Aruba asks if Bush supports Alabama's boycott
9 November 2005, AMSTERDAM — The government of Aruba wants US President George W Bush to intervene to stop a tourist boycott of the autonomous Dutch island in the Caribbean.
9 November 2005
AMSTERDAM — The government of Aruba wants US President George W Bush to intervene to stop a tourist boycott of the autonomous Dutch island in the Caribbean.
Alabama governor Bob Riley called for a nationwide travel boycott of Aruba because he accuses the island authorities of not fully cooperating in the search for missing Alabama school graduate Natalee Holloway (18).
Natalee's mother, Beth Holloway-Twitty, joined Riley for the announcement of the boycott.
Riley asked his fellow governors to join him in urging the boycott of Aruba, CNN reported on Tuesday. "There are no other alternatives to get Aruban authorities to take this as seriously as they should," he said.
Holloway disappeared on 30 May while on holiday in Aruba with classmates. Extensive searches have failed to find her. The police think she was murdered.
A Dutch teenager and two Surinamese brothers are believed to have been the last people with Holloway prior to her disappearance. The three young men were held in custody for some time before being released without a breakthrough in the case.
The parliament on Aruba went into emergency session after the boycott call. Afterwards Prime Minister Nelson Oduber said Aruba wanted the US President to intervene.
"Aruba is not Cuba, North Korea or Iraq. We are friends with America. Most tourists come from the United States and we work together to combat drugs criminality and money laundering," Oduber said angrily.
He wants Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot to seek clarification on the issue from the American Embassy in The Hague. Aruba's representative in Washington will raise the matter directly with the US government. "We want to know if Bush supports this boycott or not," Oduber said.
Tourism figures for the months after Holloway's disappearance do not show a drop in the number of American's visiting the island. Mirna Jansen of Aruba's tourist board noted that US citizens did not appear to be following through on their claims to be less inclined to come to the island..
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news