Cuba is set to soon begin offshore oil and gas drilling activities off its coastline, and already, maritime lawyers and lawmakers are concerned about the possibility of any disaster like the Gulf of Mexico explosion. Any such offshore oil rig accident would mean an ecological disaster that could quickly spread to US waters. Lawmakers have been concerned enough about Cuba's offshore drilling ambitions to ask Pres. Barrack Obama to take action to halt any offshore drilling activity by Cuba. Last month, officials in Cuba held a press conference in Trinidad and Tobago, seeking to assure the international community about the safety of their country's offshore drilling activity. According to officials from the country's Environmental and Nuclear Safety Regulation, Cuba is investing heavily in preventing offshore disasters. Any company that applies for a license to explore for oil and gas off the Cuban coastline must first prove its ability to prevent a disaster. According to the officials, Cuba has already studied the offshore safety practices that have been adopted by the UK and the USA, and has included these practices in its safety programs. What complicates matters is that Cuba and the United States have no relations. The country is under an American embargo, which means that American companies are not permitted to sell their sophisticated offshore accident prevention technologies to that country. In the event of any maritime disaster, American companies may not be in a position to help Cuba limit the extent of the environmental impact.
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