Nelson Oduber

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Nelson Oduber
2nd Prime Minister of Aruba
In office
October 30, 2001 – October 30, 2009
MonarchQueen Beatrix
Preceded byHenny Eman
Succeeded byMike Eman
In office
February 9, 1989 – July 29, 1994
Preceded byHenny Eman
Succeeded byHenny Eman
Personal details
Born (1947-02-07) February 7, 1947 (age 72)
Oranjestad, Aruba
Political partyPeople's Electoral Movement
Spouse(s)Glenda Oduber
ChildrenGlenson Oduber

Danguillaume P. Oduber

Nelson Oduber Jr.
Coat of arms of Aruba.svg
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Nelson Orlando Oduber (born February 7, 1947)[1] is an Aruban politician, who served as the 2nd Prime Minister of Aruba He was a member of the Movimiento Electoral di Pueblo (People's Electoral Movement). He was prime minister for the first time from 1989 until 1994, when his party lost parliamentary elections, and again from 2001 until 2009. He led the MEP to victory in the 2001 and 2005 Estates elections, the first consecutive election victories since Aruban status aparte in 1986.

In the general elections His party(MEP) lost its majority for the first time in eight years. Oduber's term ended on October 30, 2009.

Since his defeat in 2009; Oduber subsequently retired from politics, remaining only as honorary party leader, with his niece PM Evelyn Wever-Croes, succeeding him as party leader

Early life[edit]

Oduber was born on February 7, 1947, at the Lago Hospital in San Nicolaas, Aruba to Urbano Oduber and Carmen Felepina Croes. He was raised in a Catholic household and had a big family, consisting of 9 sons and 4 sisters. They lived in the Siribana neighborhood in a regular well mannered home. His father worked for Lago Oil and Transport Company and his mother took care of the children. Tragedy struck the family of 15 when his father, who was working for W.E.B at the time, was struck by a high voltage of electricity and received severe burns to the skin, and died on January 14, 1964, leaving behind his wife and 13 children. Oduber was 16 years of age at the time of his father's death.

After attending St Joseph Primary school, Oduber attended St Anthony secondary school. He was a disciplined student and always finished his work on time. He graduated M.U.L.O at St. Anthony in 1965. After finishing M.U.L.O, Oduber tried to get a scholarship so he could study abroad, but ultimately did not get it. After being disappointed about the scholarship, he sparked the interest of Dr. Gustavo Oduber, who at the time was Deputy of the insular territory of Aruba and offered Oduber a job as Island Receiver. In 1967, Oduber got the opportunity to move to the Netherlands on a study assignment and lived in Tilburg. In 1970 he finished Public administration at Brabantian Administrative Academy in Tilburg and in 1972 he finished his studies in Constitutional Science. In 1973, he graduated from Utrecht University with a masters degree in general education.


Nelson Oduber (center) meeting with Shri Kamal Nath in New Delhi, December 11, 2007.

After returning from studies abroad, Oduber resumes his job as a civil worker in the Department of Legal Affairs and gave lessons on State Organization to fellow Civil Workers. Oduber was also a member of the commission that prepared exams for the students taking the course.

Oduber always had an interest in politics, him and his brothers use to take the bus each time there was a Town Hall. When he returned home in 1973, he started observing politics in his country and focusing much on the Islands political atmosphere and movements. In a short period of time after his arrival back home, he gets approached by many different political parties to start a political career and join the political arena. Although Nel always felt a calling towards politics, he decided not to enter the world of politics and stick with his own ideology and with all his knowledge of State Structure Affairs, After a while, he was approached by friend and colleague Jossy Croes and Betico Croes to join the People's Electoral Movement (Aruba), a party in which shared the same ideology as Oduber. He decides not to join as a politician, but volunteered to help them out and in that same year, he acted as Deputy Secretary of the Dutch Kingdom Affairs. On March 4, 1975, Oduber, after a brief conversation with Betico, Nel officially affiliates himself with the People's Electoral Movement (MEP) and on Election Day April 25, 1975, MEP won Majority seats with 13/21. Because of that monumental Victory, On July 1, 1975, Oduber was sworn in as Deputy of the Insular territory.

Prime Minister[edit]

First Cabinet[edit]

Personal life[edit]

After returning from studies abroad, Oduber met Glenda Oduber (Nee croes). They eventually get married on June 20, 1974 and a year later, their first child was born, Glenson Oduber. and after that, they had 2 more sons, Danguillaume Oduber and Nelson Orlando Oduber Jr (Chito).

His second born, Dangui, followed in his father's footsteps and joined the world of politics, earning a seat as parliament member in his first election and is currently the Minister of Tourism, Public Health and Sport of Aruba. Oduber is also the Son-in-Law of The renowned and well respected Milio Croes, who revolutionized and transcended Aruba's carnaval to where it is today.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gunson, Phil; Chamberlain, Greg; Thompson, Andrew (3 September 1991). "The Dictionary of Contemporary Politics of Central America and the Caribbean". Routledge – via Google Books.