Third fuel tank collapses as fire rages at Cuba oil terminal | Oil and Gas News

With assist from Mexico and Venezuela, Cuba has been battling monumental blaze at main oil terminal in Matanzas.

A 3rd crude tank caught hearth and collapsed Monday at Cuba’s foremost oil terminal in Matanzas, the regional governor has mentioned, as an oil spill unfold flames from a second tank that caught hearth two days earlier within the island’s greatest oil trade accident in many years.

Cuba had made progress preventing off the raging flames in the course of the weekend after drawing on assist from Mexico and Venezuela, however late on Sunday the fireplace started spreading from the second tank, which collapsed, mentioned Mario Sabines, governor of the Matanzas province, about 100km (60 miles) from Havana.

A fourth tank is threatened however has but to catch hearth. Firefighters had sprayed water on the remaining tanks over the weekend to chill them and attempt to cease the fireplace from spreading.

Matanzas is Cuba’s largest port for receiving crude oil and gasoline imports. Cuban heavy crude, in addition to gasoline oil and diesel saved in Matanzas, are primarily used to generate electrical energy on the island.

Sabines in contrast the state of affairs to an “Olympic torch” going from one tank to the following, turning every right into a “caldron” and now encompassing the realm masking three tanks and with flames and billowing black smoke making tackling the state of affairs “difficult”.

“The chance we had introduced occurred, and the blaze of the second tank compromised the third one,” mentioned Sabines.

Native officers warned residents to make use of face masks or keep indoors given the billowing smoke enveloping the area that may be seen from Havana.

Officers have warned that the cloud incorporates sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and different toxic substances.

One firefighter has died and 16 persons are lacking, all from Saturday’s explosion on the second storage tank. The blaze began after lightning struck one of many facility’s eight tanks on Friday evening.

Cuban state-run tv has lined the unfolding catastrophe dwell since Saturday and President Miguel Diaz-Canel has been a relentless presence there, highlighting the financial and political significance of the state of affairs.

The closely US-sanctioned nation has been affected by blackouts, gasoline and different shortages that had already created a tense state of affairs with scattered native protests following final 12 months’s anti-government demonstrations in July.

A tanker carrying Russian crude to Matanzas, recognized by Refinitiv Eikon monitoring service, is unlikely to have the ability to discharge subsequent week even when docks usually are not affected by the fireplace, due to attainable injury to tanks, pipelines and valves, analysts mentioned.

At midday on Monday, authorities introduced the nation’s most vital energy plant, positioned a couple of kilometre from the fireplace, had been shut down as a result of low water strain within the space.

Fire is seen over fuel storage tanks that exploded near Cuba's supertanker port in Matanzas, Cuba
Residents have been advised to put on masks or keep indoors because the smoke incorporates poisonous components. A fourth tank is prone to catching hearth [Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters]

Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela unlikely to join summit: US official | Human Rights News

State Division official says three gov’ts unlikely to be at Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles in June.

The governments of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela are prone to be excluded from the Ninth Summit of the Americas, which will likely be hosted by the USA in June, a senior US State Division official has mentioned.

“They’re unlikely to be there,” US Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols advised a small group of reporters on Wednesday, saying the summit of regional leaders would deal with the Western Hemisphere’s democracies.

The feedback marked the clearest message that these three governments, all on unhealthy phrases with Washington, will likely be snubbed as soon as the White Home releases the invitation record. That announcement would come quickly, Nichols added.

His remarks come simply days after Cuban Overseas Minister Bruno Rodriguez accused the Biden administration of pressuring regional governments to dam Cuba from taking part within the summit.

“We now have discovered from numerous sources that the USA authorities has been finishing up intense efforts and exerting strain on nations within the area to attempt to exclude Cuba from the IX Summit of the Americas,” Rodriguez wrote on Twitter.

“There isn’t a justification for excluding Cuba or every other nation from this occasion that we’ve attended the final two editions,” he mentioned.

The US and Cuba final week held their first high-level talks in 4 years, however tensions persist between the 2 nations over migration, ongoing American sanctions towards the island and the Cuban authorities’s current crackdown on opposition protesters.

On Wednesday, Nichols additionally mentioned there was unlikely to be a job for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s authorities on the summit however mentioned it could be as much as the White Home to determine whether or not to ask Venezuelan opposition chief Juan Guaido in his place.

The US and dozens of different nations have recognised Guaido as Venezuela’s rightful chief and shunned Maduro after accusing him of rigging his 2018 re-election.

However final month, Maduro said he had agreed on an agenda for future talks with US officers after assembly a delegation from Washington within the first such discussions in years.

In the meantime, relations between Washington and Managua have been particularly tense in current months after the US slammed Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s re-election last November as a “sham”.

Ortega has presided over a widespread and ongoing crackdown on political opponents and opposition figures forward and after final 12 months’s vote, prompting condemnation from US and European officers.

“It’s clear Nicaragua has ceased any semblance of democracy within the wake of the sham election,” Nichols mentioned.

Migration is predicted to be one of many important matters of dialogue on the Ninth Summit of the Americas, because the Biden administration is in search of to boost regional cooperation to cease asylum seekers from arriving in giant numbers on the US’s southern border with Mexico.

These numbers are anticipated to quickly improve subsequent month because the US plans to finish a contentious pandemic policy that had allowed authorities to quickly expel most individuals who arrived on the border in the hunt for safety.

In the meantime, US President Joe Biden will communicate together with his Mexican counterpart Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday to “focus on their imaginative and prescient for the Ninth Summit of the Americas and the way North America can lead on precedence initiatives for the area”, the White Home said in a press release.

“Additionally they plan to debate cooperation on migration, joint growth efforts in Central America, competitiveness and financial progress, safety, power, and financial cooperation.”