Cuban government expert: Oil spill not a concern. Yet.

An expert with Cuba’s basic industries ministry said Friday that the oil spill near the U.S. coast of the Gulf of Mexico does not pose any danger to Cuba, “for now.”

“For now, there’s no concern at all regarding any danger for Cuba, and we haven’t taken any measure until now,” Manuel Marrero, special adviser to the ministry, told AFP. “This is very far away and doesn’t imply any danger for Cuba. We are not at all concerned about this.”

Even so, he told AFP, Cuba is concerned about the ecological impact the United States is suffering. It isn’t clear whether the U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are providing the Cuban government with information and data.

Prevailing currents: Clockwise, towards the Florida Strait.


Cuba shares the Gulf of Mexico with the United States and Mexico, both of which have taken measures to cope with the oil spill, probably the largest in history. The oil spill near the coast of Louisiana has a circumference of 600 miles, but is still some 600 miles away from Cuban beaches. Prevailing currents in the Gulf go in a clockwise direction, heading towards the Florida Strait, which separates Florida from Cuba. 

Tourism is Cuba’s second-largest hard-currency provider. The year started with a dip in tourism numbers, but March showed a recovery. The No. 1 and 2 beach resorts in the country, Varadero and Cayo Coco, are located on the north coast, exposed to currents from the Gulf of Mexico.

Cuba is pushing offshore oil drilling in its economic exclusive zone. The country granted offshore licenses to a consortium led by Repsol YPF, PdVSA, Petrobras, Petrovietnam, Petronas, and a Russian consortium. Some of the biggest onshore and near-shore drilling operations in Cuba are close to Varadero.

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