Cuba Readies to Face BP Oil Spill

Cuban beach. Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, June 16 — With the help of Venezuelan specialists Cuba is preparing to deal with the possible arrival of the BP oil spill to its pristine coasts, said General Ramon Espinosa, a deputy minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR).

Espinosa spoke at a conference on disasters taking place in Havana.  He said the island lacks experience on dealing with oil spill disasters and thus asked for experts from its chief ally.

Another top military official, Gen. Ramon Pardo, who heads the islands civil defense, said it would be a “serious misfortune” if the oil slick reaches Cuban coasts.

The tourism and fishing industries would be the most affected.

Pardo said the government has begun to prepare the population in the most vulnerable zones to confront such a possibility, reported IPS.

5 thoughts on “Cuba Readies to Face BP Oil Spill

  • The leaders of other countries need to put some serious pressure on the American Government.

  • Cross your fingers and look for a little bit of luck. This is enormous. It’s time for all of us atheists to start praying for a miracle. To imagine that this won’t impact Cuba, let alone the rest of the planet is denial, plain & simple. We’re “:#$@* ed.

  • Faith is needed to stop spill, activist says!
    By Raymond Legendre ( A newspaper staff writer for “The Daily Comet of Louisiana” – USA )

    Published: Monday, June 14, 2010

    GRAND ISLE — A few dozen people stood on a stretch of Grand Isle beach Sunday afternoon, hoping that what they were about to receive in their cupped hands would end the oil spill that has caused so much suffering and uncertainty.

    Six volunteers put mustard seeds in their waiting hands, a visible reminder of the biblical tale recounted moments earlier by Jeff Dorson, executive director of the Humane Society of Louisiana. Each was asked to plant the seeds upon his or her return home.

    In a parable found in the New Testament, Jesus told his disciples they could move mountains if they had the faith of a mustard seed. After repeated and failed attempts to cap the BP well responsible for the weeks-long spill that has polluted beaches, coated marshes and felled coastal wildlife, Dorson said he began to view prayer as the only way to save south Louisiana’s economy and environment.

    “Have this seed be your symbol, your truth, your power of prayer,” he told the crowd. “When this seed starts to grow, a miracle is going to happen.”

    About 70 people joined Dorson in withering heat on the beach near the Bridgeside Marina on La. 1 to participate in the interfaith blessing sponsored by the Humane Society of Louisiana, a group dedicated to protecting animals from cruelty. Ministers of varying faiths offered prayers for area workers and wildlife affected by the oil spill.

    At the vigil’s close, participants gathered hand-in-hand along a dune near the beach to gaze into the surf and offer additional prayers.

    The mid-April explosion and subsequent collapse of the Deepwater Horizon rig left behind an uncapped well that continues to spew large amounts of crude into the Gulf of Mexico. The spill prompted the closure of many coastal waters, threatening the livelihoods of fishermen, seafood processors and others.

    In addition, hundreds of birds, turtles and mammals have died following the spill, including many who were found covered in oil, according to the state Wildlife and Fisheries. Chemical dispersants sprayed in the waters have also created concern, according to vigil attendees, about the long-term health effects the chemicals will have on cleanup workers and others.

    “We’ve been trying for (55) days and nothing has worked,” Dorson said after the vigil ended. “It’s time for a miracle. If we all ask for that, I truly believe a miracle will happen soon, … a path will open, an idea will come forward, a tool will be developed.”

    Vigil attendees interviewed for this story praised Dorson’s sincerity and agreed prayer is needed to resolve the crisis.

    Rose Portier, a Terrebonne Parish native, drove 2 ½ hours to attend the vigil. Such a distance was a small price to pay considering what is at stake, she said. Portier’s father was a shrimper.

    “It’s my culture, my inheritance, my family,” the retired Terrebonne Parish teacher said. “We’ve have to make a stand. If we don’t make a stand, who’s going to stand for us?”

    A group of 20-somethings from New Orleans also attended the vigil.

    “It’s an all-encompassing heartbreaker,” said Carolyn Jan, a 25-year-old New Orleans resident by way of Toledo, Ohio. “The people, the animals, the land — … we’re all supposed to work together. Some of us are trying.”

  • With a little bit of luck the south easterly trade winds in combination with the fast moving Gulf Stream will keep the oil off of Cuba’s beautiful northern beaches and productive mangrove areas. The big problem is the fact that neither BP nor the U.S. Government seem to be able to deal with the oil problem on the beaches in the United States. How in God’s name can anyone expect them to help Cuba? The real problem for Cuba would be an up-welling of the sub surface plumes that are known to exist but impossible to track. This event is only the tip of the multinational corporate ‘pollution to the planet’ iceberg. What these oil companies have done to Africa is despicable!

  • Let’s hope ‘crossing your fingers’ is enuff, with this disaster. But with hurricane season coming — and no end in sight to the gusher — how could your luck not run out..? At least socialist Cuba will be able to responsibly marshal resources to meet this thing.

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