Burma May Face US Sanctions for Drug-Fighting ‘Failure’

Posted September 15th, 2011 at 7:32 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States says Burma may face sanctions for having “failed demonstrably” in its anti-drug efforts.

In a memo to the State Department Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama said Burma was on a list of 22 countries deemed major drug traffickers or major drug producers.

President Obama said Burma and two other countries — Venezuela and Bolivia — failed demonstrably during the previous 12 months to make substantial efforts to abide by their counterdrug obligations. Officials say that makes those nations eligible for sanctions that include cutting off aid money.

The president waived any possible sanctions against Venezuela and Bolivia, but he did not waive the U.S. right to sanction Burma. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States could still choose to continue humanitarian and counternarcotics assistance even without a waiver.

The president is required to compile the annual list to notify Congress of the major drug-producing and drug-transit countries that “significantly affect” the U.S.

The 2011 list includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and countries across Central and South America and the Caribbean.

New to the list this year are Belize and El Salvador.