Laws seeks to extend funding for Caribbean Basin Safety Initiative

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US MPs Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Mark Green (R-TN) introduced legislation last week aimed at increasing funding for the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI).

The move has made progress in the US House of Representatives over the past year as executive efforts continue to strike a balance between prevention and enforcement across the region.

“CBSI has been instrumental in helping our Caribbean partners improve their capacities to fight cross-border crime, violence and regional instability while improving our own security and strengthening partnerships,” said Espaillat, a member of the House Appropriations Committee . “Our legislation would seriously disrupt the illegal drug trade, fight corruption in the government, and raise security and justice standards across the region.”

Espaillat said promoting good governance, improving programs for young people and people at risk, and supporting strategic cooperation on border and maritime security strengthen the Caribbean while enhancing national security.

According to the legislation, nearly $ 75 million annually would be allocated annually from 2022 to 2026 to improve security cooperation with Caribbean states, combat illicit drug trafficking and support reform of the judiciary.

“Americans overdose on an overdose of illicit narcotics smuggled across the Caribbean to our shores every day,” said Green, senior subcommittee member for the Western Hemisphere. “It is high time to stand up against these drug smugglers and the corruption that enables them to thrive. Our bill helps by providing the necessary resources to improve security cooperation and fight the criminal organizations that harass their own countries and ours. “