The West is well known for exploiting the resources of small and emerging nations to fulfill their own needs. This hinders the growth and development of these nations and their citizens.
But things are far worse in SURINAME. The President instead of saying “no” to Western diktats, has shook hands with them, leaving his people in enormous misery.
Chaos in Suriname
Anti-government demonstrators recently attacked the Assembly House in Paramaribo, which houses Suriname’s parliament.
WATCH: #BNNSuriname Reports.
On Friday, Dozens of demonstrators stormed #Suriname's parliament while hundreds more rampaged around the capital, #Paramaribo, clashing with police as anti-government protests turned into chaos.#Protest pic.twitter.com/qyEHof36M6
— Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (@gchahal) February 18, 2023
They smashed windows and wrecked the lobby. They alleged corruption in the Santokhi government and demanded the resignation of the current President. Protestors tried to storm the premises while demonstrating against increased food, gas, and energy prices.
The government acted swiftly and rounded up the protestors. The President clamped down on the protests and warned against any such demonstrations in the future. Amidst all this chaos, people’s demands have taken a backseat.
Vast oil reserves
One of the smallest nations in northern South America, Suriname, has mainly remained unnoticed in world affairs. The country experienced a 54.6% inflation rate at the end of last year, signaling a severe economic catastrophe.
In the middle of this, Suriname got a golden opportunity to both combat the spiraling inflation and boost its economy!
Several significant oil discoveries carrying millions of barrels of oil have been made off the coast of Suriname over the previous three years. In fact, it’s estimated that Offshore Suriname Block 58 has at least five billion barrels’ worth of exploitable oil resources. Perhaps even as many as 6.5 billion.
These oil deposits are like a golden goose for the nation. The President of Suriname, however, is killing the golden goose, exactly like in that old tale.
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Suriname is now a very vital country in international politics, notably for the U.S. due to the oil discoveries. The United States was frantically looking for a way to access Suriname’s oil riches. By electing Robert J. Faucher as the new ambassador to Suriname, the U.S. set its trap. Robert pledged to make sure American companies could tap Suriname’s huge oil reserves.
IMF- West nexus
The U.S is using IMF as its weapon to target Suriname’s oil through IMF’S heavy loans and restructuring programs.
It is expensive for a small country’s government to oversee oil development; to evaluate and issue permits, to audit the development costs reported by companies, to provide services and related infrastructure, and possibly to buy government shares in the new oil operations, especially at a time when the cost of living in the nation is significantly rising.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) authorised a $688 million loan programme for Suriname in late December 2021, with payments to be made from 2022 to 2024. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) also suggested budget financing totaling $300 million through three policy-based programmes. The World Bank also suggested budget financing of $30 to $100 million.
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The U.S. is only using the IMF’s assistance to Suriname as a means of advancing its own self-serving objectives. That’s U.S’s way.
What fuels the fire is that Suriname’s government, which should lessen its dependence and partnership with them, is instead siding with the west. Even when, the Surinamese people are vehemently opposed to the way the current administration is running the country.
If things remain like this, the impact of the West on Suriname will be devastating for both its citizens and economy.
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