US Fed News
October 04, 2008
Rep. Dan Burton, R-Indiana, has introduced a resolution (H.Res. 1483) "regarding the recent decision by the President to declare Venezuela and Bolivia as nations that have 'failed demonstrably' to meet their international commitments to combat the production and trafficking of illicit drugs."
The resolution, introduced on Sept. 23, was co-sponsored by Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-New York. It was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
A copy of the full-text of the legislation follows:
H.Res. 1483 Regarding the recent decision by the President to declare Venezuela and Bolivia as nations that have `failed demonstrably' to meet their international commitments to combat the production and trafficking of illicit drugs.
Whereas the United States is strongly committed to working with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that have a shared interest in promoting regional stability;
Whereas the United States is strongly committed to working with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that are combating the scourge of drugs and the violence and social degradation caused by narcotics trafficking;
Whereas according to the United States Annual Report on the Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2008, Venezuela and Bolivia, `failed demonstrably during the previous 12 months to adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements'; 4
Whereas earlier this year, a mob of more than 10,000 marched to the gates of the United States Embassy in La Paz;
Whereas United States Agency for International Development workers in the coca producing Chapare region of Bolivia were threatened expulsion by cocalero syndicates endorsed by the Bolivian Government, and subsequently withdrew;
Whereas the United States was forced to withdraw Drug Enforcement Administration agents from the Chapare region of Bolivia;
Whereas the United States as a precautionary measure is withdrawing all Peace Corps volunteers from Bolivia for security concerns;
Whereas Bolivia experienced a 14 percent increase in land used for coca cultivation in 2007 increasing the potential cocaine yield from 115 to as much as 175 metric tons (as estimated by the Drug Enforcement Administration);
Whereas, according to United States Assistant Secretary of State David Johnson's statement to the press on August 12, 2008, increased Bolivian drug cultivation is causing an escalation of drugs flowing into Brazil and Europe;
Whereas Venezuela has complicated efforts by the United States to assist in the fight against drugs by denying entry visas for Drug Enforcement Administration agents;Whereas more than 250 metric tons of cocaine transit through Venezuela every year;
Whereas in 2007, 17 percent of the documented cocaine flow from South America went through Venezuela, a five-fold increase from the 51 metric tons estimated to have flowed through Venezuela in 2002; and
Whereas the recent expulsion of United States ambassadors from Venezuela and Bolivia was both provocative and unjustified and hinders 5
counternarcotics cooperation between the United States and these countries: Now, therefore, be itResolved, That—
(1) the House of Representatives—
• expresses its outrage over the expulsions of United States Ambassador to Venezuela Patrick Duddy and the United States Ambassador to Bolivia Philip Goldberg, two first-rate career diplomats;
• strongly condemns the actions and inactions of the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Republic of Bolivia in `failing demonstrably during the previous 12 months to adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements';
• calls on the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Republic of Bolivia to support alternative development efforts that help coca farmers shift away from illicit crop production; and
• calls on the Governments of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Republic of Bolivia to resume full counternarcotics cooperation with the United States in the interest of stability and prosperity for the people of Venezuela and Bolivia, without delay; and
(2) it is the sense of the House of Representatives that—
• it should continue to be the policy of the United States to work with all countries in the Andean region to combat trafficking in narcotics and other controlled substances; and
• steps should be taken to restore full cooperation between Venezuela, Bolivia, and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.