U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commented today on the presidential determination that Venezuela and Bolivia have failed to adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"The refusal of Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales to combat drug traffickers in Venezuela and Bolivia directly undermines U.S. and regional efforts to strengthen security and stability in the Western Hemisphere.
"The unwillingness of the Chavez and Morales regimes to cooperate with the United States and meet their counternarcotics obligations puts the entire region in danger by making it vulnerable to the whims of traffickers and extremists.
"Democratic nations in the region must hold these rogue rulers accountable and demand that they abandon their nefarious ties to illicit groups and criminal networks."
NOTE: Pursuant to section 706(2)(A) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2003, the President designated Bolivia, Burma and Venezuela as countries that have failed demonstrably during the previous 12 months to adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements.
This is the 7th year in a row Venezuela has been designated as failing demonstrably, and 4th year in a row for Bolivia.