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Suriname Country Profile

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Suriname at a Glance

Location:Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between French Guiana and Guyana
Climate:tropical; moderated by trade winds
Terrain:mostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps
Resources:timber, hydropower, fish, kaolin, shrimp, bauxite, gold, and small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum, iron ore
Population:481,267 (July 2009 est.)




A Brief Profile of Suriname

First explored by the Spaniards in the 16th century and then settled by the English in the mid-17th century, Suriname became a Dutch colony in 1667. With the abolition of slavery in 1863, workers were brought in from India and Java. Independence from the Netherlands was granted in 1975. Five years later the civilian government was replaced by a military regime that soon declared a socialist republic. It continued to exert control through a succession of nominally civilian administrations until 1987, when international pressure finally forced a democratic election. In 1990, the military overthrew the civilian leadership, but a democratically elected government - a four-party New Front coalition - returned to power in 1991 and has ruled since; the coalition expanded to eight parties in 2005.






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