Castro’s Post-Oil Ruse: Mariel Special Economic Zone
Over the last decade, the Castro regime executed its great “oil ruse” — whereby it seduced a handful of foreign oil companies to purchase concessions and drill for supposed oil riches off Cuba’s shores.
Of course, this was never commercially viable, for even if oil was found (which was a long-shot), it would have been too expensive to extract, transport and refine (thanks to U.S. sanctions).
And thus, the intense lobbying campaign unleashed by the regime’s D.C. advocates to lift U.S. sanctions based on “lost commercial opportunities”; “environmental concerns”; the “red scare” of China allegedly drilling 45 miles from our shores, etc.
The goal was never about energy production, but to have U.S. sanctions lifted.
None of this materialized and Castro’s “oil ruse” is over.
(Click here for more on Castro’s “oil ruse”.)
Now Castro’s new ruse is the Mariel Special Economic Zone (MSEZ).
With the MSEZ, Castro seeks to lure foreign investors to take advantage of Cuban slave labor.
The model for this project is North Korea’s Kaesong Industrial Park, a special administrative industrial region of its totalitarian brethren, whereby South Korean companies employ cheap North Korean labor (rather than relocating to China), while providing the Kim regime with an important source of foreign currency.
The difference is that the market for Kaesong’s products is the thriving South Korean economy.
But what will be the market for Mariel’s products?
Jamaica? Haiti? The Bahamas?
Definitely not Cuba, with its dismal purchasing power.
The answer is: the U.S.
For Mariel to be commercially viable, the U.S. would have to lift sanctions and open its huge consumer market to Cuban slave labor.
Even Castro’s Brazilian financiers for the MSEZ project have admitted to this.
So, once again, the lobbying campaign to lift U.S. sanctions will surely ramp up — for the sake of Castro’s economic rescue.