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Venezuela, Myanmar failing to combat drug trafficking, US says

Deutsche Presse Agentur
Published: Monday September 18, 2006

Washington- The governments of Venezuela and Myanmar have not cooperated with international efforts to curtail the production and trafficking of illicit drugs, the White House said Monday. US President George W Bush has reported to Congress that "Burma (Myanmar) and Venezuela have failed demonstrably during the previous 12 months to adhere to their obligations under international counter- narcotics agreements," spokesman Tony Snow said.

In his annual report to Congress, Bush also raised concerns about increased cocaine production in Bolivia although the government has improved efforts to halt illegal shipments.

"Despite increased drug interdiction, Bolivia has undertaken policies that have allowed the expansion of coca cultivation and have significantly curtailed eradication," the White House said.

Bush's report outlined 20 countries as major drug producers or transit points for shipments regardless of whether they are viewed as cooperating in the effort or not.

They include: Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela.

Afghanistan has been the focus of international efforts to halt the production of poppy seeds, which can be used to make heroin or opium. Poppy seed production has ballooned in the country since US- led forces toppled the Taliban in 2001.

"Although President (Hamid) Karzai has strongly attacked narco- trafficking as the greatest threat to Afghanistan, one third of the Afghan economy remains opium-based," the White House said.

© 2006 DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agenteur