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Cuba Document Archive | Counter-Narcotics Cooperation

Cuba counter narcotics

USS Elrod, conducting counter narcotics operations, visits Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba / Photo Credit: U.S. Navy / public domain

INCS Report 2015: Drug and Chemical Control, Cuba Country Report

(U.S. Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, 2015)

The 2015 State Department report on narcotics discusses the status of drug consumption, production, and transit in Cuba. It reports that, due to active policing, strict sentencing, and nationwide prevention and educational programs, drug consumption and production in Cuba remain low despite the island’s proximity to major drug exporting nations and the vast U.S. market for illegal drugs. It also discusses Cuba’s cooperation with the United States on apprehending and turning over U.S. fugitives and assisting in U.S. judicial proceedings.

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In Fight against Drugs, Cuba and U.S. on Same Team

By Joshua Partlow and Nick Miroff (Washington Post, January 2015)

This article discusses the unlikely partnership between the United States and Cuba on drug enforcement issues. It reports that the U.S. and Cuban government have cooperated on anti-drug crime activities, such as sharing information on the movements of suspected drug boats. Partlow and Miroff suggest that, given the reestablishment of diplomatic relations, the fight against drug smuggling could be a source of further cooperation between the two countries in the future.

Link to full text via Washington Post

INCS Report 2014: Drug and Chemical Control, Cuba Country Report

(U.S. Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, 2014)

The 2014 State Department report on narcotics discusses the status of drug consumption, production, and transit in Cuba. It states that, due to active policing, harsh sentencing, very low consumer disposable income, and limited opportunities to produce illegal drugs, drug consumption and production in Cuba remain low despite its location between some of the largest exporters of illegal drugs in the hemisphere and the U.S. market.

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INCS Report 2013: Drug and Chemical Control, Cuba Country Report

(U.S. Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, 2013)

The latest INCSR report indicates that the Cuban drug strategy has been enormously effective at limiting the sale, import, and consumption of narcotics. Through its increased coastal security measures, Cuba was able to rapidly decrease its capacity to serve as a hub for drug traffickers moving from the Caribbean to the United States. The authors indicate that drug use and export from Cuba is negligible.

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Building Bridges in Unlikely Places: U.S.-Cuban Cooperation on Security Issues

By George Withers (Washington Office on Latin America, March 2012)

Many people in the United States, writes Withers, have a dire view of the state of military affairs between the United States and Cuba. So it may come as a surprise that the relations between the U.S. and Cuban militaries are actually quite civil. Moreover, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Cuban Border Guard also work together on several issues of mutual interest. Drug interdiction, migration, and search-and-rescue of people in distress at sea are important issues for the United States and Cuba. Given this common interest, the two organizations have cooperated over time, mostly on a case-by-case basis. There is room for even more cooperation, however.

Link to full text via Washington Office on Latin America

Potential for Enhanced U.S.-Cuban Cooperation on Drug Interdiction and Related Law Enforcement: Feedback from a delegation visit to Cuba

(Washington Office on Latin America, 2010)

A U.S. delegation visited Cuba to discuss the possibility of ending the travel ban and embargo while encouraging constructive diplomacy for the security interests of both countries. WOLA considers how well joint counter-narcotics measures are working, if they should be expanded, and the possible benefits to the United States.

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