Cuba: Still no offshore oil, but 1 more foreigner taken hostage

First, Ángel Carromero’s the hostage in question: Cuba Takes Another Foreign Hostage
After Oswaldo Payá’s suspicious death in a car accident, the regime arrests the driver, a Spanish rights activist.

Cuba wants to make itself an international travel mecca. But it also needs to keep the Cuban people away from pesky foreigners who could put counterrevolutionary ideas, like the notion of the right to earn a decent living, in their heads.

Last week the military dictatorship demonstrated how it plans to solve this dilemma when it arrested Spaniard Ángel Carromero and charged him with vehicular manslaughter in the car wreck that killed Cuban dissidents Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero.

There is every reason to believe that the regime is making an example out of Mr. Carromero—a member of the youth wing of the Popular Party in Spain—not because of his driving but because of his politics. Foreigners: be warned.

Angel Carromero’s family retained an attorney from a firm that specializes in representing foreign companies and individuals before the Cuban courts.

The priority at this stage is for the lawyer to be able to see Carromero as soon as possible in the jail where he is being held and to file a habeas corpus motion to get him released, Spanish Consul-General Tomas Rodriguez-Pantoja said.

Cuba says Carromero and Swedish citizen Jens Aron Modig (who returned to Sweden) brought 4,000 euros ($4,900) for Paya’s dissident organization, though Paya’s family denies that he received any money from the Europeans.

In other Cuba news, 2nd Cuban Offshore Oil Well Also a Bust

The drilling operation carried out by PC Gulf, a subsidiary of Malaysia’s Petronas, and Gazpromneft of Russia, concluded July 31 off the western province of Pinar del Rio, Cuban state oil company Cubapetroleo said in a statement.

And Hugo’s saving their sorry butts,

After Repsol opted out of a contract to sink a second well and Monday’s announcement of Petronas’ failed try, the massive semisubmersible now passes to Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA for an attempt near the island’s western tip.

But fear not, Hugo’s got soundbites for local consumption, saying that “developing an oil industry without other industries is a sucker’s game.”

Maybe all those medical treatments are affecting his memory and made him forget he’s been in office for a dozen years.

Pirates of the Caribbean!

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