According to the Guardian, Cuba may have just discovered it is sitting on 20,000,000,000 (20 Billion) barrels of oil.
This raises all sorts of interesting questions and possibilities.
At the outset I will declare that I am not a fan of Castro, but neither am I rabid anti-Castro. The government of Cuba has done some pretty deplorable things, but it has, as well tried to do some decent things, and so like all humans and human activities things are ambiguous. We, the US, boycott and try and embargo Cuba, but we embrace (at least with one arm) China and Russia. The difference is economic and military size, and affect on the US.
Now, timidly setting that aside for the moment:
20Bn barrels of oil would put Cuba on par with the US as far as oil production/capacity goes, all concentrated into a pretty small country. And so Cuba faces a potential changing point in history. It will have, for the first time, the funds to directly lift itself into a prominent role. What that role will be can depend a lot on how the US reacts.
If we are belligerent, as so often happens, much of those funds will go towards arms and defense spending which will further our belligerence… feedback loop.
If we are conciliatory and start making gestures to normalize our relations those funds could well go towards improving the island quite a bit, of course with massive amounts of $ there will also be the (high) probability of much of it going towards those in power, but that is still a better option than a well armed, paranoid Cuba. I would rather have another Chavez, who despite his other faults at least spreads it around a bit, than an regionally isolated, hostile, well-armed fortress.
There is always the real possibility that the US would find some pretext to attack and conquer Cuba as well, for the
oil betterment of the population.
Who we elect our next president will likely have a great impact on what scenario plays out… Mr Bomb bomb Iran, or Mr. Cool.