US: Myanmar, Bolivia, Venezuela failing to fight drugs

Breaking News September 15, 2015 07:46

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WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States declared Monday that Myanmar, Bolivia and Venezuela have "failed demonstrably" to do enough to fight drug-trafficking from their countries over the past year.

Every year, President Barack Obama is required by US law to update Congress on how his administration judges the behavior of those countries seen as sources of illegal narcotics.

Nations that have "demonstrably failed" to make an effort to curb the illegal industry can in theory face sanctions, although in this case Obama has decided to go easy on two of them.

According to the State Department, the administration decided that its aid programs to support democracy in Myanmar and Venezuela remain "vital to the national interest of the United States" and would continue.

There was no word on what if any repercussions Bolivia will face.

According to the United Nations, the amount of Bolivian farmland given over to cultivating coca, the raw ingredient for cocaine, fell by 11 percent last year -- and is down by a third since 2010.

But President Evo Morales remains at loggerheads with Washington over drug policy, insisting his strategy of allowing limited coca production while helping farmers find alternative crops is working.

The United States, in contrast, favors an aggressive military-led policy of coca eradication, and has poured billions of dollars into the so-called "War on Drugs" in nearby Peru and Colombia.

Another 19 countries were deemed major sources of drugs or trafficking that "significantly affect the United States" but were not deemed to have failed in their duty to at least try to stem the flow.

These were Afghanistan, the Bahamas, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama and Peru.

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