Luxembourg’s Blood Money

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Luxembourg’s Blood Money

Fri, 18/11/2011 - 20:53
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In recent years we have read about one dictator, terrorist or financial fraudster after the other whose assets in Luxembourg have been frozen after the given persons have lost most of their powers. No one knows the exact quantity Luxembourg (and thus the European Community) has profited from this blood money, besides that the Luxembourg administration and its regulators in utter indifference to the origin of these assets have acted as the said despots’ protectors, guardians and financial advisors for as long as it was convenient and profitable for the country.

March 1 2011 the Vancouver Sun reported that the Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado had decided to donate the $ 1 million she received for having performed for Moammar Gaddafi's family in a hotel in Italy in 2007. This act of remorse comes as a reaction after the New York Times earlier in February revealed, based on Wikileaks-documents, that several entertainers (among them; Mariah Carey, Beyonce and Usher) had received extravagant sums to entertain Gaddafi’s family.

According to Beyonce announced on March 3 2011 that she had already donated the performance fee[1] she received from the Gaddafi-family after having entertained parts of them during a New Years Eve party in 2009 on the Caribbean island of St. Barts.

For the same reasons as Ms. Furtado, Mariah Carey has, according to Suite101, informed her readers that she will donate all proceeds from one of her new songs; “Save the day”, this as a response to the allegations that she has received some $ 1 million in performance fee after entertaining one of Colonel Gaddafi's sons with four songs during a party at St. Barts in 2008.

On March 6 2011 Usher announced that he will donate the performance fee he received for having entertained (together with Beyonce) on the above mentioned Caribbean New Years Eve party in 2009.

On March 10 2011 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) announced that he will donate his performance fee received from this family after having performed a private concert during the 2005 Venice Film festival, of which he allegedly received some $ 2 mill.

Carey herself wrote on her website, attempting to explain and justify her actions, that:

“I was naïve and unaware of who I was booked to perform for. I feel horrible and embarrassed to have participated in this mess. Going forward, this is a lesson for all artists to learn from. We need to be more aware and take more responsibility regardless of who books our shows. Ultimately we as artists are to be held accountable.”[2]

On February 28 2011 reported that:

“Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Usher and 50 Cent are facing industry calls to give back the money they earned performing at lavish parties thrown by family members of Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi. «If it were me, it would go to charity», says Buck Williams, agent for R.E.M. and Widespread Panic. Adds David T. Viecelli, agent for Arcade Fire; «Hopefully donate it to a charity that somehow assists some of the people who have suffered at the hands of that regime».”

On March 17 2011 reported that:

“Entertainers like 50 Cent are not just caving in to political pressure for accepting millions to perform for Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi. This is a celebrity avalanche...”

On March 10 2011 the Guardian reported that:

“Despite 50 Cent's charity donation, there are several other acts who have not responded to reports that they received money from the Gaddafi family. Lionel Richie, Timbaland and Enrique Iglesias are allegedly among the performers, while Jay-Z, Lindsay Lohan and Jon Bon Jovi were reportedly guests at the events.”

Based on these reports it seems that at least the journalists and the artist industry demand that the artists should give away the money they have profited from their business arrangements with the Gaddafi-family. According to the Rollingout we even see a political pressure surfacing, raising the same demand. But why stop there? Why shouldn’t Luxembourg – one of the largest laundering machines in the world who has profited billions of Euros from doing business with despots all over the world – follow this tough policy of which the media have unloaded solely on the shoulders of well known artists? Why shouldn’t everyone – especially governments – pay back ALL funds which actually have been deprived from the despots’ oppressed subjects?


Herman J Berge

[1] To the Clinton-Bush Haiti relief fund.

[2] This goes for everyone, whether you are an artist, arms dealer or a banker.