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"A penny for your thoughts"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cuba awaits its oil boom and runs short on cash

The U.S. Geological Survey in 2005 estimated that as much as 9.3 billion barrels of oil could lie off the island's north coast, while Cuban geologists put that number at 20 billion barrels in October 2008. For the deep-sea oil, Cuba needs the technical expertise of major western oil companies to get to any of the unexploited crude but on Feb. 7 the U.S. marked the 47th year of a trade embargo that has blocked producers with the technical ability to drill that deep, denying Cuba what could be a massive windfall. U.S. law also forbids international companies from investing in expropriated American property in Cuba and could penalize offenders by revoking travel visas or restricting access to drilling contacts in the U.S. portion of the Gulf. Cuba now imports about half the roughly 200,000 barrels of oil consumes a day at a discount from leftist ally Venezuela. The much needed foreign currency as an oil exporter state to modernize its communist economy where wages that average less than a dollar a day is thus hampered.

The much needed foreign currency is exacerbated by falling prices for nickel, Cuba's top export. Also the Soviet-era equipment the island traded Moscow for sugar needed to be replaced. Havana needs hard currency for President Raul Castro to raise state salaries, which support about 90 percent of the island's working population on an average $19.70-a-month wage. The island akso badly needs cash to buy the food it distributes as part of monthly rations, and to import scarce construction materials to combat a housing crisis exacerbated by last year's storms.

This video shows the rolling style of the roller which is much better than the Dominican Cohiba roller. In Dominican Republic they use a bunching machine so they can roll many more cigars in one day, but you dont get the same quality of properly spaced filler leaf. However, the tobacco in the Dominican Cohiba is aged, and fermented much more than in Cuba so the taste is better.
U.S. oil majors sitting on huge stacks of cash are desperate to expand their buisness to Cuban oil awaiting Obama's policy in U.S.-Cuba relations to raise restrictions on U.S. investment in Cuba. VIA

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