By Leroy Smith
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Guyana is ready and willing to support any effort by the United States Government to establish a Drug Enforcement Unit (DEA) in the country. This point was reiterated by Foreign Affairs Minister, Carolyn Rodrigues – Birkett.
The minister made the statement following remarks by United Stated Ambassador Brent Hardt, who outlined the main reasons why the US has not moved to establish the unit office in Guyana.
According to Rodrigues, Guyana is ready to do all the necessaries which will facilitate the establishment of the office locally.
The United States of America still has an interest in establishing a Drug Enforcement Unit on these shores but there are conditions which have to be met to the satisfaction of the US Government.
The Ambassador said whether it is the Customs Anti Narcotic Unit or some other special force or branch with the police, those who are selected to work along with the DEA have to be “fully vetted.”
According to Hardt, these persons must be tested in such a way that the Drug Enforcement Unit personnel in the United States can feel free to share sensitive information with them and be comfortable that the information will remain top secret, private and confidential in the interest of the job and the objectives of the unit.
He added too that already as part of a US$ 850,000 Letter of Agreement under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, monies have been available for the vetting of units which will be selected to work with the Drug Enforcement Agency of the United States.
The Letter of Agreement was signed between Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues Birkett and the US Ambassador on Thursday (May 29.
According to Ambassador Hardt, the selection and vetting of a unit to work with the DEA will see an elevated partnership with respect to the fight against drugs.
He related that things seem to be moving in the right direction for the establishment of the DEA Office in Guyana. Hardt said that very soon there will be more pronouncements on the efforts being made in that direction.