Oil Spill Brings US, Cuba Together

Good thing, writes analyst: Havana is looking for wells, too
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Suggested by MarionRozelle
Posted May 19, 2010 2:12 PM CDT
A boat motors through a ribbon of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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(Newser) – As the oil spill spreads toward Florida and Cuba, the State Department has begun briefing Havana on efforts to control it. "We also communicated US desire to maintain a clear line of communication with the Cuban government on developments,” one official tells ABC. The rare talks between diplomatic enemies better become more common when it comes to oil, writes Robert Muse at the Brookings Institution.

That's because Havana is expanding its own offshore exploration. "As Cuba continues to develop its deepwater oil and natural gas reserves, the consequence to the United States of a similar mishap occurring in Cuban waters moves from the theoretical to the actual," he writes. "The sobering fact that a Cuban spill could foul hundreds of miles of American coastline and do profound harm to important marine habitats demands cooperative and proactive planning by Washington and Havana to minimize or avoid such a calamity."

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