unlocking that oil could jump-start a nascent Cuban offshore-oil
industry—and free the island nation from its energy and political dependence on Venezuela, from
which it imports 60 percent of its oil today. A newfound independence from its socialist neighbor
and its mercurial president, Hugo Chavez—coming at a time when the Cuban leadership is facing change with the eventual demise of
Fidel Castro—is an appealing prospect to the United States .¶ But the potential of a closer relationship with Cuba comes with a
terrifying specter: An oil blowout in Cuban waters could reprise the nightmare that was last year’s Gulf of
Mexico oil spill, and send crude spewing to the beaches of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. And
the likelihood for such a disaster is very real , say oil industry experts, thanks in part to Washington’s 49-yearold embargo on Cuba.¶ Because of the embargo, U.S. companies cannot drill in Cuba, supply equipment to
Cuba, have any say over safety regulations in Cuba, or even take part in helping control a blowout
and spill in Cuba. As the island prepares to begin offshore drilling, it has signed contracts with oil companies from Brazil, India, Italy, Russia, and
Spain—and is in talks to lease major portions of its coastal water to Chinese companies (continuing China’s pattern of pursuing oil exploration in countries where
U.S. drillers aren’t welcome).¶ Under the embargo’s terms, the oil
drilling and safety equipment used by those companies
must be less than 10 percent U.S.-made. But all of the most technologically advanced equipment
for drilling and preventing or stopping oil spills is made in the United States or by U.S. companies .¶
“There are not international suppliers of this level of equipment. They will have to buy copycat or
second-tier parts,” Lee Hunter, president of the Houston-based International Association of Drilling Contractors, told National Journal. Hunter and other
experts say that, to date, it appears that the Cuban government, fearful of the devastation an oil spill could wreak on its economy, wants to use the lessons
learned from the BP oil disaster to develop a rigorous safety and oversight program. But it
will be nearly impossible for drillers in
Cuba’s waters to legally use the safest equipment. “The Cubans want to use good technology; they
want to drill safely,” Hunter said. “But … their ability to drill safely is extremely compromised.”
Cuba has oil but lacks equipment and skills necessary to extract due to US restrictions
Reuters 12 (By Jeff Franks writer for Reuters Posted: 08/06/2012 8:24 am
HAVANA, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Cuba's
hopes for energy independence suffered another blow on Monday when its state oil
company said the island's latest offshore oil well was not successful. Cubapetroleo said the well drilled by Malaysia's state-owned
Petronas in partnership with Russia's Gazprom Neft found oil but in a geological formation so tightly compacted that oil and gas could not flow through it in
"significant quantities.""It cannot be qualified as a commercial discovery," the company said in an announcement in the Communist Party newspaper Granma.It
was the third failed well in three attempts in Cuba's part of the Gulf of Mexico, where the communist country
has said it may have 20 billion barrels of oil.The government led by President Raul Castro needs the oil to free it from
dependence on socialist ally Venezuela, which under an oil-for-services deal sends Cuba about 115,000 barrels of oil daily.With Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez battling cancer and facing re-election in October, the future of his oil largess for Cuba is uncertain.Cuba
produces about 50,000 barrels a day from onshore wells, but it consumes an estimated 147,000 barrels daily
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and refines most of the rest for sale to other Caribbean countries.Spanish
oil company Repsol hit a dry hole in Cuban waters in
May and said it would likely pull out of the country after 12 years of operations, two unsuccessful wells and
expenditures of $125 million.Its first well, drilled in 2004, found oil but, like the Petronas well, was deemed not commercially viable.Repsol's recent
well, drilled north of Havana in partnership with Norway's Statoil and ONGC Videsh, a unit of India's ONGC, found no hydrocarbons at all.Cubapetroleo said the
Petronas well, completed on July 31, was drilled west of the Cuban capital in 7,408 feet (2,258 meters) of water, much deeper
than Cuban and Petronas officials previously had suggested.It said the oil that was found "could extend to other zones" in the four
offshore blocks leased by the two companies and perhaps beyond.Petronas and Gazprom would continue to study data collected during the drilling and conduct
more seismic studies, Cubapetroleo said.Despite the three failed wells, Cuba oil expert Jorge Pinon at the University of Texas in Austin said it is likely Cuba
does have offshore oil, but that finding and producing it will take years."The bottom line is that Cuba is not going to get any economic benefit from an
oil find any time soon. This is a long-term exercise - it's going to take a long time to get results," he said.One problem facing Cuba is
that its potential fields are mostly in what the oil industry calls "ultra-deep water," which requires specialized drilling
rigs not readily available to the island because of technology limitations imposed by the longstanding U.S. trade
embargo.Repsol spent years finding and waiting for the newly-built Scarabeo 9 rig as it was constructed in China. It is owned by Italian oil service company
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US Key – Spill Response
Only US action guarantees both Cuba and the US are ready to respond to a spill
Bert 13’ (Authors: Captain Melissa Bert, USCG, 2011-2012 Military Fellow, U.S.Coast Guard, and Blake Clayton, Fellow for Energy and National Security
Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press Release Date Jun 27, 2013
The imminent drilling of Cuba's first offshore oil well raises the prospect of a large-scale oil spill in Cuban
waters washing onto U.S. shores. Washington should anticipate this possibility by implementing policies that
would help both countries' governments stem and clean up an oil spill effectively. These policies should ensure that
both the U.S. government and the domestic oil industry are operationally and financially ready to deal with any
spill that threatens U.S. waters. These policies should be as minimally disruptive as possible to the country's broader Cuba strategy.
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US Key – Safe Drilling
The US is the sole actor that can drill safely in Cuba
Tracy 11’ (ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 By Tennille Tracy, Dow Jones Newswires Want to drill in Cuban waters? Perhaps forget doing business in the
United States then…
WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–More than 30 House lawmakers are urging Spanish energy company Repsol YPF S.A. (REP.MC) to abandon its plan to drill for oil in Cuban waters,
saying such a
move will bolster the financial strength of the Castro regime and could expose Repsol to criminal
and civil liabilities in U.S. courts.In a letter sent to Repsol’s chairman this week, the lawmakers say they “urge Repsol to reassess the risks
inherent in partnering with the Castro dictatorship, including the risk to its commercial interests with the United
States.”Repsol spokesman Kristian Rix said the company “is abiding by U.S. embargo legislation, and our drilling plans are in accordance with” safety standards put in place after
the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.repsol ypfOpposition to Repsol’s drilling plans ramped up in recent weeks, as the Spanish company prepares to begin drilling off Cuba’s north coast by
the end of the year.
A Chinese-built drilling rig that Repsol will use for the project is currently en route from Singapore to
marks an important step in Cuba’s effort
to develop its offshore oil resources, in part to wean itself off imports from Venezuela. U.S. officials believe
Cuba’s waters could contain more than 5 billion barrels of undiscovered oil.Repsol’s plans have divided U.S. lawmakers, regulators
Cuba. The rig is expected to arrive in Cuban waters in November or December.Repsol’s exploratory drilling
and drilling experts. Some lawmakers want to block Repsol from pursuing its oil-drilling plans, saying profits will be shared with the Castro regime. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.),
who chairs the
House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a bill earlier this year to impose export sanctions
and other penalties on companies investing in Cuba’s oil sector.Ros-Lehtinen is also one of the lawmakers urging Repsol to pull out of
Cuba’s waters.Oil-industry experts, on the other hand, are more concerned about the safety of Cuba’s drilling activity.
They want the U.S. government to grant an exemption under its embargo against Cuba that would allow U.S.
companies to be able to respond to potential spills.Earlier this month, BP oil-spill commission co-chief Bill Reilly and a delegation of oil experts went
to Cuba to evaluate the country’s plans for developing its oil resources. Reilly helped to draft a report earlier this year that recommends U.S. officials work
with Cuba and Mexico to develop shared standards for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Reilly didn’t go to Cuba as a
representative of the U.S. government.
U.S. involvement is critical for safe drilling – Cuba lacks expertise, and spill prevention and
clean-up efforts are impossible in the Status Quo
Miroff 11 (Nick Miroff, 7,12,2011, NPR contributor and Washington Post staff writer, Cuban Offshore Drilling Plans
Raise U.S. Concerns ,NPR,
Recently, U.S. oil spill experts were in Havana, including the man who co-chaired the investigation into last year's BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of
Mexico. The U.S. group says long-running American
trade sanctions stand in the way of proper spill preparation
and a coordinated cleanup if something goes wrong on the wells that are just 60 miles from the Florida Keys.
Offshore oil drilling is banned along the Florida coastline. But the Cuban operation will be so close to U.S. shores that ocean currents could
carry a spill through the Florida Keys, and foul beaches along the Atlantic Coast. When former EPA Administrator William Reilly met with
Cuban officials in Havana last week, he said the Cubans were serious about safety, even quoting from recommendations he'd written in the Deepwater
Horizon report. "I have the impression they are deeply aware, very conscious, and quite apprehensive about what could go wrong,"
he said. "They know they've never regulated oil and gas in the offshore environment before. They know it's an order of
magnitude more sophisticated and more risky. They're going to go very deep. All of those are going to require
training, expertise and a culture they've not had. They've got a lot to do."
American drilling will be safer – New regulation for well design, barriers, and blowout
Dallas News 12 ( Dallas News, 6/15/2012, Dallas News, U.S. finalizes offshore drilling rules inspired by BP oil
WASHINGTON — Government
regulators issued a final set of safety rules for offshore drilling Wednesday,
fine-tuning a series of emergency measures put in place after the BP oil spill in 2010. Oil industry groups
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reacted tepidly, saying they were still poring over the 137-page rule released by the Interior Department. Some environmental
activists, meanwhile, panned it, calling it insufficient to prevent another catastrophe such as the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 people and
caused 200 million gallons of oil to leak into the Gulf of Mexico. The
safety measures are intended to make sure oil flow can
be stopped if there are problems. They deal with how the wells are designed, and how the cement
and barriers used to secure them are tested. The rules also require that blowout preventers , which failed
in the 2010 disaster, be independently tested by a third party to ensure they are capable of cutting off the
flow of oil. “Today’s action builds on the lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and is part of the administration’s all-of-the-above energy
strategy to expand safe and responsible development of America’s domestic energy resources,” Jim Watson, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental
Enforcement, said in a statement.
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UQ – China Looking to Caribbean Now
China looking to invest in Latin American markets – Cuban oil and manufacturing
Leiteritz ’12 (Ralf J. Leiteritz PhD, associate professor of political science faculties, Government, and International
Relations, Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia, Jan./June 2012,
Latin America has changed fundamentally in recent years. It is no longer the region of permanent
financial crises, autocratic political regimes and bad governance. Instead, the region has survived the recent economic crisis relatively
unscathed and has slowly developed a sense of self-esteem and independence from the United States, its traditional hegemon in the North. With the emergence of regional
powers such as Brazil, Chile, and Mexico, the continent has earned a visible position and reputation
not only in the international political arena but also as an important player within the world
economy. The diversification of its trading and political partners has led to a distancing from the political and economic interests of the United
States. In short, Latin America is no longer anybody's "backyard" (The Economist, September 9, 2010). It has become a lucrative and stable market for foreign investors from various parts of the world while
maintaining its traditional role as an important supplier of commodities, especially minerals that are required by developed countries. Within an overall context of political
and economic diversification, Latin American countries have looked to hitherto uncharted territory Asia in general, and China in particular. During the last twenty years, China has emerged as an economic and political power on the world stage. Not only is it the biggest
country in terms of population, but it also boasts the fastest growing economy and is the second largest trading nation in the world. Its meteoric and unprecedented rise from an economically backward, largely
agricultural, country to an industrial powerhouse soon to become the largest economy in the world serves as an example for other developing countries eager to strip off the vestiges of economic underdevelopment
The insatiable demand of the Chinese economy for the commodities it requires to
sustain its manufacturing output provides the Latin American economies - which are focused to a
large extent on the production of primary resources - with a seemingly irresistible economic option
provided by an alternative trading partner. Latin American politicians and businessmen pin their hopes for sustained economic growth, long-term development and
and political weakness.
poverty reduction on this new player, especially given the increased interest shown by developed countries in linking trade agreements to non-commercial aspects such as human rights or labor and environmental
Political and business interests in Latin America emphasize the compatibility of the trade
profile between the two regions. They argue that it constitutes a text-book example of comparative
advantage and the specialization of production while stressing the ostensibly "non-political"
character of Chinese trade relations with other, especially developing, countries . Certain analysts observe that the
traditional pattern of commercial relations between the countries of the center and periphery - characterized by the exchange of primary resources for manufactured goods - looks bound for a sequel in which Europe
they fear that endogenous efforts at industrialization
through technological innovation and sophistication will be derailed as China out-competes Latin
American manufacturers in world markets, thus undermining the ability of the region to generate long-term economic growth (Gallagher and Porzecanski 2010).
and the United States are replaced by China (Jenkins and Dussel Peters 2009). As a result,
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Embargo Solvency – Human Rights
Lifitng the embargo solves human rights
Sadowski, ’11 (Richard, Sadowski is a Class of 2012 J.D. candidate, at Hofstra University ¶ School of Law, NY.
Mr. Sadowski is also the Managing Editor of Production of ¶ the Journal of International Business and Law Vol.
XI.“Cuban offshore drilling: Preparation¶ and Prevention within the framework¶ of the united states’ embargo”,
Sustainable Development Law & Policy Volume 12 Article 10 page 38, Fall 2011,
%2522%2B~US%26hl%3Den%26as_sdt%3D0%2C45#search=%22Cuba%20oil%20%7EUS%22) LA
increased Pressure to end the embargo¶ A U.S.
Geological Survey estimates that Cuba’s offshore ¶ oil fields hold at
least four and a half billion barrels of recoverable oil and ten trillion cubic feet of natural gas.29 Cupet, the ¶ state-owned Cuban
energy company, insists that actual reserves ¶ are double that of the U.S. estimate.30 One estimate indicates ¶
that Cuba could be producing 525,000 barrels of oil per day .31¶ Given this vast resource, Cuba has already leased offshore oil ¶
exploration blocks to operators from Spain, Norway, and India.32¶ Offshore oil discoveries in Cuba are placing increasing pressure ¶ for the United States to end
the embargo. First, U.S.
energy companies are eager to compete for access to Cuban oil reserves.33 economics: US
companies want in¶ For U.S. companies, the embargo creates concern that they ¶ will lose out on an
opportunity to develop a nearby resource.35¶ Oil companies have a long history of utilizing political pressure ¶ for self-serving
purposes.36 American politicians, ever fearful of ¶ high energy costs, are especially susceptible to oil-lobby pressures.37 This dynamic was exemplified in 2008,
when then-Vice ¶ President Dick Cheney told the board of directors of the U.S. ¶ Chamber of Commerce that “oil
is being drilled right now sixty ¶
miles off the coast of Florida. But we’re not doing it, the Chinese ¶ are, in cooperation with the
Cuban government. Even the communists have figured out that a good answer to high prices is ¶ more supply.”38¶ This pressure for U.S.
investment in oil is exacerbated by ¶ America’s expected increase in consumption rates.39 Oil company
stocks are valued in large part on access to reserves.40 Thus, ¶ more leases, including those in Cuban waters, equal higher stock ¶ valuation.41 “The last thing
that American energy companies ¶ want is to be trapped on the sidelines by sanctions while European, Canadian and Latin American rivals are free to develop ¶
new oil resources on the doorstep of the United States.”42¶ the BP disaster adds to concerns¶ Further pressure on the embargo comes from those voicing ¶
environmental concerns about Cuba’s drilling plans.43 These ¶ concerns are undoubtedly more poignant in the wake of British
Petroleum’s (“BP”) historically tragic Deepwater Horizon ¶ oil spill.44 Currently, there is no agreement between the United ¶ States and
Cuba to deal with oil spills.45 The embargo would prevent, or at least hamper, any efforts by U.S. companies to aid any ¶ cleanup efforts.46 In
addition, the embargo bans U.S. technologies ¶ designed to prevent or contain oil spills from being sold
to Cuba.47¶ David Guggenheim, a senior fellow at the Washington ¶ Ocean Foundation punctuated the United States’ concerns over ¶ the potential impacts
of Cuba’s drilling by remarking that “the ¶ Gulf isn’t going to respect any boundaries when it comes to oil ¶ spills.”48
This statement was recently exemplified by Cuba’s ¶ own expressed fears that oil from the BP disaster would reach ¶ its shores.49 The Deep Horizon oil spill’s
threat was enough that ¶ several Cuban leaders called for the reexamination of Cuba’s ¶ own plan to extract oil off its shores.50 Nonetheless, Cuba’s oil ¶
exploration plans seem unfazed.51¶ opponents
argue the embargo harms human¶ rights and does not work¶ Many
critics of the embargo complain that the policy is ¶ inherently ineffective and actually exacts a human toll.52 They ¶ note that many of the
societal ills of the Cuban people are ¶ furthered by the embargo’s economic impacts on Cuba. 53 For ¶
instance, the American Association for World Health’s yearlong study of Cuba concluded that the embargo itself has led to increased
suffering and death in Cuba, a condition that has ¶ been aggravated by the passage of the Helms-Burton Act.54¶ The study found that “the
declining availability of foodstuffs, ¶ medicines and such basic medical supplies as replacement parts ¶ for 30-year-old X-ray machines is taking a tragic human
toll.”55¶ Further, they argue that the opposition of the Cuban people to ¶ the embargo is ignored.56 Opponents view the embargo
as a
hypocritical U.S. policy that allows enthusiastic trade with China, a ¶ communist nation where
political oppression is at least as great ¶ as in Cuba.57 These criticisms put further demands on the
United ¶ States to end the embargo in the interest of human rights.58
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Spills Internal
Cuba drilling its oil leads to environmental destruction
GCAPTAIN 12’ (In Case of Offshore Oil Drilling in Cuba and the Bahamas BY GCAPTAIN STAFF ON APRIL 28, 2012
For the past year, we at NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard have been studying the possible threats that new offshore oil
drilling activity near the Florida Straits and the Bahamas pose to Florida.For example, the proximity of Cuba’s oil fields to
U.S. waters has raised a lot of concerns about what would happen if a spill like the 2010 Deepwater
Horizon/BP oil well blowout happened. If a large oil spill did occur in the waters northwest of Cuba, currents in the
Florida Straits could carry the oil to U.S. waters and coastal areas in Florida. However, a number of factors, like winds or currents,
would determine where any oil slicks might go.NOAA’s National Ocean Service has more information about how we’re preparing for worst-case scenarios there:The study focuses on
modeling the movement of oil in water to predict where, when, and how oil might reach U.S. shores given a spill in this region of the ocean.odels help to determine the threat to our
coasts from a potential spill by accounting for many different variables, such as the weathering processes of evaporation, dispersion, photo-oxidation, and biodegradation – all of which
reduce the amount of oil in the water over time.urrents and winds also play a role in determining where oil will move in water. For example, there are three major currents that would
dominate movement of spilled oil near the Florida Straits: Loop Current, Florida Current, and the Gulf Stream. If
oil did reach U.S. waters, marine and
coastal resources in southern Florida could be at risk, including coral reefs and the Florida Keys National
Marine Sanctuary, located north of the Cuban drilling sites.We’ll be watching the drilling activity there very carefully. If a spill does happen,
NOAA will be ready to share our scientific expertise on oil spill response with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Cuba couldn't handle oil spills
Jorge R. Piñon ‘12, Director Latin America and Caribbean Program Center for International Energy and
Environmental Policy Jackson School of Geosciences The University of Texas “Expert: Cuba couldn't handle oil spill”
Cuba would not have enough resources for cleanup in case of a spill caused by proposed oil
drilling in waters 60 miles from Florida, an industry analyst says. Because of an embargo limiting
government-to-government talks between Cuba and the United States, technocrats from both countries, along with a
U.S. Coast Guard admiral in Miami, are meeting in the Bahamas and Curacao to discuss how an oil spill like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident would be
handled, The Washington Post reported Thursday. Experts said
the Deepwater Horizon spill, which spewed an estimated 5
million barrels of crude into the gulf, was a preventable disaster caused by misjudgments by the oil
companies involved. "Now imagine something like that happening in the waters between two
countries that don't even talk to each other," said Jorge Pinon, who is currently a research fellow at the Center for International
Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas. The Deepwater Horizon cleanup could end up costing more
than $43 billion, and Cuba's total gross domestic product is $50 billion. Pinon said Cuba has only 5 percent of the
resources it would need to contain a spill the size of the 2010 disaster. "The U.S. Coast Guard is terrified," he said. Spanish, Russian and Malaysian energy
companies are vying for the right to drill in Cuban waters, expecting to find 5 billion barrels of oil
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Biodiversity  Extinction
Loss of biodiversity leads to extinction
Environment News Service 2005. May 24, 2005. “Humans Undermining the Very Biodiversity Needed for
In the last 50 years, humans have changed the diversity of life on the planet more than at any other
time in history. Human activities have lifted many people out of poverty, but at a price - the loss of
biodiversity. A new assessment of biodiversity and human well being by top scientists from throughout the world shows that if humanity
continues down this road, biological diversity will be depleted with life-threatening consequences
for all, including human beings. "Biodiversity is where the human hunger for resources is taking its
heaviest toll, and the inclusion of 15,589 species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the clearest sign that we need to change the way we
produce and consume, said Jeff McNeely, chief scientist of the IUCN-World Conservation Union and contributor to the report. The assessment, launched as part
of the celebrations for the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22, was conducted by a panel of the Millenium Assessment, a partnership involving
some 1,360 scientists who are experts in their fields. It is supported by 22 of the world’s scientific bodies, including The Royal Society of the United Kingdom and
the Third World Academy of Sciences. The panel defined biodiversity as "the variability among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine, and
other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part."
Loss of biodiversity is a major barrier to
achieving development goals, and poses increasing risks for future generations, said Dr. Walter Reid,
director of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. The second Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report, "Biodiversity and
Human Well-being: A Synthesis Report for the Convention on Biological Diversity," finds that although biodiversity is the foundation for
human well-being, all of the likely future scenarios in the report lead to a further decline in biodiversity, contrary to the agreed global target to reduce
the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. The diversity of life provides the materials humans need for food, clothing
and shelter, and also bestows security, health and freedom of choice. But, the assessment found, "the current pace
and rhythm of human activities are harming ecosystems, consuming biological resources and putting at risk the well-being of future generations.
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Biodiversity Internal
Oil Spills Damage Beaches, Marshlands and Fragile Marine Ecosystems
West no date (Larry served as press secretary and deputy chief of staff for a U.S. Representative, and was
communications director for a U.S. Senator. How Do Oil Spills Damage the Environment?
Oil spilled by damaged tankers, pipelines or offshore oil rigs coats everything it touches and becomes an
unwelcome but long-term part of every ecosystem it enters. When an oil slick from a large oil spill reaches the beach, the oil coats and
clings to every rock and grain of sand. If the oil washes into coastal marshes, mangrove forests or other wetlands, fibrous plants and grasses absorb the oil, which can
damage the plants and make the whole area unsuitable as wildlife habitat. When some of the oil
eventually stops floating on the surface of the water and begins to sink into the marine environment, it can have the
same kind of damaging effects on fragile underwater ecosystems, killing or contaminating many
fish and smaller organisms that are essential links in the global food chain.
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Coral/Beaches Extension
Spills uniquely harm coral reefs and beaches on the Florida coast
Franks 12 (By Jeff Franks writer for Reuters Posted: 08/06/2012 8:24 am
The rig will now go to Venezuela's PDVSA to drill a well at Cuba's western tip, Cubapetroleo said, but after that its future is not clear.The
Scarabeo 9 is contracted to stay in Cuba only until July 2013 and could leave earlier if no other company wants it.Once it is gone, it will take a
while to find another deepwater rig to continue the exploration of Cuban fields.Whatever the scenario on this (Petronas) well and PDVSA's is
totally irrelevant in the short-term since the Scarabeo 9 will be gone," Pinon said.Several other companies hold exploration blocks in Cuban
waters, but none are known to have firm drilling plans. Petrovietnam has said it would wait to see the results of these first wells before
deciding what to do in its three exploration blocks.ONGC Videsh has said it is seeking partners to share the high cost of drilling its two
offshore drilling has stirred environmental concerns in Florida, where fears that a repeat of the
2010 BP blowout in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico could damage the state's beaches and coral reefs.The BP well
spewed nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the gulf and onto hundreds of miles of beaches in Florida and
other states. Cuban officials say they have taken all precautions to guard against a similar accident.
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Environment/Econ Internal
Cuban oil spill would destroy environment and economy
Nerurkar & Sullivan ‘11 Neelesh,¶ Specialist in Energy Policy ¶ And Mark P. ¶ Specialist in Latin American Affairs ¶ Congressional research service“Cuba’s
Offshore Oil Development: ¶ Background and U.S. Policy Considerations”¶ November 28, 2011 LA
Assets at Risk If Spilled Oil Reaches U.S. Waters ¶ If significant quantities
of oil did reach U.S. waters, risks to the marine
and coastal resources of ¶ Southern Florida could be of particular concern. The coastal and ocean resources of
the region ¶ provide recreational, commercial, and ecological benefits to both local communities and the ¶
nation. ¶ One of the more vulnerable areas that could be at risk is the Florida Keys and adjacent areas. The ¶ Florida Keys National Marine
Sanctuary includes state and national parks, wildlife refuges, ¶ ecological reserves, research areas, and
sanctuary preservation areas. North of the Florida Keys ¶ are the Everglades and Biscayne National Parks. As one
moves up Florida’s east coast, barrier ¶ beaches backed by lagoons and wetlands dominate the geography. And then there are the
densely ¶ populated areas of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. ¶ The Florida Keys and adjacent areas comprise diverse and
interrelated marine systems. The ¶ Florida reef is the most extensive living coral reef in North American waters , stretching
for 325 ¶ miles. Reefs, sea grass beds and mangroves in the region provide habitats for many marine ¶ animals,
including a number of threatened and endangered species. These coral reefs and related ¶ coastal ecosystems are valuable
because they provide protection from erosion and flooding, ¶ especially from severe storms such as hurricanes. ¶ Depending on timing, size, and location, an
oil spill can cause significant harm to individual ¶ organisms and entire populations in marine and
coastal habitats .41 Spills can cause impacts over a ¶ range of time scales, from days to years, or even decades for certain
spills. Acute exposure to an ¶ oil spill can kill organisms or have non-lethal but debilitating affects on organism
development, ¶ feeding, reproduction, or disease immunity. Ecosystems in which they exist can also be harmed.42¶ Certain habitats in the
area—such as coral reefs, mangrove swamps, and salt marshes—are ¶ especially vulnerable.43 Long-term, chronic exposure, as occurs from
continuous oil releases such ¶ as leaking pipelines, offshore production discharges, and non-point sources (e.g., urban runoff)can see impacts spread from sea
life to the survival and reproductive success of marine birds and ¶ mammals.44¶
Southern Florida’s natural resources are closely
integrated with its economic interests . Southern ¶ Florida supports significant tourism as well as commercial and recreational fishing.
Florida’s ¶ tourism industry directly employs more than a million people. The 84 million tourists that visited ¶ Florida in 2008
spent around $65 billion.45 The Deepwater Horizon spill illustrated that an oil ¶ spill can significantly harm the tourism industry of affected areas. A well-publicized
oil spill can ¶ even weaken tourism in a nearby area, regardless of the actual threat to human health created by ¶ the spill.
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Russia Drills Now
Foreign actors are attempting to drill for Cuban Oil; Russia is close, but temporarily plagued
by problems. The time to act is now
Miami Herald 5-31-13(;
“Russian oil company suspends exploration in Cuba”; )
A Russian state oil company drilling off Cuba’s northern shores has reportedly confirmed that it is
temporarily halting its exploration — the fourth disappointment for Cuba’s dreams of energy self-sufficiency in less than two years. The announcement by
Zarubezhneft signaled an end to the only active exploration program on the island, which now relies on highly subsidized oil from the beleaguered Venezuelan government of President
Nicolas Maduro. Zarubezhneft confirmed this week that it was halting work
due to “geological” problems but added that it will resume
its exploration next year, the Reuters news agency reported Thursday in a dispatch from Havana. The Russians withdrawal had been expected because the
Norwegian company that owns the drilling platform they have been leasing, the Songa Mercur, already had announced that it would be leaving Cuban waters in July for another
contract. Zarubezhneft’s confirmation, nevertheless, signals “another disappointment” for Cuba’s dreams of finding oil in its waters, said Jorge Pinon, a Cuba energy expert at the
The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that Cuba’s offshore waters have
“significant undiscovered conventional oil potential” — between 4.6 billion and 9.3 billion barrels.
Cuban officials estimate the potential reserves at 20 billion. “This is the second geological area in Cuba that … seemed to be
University of Texas in Austin.
promising,” Pinon said of Zarubezhneft’s exploration block. But finding the oil means “you have to go into your pocket to drill exploratory wells.” Spain’s Repsol oil company spent $100
million in the early part of 2012 unsuccessfully exploring with the Scarabeo 9 drilling platform, especially built in China to avoid the restrictions of the U.S. embargo, in deep waters
northwest of Havana. Petronas of Malaysia, Russia’s Gazprom and Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) later leased the Scarabeo platform but also struck out, and the rig left Cuban
waters at the end of last year. Zarubezhneft then gave it a try, leasing the Songa Mercur to explore waters not as deep and east of Havana starting late last year. Neighboring Bahamas
The Russians are considered likely to meet their
promise to return next year because President Vladimir Putin’s government has been pushing hard
to warm up political and commercial ties with Moscow’s one-time allies in Havana. Cuba’s oil explorations have
also has expressed interest in that area, but the Russians also drilled a dry hole.
caused concern among U.S. environmentalists and tourism officials that any spills would impact the entire Eastern Seaboard, from the Florida Keys to Cape Cod in Massachusetts.
Supporters of improving U.S. relations with Cuba argued that Washington should allow American
oil firms to get a piece of the potential profits. The U.S. embargo adds about 20 percent to that
island’s exploration costs, according to Cuban officials Repsol publicly allowed U.S. officials to inspect the Scarabeo rig before it
reached Cuban waters. Zarubezhneft privately allowed the U.S. inspectors to examine the Songa Mercur, according to some reports. Zarubezhneft’s
announcement means that for at least the next couple of years Cuba will have to continue relying
on the estimated 96,000 barrels of oil it receives each day from Venezuela – about two thirds of its consumption. Under
highly advantageous deals signed by the late President Hugo Chávez, Cuba pays for part of the already subsidized oil with the vastly overpriced salaries that Venezuela pays for the
45,000 medical and other personnel working in the South American country. Maduro has promised Cuba that he will continue the subsidies, but Venezuela’s oil production has been
shrinking, its economy is in turmoil and the president’s political rivals are pushing for his removal.
Russia will drill now
David LaGeese ’12 Personal tech writer, with recent articles that have appeared in National Geographic,
But an
energy-poor Cuba also has its risks. One of the chief concerns has been over the danger of an
accident as Cuba pursues its search for oil, so close to Florida's coastline , at times in the brisk currents of the
straits, and without U.S. industry expertise on safety. The worries led to a remarkable series of meetings among environmentalists,
Cuban officials, and even U.S government officials over several years. Conferences organized by groups like the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
and its counterparts in Cuba have taken place in the Bahamas, Mexico City, and elsewhere. The meetings included other countries in the region to diminish
political backlash, though observers say the primary goal was to bring together U.S. and Cuban officials.EDF led a delegation last year to Cuba, where it has
worked for more than a decade with Cuban scientists on shared environmental concerns. The visitors included former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
administrator William Reilly, who co-chaired the national commission that investigated BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and spill of nearly 5 million barrels
of crude into the Gulf of Mexico. (Related Quiz: "How Much Do You Know About the Gulf Oil Spill?") They discussed Cuba's exploration plans and shared
information on the risks."We've
found world-class science in all our interactions with the Cubans," said
Douglas Rader, EDF's chief oceans scientist. He said, however, that the embargo has left Cubans
with insufficient resources and inexperience with high-tech gear. Although the United States and Cuba have no formal
diplomatic relations, sources say government officials have made low-profile efforts to prepare for a potential problem. But the two nations still lack an agreement
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on how to manage response to a drilling disaster, said Robert Muse, a Washington attorney and expert on licensing under the embargo. That lessens the chance
of a coordinated response of the sort that was crucial to containing damage from the Deepwater Horizon spill, he said. "There's a need to get over yesterday's
politics," said Rader. "It's time to make sure we're all in a position to respond to the next event, wherever it is." In
addition to the
environmental risks of Cuba going it alone, there are the political risks. Piñon, at the University of
Texas, said success in deepwater could have helped Cuba spring free of Venezuela's influence as
the time nears for the Castro brothers to give up power. Raúl Castro, who took over in 2008 for ailing brother Fidel, now 86, is
himself 81 years old. At a potentially crucial time of transition, the influence of Venezuela's outspoken leftist president Hugo Chávez could thwart moves by Cuba
away from its state-dominated economy or toward warmer relations with the United States, said Piñon. Chávez's reelection to a six-year term last month keeps
the Venezuelan oil flowing to Cuba for the foreseeable future. But it was clear in Havana that the nation's energy lifeline hung for a time on the outcome of this
year's Venezuelan election. (Chávez's opponent, Henrique Capriles Radonski, complained the deal with Cuba was sapping Venezuela's economy, sending oil
worth more than $4 billion a year to the island, while Venezuela was receiving only $800 million per year in medical and social services in return.) So
is determined to continue exploring. Its latest partner, Russia's Zarubezhneft, is expected to begin
drilling this month in perhaps 1,000 feet of water, about 200 miles east of Havana. Piñon said the
shallow water holds less promise for a major find. But that doesn't mean Cuba will give up trying.
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Cuba Says Yes/Solves Relations
Cuba welcomes the plan – drilling for oil is a key first step to normalizing relations
Miroff 09 (Nick Miroff, May 16, 2009. “Cuba's Undersea Oil Could Help Thaw Trade With U.S.” The Washington Post.
The potential for deepwater drilling has also raised concerns about emergency contingencies in the event of another oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The United
States has a longstanding agreement with Mexico, but there is no bilateral agreement between Cuba and the United States that would outline how to proceed in
the wake of a disaster, one which could potentially send oil to U.S. shores in a matter of days. seawater and bitter relations.¶ Oil,
up to 20 billion
barrels of it, sits off Cuba's northwest coast in territorial waters, according to the Cuban
government -- enough to turn the island into the Qatar of the Caribbean. At a minimum, estimates by the U.S.
Geological Survey place Cuba's potential deep-water reserves at 4.6 billion barrels of oil and 9.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, stores that would rank the island
among the region's top producers.¶ Drilling operations by foreign companies in Cuban waters are still in the exploratory stage, and significant
obstacles -- technological and political -- stand between a U.S.-Cuba rapprochement eased by oil.
But as the Obama administration gestures toward improved relations with the Castro government,
the national security, energy and economic benefits of Cuban crude may make it a powerful
incentive for change.¶ Limited commercial ties between U.S. businesses and the island's communist government have been quietly expanding this
decade as Cuban purchases of U.S. goods -- mostly food -- have increased from $7 million in 2001 to $718 million in 2008, according to census data.¶
Thawing relations could eventually open up U.S. investment in mining, agriculture, tourism and
other sectors of Cuba's tattered economy. But the prospect of major offshore reserves that would be
off-limits to U.S. companies and consumers has some Cuba experts arguing that 21st-century
energy needs should prevail over 20th-century Cold War politics.¶ "The implications of this have the potential to be a sea
change, literally and figuratively, for the Cubans," said Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, a political scientist at the University of Nebraska-Omaha who studies Cuba's
energy sector.¶ At a House
subcommittee hearing last month on U.S.-Cuba policy, former oil executive Jorge Piñón told lawmakers
that the United States has a strategic interest in helping Cuba tap its potentially vast hydrocarbon stores and that U.S.
companies should receive special permission to do so.¶ "American oil and oil equipment and service
companies have the capital, technology and operational know-how to explore, produce and refine
in a safe and responsible manner Cuba's potential oil and natural gas reserves. Yet they remain on
the sidelines because of our almost five-decade-old unilateral political and economic embargo," said
Piñón, a member of a Brookings Institution advisory group on Cuba policy reform.¶ Cuba has said it welcomes U.S. investment, but
American companies remain largely silent on the issue, at least in public, bound by trade sanctions that were
established under the Kennedy administration. When Cuban oil officials and U.S. companies attended a joint energy conference at
an American-owned hotel in Mexico in 2006, the Bush administration forced the facility to expel the Cuban delegation, attempting to thwart any potential for
partnership.¶ "Until
trade barriers are removed, Chevron is unable to do business in Cuba," said Chevron
spokesman Kurt Glaubitz. "Companies like us would have to see a change in U.S. policy before we evaluate whether there's
interest."¶ Robert Dodge, a spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute, said his organization is not lobbying for access to Cuba, and Texas congressional
representatives with ties to the oil industry said they are focused on opening U.S. territorial waters to drilling. But observers
of U.S.-Cuba
relations say American companies haven't been sitting on their hands and remain in conversations
with Cuban counterparts.¶ At the 2006 Mexico energy conference, U.S. oil companies "all had plans to move
forward as soon as the U.S. government gives them the go-ahead," said Benjamin-Alvarado, who attended the
conference.¶ If that go-ahead is granted, American companies would be entering a drilling contest crowded with foreign competitors. Several global firms,
including Repsol (Spain), Petrobras (Brazil) and StatoilHydro (Norway) are exploring in the Gulf of Mexico through agreements with the Castro government, and
state companies from Malaysia, India, Vietnam and Venezuela have also signed deals.¶ Sherritt International, a Canadian company, has had oil derricks
pumping heavy crude along Cuba's north coast for more than a decade, extracting about 55,000 barrels a day, mostly for Cuba's domestic energy consumption.¶
But most of Cuba's undiscovered reserves are thought to be in two offshore areas. The oil and gas that make up the USGS estimate lie in an area known as the
North Cuba Basin, a short distance off the island's northwest coast.¶ The larger deposit is thought to be in a section of the gulf known as the Eastern Gap, to
which Mexico and the United States also have a claim. Cuban officials believe there are 10 billion to 15 billion barrels of crude stored there under more than
5,000 feet of seawater and 20,000 feet of rock-- costly to extract but accessible with existing technology. By comparison, U.S. proven reserves total 21 billion
barrels.¶ The Eastern Gap area is also coveted by American companies, but in Florida, where anti-Castro and anti-drilling sentiments run high, the Cuban
government's energy ambitions have alarmed lawmakers who see the threat of ecological calamity in Cuba's plans to drill in that part of the gulf.¶ "They'd be
drilling right in the Gulf Stream," Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said in a telephone interview, describing a nightmare scenario in
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which ocean currents could carry spilled crude into Florida's marine sanctuaries and blacken
beaches along the Eastern Seaboard.
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Now Key – Relations
Cuba-US relations are transitioning to a thawed state – capitalist reforms and dialogues
Padgett ’13 (Tim Padgett, WED JULY 3, 2013, A U.S. native from Indiana, Padgett received his bachelor’s degree
in 1984 from Wabash College as an English major. In 1985 Padgett received a master’s degree in journalism from
Northwestern University’s Medill School before studying in Caracas, Venezuela, at the Universidad Católica Andrés
Like a lot of idealistic U.S. presidents, Barack Obama took office in 2009 hoping to establish better
dialogue with communist Cuba. Remember his plan to “pursue direct diplomacy” with Havana? Then he quickly
discovered what most U.S. presidents find out: First, communist Cuba really doesn’t want improved dialogue with
Washington, since conflict with the U.S. offers more political payoff on the island. Hence Cuban leader Raúl
Castro’s 2009 Christmas gift to Obama: the arrest of U.S. aid subcontractor Alan Gross on dubious espionage charges. Second, the hardline U.S. Cuban exile
lobby doesn’t want improved dialogue with Havana, since conflict with Cuba offers (or has traditionally offered) more political payoff here. Hence the CubanAmerican congressional caucus’ efforts in 2011 to keep Obama from letting convicted Cuban spy René González return home to finish his probation, a fairly
benign gesture that might have enhanced the chances of Gross’ release. And yet,
despite all that recent cold-war commotion,
could this finally be the summer of love on the Florida Straits? Last month the Obama Administration and the Castro
dictatorship started talks on re-establishing direct mail service; this month they’ll discuss immigration guidelines. Diplomats on both sides
report a more cooperative groove. So what happened that’s suddenly making it possible for the two governments to start some substantive
diplomatic outreach for the first time in years? First, Castro finished crunching the numbers on Cuba’s threadbare
economy, and the results scared him more than one of Yoani Sánchez’s dissident blog posts. To wit, the island’s finances
are held up by little more than European tourists and oil charity from socialist Venezuela. He’s
adopted limited capitalist reforms as the remedy, and to make them work he has to loosen the
repressive screws a turn or two. That finally includes letting Cubans travel freely abroad, which gives them better opportunities to bring back
investment capital. As a result, says Carlos Saladrigas, a Cuban-American business leader in Miami and chairman of the Washington-based Cuba Study Group,
“The timing is right” for some U.S.-Cuban rapprochement. “Cuba is clearly in a transitionary mode,”
says Saladrigas. “They need to change to reinsert themselves in the global order, they need to become
more normal in their relations with other nations.” Second, although the White House is still intimidated by the Cuban exile lobby,
it’s had its own numbers to ponder -- namely, poll results from South Florida’s Cuban-American community. Over the past five years, surveys have consistently
shown that Cuban-Americans, especially the more moderate younger generation and more recently arrived Cubans, favor engagement with Cuba as a way of
promoting democratization there. Some polls even indicate that a majority want to ditch the failed 51-year-old U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. As a result,
Obama -- who according to one exit poll won 48% of Florida’s Cuban vote in last year’s presidential election, which would be a record for a Democratic candidate
-- feels more elbow room for diálogo with the Castro regime. The Administration even recently let González return to Cuba. “The Cuban-American community in
Miami is definitely changing,” says Cuban-American Elena Freyre, president of the Foundation for Normalization of U.S.-Cuba Relations in Miami. “It’s reached
kind of a critical mass at this point, and I think people are ready to try something different.” Freyre notes that Obama’s appointment this year of former
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry as the new U.S. secretary of state is also having an impact. “Mr. Kerry has always felt [the U.S.’s] position with Cuba made
no sense,” she says. “He’s been very vocal about thinking that if we engage Cuba we will get a lot further.”
Kerry, for example, believes the U.S. should lift its ban on U.S. citizen travel to Cuba. Still, there are just as many reasons to be pessimistic -- starting with the
imprisonment of the 64-year-old Gross, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence in Cuba. Saladrigas says that’s a sign that communist hardliners still hold sway
on the island. “Conflict
with the U.S. has been the perfect scapegoat for many of the problems and
failures of [their] revolution,” he notes. The Castro regime says the U.S. does its own part to further that conflict by keeping Cuba on a list of
state sponsors of terrorism, even though there appears to be scant evidence for doing so. Cuban-American Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart recently told Fox
News that Cuba should be viewed “more like North Korea, or compare it to Iran.” To a growing number of Cuban-Americans in South Florida, however, that
sounds more like hardliner hyperbole. Last week, in fact, many Cuba watchers wondered whether fugitive U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden did not board
a flight from Moscow to Havana because Castro, given the new U.S.-Cuba dialoguista climate, preferred (for the moment anyway) not to irritate Washington. If
so, let’s see if the love lasts longer than the summer.
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A2: Can’t Solve Relations
Plan will model US-Mexico cooperation – sets a standard that guarantees successful USCuba relations
Nerurkar & Sullivan ‘11 Neelesh,¶ Specialist in Energy Policy ¶ And Mark P. ¶ Specialist in Latin American Affairs ¶ Congressional research service“Cuba’s
Offshore Oil Development: ¶ Background and U.S. Policy Considerations”¶ November 28, 2011 LA
U.S.-Mexico Cooperation as a Potential Model ¶ U.S.
cooperation with the Mexican government on oil spills could
serve as a potential model for ¶ U.S.-Cuban government engagement on disaster preparedness and coordination. The United ¶
States and Mexico negotiated a cooperation agreement in 1980 regarding pollution caused by oil ¶ and other
hazardous substances. The agreement called for the two countries to establish a joint ¶ contingency plan in order to
ensure an adequate response to spills.64 The joint plan that was ¶ developed – known as Mexus Plan – sets forth standard
operating procedures in case of pollution ¶ incidents that threaten the coastal waters or marine environment of the border zone of both ¶ countries. The plan
lays out the organization of the response teams for each country, including the ¶ federal and state agencies involved. It
provides for joint response teams to be formed and ¶ activated when needed, and provides for coordination, planning, and logistics of the joint ¶ response. The
U.S. response team is coordinated by the Coast Guard’s Assistant Commandant for ¶ Marine Safety and Environmental Protection.65¶ Following
model of U.S.-Mexican cooperation on oil spills could ensure optimal bilateral ¶ engagement with
Cuba on oil spill contingency planning. Such a model would likely first entail ¶ the negotiation of a cooperation agreement on oil spills followed by the
development of a joint ¶ contingency plan. Even before an agreement and plan are in place, initial discussions and ¶ dialogue on the
issue could increase preparedness in the case of a spill. Once the agreement and ¶ joint plan are in place, regular meetings
and periodic exercises could provide for the maintenance ¶ of the joint contingency plan. ¶ As with U.S.-Mexican cooperation, the Coast Guard would likely play a
leading coordinating ¶ role. Such Coast
Guard cooperation with Cuba on oil spill preparedness and response would ¶ likely be
made easier because of the Coast Guard’s existing cooperation with Cuba on migration ¶ and drug
trafficking issues.66¶ The final report of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and
Offshore ¶ Drilling, issued in January 2011, maintained that since Mexico already drills in the Gulf of ¶ Mexico and
Cuba has expressed an interest in deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, that it is ¶ in the U.S.
national interest to negotiate with these countries to agree on a common , rigorous set ¶ of standards , a
system of regulatory oversight, and operator adherence to an effective safety¶ culture, along with protocols to cooperate on
containment and response strategies in case of a ¶ spill.67 Mexican officials have also called for
discussions between the three countries. 68¶ Some energy analysts have also argued that the Bahamas should also be included in
any ¶ movement in cooperation on oil spill response preparedness between Cuba and the United States ¶ since that country also is looking to eventually develop
its deepwater oil and natural gas potential ¶ and because of the close location of many Bahamian islands to Cuba and the United States.69¶ As noted below,
legislation has been introduced in the 112th Congress, S. 405 (Nelson), that, ¶ among its provisions, would require the Secretary of the Interior to work toward the
development ¶ and implementation of oil spill response plans for spills in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. This ¶ would require recommendations on a joint
contingency plan with Mexico, Cuba, and the ¶ Bahamas.
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Relations Solve Spills
Boosts relations- US must coordinate with Cuba to prevent oil spill
Nerurkar & Sullivan ‘11 Neelesh,¶ Specialist in Energy Policy ¶ And Mark P. ¶ Specialist in Latin American Affairs ¶ Congressional research service“Cuba’s
Offshore Oil Development: ¶ Background and U.S. Policy Considerations”¶ November 28, 2011 LA)
Cuba is moving toward development of its offshore oil resources. While the country has proven ¶ oil reserves of just 0.1 billion barrels, the U.S.
Geological Survey estimates that offshore reserves ¶ in the North Cuba Basin could contain an additional 4.6
billion barrels of undiscovered ¶ technically recoverable crude oil. The Spanish oil company Repsol, in a consortium with ¶ Norway’s Statoil
and India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, is expected to begin offshore ¶ exploratory drilling in early 2012, and several other companies are considering such
drilling. At ¶ present, Cuba
has six offshore projects with foreign oil companies. If oil is found, some experts ¶ estimate that it
would take at least three to five years before production would begin. ¶ In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, some Members of
Congress and others have ¶ expressed concern about Cuba’s development of its deepwater petroleum reserves so close to the ¶ United States. They are
concerned about oil spill risks and about the status of preparedness and ¶ coordination in the event of an oil
spill. Dealing with these challenges is made more difficult ¶ because of the long-standing poor state
of relations between Cuba and the United States. If an oil ¶ spill did occur in the waters northwest of Cuba, currents in
the Florida Straits could carry the oil ¶ to U.S. waters and coastal areas in Florida, although a number of factors would determine the ¶
potential environmental impact. If significant amounts of oil did reach U.S. waters, marine and ¶ coastal
resources in southern Florida could be at risk. ¶ The Obama Administration has been making efforts to prepare
for a potential oil spill in Cuban ¶ waters that could affect the United States. This has included: updating oil spill area
contingency ¶ plans covering Florida and developing a broader offshore drilling response plan; engaging with ¶
Repsol over its oil spill response plans (including plans to inspect the oil rig that Repsol will use); ¶ and licensing U.S.
companies to provide personnel and export equipment needed for oil spill ¶ preparedness and response. Some
energy and policy analysts have called for the Administration to ¶ ease regulatory restrictions on the transfer of U.S. equipment and personnel to Cuba for oil spill
U.S.-Cuban government cooperation ¶ to minimize
potential oil spill damage, looking at U.S. cooperation with Mexico as a potential ¶ model as well as
preparedness and response. Some have also called for direct
information sharing and cooperation through multilateral channels under the ¶ auspices of the International Maritime Organization. In contrast, some policy
groups call for the ¶ United States to focus on preventing Cuba from engaging in offshore oil exploration altogether.
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Relations Solve Biodiversity
Strong relations and cooperation on the plan solve biodiversity threats
Boom ’12 (BRIAN M. BOOM, Brian M. Boom is the director of the Caribbean Biodiversity Program and Bassett
Maguire Curator of Botany at the New York Botanical Garden. 08/14/12.
The ever-increasing challenges to the biodiversity shared by Cuba and the United States provide
the opportunity and the need for the two nations to take an enhanced collaborative, bilateral
approach to addressing shared issues. Cuba lies a mere ninety miles south of the U.S. state of Florida, and the two countries’ territorial
waters meet in the Gulf of Mexico and the Straits of Florida. Cuba and the United States thus share much biodiversity —
ranging from varied populations of organisms to diverse aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Native species migrate, exotic species invade, disease-causing
species disperse, and rare species go extinct in the face of growing habitat modification. The living components of this shared environment are dynamically
impacted, sometimes unpredictably so, by natural or man-made environmental disasters. Nature
does not respect political boundaries
nor do such potential disasters as oil spills, toxic releases, hurricanes, and tropical storms. Such events provide
the sine qua non for greater bilateral cooperation. Governments around the world routinely collaborate on shared environmental
concerns bilaterally or multilaterally, depending on the situation being addressed. Environmental nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from local to
international levels often work in partnership with governments to solve environmental problems that extend beyond national boundaries. Such
public/private arrangements work well in most circumstances, and there are many effective mechanisms in place to deal
with challenges ranging from endangered species and ecosystems to oil and toxic waste spills. However, a lack of formal diplomatic relations can limit desirable
cooperation on shared environmental issues. The U.S. embargo on trade with Cuba—which was instituted in 1961 by the Kennedy administration in response to
Cuba’s nationalization of U.S. businesses’ properties in Cuba during the Cuban Revolution—and subsequent
regulations have thwarted
the efforts of Cuban and U.S. scientists to collaborate on environmental or other professional and
academic matters.1 There is essentially no intergovernmental environmental interaction between the United States and Cuba. The shared biodiversity
of these countries, and in some cases that of other nations in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico regions, suffers as a result.
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Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
Now Key
Cuba is changing in a direction that is favorable of US capitalism
Heuvel 7-2 “The U.S. should end the Cuban embargo” Katrina vanden Heuvel, writer for the Washington Post July
02, 2013
A recent visit reveals a Cuba that is already beginning a new, post-Castro era. That only highlights the inanity of the
continuing U.S. embargo, a cruel relic of a Cold War era that is long gone. Cuba is beginning a new experiment, driven by necessity , of
trying to build its own version of market socialism in one country. Just as populist movements in the hemisphere looked to Castro and Cuba for inspiration, now Cuba is learning from its
allies as it cautiously seeks to open up its economy.
A former minister of the economy spoke of how Cuba is committed to
fostering private coops and businesses, and is beginning a push to make more state enterprises
make their own way . This month, 100 state-run produce markets and 26 other establishments are
scheduled to become private cooperatives. The government says many more establishments will
follow, beginning in 2014, as an alternative to small and medium-size state businesses in retail and
food services, transportation, light manufacturing and construction, among other sectors. Despite the
embargo, José Martí International Airport displays the new vitality. Hundreds of Cuban Americans fly into see relatives, bringing
everything from flat-screen TVs to consumer basics. Since President Obama lifted restrictions on
family visits in 2009, remittances and material support from Cuban Americans play a growing role in the microeconomy of the island. Whereas in the 1990s, Havana
was willing to permit only limited private enterprise as an emergency measure, government officials now speculate openly about aiming
toward 50 percent of Cuba’s GDP in private hands within five years. Of course, an expanding small business sector won’t
resolve some central issues facing the island: access to large-scale credit and investment and the need to boost exports and address anemic productivity, not to mention the demands
of an aging population.
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Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
Solvency – Econ
The Cuban transition is stable but stalling – US action is key to spur further
economic development
Hanson & Lee ’13 (Brianna Lee Senior Production Editor, Stephanie Hanson, January 31, 2013, U.S.-Cuba
Raúl Castro has implemented a number of significant changes to the structure of the Cuban
government and economy. Several changes related to agriculture, including a decision in 2008 to give individuals land
for farming, were meant to spur food production on the island. He liberalized the real estate and auto markets, created
space for small businesses, and cracked down on corruption. "Raúl Castro, though no democrat, is clearly a more practical
man than his brother," said a 2010 Economist article. "He recognizes that time is running out for his island. The population is shrinking and ageing, the
economy is hopelessly unproductive and the state can no longer pay for the paternalist social
services of which Cuba was once proud." However, Raúl Castro's steps toward capitalism have
been "both remarkable and extremely limited," writes Damien Cave for the New York Times. "What Cuba has ended up
with is handcuffed capitalism: highly regulated competitive markets for low-skilled, small family
businesses." In 2012, Raúl Castro made a historic change to the country's travel laws. Under the new policy, which took effect in January 2013, Cubans
are eligible to apply for passports to travel abroad, rather than having to acquire a formal letter of invitation and exit visa. Furthermore, Cubans are able to stay
outside of the country for twenty-four months--extended from eleven months--without losing their status as Cuban residents. The new policy makes exceptions
for "citizens who have obligations with the state or are not authorized under rules designed to preserve the skilled workforce and protect official information," in
which case the state exercises its own judgment. Raúl Castro
has signaled he is willing to engage in dialogue with
Washington. At the same time, says CFR's Sweig, seeking normalized bilateral relations is clearly not a priority
for the Cuban government, which has moved to diversify its relationships in the region. "Cuba no
longer seems to need to see the relationship with the United States improve as rapidly as it might
well have, for example, when the Soviet Bloc collapsed and it lost its Soviet subsidy overnight," Sweig told in a March 2009 interview. A 2009
Human Rights Watch report found that Cuba's judicial system remained oppressive, saying, "Raúl Castro's government uses draconian laws and sham trials to
incarcerate scores more [political prisoners] who have dared to exercise their fundamental freedoms."
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Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
Transition Stable Now
Cuba is denationalizing oil now- this allows US oil companies a market and capitalism
developing in Cuba now
Frank 7/8 July 08, 2013 Marc Frank Reuters Chicago Tribune News “Cuba to embark on
deregulation of state companies”
Cuba will begin deregulating state-run companies in 2014 as reform of the Soviet-style command
economy moves from retail services and farming into its biggest enterprises , the head of the Communist Party's
reform efforts said. Politburo member and reform czar Marino Murillo said the 2014 economic plan included dozens of
changes in how the companies, accountable for most economic activity in the country, did
business. He made the comments in a closed-door speech to parliament deputies on Saturday, and some of his remarks were published by official media
on Monday. "The plan for the coming year has to be different," Murillo was quoted as saying by Communist Party daily newspaper Granma. He said that of 136
directives for next year "51 impact directly on the transformation of the companies." The
reforms will affect big state enterprises like
nickel producer Cubaniquel and oil company Cubapetroleo and entail changes like allowing the
firms to retain half of their profits for investment and wage increases and giving managers more
authority. The plan also threatens nonprofitable concerns with closure if they fail to turn themselves around. "Murillo's empowerment of
state-run companies is a milestone on the road toward a new Cuban model of state capitalism,
where senior managers of government-owned firms become market-driven entrepreneurs," said Richard
Feinberg of the Washington-based Brookings Institution and an expert on Cuba's economy.
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
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Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
2AC Renewables Add-On
US-Cuban cooperation on oil spurs talks on other clean energy sources
Iturbe 13 (Dr. Néstor García Iturbe--Cuban experts on foreign affairs.
February 18, 2013. “What should Obama do? The view from Cuba.” International Institute for the Study of Cuba.
Cooperation in the field of energy¶ The interests
of Cuba to expand its oil production and drilling in the seas that
surround it has been considered by the United States as a potential danger to the environment of
its shores.¶ The conclusion of an agreement between both parties on safety measures to be observed, and even the possibility that this is
an aspect within which U.S. companies that can deal, must surely be of interest to both parties .¶ Some
laws have been proposed in the U.S. Congress including the possibility that companies from that
country undertake drilling in Cuban waters, that oil produced by US citizens and companies could
be imported into United States, which would save of millions of dollars in transportation.¶
Cooperation on energy issues and the environment arising from these, could also be extended to
the exploitation of wind energy, hydropower, solar, electricity generation using gas and others that
depart from the use of oil.
That renewable transition solves global warming
Leahy, ’11 (Stephen, Independent environmental journalist for 16 years, “Permafrost Melt Soon Irreversible Without Major Fossil Fuel Cuts”, Feb 21,
Thawing permafrost is threatening to overwhelm attempts to keep the planet from getting
human survival . Without major reductions in the use of fossil fuels, as much as two-thirds of the world's gigantic
storehouse of frozen carbon could be released, a new study reported. That would push global temperatures several
degrees higher, making large parts of the planet uninhabitable . Once the Arctic gets warm enough, the carbon and
methane emissions from thawing permafrost will kick-start a feedback that will amplify the current
warming rate , says Kevin Schaefer, a scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder,
Colorado. That will likely be irreversible . And we're less than 20 years from this tipping point . Schaefer prefers to use the term
"starting point" for when the 13 million square kilometres of permafrost in Alaska, Canada, Siberia and parts of Europe becomes a major new source of carbon emissions. "Our model projects
a starting point 15 to 20 years from now," Schaefer told IPS. The model used a 'middle of the road' scenario with less fossil fuel use than at present. Even at that rate, it
too hot for
found that between 29 and 60 percent of the world's permafrost will thaw, releasing an extra 190 gigatonnes of carbon by 2200. The study is the first to quantify when and how much carbon will be released and was
published this week in the meteorological journal Tellus. "The amount of carbon released is equivalent to half the amount of carbon that has been released into the atmosphere since the dawn of the industrial age,"
The additional carbon from permafrost would increase the average temperatures in the
Arctic by eight to 10 degrees C, the study reported. Not only would this utterly transform the Arctic, it would also increase the planet's average temperature by about three degrees C,
Schaefer said.
agrees Schaefer. And this increase would be on top of the three to six degrees C from continuing to burn fossil fuels over the next 100 years. The Earth's normal average temperature is 14C, so heating up the entire
planet another six to nine degrees C would be like increasing our body temperatures from the normal 37C to a deadly fever of 53 to 60 degrees C. As catastrophic as all this is, Schaefer acknowledges his study
underestimates what is likely to happen. The model does not measure methane releases, which are 40 times as potent in terms of warming as carbon. Methane could have a big impact on temperatures in the short
term, he says. "There would be a lot of methane emissions. We're working on estimating those right now," he said. The model also does not include emissions from the large region of underwater permafrost. IPS
previously reported that an estimated eight million tonnes of methane emissions are bubbling to the surface from the shallow East Siberian Arctic shelf every year. If just one percent of the Arctic undersea methane
(also called methane hydrates) reaches the atmosphere, it could quadruple the amount of methane currently in the atmosphere, Vladimir Romanovsky of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks previously told IPS. Nor
does the model account for a process called thermokarst erosion, acknowledges Schaefer. This is a widely observed process where meltwater erodes the permafrost and exposes it to warmer temperatures and
speeding up the thaw. "We can't model that yet but it could contribute to major releases of carbon and methane," he said. None of this has been taken into account by politicians and policy makers looking to cut
humanity's carbon emissions with the agreed on target of keeping global temperatures below two degrees C. Nor is there a wide appreciation for the fact there is no 'reverse gear'. Even if all fossil fuel use stopped
today, global temperatures would continue to rise and permafrost would thaw for another 20 to 30 years, Schaefer estimates. And once the permafrost carbon is released, "there is no way to put it back into the
permafrost". Even if there was a way to lower the Earth's human-induced fever, it would take a century or more for thawed permafrost to reform, he said. Permafrost has been warming and thawing since the 1980s. A
2009 study reported that the southernmost permafrost limit had retreated 130 kilometres over the past 50 years in Quebec's James Bay region. The major loss of sea ice in the Arctic allows the Arctic Ocean to
become much warmer, which in turn has increased temperatures of coastal regions an average of three to five degrees C warmer than 30 years ago. More ominously, large parts of the eastern Arctic were 21C
there is a safer path
available. A new energy analysis demonstrates that fossil fuel energy could be virtually phased out by 2050 while offering
comfortable lifestyles for all. The Energy Report by Ecofys, a leading energy consulting firm in the Netherlands, shows that humanity could meet 95
percent of energy needs with renewables utilising today's technologies. "The Energy Report shows that in four decades we can have a world
higher above normal for a month in the dead of winter this year, as previously reported by IPS. However, while on the edge of a most dangerous precipice,
of vibrant economies and societies powered entirely by clean, cheap and renewable energy and with a vastly improved quality of life," said WWF Director General Jim Leape. WWF worked on the report with Ecofys.
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
"The report is more than a scenario – it's a call for action.
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
We can achieve a cleaner, renewable future, but we must start now, " Leape said
in a statement.
That creates a positive feedback loop that results in extinction
Speth 2008 [James, dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. Currently he serves the
school as the Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean and Sara Shallenberger Brown Professor in the Practice of Environmental Policy, The Bridge @ the Edge of the World,
pg. 26]
The possibility of abrupt climate change is linked to what may be the most problematic possibility of all—"positive" feedback
effects where the initial warming has effects that generate more warming. Several of these feedbacks are possible. First, the land's ability to store
carbon could weaken. Soils and forests can dry out or burn and release carbon; less plant growth can occur, thus reducing nature's ability to remove carbon from the
air. Second, carbon sinks in the oceans could also be reduced due to ocean warming and other factors. Third, the potent greenhouse gas
methane could be released from peat bogs, wetlands, and thawing permafrost, and even from the methane hydrates in
the oceans, as the planet warms and changes. Finally, the earth's albedo, the reflectivity of the earth's surface, is slated to be
reduced as large areas now covered by ice and snow diminish or are covered by meltwater. All these effects would tend to
make warming self-reinforcing, possibly leading to a greatly amplified greenhouse effect. The real possibility of these amplifying feedbacks has alarmed
some of our top scientists. James Hansen, the courageous NASA climate scientist, is becoming increasingly outspoken as his investigations lead him to more and more disturbing
planet is
dangerously near a 'tipping point.
conclusions. He offered the following assessment in 2007: "
' Human-made
greenhouse gases are near a level such that important climate changes may proceed mostly under the climate system's own momentum. Impacts would include
extermination of a large fraction of species on the planet, shifting of climatic zones due to an intensified hydrologic cycle with effects on freshwater availability and human health,
and repeated worldwide coastal tragedies associated with storms and a continuously rising sea level. .. . "Civilization developed during the Holocene, a period of relatively tranquil
climate now almost 12,000 years in duration. The planet has been warm enough to keep ice sheets off North America and Europe, but cool enough for ice sheets on Greenland and
Antarctica to be stable. Now, with rapid warming of o.6°C in the past 30 years, global temperature is at its warmest level in the Holocene. "This warming has brought us to the
If we go over the edge, it will be a transition to 'a different planet,' an environment far
outside the range that has been experienced by humanity. There will be no return within the lifetime of any generation that can be imagined , and the trip will
exterminate a large fraction of species on the planet.
precipice of a great 'tipping point”
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Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
Monitoring CP
The United States federal government should fund a long-term ecological monitoring
network, administered under the authority of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, for the Gulf of Mexico.
Counterplan solves spills and other ecological catastrophes without engaging Cuba
Murawski and Hogarth ‘11 (Steven & William, Steven Murawski holds the ¶ Downtown Progress-Peter Betzer Endowed Chair at the College of
Marine Science, University of ¶ South Florida St. Petersburg. ¶ He is the former chief scientist ¶ of the National Marine Fisheries ¶ Service. William Hogarth is ¶
director of the Florida Institute ¶ of Oceanography and former ¶ dean of the USF St. Petersburg ¶ College of Marine Science, January 20, How to prepare for the
next oil spill¶ 2011, LA
the federal Oil Spill Commission
Last week
— co-chaired by former Gov. and Sen. Bob Graham and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator
William Reilly — released its final report on the Deepwater Horizon incident. The report and its supporting white papers admirably explored the root causes of the spill (or more properly
provided bold recommendations on how to prevent future mishaps and to support restoration of the Gulf of Mexico
ecosystem and its resources.¶ Among their 15 major recommendations, the commissioners propose the creation of a permanent fund for
long-term restoration to be capitalized from penalty monies that will likely be forthcoming under provisions of
the Clean Water Act.¶ For those of us in the science community engaged in responding to the leak, it was clear that we had to play catchup when reacting to the event
the leak), and
and its potential impacts because of major voids in scientific information. This included the distribution and concentration of oil and the impacts of remedial measures such as
dispersants and sand berms taken to mitigate the severity of the leak's impacts. ¶ Other questions: What
living resources (fishes, mammals, turtles,
corals) were at risk, and how fast could the ecosystem degrade oil and natural gas released into the environment? We knew that the gulf had a baseline of
hydrocarbons due to ongoing small releases from natural sources as well as oil and gas production. By the time it was apparent we were dealing with a massive leak, ascertaining just
what the background was that we were measuring Deepwater Horizon against became much more difficult than if we had had good monitoring across the gulf before the leak.¶ We
hope Congress adopts the commission's recommendation and places some of the penalty money in a fund for ecosystem restoration. If it does, part of these funds should be allocated
to increasing our basic knowledge of how the Gulf of Mexico works so as to guide and monitor restoration efforts. ¶ A stream of data on the chemical makeup of the gulf's waters, flows
of ocean currents and counts of its flora and fauna are keys not only in ascertaining the rates of recovery, but in understanding the impacts of restoration efforts such as rebuilding
Establishing an ecological monitoring network would also pay
off in our being much more prepared for the next oil spill or hurricane, and for predicting Red Tides and other events that affect the coastal
marshes, reducing nutrient enrichment and fisheries recovery efforts.
economies.¶ Our Florida coastal economy took a big and largely needless hit from fears of oil on beaches that never materialized on the peninsula. Having a network of sensors and
other ship-based monitoring efforts deployed and collecting data throughout the gulf would have allowed much greater situational awareness, which would have directly translated into
adopt the recommendation of the Oil Spill Commission to create an
interest-bearing trust fund, administered by the nation's ocean agency — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — with
representation from the five coastal states and the broad science community. We need to understand how dollars put into restoration activities can
have the greatest impact on improving the gulf's natural resources. Further, we must better prepare for
these events. Investment in research and monitoring will pay big dividends by separating fact from fiction and better
maintaining jobs and revenue.¶ We believe it wise to
targeting our response. It will also spur badly needed technological and scientific innovation in this critical but largely hidden realm.
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
Advantage CP – Spills
The United States federal government should develop a response plan for oil spills with
Cuba based on the Caribbean Island Oil Pollution Response and Cooperation Plan. The
United States Coast Guard should conduct spill response coordination with Cuba. The
President of the United States should issue an export-only industry-wide general license for
oil spill response in Cuban waters. The United States federal government should amend the
Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 to allow for spill-related cooperation with the Cuban
Counterplan solves spill response without modifying the embargo
Bert & Clayton ’12 (Melissa & Blake Melissa Bert is a military fellow (U.S. Coast Guard) at the Council on Foreign
Relations. Blake Clayton is fellow for energy and national security at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Addressing
the Risk of a Cuban Oil Spill”, Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 15, Council on Foreign Relations, LA
The imminent drilling of Cuba's first offshore oil well raises the prospect of a large-scale oil spill in Cuban
waters washing onto U.S. shores. Washington should anticipate this possibility by implementing policies that would
help both countries' governments stem and clean up an oil spill effectively. These policies should ensure that both
the U.S. government and the domestic oil industry are operationally and financially ready to deal with any spill that
threatens U.S. waters. These policies should be as minimally disruptive as possible to the country's broader Cuba strategy.¶ ¶ The Problem¶ A Chinese-built semisubmersible oil rig leased by Repsol, a Spanish oil company,
arrived in Cuban waters in January 2012 to drill Cuba's first exploratory offshore oil well. Early estimates suggest that Cuban offshore oil and natural gas
reserves are substantial—somewhere between five billion and twenty billion barrels of oil and upward of eight billion cubic feet of natural gas. Although the United States typically welcomes greater volumes of crude oil
coming from countries that are not members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a surge in Cuban oil production would complicate the United States' decades-old effort to economically isolate the Castro regime.¶ ¶
Deepwater drilling off the Cuban coast also poses a threat to the United States. The exploratory well is seventy miles off the Florida coast and lies at
a depth of 5,800 feet. The failed Macondo well that triggered the calamitous Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010 had broadly similar features, situated forty-eight miles from shore and approximately five thousand feet below sea level . A spill
off Florida's coast could ravage the state's $57 billion per year tourism industry.¶ ¶ Washington
cannot count on the technical know-how of Cuba's unseasoned oil industry to address a spill on its own. Oil
industry experts doubt that it has a strong understanding of how to prevent an offshore oil spill or stem a deep-water well blowout.
Moreover, the site where the first wells will be drilled is a tough one for even seasoned response teams to operate in. Unlike the calm Gulf of Mexico, the surface currents in the area where Repsol will be drilling move at a brisk three to four knots, which would
bring oil from Cuba's offshore wells to the Florida coast within six to ten days. Skimming or burning the oil may not be feasible in such fast-moving water. The most, and possibly only, effective method to respond to a spill would be surface and subsurface
dispersants. If dispersants are not applied close to the source within four days after a spill, uncontained oil cannot be dispersed, burnt, or skimmed, which would render standard response technologies like containment booms ineffective. ¶ ¶ Repsol has been
forthcoming in disclosing its spill response plans to U.S. authorities and allowing them to inspect the drilling rig, but the Russian and Chinese companies that are already negotiating with Cuba to lease acreage might not be as cooperative. Had Repsol not
volunteered to have the Cuba-bound drilling rig examined by the U.S. Coast Guard and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to certify that it met international standards, Washington would have had little legal recourse. ¶ ¶ The complexity of
U.S.-Cuba relations since the 1962 trade embargo complicates even limited efforts to put in place a spill response plan. Under U.S. law and with few exceptions, American companies cannot assist the Cuban government or provide equipment to foreign
companies operating in Cuban territory.¶ ¶ Shortfalls in U.S. federal regulations governing commercial liability for oil spills pose a further problem. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) does not protect U.S. citizens and property against damages stemming
from a blown-out wellhead outside of U.S. territory. In the case of Deepwater Horizon, BP was liable despite being a foreign company because it was operating within the United States. Were any of the wells that Repsol drills to go haywire, the cost of funding
a response would fall to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF), which is woefully undercapitalized. OPA 90 limits the OSLTF from paying out more than $50 million in a fiscal year on oil removal costs, subject to a few exceptions, and requires congressional
, the United States should discuss contingency planning for a Cuban oil
spill at the regular multiparty talks it holds with Mexico, the Bahamas, Cuba, and others per the Cartagena Convention. The Caribbean Island Oil
Pollution Response and Cooperation Plan provides an operational framework under which the United
States and Cuba can jointly develop systems for identifying and reporting an oil spill, implement a means of
restricting the spread of oil, and identify resources to respond to a spill.¶ ¶ Washington should also
instruct the U.S. Coast Guard to conduct basic spill response coordination with its counterparts in Cuba. The
United States already has operational agreements in place with Mexico, Canada, and several countries in the Caribbean that call for routine exercises, emergency response coordination, and communication protocols. It should strike
an agreement with Cuba that is substantively similar but narrower in scope, limited to basic spill-oriented advance coordination and
communication. Before that step can be taken, U.S. lawmakers may need to amend the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992
to allow for limited, spill-related coordination and communication with the Cuban government.¶ ¶ Next,
President Barack Obama should issue an export-only industry-wide general license for oil spill response in
Cuban waters, effective immediately. Issuing that license does not require congressional authorization. The license should allow offshore oil companies to do vital spill response work in Cuban territory,
such as capping a well or drilling a relief well. Oil service companies, such as Halliburton, should be included in the authorization.¶ ¶ Finally, Congress should alter existing oil spill
appropriation to pay out more than $150 million.¶ ¶ The Way Forward¶ As a first step
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Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
compensation policy. Lawmakers should amend OPA 90 to ensure there is a responsible party for oil spills from a foreign
offshore unit that pollutes or threatens to pollute U.S. waters, like there is for vessels. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Congressman David Rivera (R-FL)
have sponsored such legislation. Lawmakers should eliminate the requirement for the Coast Guard to obtain congressional approval on expenditures above $150 million for spills of national significance (as defined by the National Response Plan). And
President Obama should appoint a commission to determine the appropriate limit of liability cap under OPA 90, balancing the need to compensate victims with the desire to retain strict liability for polluters. ¶ ¶ There are two other, less essential measures U.S.
Installing an early-response system based on acoustic, geophysical, or other technologies in the
Straits of Florida would immediately alert the U.S. Coast Guard about a well blowout or other unusual activity. The U.S.
Department of Energy should find out from Repsol about the characteristics of Cuban crude oil, which would help U.S. authorities predict how the oil would spread in the case of a well blowout.¶ ¶ Defending U.S. Interests¶ An oil well
blowout in Cuban waters would almost certainly require a U.S. response. Without changes in current U.S. law, however,
that response would undoubtedly come far more slowly than is desirable. The Coast Guard would be barred
from deploying highly experienced manpower, specially designed booms, skimming equipment and vessels, and dispersants. U.S. offshore gas and oil
companies would also be barred from using well-capping stacks, remotely operated submersibles, and other vital technologies. Although a handful of U.S. spill
responders hold licenses to work with Repsol, their licenses do not extend to well capping or relief drilling. The result of a slow response to a Cuban oil spill would be
greater, perhaps catastrophic, economic and environmental damage to Florida and the Southeast.¶ ¶
lawmakers may consider that would enable the country to respond more adeptly to a spill.
Efforts to rewrite current law and policy toward Cuba, and encouraging cooperation with its government, could antagonize groups opposed to improved relations with the Castro regime. They might protest any decision allowing U.S. federal agencies to assist
Cuba or letting U.S. companies operate in Cuban territory.¶ ¶ However, taking sensible steps to prepare for a potential accident at an oil well in Cuban waters would not break new ground or materially alter broader U.S. policy toward Cuba. For years,
Washington has worked with Havana on issues of mutual concern. The United States routinely coordinates with Cuba on search and rescue operations in the Straits of Florida as well as to combat illicit drug trafficking and migrant smuggling. During the
The recommendations proposed here are
narrowly tailored to the specific challenges that a Cuban oil spill poses to the United States. They would not help
the Cuban economy or military. What they would do is protect U.S. territory and property from a potential danger emanating from Cuba. ¶ ¶
Cuba will drill for oil in its territorial waters with or without the blessing of the United States.
Defending against a potential oil spill requires a modicum of advance coordination and preparation
with the Cuban government, which need not go beyond spill-related matters. Without taking these precautions, the United States risks a
hurricane season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides Cuba with information on Caribbean storms. ¶ ¶
second Deepwater Horizon, this time from Cuba.
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Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
No Impact – Can’t Determine Effect of Spill
Impossible to determine effects of an oil spill
Nerurkar & Sullivan ‘11 Neelesh,¶ Specialist in Energy Policy ¶ And Mark P. ¶ Specialist in Latin American Affairs ¶ Congressional research service“Cuba’s
Offshore Oil Development: ¶ Background and U.S. Policy Considerations”¶ November 28, 2011 LA
Risks that Oil Spilled in Cuban Waters Reaches the United States ¶ If
an oil spill were to occur in the waters northwest of Cuba,
currents in the Florida Straits could ¶ carry that oil to U.S. waters and coastal areas in southern and south eastern
Florida.37 However, ¶ any environmental impact to Florida would depend on many factors at the time of a spill, ¶
including size and location of the oil spill, ocean conditions in the area, prevailing wind direction ¶ and velocity,
temperature of the water and the air, the type of oil spilled, and effectiveness of any ¶ cleanup efforts. The wide variety of factors
render impossible a precise description of the ¶ environmental impact were an oil spill to occur in Cuban waters. ¶ Even if prevailing winds and current
conditions favored rapid transport of spilled oil to the ¶ Florida coastline, other factors would also affect the rate of
spill dispersal and, in part, determine ¶ how much of the spill reached the U.S. coast. The physical and chemical characteristics of an
oil ¶ spill change over time, a process known as “weathering.” How much weathering takes place after ¶ a spill occurs would affect the nature of the oil and the
degree of impact. How fast oil spreads ¶ depends on volume spilled and the viscosity of the oil.38 As the spill
spreads out, the lighter and ¶ more volatile components of the oil would evaporate at a rate that depends on water and air¶ temperature, as well as wind speed
and wave action.39 Over time, and depending on waves and ¶ turbulence at the sea surface, the spill would start to break up, or disperse. Other factors, such as
¶ oxidation, biodegradation, interaction with sediments, all contribute to the changing character of ¶ an oil spill over time and during its transport by ocean currents
and winds.40¶ Finally, the extent of any cleanup activities will influence how much of the spill persists in the ¶ environment. In general, the faster and more
expansive the cleanup effort, the more likely it may ¶ limit damage to the environment. (See “Oil Spill Preparedness and Response” below for a ¶ discussion of
U.S. policy related to preparedness and response in the event of an oil spill.)
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Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
A2: US Key
US not key to prevent Cuban spills – Cuba has incentive for safe drilling and following
international standards
Sadowski, ’11 (Richard,Sadowski is a Class of 2012 J.D. candidate, at Hofstra University ¶ School of Law, NY.
Mr. Sadowski is also the Managing Editor of Production of ¶ the Journal of International Business and Law Vol.
XI.“Cuban offshore drilling: Preparation¶ and Prevention within the framework¶ of the united states’ embargo”,
Sustainable Development Law & Policy Volume 12 Article 10 page 38-39, Published at American University
Washington college of Law Fall 2011,
%2522%2B~US%26hl%3Den%26as_sdt%3D0%2C45#search=%22Cuba%20oil%20%7EUS%22) LA¶
Calming Environmental Fears with an Oil Spill Agreement With Cuba¶ Fears
that Cuban offshore drilling poses serious
environmental threats because of the proximity to the United States and ¶ the prohibition on U.S.
technology transfer are overblown. Cuba ¶ has at least as much incentive to ensure safe-drilling
practices ¶ as does the United States , and reports indicate that Cuba is taking safety seriously.64 Lee
Hunt, President of the Houston-based ¶ International Association of Drilling Contractors, said, “[t]he ¶ Cuban
oil industry has put a lot of research, study and thought ¶ into what will be required to safely drill,” and that “they
are ¶ very knowledgeable of international industry practices and have ¶ incorporated many of these
principles into their safety and regulatory planning and requirements.”65 Thus, while the economic ¶ embargo of Cuba
restricts American technology from being utilized, foreign sources have provided supplemental
alternatives.66¶ Further, spill response planning can be implemented before ¶ drilling begins. The United States currently has oil spill response ¶
agreements with Mexico67 and Canada,68 but not with Cuba.69¶ As the Deepwater Horizon spill highlighted, planning for disaster is
essential. To achieve this goal, the United States can model a Cuban plan on the Joint Contingency
Plan between the United ¶ Mexican States and the United States of America Regarding ¶ Pollution of the Maritime
Environment by Discharge of Hydrocarbons or Other Hazardous Substances (“MEXUS Plan”).70¶ That plan originates from an agreement between Mexico and ¶
the United States signed on July 24, 1980, and developed in ¶ accordance with the International Convention on Oil Pollution ¶ Preparedness, Response and
Cooperation, adopted on November ¶ 30, 1990.71 The Plan pre-designates on-scene coordinators, a ¶ joint response team, response coordination centers, rapid
notification protocols, and communications procedures for the event ¶ of an oil disaster.72 The Plan has triumphed in test simulations, ¶ which validates its
concepts.73¶ The United States must initiate the same level of planning with Cuba. Given the proximity of potential Cuban wells ¶ to the Florida coast, the need
for a contingency plan is clear. ¶ Fortunately, the
MEXUS Plan provides a guiding framework ¶ upon which the United
States and Cuba can draw. Furthermore, ¶ a recent Congressional report indicates that Cuba is open to ¶
certain bilateral agreements with the United States , noting Raul ¶ Castro’s willingness to engage
with the United States where ¶ mutual interests exist.74 Since an oil spill agreement is of mutual ¶
interest, both countries should work to draft and implement it.¶
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
Relations – No Solvency – Small Changes Don’t Solve
Relations low now – lack of Cuban optimism proves small changes do not solve
Hanson & Lee ’13 (Brianna Lee Senior Production Editor, Stephanie Hanson, January 31, 2013, U.S.-Cuba
What is the status of U.S.-Cuba relations? They are virtually nonexistent. There is a U.S. mission in Havana, Cuba's
capital, but it has minimal communication with the Cuban government. Since 1961, the official U.S. policy toward Cuba has been two-pronged: economic embargo and diplomatic
isolation. The George W. Bush administration strongly enforced the embargo and increased travel restrictions. Americans with immediate family in Cuba could visit once every three
years for a maximum of two weeks, while family remittances to Cuba were reduced from $3,000 to just $300 in 2004. However, in April 2009, President Obama eased some of these
policies. He went further in 2011 to undo many of the restrictions imposed by the Bush administration, thus allowing U.S. citizens to send remittances to non-family members in Cuba
Congress amended the trade embargo in 2000 to allow agricultural
exports from the United States to Cuba. In 2008, U.S. companies exported roughly $710 million
worth of food and agricultural products to the island nation, according to the U.S.-Cuba Trade and
Economic Council. However, that number fell by about 50 percent in 2012. Total agricultural exports since 2001 reached $3.5 billion as of February 2012. Nebraska,
and to travel to Cuba for educational or religious purposes.
Oklahoma, and Texas have all brokered agricultural deals with Cuba in recent years. Tension between Cuba and the United States flared in December 2009 with Cuba's arrest of Alan
Gross, a USAID subcontractor who traveled to the country to deliver communications equipment and arrange Internet access for its Jewish community. Cuban authorities alleged Gross
was attempting to destabilize the Cuban regime through a USAID-sponsored "democracy promotion" program, and he was subsequently sentenced to fifteen years in prison.
Despite initial optimism over Obama's election, Cuban politicians and citizens are less hopeful of a
positive relationship developing between the two countries. Raúl and Fidel Castro have both criticized the Obama administration. In a
2009 speech, Raúl Castro accused the United States of "giving new breath to open and undercover subversion against Cuba."
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
No Solvency – Cuba Say No
Can’t solve relations – Cuba will hold on to control
Hanson & Lee ’13 (Brianna Lee Senior Production Editor, Stephanie Hanson, January 31, 2013, U.S.-Cuba
What is the
main obstacle in U.S.-Cuban relations? A fundamental incompatibility of political views
stands in the way of improving U.S.-Cuban relations, experts say. While experts say the United States wants
regime change, "the most important objective of the Cuban government is to remain in power at all
costs," says Felix Martin, an assistant professor at Florida International University's Cuban Research Institute. Fidel Castro has been an inspiration for Latin
American leftists such as Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Bolivian President Evo Morales, who have challenged U.S. policy in the region.
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
No Solvency – Drilling Fails
Drilling off Cuba fails – Operation in the area is excessive and oil is difficult to find
Goodhue 6/6 (David Goodhue, 6/6/13, Keysnet writer, Keysnet, Last Cuban offshore oil project ending for now,
Cuba suffered a major disappointment when several
countries were unsuccessful in finding oil in the deep waters of the Florida
crude is difficult
to find and working in the area is highly expensive. Operations in the Straits cost companies about $100 million each in
Straits last year. The area — about 70 miles from Key West — might contain large amounts of oil, but it is in very deep water, the
exploratory missions alone, said Jorge Piñon, associate director of the Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program at the University of Texas at Austin. “I have
been told that the oil is there, but the
traps/structures are very difficult. So oil companies are probably likely to spend
their limited capital dollars in other more promising, less risky areas (not only technical but also politically) than Cuba,” Piñon said in
an e-mail. “They would rather go to Brazil, Angola, Alaska, U.S. Gulf of Mexico or the new growing market of shale in Argentina.” The Straits
exploration — conducted by four international companies on a giant Chinese-built, Italian-owned semi-submersible oil rig — worried both
environmentalists and critics of Cuba’s Castro regime. But the operation was largely a bust and only two of the participating companies
are still in the region: Malaysia’s Petronas and Gazprom, from Russia. They’re operating in a partnership and are now only conducting “some
seismic work,” Piñon said. The first company to work on the rig, Spain’s Repsol, closed its Cuban offices. And Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, is
going through too many financial difficulties to invest again in the risky Straits, according to Piñon. The area
near the Bahamas where Zarubezhneft is exploring is much shallower — around 2,000 feet below the surface as opposed to 6,000 feet in the Straits. This makes
it a more attractive place for companies like Zarubezhneft to search for offshore fossil fuels. Valentina Matvienko, speaker of the Russian Federation Council —
the country’s equivalent of the U.S. Senate — pledged in a May interview with Cuba’s state-run Granma newspaper continued investment and involvement in
Cuba’s offshore energy projects. “We are currently negotiating a broad range of projects relating to energy, and Russian companies such as Zarubezhneft are
actively involved in oil prospecting in Cuban waters, and this work is going to continue,” Matvienko said. But the company might not use the Songa Mercur when
it returns, according to oil industry sources. One of the reasons Zarubezhneft is leaving Cuba is because the rig was having equipment difficulties. Instead,
Zarubezhneft may come back in a drill ship, a traditional seagoing vessel with oil-drilling capabilities.
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
No Solvency – Too Many Barriers
US oil companies don’t want to get involved in Cuban oil—too many political barriers
Miroff 11 (Nick Miroff, September 10, 2011. “Oil discovery in Cuba gets US notice: The US is watching closely as
Cuba prepares to exploit deep-water reserves.” Nick Miroff covers Cuba for GlobalPost. He is also a contributor to
National Public Radio, and has written for the Washington Post. In 2007, Miroff was part of the Washington Post
reporting team that won a Pulitzer prize for breaking news coverage of the massacre at Virginia Tech.
U.S. geologists believe there may be 5 billion barrels of oil down there. Cuban studies estimate the total at four times
that, enough to put the island on par with mid-size energy exporters in the region like Ecuador and Colombia.¶ A major oil strike could rescue Cuba’s struggling
socialist system from its financial woes, giving the Castro government access to new credit and a potentially lucrative industry.¶ Having conducted test wells in
the area before, Spanish
energy company Repsol and its partners are now bringing the Chinese-built
Scarabeo 9 to a site off Cuba’s northwest coast, where it aims to drill as soon as November at a depth of more than
5,500 feet, deeper than the blown-out well that spewed 5 million barrels of crude into the Gulf last summer.¶ That disaster
has added to anxiety about Cuba’s exploration efforts, but it has also intensified calls for U.S.
officials to engage the Castro government on spill prevention and contingency plans .¶ A high-level
delegation of U.S. oil-spill experts traveled to Havana this week to meet with Cuban officials. It has urged the Obama
administration to cooperate with the Castro government on a joint-response plan that could avert
environmental catastrophe for both countries.¶ The delegation included William Reilly, co-chair of the presidential commission that
investigated last year’s spill at the Deepwater Horizon rig, at the well known as Macondo.¶ “The fact that Cuba is about to drill six wells in
the next two years, some of them very deep, deeper than Macondo, in places we wouldn’t allow it if
it were in our waters … you better believe that the United States has an important interest in that ,”
Reilly said.¶ “The Cubans have never regulated this industry, they don’t have familiarity with it, but they
are doing things to get ready for it,” he added. “We want to make sure the Cubans have got the lessons
we learned, and get a sense of what they do need — that the U.S., in its own interest — would help them
get.”¶ Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), a long-time Castro foe, criticized the delegation’s visit, saying it gave “credibility” to Cuba’s attempt to
become “the oil tycoons of the Caribbean.” Other lawmakers have also urged retaliatory measures against Repsol.¶ But experts
say with Cuba
moving forward, the U.S. should help them do so as safely as possible. Some of the industry’s leading
safety-equipment providers and cleanup contractors are nearby along the Gulf Coast, but the U.S.
trade embargo bars them from doing business with the island.¶ In recent months, Cuban authorities have given minimal
information about their drilling plans, but the U.S. delegation gave new details into the project.¶ The fact that the drilling rig was built in China should not raise
concerns, said delegation member Lee Hunt, president of the Houston-based International Association of Drilling Contractors, a trade group. As many six other
rigs already working safely in the Gulf of Mexico were built in the same Chinese shipyard, Hunt said.¶ “It has the latest generation of equipment,” said Hunt.¶
American trade sanctions against Cuba prohibited the use of more than 10 percent U.S. technology
in the rig’s construction, but Hunt said the Norwegian-designed platform will have an American-made blowout-prevention system that is more
advanced than the one which failed on the Deepwater Horizon.¶ While Cuban oil officials will manage and regulate the
operations, the engineers and crews doing the actually drilling will be composed of experienced
international oil workers, said Hunt. An Italian firm, Saipem, will be operating the rig, and Repsol’s partners include Statoil, a Norwegian company
that he and others praise as a world leader in safe deepwater drilling.¶ When asked how closely U.S. oil companies were following Cuba’s drilling plans — and if
they might be angling behind the scenes for access to its waters — members of the delegation said it would depend on the size of the find.¶ If
deposits hold close to 20 billion barrels, as Cuban geologists claim, that would probably attract
some interest, said delegation member Richard Sears, a former vice president and deepwater drilling specialist at Royal Dutch Shell.¶ For now, though,
Sears said, U.S. firms will likely prefer to work in parts of the world with proven hydrocarbon reserves
and fewer political hurdles than Cuba. “The challenge for any company is how you allocate resources,” he said.¶ “Do I want to
fight political and public-relations battles?” said Sears. “Or do I put my resources into other parts of the Gulf of Mexico where I have
well-established leases?Ӧ
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
Venezuela DA Link
Plan reduces Cuban dependence on Venezuelan exports
Latin American Herald Tribune ’11 (The Latin American Herald Tribune aims to be the main source of news
for the English-reading public about Latin America, Mar 8, 2011, “U.S. Urged to Engage in Energy Cooperation with
The United States should begin a direct dialogue with Cuba to promote energy and
environmental cooperation and reduce the island’s dependence on Venezuela, according to a report released Thursday by the Center
for Democracy in the Americas. The independent, non-profit organization, which advocates for an easing of the U.S. embargo on Cuba, outlined in its 59-page report 10 changes that Washington should adopt to
promote energy cooperation with the Communist-ruled island as Havana prepares to start tapping
offshore oil deposits. “After living through the BP spill, we can’t maintain the illusion that the embargo will stop Cuba from drilling and must instead adopt policies that protect U.S. economic, environmental, and foreign policy
interests,” CDA Executive Director Sarah Stephens said. Citing the U.S. Geological Survey, the CDA said approximately 5 billion barrels of oil and 9 trillion cubic feet of
natural gas lie beneath the Gulf of Mexico in land belonging to Cuba. The discovery of commercially viable amounts of oil would transform and
provide stability to the Cuban economy and is “likely to significantly alter” the island’s relations with oil-rich, leftist-led Venezuela and the rest of Latin America, Asia and other leading energy producing and consuming nations, the report said. At present,
Cuban energy production falls short of daily domestic demand and leaves the island dependent on
Venezuela for roughly two-thirds of its energy supply. The CDA calls the U.S. embargo a Cold War remnant that prohibits U.S. companies from “joining Cuba in efforts to
extract its offshore resources” and leaves the United States without a viable action plan in the event of a potential oil spill such as the recent BP oil disaster. The report, which encourages direct dialogue to ensure protection of the countries’ mutual interests,
The CDA also calls on the U.S. Congress to
support a bipartisan measure introduced last year by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) and Sens. Lisa Murkowski
(R-Alaska) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) that would allow U.S. companies “to participate in oil exploration and
effective crisis planning with Cuba.”The report comes amid expectation that Cuba will drill 20 wells by the end of 2011, mainly in the area between Havana and Varadero. Exploratory
drilling led by foreign companies, meanwhile, will continue with the aim of locating new deposits
and ascertaining the full potential of Cuba’s offshore Economic Exclusive Zone in the Gulf of Mexico.Cuba’s EEZ covers a 112,000proposes that Washington permit an exchange of scientific information and allow U.S. firms to work with Cuba on “efforts to protect drilling safety.”
kilometer (43,243-mile) area that has been divided into 59 blocks; the island’s partners in its offshore drilling plans include Spain’s Repsol-YPF, Venezuela’s PDVSA and Vietnam’s PetroVietnam. EFE
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
Politics – Plan Popular
The only thing stopping investment is congress lifting the restrictions – the plan is popular
in congress
Hanson 13’ (Authors: Stephanie Hanson, and Brianna Lee, Senior Production Editor @ Council of
Foreign Relations, Updated: January 31, 2013
U.S. constituencies would like to resume relations. U.S. agricultural groups already deal with
Cuba, and other economic sectors want access to the Cuban market. Many Cuban-Americans were
angered by the Bush administration's strict limits on travel and remittances, though a small but vocal contingent of hard-line Cuban exiles,
many of them based in Florida, does not want to normalize relations until the Communist regime is gone. " When they're polled, the majority of
Cuban-Americans say that the embargo has failed, and support lifting the travel ban or loosening the embargo or
some steps along that continuum of liberalization and normalization," says Julia E. Sweig, CFR director of Latin American
studies. Ending the economic embargo against Cuba would require congressional approval . Opinions in
Congress are mixed: A group of influential Republican lawmakers from Florida, including former representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart, his brother Mario Diaz-Balart, and Ileana Ros-
many favor improving relations with Cuba. In 2009, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), the top-ranking Republican
We must recognize the ineffectiveness of
our current policy and deal with the Cuban regime in a way that enhances U.S. interests" (PDF).
Lehtinen are stridently anti-Castro. Still,
on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a report calling for U.S. policy changes. He said: "
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
Embargo Bad – Disproportionately Affects Black Cubans
The U.S. Embargo disproportionally affects black Cubans – fiscal squeeze puts black opportunity
economic programs on the chopping block
NewHouse ’11 (; Elizabeth
Newhouse[Raised in Cuba, Elizabeth Newhouse has been working at CIP for three years, accompanying delegations
to Cuba and writing reports on Cuba’s disaster management and race relations and on U.S.-Cuba policy and
environmental cooperation]; “Questions of Racial Identity, Racism, and Anti-Racist Policies in Cuba Today”; )
In response to a question about the economic crisis and its effect on the race problem, Feraudy
lamented that many of Castro’s social and economic programs to boost black opportunity have
been suspended for lack of funds. He mentioned the disparity between whites and blacks in
remittances received from abroad, as well as the hardships caused by the U.S. embargo, which
affect poor blacks disproportionately.The bottom line, according to Feraudy, is that the earlier romantic thinking that there is no race
problem in Cuba has changed to public acknowledgment of it. Now the revolution has given space to a dialogue, and Cubans must take advantage of it. In past
years a conference such as this in the United States would have been shunned as another opportunity to attack the Castro government. This CIP event, he
concluded, “is evidence we are moving forward. We are not speaking just as blacks but as Cubans.” The U.S. Policy Equation The conference’s afternoon panel
discussed U.S.-Cuban policy and its relationship to the race issue. Moderated by Sarah Stephens of the Center for Democracy in the Americas, it joined Esteban
Morales and Heriberto Feraudy with Julia E. Sweig of the Council on Foreign Relations. All strongly agreed that the United States must not interfere in Cuba’s
race problem. “This is a very sensitive matter that has to be solved internally,” said Morales. The United States has used race in the context of the dissident
movement, linking it to democracy/civil rights/human rights. Under the Obama administration, according to Julia Sweig, the $20 million available through USAID
for Cuba programs, while still devoted to regime change, is now focusing on more politically correct, leftist causes, such as LBGT, race activists and blacks with
disabilities. Or, in the words of the U.S. State Department, “We will be targeting new sectors of traditionally marginalized civil society…to empower them and
build their capacity.” “What authority does the U.S. have to intervene in Cuban domestic policies relating to race?” questioned Heriberto Feraudy. “What will U.S.
investment do? How many blacks in Cuba really are against the government? The United States insists Cuba do what it wants, forcing us into erroneous
positions like asking for help from the Soviet Union,” he said. But Cuba could not accept the U.S. interference that had been going on since the Platt Amendment
in 1902. In 1912 the fear of U.S. intervention resulted in a massacre of thousands of blacks and mulattos, who rose up to protest the killing of a group of 12 men
working to organize a black political party. If
the United States wants to help blacks in Cuba, Feraudy continued, it
should lift the embargo, which affects not government officials but the poorest of the poor. It even blocked funds for AIDS
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
Embargo Good – Human Rights
Can’t fold to oil pressure – the embargo is key to prevent further human rights abuses
Sadowski, ’11 (Richard, Sadowski is a Class of 2012 J.D. candidate, at Hofstra University ¶ School of Law, NY.
Mr. Sadowski is also the Managing Editor of Production of ¶ the Journal of International Business and Law Vol.
XI.“Cuban offshore drilling: Preparation¶ and Prevention within the framework¶ of the united states’ embargo”,
Sustainable Development Law & Policy Volume 12 Article 10 page 38, Fall 2011,
%2522%2B~US%26hl%3Den%26as_sdt%3D0%2C45#search=%22Cuba%20oil%20%7EUS%22) LA
Introduction¶ Cuba
plans to drill seven exploratory oil wells in the ¶ Gulf of Mexico by 2014.1¶ Some argue that the threat
of ¶ Cuban offshore oil drilling will increase the embargo’s ¶ costs and that U.S. oil companies will
miss out on oil exploration ¶ that will go to foreign countries.2¶ In response, some U.S. lawmakers and
U.S. oil lobbyists have advocated for an exception ¶ to the Cuban embargo permitting energy
cooperation.3¶ Notwithstanding these concerns, the long-standing Cuban embargo is an ¶ economic restriction
with a significant purpose and should not ¶ so easily be forsaken. ¶ This article argues that, despite the added
pressure Cuba’s ¶ offshore oil developments have placed on U.S. policy, the embargo’s twin goals of bringing
democracy to the Cuban people ¶ and ending their oppressive rule have not been met. Thus, now ¶ is
not the time to lift or ease the embargo. The embargo itself ¶ serves to restrict Cuba’s drilling efforts4¶ and new legislation may ¶ further
hamper Cuba’s exploration.5¶ Additionally, the economic ¶ concerns of the U.S. energy industry do not warrant a
change ¶ in the U.S. foreign policy toward Cuba, and those concerns can ¶ be better met by tapping U.S. resources. Furthermore,
fears of ¶ a Cuban oil spill can be assuaged through less drastic measures ¶ such as an oil spill emergency
response agreement with Cuba, ¶ similar to the one that the United States has enacted with Mexico
SCFI 2013
Cuba Aff Addendum
Kosmach/Hanson/Shelton-Thomas Lab
Embargo Good – Democracy
Embargo good – key to further democratic expansion
Sadowski, ’11 (Richard, Sadowski is a Class of 2012 J.D. candidate, at Hofstra University ¶ School of Law, NY.
Mr. Sadowski is also the Managing Editor of Production of ¶ the Journal of International Business and Law Vol.
XI.“Cuban offshore drilling: Preparation¶ and Prevention within the framework¶ of the united states’ embargo”,
Sustainable Development Law & Policy Volume 12 Article 10 page 38, Fall 2011,
%2522%2B~US%26hl%3Den%26as_sdt%3D0%2C45#search=%22Cuba%20oil%20%7EUS%22) LA
The Despite
calls for its revocation, the embargo’s purpose is as ¶ important now as when it was
enacted . Cuba is still an oppressive ¶ country.59 Cubans may not leave the country without permission and still lack
fundamental freedoms of expression.60 José ¶ Miguel Vivanco, the director of Americas division at Human ¶ Rights Watch, notes that as “Cuba’s
draconian laws and sham ¶ trials remain in place, [the country] continue[s] to restock the ¶ prison cells with new generations of innocent Cubans who dare ¶ to
exercise their basic rights.”61 Moreover, a
recent proposal by ¶ the Cuban Communist Party makes clear that there
will be no ¶ change in the country’s oppressive one-party political system.62¶ In doing so, the lengthy document
declares “[o]nly socialism ¶ is capable of overcoming the current difficulties and preserving the victories of the revolution.”63 Cuba’s treatment of its ¶ own citizens
is a situation the United States cannot ignore .
The embargo’s twin goals of backing democracy and ending
oppressive rule have not been met. Until they are, the embargo must remain in place.