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January 25, 2007

Jack Abramoff Lobbying for Aruban Prime Minister Nelson Oduber?

Posted in: Aruba,Crime,Politics,World

From today’s Diario, A base di pago di 500 mil Florin PRUEBA CON SENADOR GodfatherArubaMERICANO TA ELOGIA NEL ODUBER

Things that make you go hmmm …

Reading through this mornings Diario it came as a peculiar sight to see the name of Jack Abramoff and Aruban Prime Minister Nelson Oduber referenced in the same news article. These days no one wants their name in the same sentence let alone news story as Abramoff. We all know the name Jack Abramoff for the many public corruption cases he has been involved in. On January 3, 2006 disgraced uber power lobbyist Abramoff plead guilty to 3 counts in a corruption probe.

Jack Abramoff, the once-powerful lobbyist at the center of a wide-ranging public corruption investigation, pleaded guilty yesterday to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials in a deal that requires him to provide evidence about members of Congress.

The following day, on January 4, he plead guilty to two criminal felony counts in a separate federal court, in Miami, related to his fraudulent dealings with SunCruz Casinos.

A question comes to mind, among many. Why would PM Nelson Oduber need a good word put in for him to American Congressman? To look through the record of Jack Abramoff is like a who’s who of scandal and corruption. Anything this guy touched was suspect. So why did Oduber feel the need to associate with Abramoff?  Aruba has been in the eye of the storm with Americans since May 29, 2005 and their PM, according to the Diario article, is doing business with one of the most scandal ridden lobbyists ever. A lobbyist with so many “dark side” connections like Abramoff would be about the last person that one would want to be connected to these days. However, it appears that PM Oduber according to Diario paid Abramoff for his services.

A summary of the Diario article of Abramoff and Oduber is as follows:

What’s involved is that Nelson Oduber, the Prime Minister of Aruba, paid Abramoff over 250 thousand dollars to put in a good word for him in the Congressional records. Oduber’s name was clearly mentioned with regards to that transaction. Since Abramaoff kept himself busy with lobbying work and found himself accused of having committed fraud, corruption and conspiracy, which he admitted to the district attorneys, and is now cooperating in the penal investigation that is going on in the U.S. Since he did the same kind of lobby work for Nelson Oduber with the same senator (Conrad Burns), for the price of 250.000 dollars, the article places emphasis on the fact that Oduber’s name is being mentioned in the sordid Abramoff affair in the U.S.

The paper is asking from where Nelson Oduber obtained the funds to beef himself up in the U.S.? And why was Aruban undeclared money used to pay off a corrupt person in the U.S. to speak well of the Prime Minister. The paper also asks how come Holland can tolerate for a partner of the Kingdom to pull out money from the national budget to invest in acts of bribery.

Then the paper goes on to quote what was written about Nelson Oduber in the Congressional records, and to point out that for this small island it is a very serious matter when the Prime Minister gets himself involved, directly or indirectly, in acts of corruption and bribery just to have some good words about him placed in the records.

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