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Apr 20, 2009

President Obama pledges $30 million to combat drug-trafficking

Story PictureEven before the summit, the Obama administration announced a lifting of restrictions on Cuban American visits to Cuba and the amount of remittances by family members to the island. Before Air Force One landed in Trinidad, Obama stopped over in Mexico. He had a wide range of discussions with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, but the issue of the illicit drug trade was top on the agenda. And at a press conference on Sunday, one the first tangibles of the summit was an announcement by Obama to provide thirty million U.S. dollars to help the region combat the drug trade.

Barack Obama, President, U.S.A.
“Over the past few days we also discussed what we can do to ensure that the policies we pursue in our own countries advance and do not undercut our broader regional recovery. Together these efforts will help drive economic expansion in the United States and across the hemisphere and ensure that we do not see an erosion in the progress that we’ve made to lift people out of poverty and into the middle class. Second, we’re acting boldly, we’re acting swiftly and we are acting in concert to combat threats that are endangering the security of the citizens across the Americas. This week u traveled to Mexico where I met with president Calderon to advance our shared commitment to combating the drug cartels, stemming the southbound flow of guns and money, and protecting citizens on both sides of our common board. We are also taking a number of other steps in concert with our regional partners so when I met with the Central American nations and the Caribbean nations, they had similar concerns and we pledged to work together to defend our nations and keep our people safe. The United States is investing thirty million dollars in enhanced security partnerships with Caribbean nations to ensure that they have the resources that they need to combat drug traffickers seeking to enter their borders through Mexico and Central America. I’m also making it a priority to ratify the illicit traffic and firearms convention and to enhance cooperation with nations across the region to reduce the threat of existing weapon stockpiles. We’re taking a critical step to drive our economic expansion, enhance our security and protect the bounty and beauty of the hemisphere with a new energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. Through this partnership, we’ll harvest the progress being made by nations across the hemisphere; from Brazil’s work on bio-fuels to Chili’s investment in solar power, Mexico’s efforts to curb greenhouse gas, to El Salvador’s work on geothermal energy. This is a voluntary and flexible partnership that nations across are invited to join. It will enhance energy efficiency, improve our infrastructure and support investments that can make energy more affordable. In doing so we can create the jobs of the future, promote renewable sources of energy and make the Americas a model for cooperation.”

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