Boycott Watch  
November 12, 2009
Aruba's Growing Deficit Is A Direct Result Of Natelee Holloway's Disappearance
Summary: Would you send your kids to Aruba?
    Boycott Watch has been at the forefront of reporting about the boycott of Aruba sparked by the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. Yesterday we reported that passengers on a cruise ship mostly stayed on their ship while docked in Aruba, and today we report that Aruba's newspaper, Amigoe, reports Aruba needs an emergency 100 million Florin loan, which is just over $375 Million US to keep the country afloat. Considering the U.S. government's most recent GDP estimate of Aruba being $2.258 billion, Aruba needs to borrow 1/6th of their Gross Domestic Product, which is the total of good and services in their economy, and in this case of a good year. That deficit is completely outrageous for a 180 square mile country which relies on its tourism trade industry which is in shambles.

    The article speaks of a budget deficit growing from 47 to 146 million Florins. While Aruba blames the added deficit on the world economy, our report yesterday, the second about cruise ship passengers, the first of which indicated that passengers who went ashore didn't buy much and preferred to eat on the ship. Other recent Boycott Watch reports indicate some cruise lines have dropped Aruba as a port of call because their consumers did not want to go to Aruba. See Boycott Watch's extended Aruba coverage for details.

    Aruba is in an economic crisis, and it is not just because of the world economy. Americans are not happy with the way Aruba handled the Natalee Holloway case and they are expressing their disdain with dollars the way they have for years. In 2008, the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning for U.S. travelers to Aruba shortly after Boycott Watch President Fred Taub appeared on Your World with Neil Cavuto on the Fox News Channel. Currently, the U.S. State Department has the following warning on the Aruba travel page of their website: "Parents of young travelers should be aware that the legal drinking age of 18 is not always rigorously enforced in Aruba, so extra parental supervision may be appropriate." That was a polite way of saying anyone can drink and nobody cares. The state Department website continues: "Young female travelers in particular are urged to take the same precautions they would when going out in the United States, e.g. to travel in pairs or in groups if they choose frequenting Aruba's nightclubs and bars, and if they opt to consume alcohol, to do so responsibly." That's diplomatic speak for Aruba is not safe for young women, and as we reported girls as young as 13 years old are approached for sex by local men who are "pimping" for foreigners in bars and even hotel lobbies. The specific mention of "Aruba's nightclubs and bars" is clearly a specific reminder about how Natalee Holloway was either drugged, made drunk or otherwise taken without regard to her life or safety. Boycott Watch also believes that the U.S. State Department's choice of words when they wrote "Young female travelers in particular" is directly related to when Fred Taub appeared on Fox News were he exclusively broke the news about a thirteen year old girl being propositioned for sex by local men in a hotel lobby, and how the hotel owners allowed, and may continue to allow such activity to take place.

    Aruba's desperate economy puts foreign travelers at an increased risk in that island nation because local desperate criminals will have in increased propensity to take advantage of foreign travelers for extra money. To this day, nobody has been put on trial for the disappearance and probably murder of Natalee Holloway despite two separate confessions by Yoran Van Der Sloot, one in a car to Peter DeVries and one to Greta Van Susteren of Fox News. That combined with lax drinking age enforcement and the U.S. calling Aruba a "transit point for US- and Europe-bound narcotics with some accompanying money-laundering activity; relatively high percentage of population consumes cocaine" makes Aruba a less than ideal country to visit. As Boycott Watch President Fred Taub asked Neil Cavuto on Fox News, "would you send your kids to Aruba?"

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