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Cuban Oil Crisis

Cuba has recently discovered oil reserves in offshore fields of Cuba’s share of the Gulf of Mexico that can approximately be rounded to contain 200 million barrels of natural recoverable oil. At the same time Cuba rejoices from this discovery coincedently the U. S is promoting to normalize relations with Cuba’s government. This significant discovery can lead for Cuba to stop their dependance on foreign oil and compete at hand with the US’s oil reserves and become part of the top 20 countries to produce and export oil .

However, Cuba’s state oil company , Cupet , does not have the appropriate resources and machinery to extract oil from the oil reserves discovered. This will lead for Cuba to accept machinery from the U. S in order to begin extraction of the oil and acquire the benefits awaiting from the oil production and exportation. The United States’s hunger for profits produced by oil development throughout the world will lead to an exploitative relationship with Cuba and its oil reserves mirroring the negative relation of production in the World System Theory.

A world-system is a social system, one that has boundaries, structures, member groups, rules of legitimation, and coherence. Its life is made up of the conflicting forces which hold it together by tension and tear it apart as each group seeks eternally to remold it to its advantage (Wallerstein, The Modern-World System, 229). ” This world-system encapsulates a fluid world economy within a division of classes in which countries who are owners of the means of production gain more profit than the countries who provide the labor in the economy.

In order for an economic system to work and benefit high profiteers, negative exploitation occurs within the countries that provide raw materials and cheap labor to core countries. This relationship between the U. s and Cuba demonstrates the exploitative relationship described by Wallerstein between the core and the periphery countries. In this situation, the United States is the core country because it possesses the machinery to drill the raw material from the oil reserves and convert it into gas and energy which will produce capital.

Cuba is the periphery because it is the country that contains the oil reserves and the labor needed to aid in the process of converting natural oil into gas and energy. Even though long lasting trade restrictions between the U. S and Cuba still stand today, it is an issue that can be discussed between the two countries now that they have begun to normalize their relations. As U. S oil companies begin to aid in the drilling of the oil, this will cause for the companies to extract more profit from Cuba and reduce their dependance on oil from the Middle East jeopardizing Cuba’s opportunity for self-reliance.

Capitalism creates innovation, generates value, and should distribute wealth accordingly throughout the groups involved in the free market. However, high profiteers find loopholes in the system and take advantage of it to gain economic capital exploiting peripheral countries and reducing their chances of economic prosperity. Wallerstein states , “ Capitalism has been able to flourish precisely because the world economy has had within its bound not one but a multiplicity of political systems (Wallerstein, The Modern-World System, 230).

In our free market economy, there is the idea that represents the need to beat the competitor, which influences many companies to exploit their workers, establishments , and trade partners. In March 12, 1996, the U. S tightened Cuba’s embargo and made it difficult for Cuba to have a restricted relationship with the U. S and foreign-relationships with any other non- U. S country through the Helms- Burton Act. Due to this legislation, core countries like Brazil, Norway and Spain have limited access to engage in any foreign trade with Cuba, nevertheless engage in the drilling and exportation of the crude oil in Cuba.

Legislations are used as a systems of meanings in which the dominant group can manipulate its views onto others and create opportunities that will benefit the dominant group. Due to the U. S owning the machinery that Cuba will need to drill their oil, this will pressure Cuba’s administration to re-visit the act and loosen the embargo so U. S oil companies can have access to the management and distribution of the oil.

As we have witnessed the destructive presence the U. S’s involvement in the Middle East has created solely for their oil, if they obtain high amounts of oil and profit from Cuba, it can decrease their dependence on Middle Eastern oil. The competition among core countries on who accumulates more profit is more prevalent than the safety and stability of other countries participating in Capitalism. This creates the avenue for core countries to exploit periphery states to accumulate profit at their expense. “Globalisation is not what we think it is. As the flip-flop trail has shown us, it is a loose patchwork of human and object journeys.

It is unstable, shifting, contingent mass of ad hoc-ery, with pockets of opportunity within overwhelming landscapes of precarity (Knowles, Flip-Flop : A Journey Through Globalisation’s Backroads, 193). ” Globalisation is not an orderly chain in the economy and it does not profit everyone involved in world-trade. As Cuba rejoices in the untapped oil reserves in their share of the Gulf Of Mexico, they still have to investigate and create a legislation bill that will promote safety laws while drilling projects begin to emerge.

Researchers predict that “ A major oil spill in Cuban waters could devastate both coastal Cuba and the United States. The 2010 BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was a reminder of how damaging an oil blowout can be, especially in deep water. Florida’s $60 billion tourism and fishing industries — as well as the Dry Tortugas marine sanctuary and deepwater corals in the Southeast Atlantic — are at stake. ” The untapped oil is located in a dangerous zone that if drilling procedures are not appropriately regulated it can affect primarily the ocean, its marine life, other countries economy and Cuba itself.

That is an example of the hidden face of globalisation. High profiteering companies are more focused on obtaining economic opportunities that will create capital for their benefits, without considering the exploitation they will create in nature as a result of their selfishness. Conversations between Cuban and U. S officials about the safety of drilling projects have emerged because it is an integral part of the translocality involving the newly discovered oil reserves and those involved in the drilling of it.

Although the U. S does not contain appropriate equipment or methods that would prevent an oil spill, they have proposed to bring their oil companies into Cuba in order to closely supervise the drilling process. The more opportunities the U. S has to become invaluable to Cuba, they are creating more avenues for exploitation to occur. The World System Theory, Capitalism, and Globalisation merge together in the lives of those involved in the world-trade in order to accumulate capital and increase the wellbeing of their country.

In the relationship between Cuba and the U. S with oil reserves at stake, the receiving core country will make themselves indispensable to Cuba causing an exploitation of natural resources and gain high profits at cost of Cuban labor. For this reason , Cuba’s relationship with the U. S has never been concrete or beneficial to either country. Capitalism offers an equal opportunity for Cuba to become self-resilient and even become an exporter of oil , however because they lack resources to obtain the oil in the first place they have no other option but to accept aid from the U. S. Due to the loopholes and inequities in our world economy, Cuba compared to other periphery countries in the world have no other choice but to accept unequal treatment and less profit from resources that are native to them.

Challenges and implications presented in international trade are influenced by the means of production, individuals making the products and to whom consumes the product. It is becoming aware that these exploitative relationships exist in our society which can lead a search for a more progressive change in our economic system which would aim to benefit anyone, not just a few individuals.

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