Belize has been identified as one of the Caribbean Nations major illicit drug producing or drug-transit countries that are significantly affecting the United States. This is according to a statement released by the U.S State Department today.
The report says that under the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, the American president is required each year to notify Congress of countries that fall into that category. On this year’s list are the Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, among other countries. Of those countries, President Barack Obama has determined that Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela “failed demonstrably” during the last 12 months to make sufficient or meaningful efforts to adhere to their obligations under international counter narcotics agreements.
The report further states that a country’s presence on the list does not necessarily reflect its counter narcotics efforts or its level of cooperation with the United States on illegal drug control. The designation may just be a reflection of a combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to be produced and/or trafficked through a country. However, when a country on the list does not fulfill its obligations under international counter narcotics agreements and conventions, the President can impose sanctions. So far, no sanctions have been issued to Belize. We’ll keep an eye on this story.
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