Paraguay says Politics Behind U.S. Drugs Policy!

Paraguay says Politics Behind U.S. Drugs Policy!
Posted by FoM on March 02, 1999 at 08:12:15 PT

ASUNCION, Paraguay Paraguay's government attacked U.S. drug policy on Monday, suggesting political considerations lie behind its practice of certifying countries' fight against illegal narcotics. 
On Friday the United States decertified Paraguay as an ally in the war on drugs although it waived any penalties to preserve national U.S. interests. Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Mexico where all certified. "I suppose they don't consume any drugs in the United States because they haven't caught any big criminals there for the last 20 years," Paraguay's President Raul Cubas told journalists. "On the other hand, there are other countries that are producers (of drugs) which are certified. I think there is something else behind this." On Friday, Paraguay's government reacted angrily to the U.S. decision but said it understood Washington's concerns as the United States is the largest drug market in the world. The United States said it decertified Paraguay largely over its view that the South American country was not doing enough to stop the flow of smuggled Bolivian cocaine through its borders. Washington said Paraguay's efforts to fight drug smuggling were paralysed in 1998 due to presidential elections. Opposition politicians said Cubas' government has irked the United States with its refusal to put former Gen. Lino Oviedo behind bars for an attempted coup in 1996. The Supreme Court has ordered that Oviedo serve a 10-year prison sentence for the coup attempt, but Cubas has refused to obey the order to jail his one time political mentor.
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