Biden says Venezuela, Bolivia not doing enough to meet counternarcotics obligations

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U.S. President Joe Biden speaks as he tours the facilities of the Flatirons Campus Laboratories and Offices of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in Arvada, Colorado, U.S. September 14, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

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WASHINGTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden said on Wednesday Venezuela and Bolivia had failed to take measures over the past year to meet their obligations under international agreements to fight drugs.

"I hereby designate Bolivia and Venezuela as having failed demonstrably to make substantial efforts during the previous 12 months to ... adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements," Biden said in a memo to Secretary of State Antony Blinken released by the White House.

Biden said the two countries had also failed to take measures required by provisions of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act, but that he had determined U.S. "programs that support Bolivia and Venezuela are vital to the national interests of the United States."

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Reporting by Mohammad Zargham Editing by Chris Reese and Mark Porter

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