Cuba, US Sign Deal on Oil-Spill Prevention

Cuba and the United States have signed an accord on preventing and cleaning up oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Straits. 

Monday's agreement is another step in the Obama Administration's efforts to solidify its legacy of normalization with Cuba before a Republican administration takes over.

The agreement calls on both countries to establish a bilateral operations plan in the event of a spill or other pollution in waters they share.

"This agreement strengthens that relationship and helps ensures that our coastlines and marine environments and communities that depend on maritime commerce will be better protected for future generations," said Jeffrey DeLaurentis, U.S. Charge de Affairs.

The Cuban and the U.S. Coast Guard already cooperate over migration and drug enforcement in the Caribbean, coordinating interdiction and control efforts and sharing information over activity in the waters of the Florida Straits.

Both sides say the coordination is crucial to minimizing the effects of potential pollution in the Caribbean to both countries.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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