(CMR) President of the United States, Joe Biden, has named five Caribbean nations among countries considered major drug transit or major illicit drug producing countries.
The Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic were on the list, along with Afghanistan, Bolivia, Burma, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.
The president explained that “A country’s presence on the foregoing list is not necessarily a reflection of its government’s counterdrug efforts or level of cooperation with the United States.”
He further pointed out that “the reason countries are placed on the list is the combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to be transited or produced, even if a government has engaged in robust and diligent narcotics control and law enforcement measures”
Biden said that although the rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States is flattening after years of sharp increases, more than 109,000 lives were lost to drug overdoses in 2022, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Biden also designated Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela as having failed demonstrably during the previous 12 months to both adhere to their obligations under the international counternarcotics agreements and to take the measures required by section 489(a)(1) of the FAA.
The US president said the political commitment of international partners remains critical to achieving success against illicit drug threats.