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Cuba/United States: Agreement on Oil Spill Preparedness

(Jan. 17, 2017) On January 9, 2017, it was announced that authorities from the United States and Cuba had signed an agreement covering matters related to preparedness for and responses to incidents of hazardous substance pollution and oil spills in the Straits of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. (Press Release, United States and Cuba Sign Bilateral Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Agreement (Jan. 9, 2017), U.S. Embassy in Cuba website.) Pursuant to the agreement, “the United States and Cuba will cooperate and coordinate in an effort to prevent, contain, and clean up marine oil and other hazardous pollution in order to minimize adverse effects to public health and safety and the environment,” according to a press release issued by the U.S. Embassy in Cuba.  (Id.)

The document was signed by Vice Minister Eduardo Rodríguez Dávila of the Cuban Ministry of Transportation and the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Jeffrey DeLaurentis. (Id.) Rodríguez Dávila indicated that this agreement will foster cooperation in relevant personnel training and will guarantee the availability of appropriate technology and equipment to deal with oil spills and similar disasters. (Sergio Alejandro Gómez, Firman Cuba y EE.UU. acuerdo de protección contra derrames de hidrocarburos, GRANMA (official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba) website (Jan. 9, 2017).)