Congressman Rivera Calls on Secretary Salazar to Continue Pressuring Repsol Not to Drill Off Cuba’s Coast

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PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

June 3, 2011

Congressman Rivera Calls on Secretary Salazar to Continue Pressuring Repsol Not to Drill Off Cuba’s Coast

Washington, DC- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is in Madrid, Spain today where he will meet with Repsol, the Spanish oil and gas firm that has plans to drill off the coast of Cuba.

Congressman David Rivera (FL-25), whose office has been in contact with Secretary Salazar’s office on this matter, called on the Interior Secretary to discourage Repsol from going through with their agreement with the Castro dictatorship to drill for oil off the coast of Cuba at exploration sites that would be 50 miles from the coast of Florida.  Repsol currently has oil rigs in the Western Gulf of Mexico near Texas and Louisiana, and is building and outfitting a rig for Cuba.

The Castro regime has begun to lease oil exploration blocks off Cuba’s northern coast and drilling may begin as early as Fall 2011 or early 2012.

“I hope that during his meeting in Madrid today Secretary Salazar can express to Repsol why they should not proceed with drilling for oil off of the coast of Cuba.  Secretary Salazar knows that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill hurt our nation’s economy, especially the tourism and fishing industries in Florida and other Gulf coast states.  While we are trying to prevent another similar disaster from occurring off our coasts, we have to be cognizant of the fact that other countries are preparing to drill much closer to American shores without the same concern for safety.  A rig built by and for the Cuban dictatorship will not abide by the same standards as American rigs, and they do not have a contingency plan in the event of a spill,” Rivera said.

“Furthermore, the Castro dictatorship operates a corrupt and tyrannical system focused only on enriching itself and oppressing its people.  The Cuban people will never see the benefits of any oil found off the coast of Cuba.  Instead, facilitating their oil exploration efforts will only work to bolster a terrorist regime.”

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