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Obama follows Bush in arbitrary drug decertification

  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Obama follows Bush in arbitrary drug decertification


    Washington has put Myanmar, Bolivia and Venezuela on its drug blacklist for what it has described as their "failure" to fight international drug trafficking.

    The US decertification of the countries could result in sanctions by the White House, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Wednesday.

    Of the 20 countries identified as major drug-transit or drug-producing countries, President Barack Obama "has determined that ... Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela, 'failed demonstrably' during the last 12 months to adhere to international counter-narcotic agreements and take counter-narcotic measures set forth in US law,"
    said Kelly in a statement, quoted in an AFP report.

    Former US President George W. Bush also blacklisted the same countries in 2008 as well. Demonstrably, Obama is again following Bush's footsteps.

    But according to Kelly, Obama has issued a "national interest waiver" for Bolivia and Venezuela, so Washington can "continue to support specific programs to benefit the Bolivian and Venezuelan people."

    While Washington continues to allege that Venezuela and Bolivia indirectly support drug trafficking, the Latin American nations insist that the US is using anti-drug measures to spy on them and to plan acts of sabotage.

    Venezuela and Bolivia say Washington is using anti-drug efforts to maintain its military presence in the region and promote its hegemony.

    In fact, it is widely believed that lists prepared by the US State Department, such as nations 'sponsoring terrorism' or 'transiting drugs', are highly politicized and are mostly include nations that refuse to be subservient to the American regional interests.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=106373&sectionid=3510203

Comments

  1. Terrapinzflyer
    this is from the US state dept- not positive of the rules re: linking to gov websites so no link to original press release provided.


    Under the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (FAA), the President is required to notify Congress of those countries he determines to be major illicit drug-producing countries or major drug-transit countries. A country’s presence on the list does not necessarily reflect its counternarcotics efforts nor does it reflect its cooperation with the United States. The designation can reflect a combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to be produced and/or trafficked through a country despite its own best efforts.

    When a country does not live up to its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements and conventions, the President determines that the country has “failed demonstrably.” Such a designation can lead to sanctions. However, the President may also execute a waiver should he determine that continuing U.S. assistance is in the national interest of the United States. Even without such a waiver, humanitarian assistance and counternarcotics assistance may continue.

    This year the President has identified the following countries as major drug-transit or drug-producing countries for purposes of the FAA: Afghanistan, the Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela.

    Of these 20, the President has determined that three countries, Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela, “failed demonstrably” during the last 12 months to adhere to international counternarcotic agreements and take counternarcotic measures set forth in U.S. law. In the cases of Bolivia and Venezuela, the President has issued a national interest waiver so that the United States may continue to support specific programs to benefit the Bolivian and Venezuelan people. In Venezuela, funds will continue to support civil society programs and small community development programs. In Bolivia, the waiver will permit continued support for agricultural development, exchange programs, small enterprise development, and police training programs among others.



    PRN: 2009/924

    Ian Kelly
    Department Spokesman
    Washington, DC
    September 15, 2009
  2. fuelBrain
    team america the world police
  3. enquirewithin
    Police? :) Mafia more like!

    It is common knowledge that the countries which have failed most severely are Afghanistan and Colombia, countries which the US is pouring massive amounts of money into (if you are a US taxpayer, that's you money). In both countries US money is going to groups involved in the trade of hard drugs.

    Afghanistan is produces far more heroin than Burma (which banks its money in Singapore, a 'friend' of the US). Colombia is produces more cocaine than either Venezuela or Bolivia-- the reason why they are being singled out is exactly what Press TV (from Iran says).

    Welcome to Bush's third term.
  4. enquirewithin
    In an annual report mandated by Congress under the Foreign Assistance Authorization Act, the State Department and President Obama Tuesday singled out three countries -- Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela -- as failing to meet US anti-drug goals. The three nations had "failed demonstrably" to meet their anti-drug obligations, the report found.

    All three countries have chilly relations with Washington. Burma's military junta is the object of international opprobrium, and Venezuela and Bolivia are allies in a leftist Latin American axis generally opposed to Washington's domination of the region.
    Bolivia is the world's third largest coca and cocaine producer -- behind Colombia and Peru -- and has been criticized by the US for allowing coca production to increase, albeit slightly. Venezuela is not a drug producing nation, but is accused by the US of being a significant transit nation responsible for about one-quarter of cocaine exports from South America.
    Both Bolivia and Venezuela say they are fighting against drug trafficking, and both can point to significant drug busts to back up that contention. In previous years, both countries have responded tartly to being placed on Washington's anti-drug black list, and this year, the reaction was similar.


    In a Wednesday press conference in La Paz, Bolivian President Evo Morales told reporters the US "doesn't have the authority or moral standing to question" his country’s battle against drug trafficking and challenged Washington to account for its own anti-drug efforts. Bolivia is fighting an "all-out battle" with the drug trade, Morales said, noting that Bolivian authorities had seized more than 19 tons of cocaine and coca paste so far this year, compared to 11 tons in 2005, the year he took office.

    Morales made a point of noting that those seizures came without any help from the DEA, which he expelled from the country last year. He also pointedly asked why there is no certification of whether the US is reducing its drug demand. "As long as there is a market for cocaine, however much we reduce coca leaf, part will always be diverted (to cocaine production): that is our reality," the Bolivian president said.

    Under the US law, failure to be certified as complying with US drug war objectives leads to a loss of foreign aid, but the measure also includes a provision for the president to waive the aid cut-off. President Obama chose to exercise that waiver power in the cases of Bolivia and Venezuela.

    "In the cases of Bolivia and Venezuela," the State Department said, "the President has issued a national interest waiver so that the United States may continue to support specific programs to benefit the Bolivian and Venezuelan people. In Venezuela, funds will continue to support civil society programs and small community development programs. In Bolivia, the waiver will permit continued support for agricultural development, exchange programs, small enterprise development, and police training programs among others."

    Presidents Evo Morales in Bolivia and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela have both expressed suspicion that the waivers are instead being issued to support groups and programs that might seek to subvert their governments.

    The politicization of the US certification process can be seen in the fact that major drug producing or trafficking countries with significant government involvement in the trade, but who are US allies, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, were not decertified.

    The following countries made the list of major drug producing or transit countries: Afghanistan, the Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela.

    Foreign Policy: In Annual Certification Report, State Department Says Bolivia, Burma, Venezuela Not Cooperating in Anti-Drug Fight

    http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/601/US_decertifies_bolivia_burma_venezuela_anti_drug
  5. missparkles
    Two sets of standards here.
    Until they look at the drug problem from another angle this is always gonna be the way it is.
    Saying one thing, doing something totally different.
    Basically...it's dishonest.
    Everyone else has to follow the law, except the government.
    If Sparkles got caught breaking the law, would she get a waiver?
    Like fuck she would, she'd be laughed at for even asking the question.
    The government should be setting examples, after all, if they are seen to accept deception as a strategy, why can't the rest of us?
    Sparkles.:vibes:
  6. ninjaned
    well looks like its time to move to england. or sweden, swim has family there as well... swims not staying in america to deal with this bullshit any longer.
  7. enquirewithin
    England is just as bad....
  8. Joe-(5-HTP)
    economic sanctions are really gonna help countries struggling with drug related organised crime ..
  9. beentheredonethatagain
    obama may have different views on health care than bush, but they are both equally dense.
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