Foreign policy and defense
Suriname is a nation in South America. Its capital city is Paramaribo. The ties are strong to the old colonial power of the Netherlands. But the situation has often been tense because of inadequate democracy in Suriname. When former dictator Desi Bouterse returned to power in 2010, relations deteriorated again.
Bouterse has been sentenced to eleven years in prison in the Netherlands for cocaine smuggling, but cannot be extradited under Surinamese law. The Netherlands has been the most important donor, but the aid was withdrawn during the dictatorship in the 1980s, during the turbulence in the late 1990s (see Modern history), and when an amnesty law for crimes committed during the military dictatorship was adopted in Suriname in April 2012 (see Current policy). In 2012, the Netherlands also decided to permanently revoke its ambassador and called for international sanctions to be imposed against Surinam.
- Countryaah: Overview of business holidays and various national observances in Suriname for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025.
Relations with the United States and other Western countries are also disturbed by the high profile of the dictator Bouterses, as well as by Surinam’s role as a transit country for cocaine smuggling.
Surinam has been a member of the Caribbean cooperation body Caricom since 1995. The country is also connected to Unasur, which was supposed to be a kind of South America’s EU but which has mainly failed. Surinam did not join the seven other South American countries which in March 2019 instead formed the new body Prosur.
Guyana and Suriname have a border dispute over a smaller land area in the southwest. They have also disputed the Corentyne border and the boundary in offshore offshore areas, where there may be large oil deposits. However, in 2007, the UN Court of Appeal, ITLOS, ruled that 35 percent of the disputed maritime area would go to Surinam and 65 percent to Guyana. Surinam also disagrees with French Guiana on a smaller, uninhabited area in the southeast.
Following previous coups and revolts, Ronald Venetian government and military leadership worked together to strengthen civilian control over the military. However, the military still has great influence.
FACTS – DEFENSE
Army: 1,400 men (2017)
The air Force: 200 men (2017)
The fleet: 240 men (2017)