Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Significant cooperation" on drug enforcement

Some nuggets from the Cuba section of the State Department’s annual drug enforcement report, issued yesterday:

Cuba and the United States share a mutual interest in reducing drug flows in the vicinity of the island, and in 2011, Cuba maintained a significant level of cooperation with U.S. counternarcotics efforts.

Cuba continues to dedicate significant resources to preventing illegal drugs and illegal drug use from spreading on the island, so far successfully. The technical skill of Cuba’s Border Guard, Armed Forces and police give Cuba a marked advantage against [traffickers] attempting to gain access to the Caribbean’s largest island. Greater communication and cooperation among the U.S., its international partners and Cuba, particularly in the area of real-time tactical information-sharing and improved tactics, techniques and procedures, would likely lead to increased interdictions and disruptions of illegal trafficking.

The Ministry of Armed Forces and Ministry of Interior’s combination of fixed and mobile radars, coupled with visual and coastal vessel reporting procedures make up an effective network for detecting illegal incursions of territorial air and sea by narcotics traffickers.

In 2011, Cuba reported 45 real-time reports of “go-fast” narcotics trafficking events to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). [Cuban border guards’] email and phone notifications of maritime smuggling to the U.S. have increased in quantity and quality, and have occasionally included photographs of the vessels suspected of narcotrafficking while being pursued.

The Cuban government presented the United States with a draft bilateral accord for counternarcotics cooperation, which is still under review. Structured appropriately, such an accord could advance the counternarcotics efforts undertaken by both countries.

The 1905 extradition treaty between the United States and Cuba and an extradition agreement from 1926 remain in effect.

No comments: