By LESLEY CLARK | Miami Herald
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is joining Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in filing legislation aimed at blocking Cuba from drilling for oil near the Florida Keys.
The Miami Republican has filed a bill that would deny visas to any employees of a company or entity that ``contributes to the development of Cuba’s oil-exploration program.’‘
It would also impose sanctions on any individuals—or companies—who invest $1 million or more to help Cuba develop its oil and natural gas resources.
‘‘My colleagues and I have been working tirelessly to prevent our own companies from ruining Florida’s pristine beaches and delicate ecosystem by exploring and drilling for oil off our coast,’’ Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement. ``To now have this murderous and totalitarian regime say it wants to drill just 45 miles from Key West is beyond the pale and totally unacceptable.’‘
Lacking the technology for offshore drilling, the Cuban government has entered into agreements with several companies in foreign countries, including Spain, China and Canada.