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Chairman Menendez Statement on Administration’s Initiatives to Improve Security in Latin America and Caribbean

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding recent Administration initiatives to improve security programs in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“In the wake of Vice President Biden’s recent trip to Latin America and the Caribbean, I congratulate the Obama Administration for its increased efforts to address the many challenges facing countries in the region, including the need for greater energy security in the Caribbean, and the enduring threats posed by narcotics trafficking.

“In particular, I want to commend the Administration’s attention to the rising levels of illicit drug trafficking that we see in the Caribbean today, and the fact that the Dominican Republic bears the brunt of the effects of the drug trade in the in the central and eastern Caribbean. While there is still more that can be done to strengthen institutions, port security, and police forces in the Dominican Republic and countries throughout the Caribbean, newly announced programs that encourage information sharing related to fingerprinting and ballistics are an important step to improving security throughout the region.”

“Here in the United States, we must recognize that our national security is strengthened when our neighbors are better able to address the threats posed by illicit trafficking before drugs and other harmful substances reach our border.”