Oil is gold these days, as a hot topic on the presidential campaign trail, and as a commodity that fuels more than homes, but also wars and diplomatic relations. Take the U.S. relationship with Venezuela for example. One of the biggest threats that President Chavez has made is that he will cut off U.S. access to Venezuela’s oil. Now there is a new potential threat. Well not new, pero a new spin on an old threat. Cuba announced that there may be more than 20bn barrels of recoverable oil in offshore fields in Cuba’s share of the Gulf of Mexico, more than twice the previous estimate.
What does this mean if it is indeed true?
It puts Cuba’s reserves on par with those of the US and into the world’s top 20.
It would release the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
It could possibly begin exporting oil.
It could change Cuba’s economy.
It could also mean that the U.S. would be forced to look at Cuba in a new way, a potentially dangerous way. The U.S. could move in one of two directions if the high estimates of oil available are true (it should be noted that these numbers have not been confirmed and that even if confirmed, the oil is difficult to extract, not to mention expensive). The U.S. could take the position it takes with Venezuela, with the constant if unspoken threat of invasion/intervention, or it could move to work with Cuba, with U.S. oil companies intervening, I mean working together with Cuba.