It is now reported that the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) have hired the lobbying firm Venable LLP to promote Ethiopia in the United States of America (USA). This is not the first time an African Warlord or President with conflicts is hiring lobbyist to “clean-up” their image abroad. It is all done to sway the U.S. Congress and get a favourable tune from the White House. Because, the broken Washington D.C. is for sale and everyone can be bought, apparently.
Venable LLP had 81 clients in 2020 and spent $7,400,000 in lobbying fees for various of causes. The Venable LLP had 44 lobbyist working for them last year.
What is striking is the two fellas that is representing Ethiopia in Washington D.C. is Thomas Quinn and Loren Aho. Open Secrets says Quinn speciality is Taxation by a vast margin and Defence. While Aho have also Defence as speciality. This is not government affairs or foreign affairs, which is where the Ethiopian government needs help to sway public opinion about the war in Tigray and all the other atrocities across the Republic.
On a FARA form filed by Quinn on the 4th February 2021. Quinn is an attorney and a partner in the company. It states that he has three foreign principals his working for as a foreign agent. In his filing, these are: “Embassy of Ethiopia, Embassy of the State of Qatar & Hong Kong Trade Development Council”. This means that works for these others as well. While banking the thousands of dollars per month from Addis Ababa. We can wonder how much Qatar and HKDC is paying him too.
The Ethiopian Embassy is paying Venable LLP US$35,000 per month. When they have a taxation expert and minor lobbyist on his payroll. The company has an outreach and has a big team. Though, the two who is handling this has this history. This is information in the public domain from ProPublica and OpenSecrets. It is not like the American lobbyists isn’t looked into, as a public oversight to their actions and how they influence U.S. Congress.
That Quinn and Aho is hired to this is to whitewash and make Abiy’s government look good in the public eye in the US. It is to get Committee’s to act in favour of Addis Ababa. That is why they have hired these fellows. Where they are trying to sway and swing things in their direction. So, that they are not sanctioned or embargoed in any way. Especially, now that they are going into an election, warfare in Tigray and other lingering conflicts across the Republic.
Prime Minister Abiy has hired these guys to look good. That is the reason. As his team isn’t able to get positive headlines in Western Media and the use of this as a platform to get that. This is why regimes like this uses lobbyists to become “cleansed” from the “bloodstains” abroad. Also, to ensure their leadership and legitimacy across the board. In a manner, which they get vouched for by the International Community.
It is ironic that Abiy does this, as he holds a grip on local-media and accreditation of foreign media houses too. Just give people a pass, if they follows his guidelines and writes his stories. If they don’t, then they are banished from the Republic. Peace.