Meles Zenawi, Corruption, Blood Money, and USAID

We ask you as Ethiopians and Americans please stop supporting tyranny in Ethiopia and corruption in America by Ethiopians.

by Teddy Fikre  dated: Friday, July 13th, 2012

September 11th did not occur on September 11th 2001.  Rather, the day of monumental mourning and the death of thousands of Americans was decades in the making.  September 11th occurred the moment America decided to coddle a supposed “freedom fighter” by the name of Osama bin Laden and armed him to the teeth with weapons and knowledge.  September 11th was a blowback, a result of unexpected yet foreseen set of events that led ultimately to the Twin Towers being reduced to rubble and the Pentagon morphed into a hollowed out testament to US foreign policy.  I am not a conspiracy theorist; I put all blame for September 11th on Osama bin Laden and his band of blood thirsty terrorists.  However, it would be ludicrous if we as Americans do not realize that the Clinton and Bush administration—and prior administrations —do not bear the responsibility for creating a monster who would eventually murder over 3,500 innocent Americans.

It is with this reminder that I am about to take you on a journey of another blood thirsty terrorist that the current administration is coddling by the name of Meles Zenawi—the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. Meles Zenawi is no different than most African dictators, he is a ruthless tyrant who has butchered and terrorized his way to power and consolidates his grip on power by endlessly silencing dissidence.  He has shuttered free speech by killing hundreds of college students in the run up of the Ethiopian elections in 2005.  He has silenced the press by jailing and murdering journalists like Eskinder Nega.  Meles Zenawi is the African Osama bin Laden, yet here we are again replaying September 11th as the Obama administration coddles this ruthless dictator by welcoming him as a role model for Africa and inviting him to Camp David as America’s guest of honor.

The fact that Obama treats a war criminal and a man, who is at this exact moment enacting ethnic cleaning in Gonder Ethiopia, like a welcome hero is sad enough on its own; add on top of this insult that Barack Obama is a son of a Kenyan and this story morph from tragedy to an all-out heartbreak.  Tens of thousands of Ethiopians registered for the first time in 2008 and voted for Barack Obama thinking that Obama would reset the Bush policy of embracing tyrants in Africa and set a course of liberating Africa.  The result has been downright depressing; instead of liberating Africa from tyranny and oppression, Obama has hugged Meles Zenawi even closer and showered him with weapons and cash.  This is not what Ethiopian-Americans expected, this should not be what Americans as a whole should expect.

Abetted by a feckless media in America, lawmakers in the pocket of dictators in Africa, and high priced law firms like DLA Piper—where former Congressmen and Senators like Dick Gephardt and Dick Armey are employed—Meles Zenawi is pillaging Ethiopia to the hilt with the help of billionaire Al Amoudi as he doles out millions of dollars in America to influence US foreign policy and purchase law makers and media outlets as though he was purchasing Ethiopian coffee at Starbucks.  This is America, we are a land of the free and the home of the brave; we are have a long and proud history of backing the small guy and standing against tyranny wherever it exists.  America is the shining city on the hill that has for decades thwarted dictators and spoke on behalf of oppressed people throughout the world.

This is why Ethiopians and countless millions of Africans, Europeans, Asians and Latin-Americans immigrate to the United States.  We come here in hopes of a life unencumbered by repression and rank corruption.  We expect better from America, we expect more from President Obama—we demand a foreign policy that is just and a politics that is able to speak out against torture, rape, abuse, and ethnic cleaning.  Instead, what we are getting is a US government apparatus that is enabling tyrants in Africa and giving leeway to ethnic cleaning and mass killings while turning a blind eye to children dying of hopelessness and malnutrition on a minute by minute basis.

I guess we should be thankful that America spends billions a year in AID money in Ethiopia and other impoverished countries throughout the world.  But we as Ethiopians do not want a hand out, we want a hand up. We don’t want a beggar Ethiopia, we want a better Ethiopia. Besides, most of the money that the United States and the Obama administration spends goes directly into the Ethiopian military and into the pockets of fat cats like Al Amoudi and Addis Alemayehu while children are left drinking from sewer systems that drip out of the mansions and posh hotels of these very same fat cats.  Ethiopia does not want AID money; we simply want you to stop investing in tyrants and instead invest the money in giving us tools we can use to farm our lands.  We don’t need another AK47 that will only entrench Meles Zenawi for another decade, give us tractors and plows and Ethiopia herself can feed the entire continent.

Of course, Ethiopians saying this will be ignored by the mass-media, lawmakers, policy experts and President Barack Obama.  We are nobodies in the eyes of the elite in America, we are given token letters and the occasional photo op because we are not as powerful as Jewish-Americans, Gay Americans, or Latino Americans.  Thus I ask the various powerful constituencies in America to please join our cause, you know how it feels to be oppressed and subjugated.  Jewish-Americans know the sting of being tormented by a Pharaoh—meet our Pharaoh by the name of Meles Zenawi.  Gay-Americans know full well how it feels to be subjugated by bigots who would deny you the right to exist—meet our bigots by the name of Woyanes (TPLF) who have implemented a systematic program to make all but one ethnic group in Ethiopia permanent third-class citizens as they market Apartheid by another name called “Federalism”.  Latin-Americans know full well how it feels to have the home of your forefathers become an exclusive club for non-Hispanics only and being told to show your papers on a daily basis—meet our version of “papers please” as the TPLF government literally asks children for their ethnicity before giving them jobs.

But it is not enough for us to plead to do the right thing; the media and the policy elite in America only pays attention when a non-minority is damaged the same way hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians have been damaged and driven to depression.  It is with that fact in mind that I am going to introduce you to a Jewish-American—a blue blood New Yorker—who has been victimized and abused to such a cruel extend that he too was driven to depression at the hands of Meles Zenawi, Lily Bertu, Addis Alemayehu, and ultimately USAID.  This man is an avowed philanthropist and a humanitarian who has given to the less fortunate for half his life because he too knows how it felt to be hopeless.  He gives as he is given; he has invested his personal fortune so that children in China and Ethiopia have a hope for a better life.  He is a man who believes in the best of people, he has a pure heart and a successful businessman—he has the rare ability to mix enterprise with altruism.  His life story leading up to Ethiopia is awe-inspiring; his life after vising Ethiopia is depressing and the essence of melancholy.

Meet Victor Ozeri, a successful businessman who was a part of the first wave of American entrepreneurs who flocked to China when China was emerging from the shadows of “the Great Leap Forward”.  Victor traveled to China without practically knowing a soul and unable to speak a lick of Cantonese or Mandarin, what he had was hope in his eyes and optimism in the abundant possibilities that China offered.  Within a decade after his arrival, China arose from a slumber and now stands as the second biggest economy in the world.  Victor opened up hand bag factories and soon enough became a millionaire while helping to lift thousands of Chinese citizens from the backwater of poverty into the main streets of prosperity.  Victor’s life was transformed, he witnessed in China how capitalism and entrepreneurship—especially when combined with an altruistic spirit—can transform a country overnight from a third-world beggar into a developing shining city on a hill the same way America did 21 scores and 4 years.  China is undergoing the very same transformation in one fourth the time it took the United States.

In the 21st century, any third-world country is but a microwave button away from being transformed into an oasis of prosperity.  That is unless that third-world country happens to reside in Africa; only in this content will one find permanent poverty and endless cycles of violence.  Some of the blame can be put squarely on African tyrants like Meles Zenawi who would rather suffocate Ethiopia with tribal warfare instead of investing in his people.  In Ethiopia, more than 14% of the GDP is wasted on purchasing arms and “national defense” while less than 4% is invested in healthcare sector (in America, health care accounts for over 30% of the US GDP).  As hundreds of thousands of people are dying from lack of potable water and food, Meles Zenawi kills thousands more with the very same arms he purchases from America to start wars with neighboring countries.  But I don’t blame Meles as much as I blame countries like America, Great Britain, and France for ignoring this calamity while giving billions of dollars in “AID money” as that same money is laundered to purchase mansions with gold faucets and private airplanes.  Do you know some of the food that is dropped from UN helicopters meant to feed starving children in Ethiopia is at this exact moment behind gated mansion and is feeding fat cats in Addis Ababa instead?  You don’t have to take my word, take it from Victor, the very man who resided in Ethiopia for years as he tried in vain to transform Ethiopia from an impoverished country to a thriving nation.

With that I transition to Victor.  After Victor made his millions in China, he became passionate about repeating the same outcome for other third-world countries.  Upon his completion of his “China phase”, he fixed his aims on Ethiopia.  He traveled to Ethiopia and adopted a girl who had less than one year to live. He brought her back to America, took a dying girl and restored her to health.  From that moment on, he fell in love with Ethiopia.  Victor witnessed all the misery and hopelessness in Ethiopia—especially in Addis Ababa—and trained his passion into making a… CONTINUED


[click to view and listen to full interview with Victor Ozeri and his ordeal in Ethiopia]

It is vital that you hear this whole interview.  This is a life changing interview, once you hear this whole interview, your feelings for Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, and his crew of thugs and mercenaries.


Whether you are Ethiopian, Asian, white,  black, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, gay or straight, if you want to end the plight of Ethiopia, I beseech you to pick up your phone, send emails, send tweets, Facebook, and any other method you can to contact the following people.  Email them this article and tell them about Meles Zenawi and the continued pillaging of Ethiopia as the tyrant destroys hope throughout the country and let lawmakers know (your Congressman and Senator especially) about the “Ethiopian Diaspora Business Forum” event this Saturday at George Washington University.  These are but a few leads, please use your own contacts and knowledge base to contact as many journalists, opinion leaders, and policy experts and convince them with all your heart to end tyranny in Ethiopia and Africa as a whole.  Do it because you care, do it because you are American, do it because you have children in your lives.  Most importantly, pressure these people so that another child won’t die in Ethiopia and another Victor won’t have his will to believe in charity sapped out by those who feed on the charity of others to line their pockets.  God bless you and God bless America!

Contact these people

  1. President Barack Obama:  Phone:  202-456-1111 & 202-456-1414 Address: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 email: [email protected] & [email protected]  twitter: @barackobama
  2. Republican Presumptive Nominee Romney:  Phone:  857-288-3500  Address: PO Box 149756, Boston, MA 02114-9756  email:  LINK  twitter: @mittromney
  3. USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah: Phone: 202-712-4810  Fax:  202-216-3524  Address:  Ronald Reagan Building 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. email: LINK   twitter:  @RajShah
  4. Contact your lawmaker: Congress – LINK  Senate: LINK
  5. Mr. Vincent C. Gray  Mayor of the District of Columbia 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 316, Washington, DC 20004 Phone: (202) 727-6300 Fax: (202) 727-0505 TTY: 711 Email:[email protected]
  6. DLA Piper: Phone: (202) 799-4000  Address:500 8th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20004 email: [email protected] twitter:  @DLA_Piper
  7. Media:,,, and as many other media outlets as you can come up with
  8. Thomas Debass:  Virginia Tech with a master’s degree in Applied Economics and a bachelor’s in Economics  Executive Certificate in International Business Management from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.  Senior Advisor for Remittances & Diaspora and, USAID, State Department-Thomas Debass serves as a Director for Global Partnerships in the Global Partnership Initiative, responsible for economic growth, global finance, and entrepreneurship; as well as leading the Department’s Diaspora engagement efforts
  9. Dr.  Liesl A. Riddle: BA and MA in Middle Eastern Studies, an MBA in Marketing/International Business, and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Riddle has written extensively on the topics of international entrepreneurship, trade and investment promotion, and diaspora roles in homeland economic development  Associate Professor of International Business and International Affairs Co-Director, GW Diaspora Program Funger 401T 2201 G Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20052 Phone: (202) 994-1217 E-mail: [email protected]
  10. Gorge Washington University Elliott School of School of  International Business and International Affairs Michael E. Brown Dean and Professor of International Affairs and Political Science Office: 1957 E Street, NW Suite 401 Phone: (202) 994-6241 Fax: (202) 994-0335 E-mail: [email protected]

Points of Contact within Ethiopia Diaspora Business Forum

Addis Alemayehou:  Former Chief of Party for the VEGA African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) + project, a USAID program.

-Board member of Connect Ethiopia an Irish biz charity

-Board of SBI international private equity group

– Ethiopia (ICT-ET) Information and Communications Technology Association

Paconet Media PLV, Managing Director Addis Ababa  first English-language radio station of Ethiopia, AFRO FM, covering African business news.

Yohannes Assefa:   Practice law as member of the NY Bar association. -Ethiopian American Manger Ethiopian America Vergina based company The Diaspora Investment forum organizer sponsor  2012 Ethiopian Diaspora investment Forum

Henok Assefa:  Ethiopia Investor the online promotion website published by Precise Consult International he is a managing partner.  Board Member at Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations, Board Member at American Chamber of Commerce in Ethiopia, Country Representative

Manny Amare:  An illusive man with little background information on him until he came out to join the rest of the sharks as Modern Ethiopia.    ModernETH President and Founder New York Addis Ababa and President, of Altour, NY and AA Owner Ethio market  Ethiopian Investment Commission from 91-2010 and the new website  as Modern Ethiopia

And the rest of the government websites below

  1. Ethiopian Ministry of Revenue >>>
  2. Ethiopian Custom Authority >>>
  3. Ethiopian Press Agency >>>
  4. Public Enterprises Supervising Authority >>>
  5. Ethiopian Export Promotion Agency >>>
  6. Ethiopian Privatization Agency >>>
  7. Quality and Standard Authority of Ethiopia >>>
  8. Federal Inland Revenue Authority >>>

Abi Woldemeskel:  He shows up on a few international conferences and exhibitions in the last two years but work behind the seen with his operatives.  Director General of Ethiopian investment Agency  Ethiopian Investment Agency (EIA) (

Eliab Tarkghen:  George Washington University Language Lab software consultant  developed asset management software to track media inventory Ethio-Biometrics™, Ethiopic Editor, and Ethiopic Palm PDA address book. ChamersNET project      Eliab Consulting, “Founder and CEO ModernETH partner

Ermyas Amelga:  From Boston area belive to finish in Smith college.  Member of the New York Wall Street Diaspora the former highland bottle company owner CEO of Access Capital.  Founder and Board Chairman of Zemen Bank S.C.  Access Real Estate Share Company

Zemedeneh Negatu: Educated in the Howard University, Washington, D.C. and is a Certified Public Accountant and worked as CPA E&Y New York    Eastern Africa Ernst & Young LLP  Managing Partner of Ernst & Young Ethiopia & Head of Transaction Advisory Services (Corporate Finance)  based in Addis Ababa on Mega building (TPLF)

Matt Davis:  Worked with the U.S. Federal CIO, FEMA CHCO, NOAA’s CIO and Assistant Administrator, USAID directors, and many Ministers and Members of Parliament across Africa.       Founder & CEO of Renew Strategies Incorporation: Established in 2007 as a Delaware limited liability company Location: Washington, D.C., and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia   RENEW LLC – USA 2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #388 Washington, D.C. 20006 RENEW – Ethiopia T.K Building No. 2, 3rd floor P.O. Box 101585 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  Voice: +1 (703) 261 9021 – U.S. +251 (0) 91 261 4746 – Ethiopia E-mail: [email protected] Also Chief Executive Officer of Orange Symphony Consulting firm that specializes in establishing multinational companies in countries throughout Africa

Bob Rabatsky:  Works in Ethiopia’s Agribusiness sector.   Fintrac- Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations Agricultural development contractor that won the New food security initiative


[click to see source of money and tell Selamawit that Teddisho says “Tadias” ena “Dena Dere”]