To gin up support for off-shore drilling, the Right has an ace up its rhetorical sleeve: the Chinese in Cuba. Here's Vice President Cheney.
"[O]il is being drilled right now 60 miles off the coast of Florida. We're not doing it. The Chinese are in cooperation with the Cuban government... Even the communists have figured out that a good answer to high prices is more supply. Yet Congress has said... no to drilling off Florida.''
"Even the communists" is a nice flourish. Mix the red scare with the yellow scare and get Uncle Dick's own Orange Scare. Guaranteed to freak out Americans concerned about their energy security. Here's House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO), piling on:
"Even China recognizes that oil and natural gas is readily available off our shores; thanks to Fidel Castro, they've been given a permit to drill for oil 45 miles from the Florida Keys."
Adds House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), "Right at this moment, some 60 miles or less off the coast of Key West, Florida, China has the green light to drill for oil in order to lower energy costs in that country."
Problem is, that's all false. Like, completely false. China is not currently drilling off the shores of Cuba; in fact, it doesn't even have a off shore drilling contract. What is does have is a permit to drill on Cuban land. "China is not drilling in Cuba's Gulf of Mexico waters, period,'' Jorge Piñon, an energy expert at the University of Miami's Center for Hemispheric Policy, told the Miami Herald. In fact, it is not yet drilling on Cuban land, either.
June 14, 1978. Jimmy Carter alleges Cuban involvement in Zaire uprising. Castro denies it. Negotiations with China put on fast track. Washington poses questions on Israel intentions on Gaza and West Bank, causes rift in Israeli government. UN in session over Lebanon question. Northern Lebanon uneasy over killing of former president Franjileh's son, daughter-in-law and grand-daughter by Phalangist gunmen. Japan concerned over oil spills as the result of recent earthquake. Jimmy Carter meets with Indian PM Desai. A roundup of 1978 mid-term election results. Read more...
April 4, 1960 - Republicans kick off Presidential race. Violence escalates in South Africa. Cause of crash of National Airlines Plane in North Carolina ruled to be a bomb. Largest Communist Youth Rally staged in Havana. Oscars coming up this evening. Read more...