Each year the President of the United States, in this case Barrack Obama, under the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (FRAA), is required to notify Congress of those countries he determines to be major illicit drug-producing countries or major drug-transit countries that “significantly affect the United States.”
This year’s list has been determined and Belize is one of the countries being called out. This year the President has identified twenty-two countries as major illicit drug-producing or drug-transit countries: Afghanistan, the Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.
Of the twenty-two countries, the President has determined that three countries, Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela, “failed demonstrably” during the last twelve months to make sufficient or meaningful efforts to adhere to the obligations they have undertaken under international counternarcotics agreements.
A country’s presence on the list does not necessarily reflect its counternarcotics efforts or its level of cooperation with the United States on illegal drug control. The designation can reflect a combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to be produced and/or trafficked through a country.
When a country on the list does not fulfill its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements and conventions, the President determines that the country has “failed demonstrably” to meet its counterdrug obligations. Such a designation can lead to sanctions. The President may also execute a National Interest Waiver when he determines there is a vital national interest in continuing U.S. assistance. Even without such a waiver, humanitarian assistance and counternarcotics assistance may continue.
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