Suriname Recent History

In 1957 there were important increases: in the population, in the production of sugar cane, rice and citrus fruits and among the minerals in the extraction of bauxite, the main wealth of the country.

On November 25, 1975 Suriname became an independent state; the government was formed by a coalition representing various ethnic groups (Creole, African, Indonesian, Chinese), whose coexistence was made difficult by the difference of the social classes. According to Abbreviationfinder, in 1975 the head of the National Party Henck A.Arron was appointed Prime Minister; the reformist party, which controlled half of the seats, was in opposition.

After independence several Dutch citizens returned to their homeland and Holland made several billion florins to help Suriname take its first steps with some peace of mind.

On February 25, 1980 a military coup overthrew the government of Arron then the CMN (National Military Council) chaired by D. Bouterse, suspended the Constitution and imposed on the presidency H. Chin A Sen who, being pro-western in relation to foreign policy, he was dismissed by Bouterse who instead tended to strengthen relations with the “non-aligned” Caribbean countries.

When martial law imposed the country on 8 December, both the Netherlands and the United States suspended economic aid thus aggravating the already precarious economic situation created by the decrease in exports of bauxite and aluminum.

The people rose up demanding the restoration of democracy and the CMN had to promise a new Constitution which was, in fact, passed on 30 September 1987.
The elections of November 1987 assigned the victory to Ramsewak Shankar; however Bouterse, as head of the Military Council, continued to control internal politics.

In August 1989 the government attempted to achieve peace with the “bosch neger” (descendants of slaves who had fled to the forests) who had been defending their autonomy since 1986; but the military did not accept any transaction and indeed fought the “bosch neger” by sending the “Amerindians” of the Amazonian Tucayana against them; on December 24, 1990, always the military, overthrew R. Shankar; they called new elections which, on May 25, 1991, awarded the nationalist Nuovo Fronte the victory and the presidency to R. Venetiaan.

He quickly consolidated ties with the Netherlands; in June 1992 it concluded an economic assistance agreement; initiated several changes to the Constitution, including the elimination of military interference in state affairs.

Despite the achievement of internal agreements between the parties, the situation in Suriname remained difficult and in April 1994 a new armed organization, called the “Front for the Liberation of Suriname”, led a victorious assault on the Afobaka hydroelectric power station; called for the resignation of the government and new measures to improve the living conditions of weaker citizens.

Suriname Recent History

The New Front, although weakened by divisions, maintained a majority in Parliament in the 1996 elections. Bouterse formed a new coalition government; the newly elected President was one of his men, J. Wijdenbosch who, in turn, had the Bouterse National Assembly nominate “Councilor of State” in March 1997.

In that same year, some minor formations emerged from the coalition government, putting the Wijdenbosch management in serious difficulty which, by launching very austere measures with regard to drug trafficking, sought in all ways to improve relations with the Netherlands. In fact, from this country wide dissensions started towards the government presence of Bouterse, accused of drug trafficking, of which, indeed, he asked for extradition.

In April 1999, Wijdenbosch was forced to take Bouterse out of office but without handing him over to Dutch justice, which, however, also sentenced him, in absentia, to 16 years in prison.