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US ship and troops in Uruguay

Montevideo, Apr 26 (Prensa Latina) The arrival today of the U.S. Coast Guard ship Cutter James coincides with the presence here of Pentagon special troops to participate in joint military exercises.

According to the embassy of the US, the vessel brings 150 crew members and the main missions to be carried out are operations against drug trafficking and defensive preparation in support of the US Coast Guard.

The Senate approved the entry to Uruguay of between 8 and 10 U.S. special forces military personnel from April 7 to May 16 for joint exercises with the Uruguayan Air Force.

The presence of the U.S. uniformed personnel takes place in the context of the reinforcement of cooperation with Washington in defense matters, promoted by the government of President Luis Lacalle Pou.

With this purpose, the then Minister of Defense, Javier García, visited the Pentagon last year.

The head of the Southern Command, General Laura Richardson, was in this capital last February and declared herself in favor of strengthening ties in security matters.

A few weeks ago, the Minister of the Interior, Nicolás Martinelli, signed in Washington a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

The agreement could be the prelude to the return of DEA activities in Uruguay.