On January 31, Robert J. Faucher formally took office as the new US ambassador to Suriname. He presented his credentials to the President of Suriname, Chan Santokhi.
An ambassador serves as a link between two countries, striving to create and uphold peace, understanding, and cooperation between them. But, Robert Faucher comes to Suriname with ulterior motives.
Suriname, one of smallest country in northern South America, has largely remained obscure in geopolitics. In terms of area, it’s half the size of Germany and a bit bigger than Greece.
Over the past three years, one major oil discovery after another has been made on the coast of Suriname. An American firm, Apache announced the first oil find off the coast of Suriname in January 2020. The partners then made two unprofitable discoveries in Block 58 and four more commercial oil discoveries.
The most significant is Sapakara discovery, which Apache believes to contain 400 million barrels or more of recoverable oil resources.
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Offshore Suriname Block 58 is thought to have significant oil potential. Due to its proximity to offshore Guyana’s productive Stabroek Block, it’s expected that more oil will be found. According to calculations done by American investment bank Morgan Stanley, Block 58 is thought to contain at least five billion barrels of recoverable oil resources and maybe as many as 6.5 billion barrels.
According to Staatsolie, the national oil company of Suriname, its territorial waters may have up to 30 billion barrels of recoverable oil resources. 30 billion barrels! That can lead to a serious economic boom for an economy that has contracted four times in last seven years.
Suriname has now become a significant entity in global politics. it has also attracted a lot of vultures who’re trying to steal Suriname’s oil. It shouldn’t be hard for you to guess which country is attracted to Oil.
Threat to Suriname’s sovereignty
Before his appointment, the new US ambassador to Suriname, Robert J. Faucher made a shocking statement before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
He said, “Suriname is sitting on vast oil reserves off its coast.”
🇺🇸🇸🇷 Robert J. Faucher officially began his tenure as the U.S. Ambassador to Suriname today.
Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he pledged to ensure that U.S. companies would be able to access Suriname's vast oil reserves. pic.twitter.com/EsM90pBZyH
— Kawsachun News (@KawsachunNews) February 1, 2023
Faucher said that if he is confirmed as ambassador, he promised to make sure that American businesses would have access to Suriname’s substantial oil deposits. He said that the US continuously faces challenge from PRC for oil deposits in Suriname.
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Faucher’s comments are insensitive and dangerous. Suriname isn’t all about oil. It is a small, developing nation, and the suggestion that the US would exploit its resources for its own gain is a dangerous form of imperialism.
The comments are a clear sign that the US is intent on exploiting the country’s resources for its own gain. Suriname must be cautious about the new ambassador. It must also ward off oil exploration deals with American firms like Apache. Suriname should walk towards building a strong and prosperous future. And, that can only happen with countries which look to grow together.
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