Many of you may recall one of the more bizarre details that came to light after Obama’s complete surrender to Cuba’s apartheid dictatorship was the White House allowing the Castro dictatorship to extract semen from a convicted Cuban spy serving a double-life prison sentence in California for the murder of four innocent Americans. The semen was frozen and shipped to Cuba where it was used to artificially inseminate the murderer’s wife. All of this took place, of course, with the approval and blessing of President Obama. This grotesque injustice is overshadowed only by the fact that as part of Obama’s surrender to the Castros, this assassin was later released and allowed to return to Cuba to a hero’s welcome.
But the aberrancy of Obama’s failed Cuba policy does not end there, and neither does the peculiar practice and apparent obsession with shipping frozen semen to Castro’s Cuba.
Frozen coral semen unites Florida and Havana aquariums
The Florida Aquarium’s joint research with the National Aquarium of Cuba on coral reef restoration ended on a scientific high in 2016.
Heading into 2017, the Tampa- and Havana-based facilities look to build upon this relationship — the first ever between aquariums from the longtime enemy nations — by designing a coral greenhouse and building a coral nursery, both to be located in Cuba.
This past August — one year after the partnership began — scientists from the aquariums met in Key Largo to collect Staghorn coral spawn to be used for their ongoing research on replenishing the region’s dying reefs.
Among the goals was to learn if cryogenically frozen Staghorn coral semen — when thawed — can still fertilize an egg to allow the aquariums to use banked coral sperm to repopulate the Caribbean.
In mid-December, it was thawed and swam.
“This is super exciting,” said Linda Penfold, director of the South-East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction & Conservation in Jacksonville that hosted and participated in the experiment. “This is breaking new ground.”
The Smithsonian Institution already proved this could be accomplished with other types of coral, but had not done so with Staghorn, the most important reef building coral in the Caribbean.
“All animals are different,” Penfold said. “We had no way of knowing if Staghorn would perform in the same way.”
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