Fleecing of society and misguiding ideas on economic development

Posted on | oktober 11, 2011 | No Comments

As time goes by ideas on economic development and getting the economy rolling become more challenging for the incumbent Surinamese government. Too much focus on borrowing, too little on scouting out possible sources of private investment to finance their ambitious housing plans, infrastructure and job-creation plans. The former government has established a so called loan-ceiling to prevent governments from over-borrowing, a measure established after previous NDP governments had massively over-borrowed, and failed to repay interests.

It seems that the incumbent government, led by Desi Bouterse does not learn from past mistakes. Said government also prefers to ignore the wide range of warnings against the use of  raw materials as collateral for loans; raw materials cannot be considered a constant source of income, because they are at the mercy of market oscillations. It is odd that government does not take note of international trends: Suriname is not an insular society, as part of the Caricom and other regional organizations it functions amidst the global economic markets. The effects of the current economic crisis also reverberate in Surinamese society, gold prices have soared, creating images of cornucopia and abundance. But every boom is followed by a bust, an economic regulation that makes the ideas of borrowing huge amounts of capital to finance economic growth ludicrous but also very dangerous.

Suriname has all the hallmarks of a disaster in the making, as the ambitions of the current government are too fleeting and unrealistic to actually work in practice. For example, the idea to create 25000 jobs requires substantial investing in small and mid-size businesses, because government cannot create jobs. It also requires extra schooling for a large percentage of the people who lack the education and proper qualifications to function optimally in the work force.

But it seems that the adage “talk is cheap” perfectly befits the incumbent government. The number of houses planned to build became downsized, while future plans are not underpinned by a budget, Concerning is the fact that the government has failed to produce a budget for the forthcoming year, much to the shagrin of the opposition. The first budget was retracted without a credible explanation, while the second edition is still pending.

Also problematic is the increasing crime-rate, the callous statements by the minister of justice and police that people e.g. business-owners are responsible for their own protection. By the same token, the chief of police  argued that he had data in his possession that showed that crime had gone down. Said data were however never  published.

The fleecing of government sits at the heart of this government. It is multifaceted and omnipresent, encompassing all aspects of society, ranging from corruption and nepotism to the thieving of gold-concessions by members of the Bouterse clan. But as time passes, the critiques of government have fallen silent, wallowing in petty arguments, using internet media to bicker about personal attacks and formalistic mumbo – jumbo. Other lower ranking party members are engrossed in proxy fights to defend the honor of the president, the leader of the NPD.

The silence is nonetheless deafening, because the propaganda machinery specifically geared toward the lower classes, the poor and the younger generations without access to internet and information functions functions optimally.

Before the elections Desi Bouterse always accused  the incumbent government of lack of vision and ambition, alleging that the president was ethereal and invisible. But President Bouterse too will never get caught talking to the people, or personally addressing their woes as he had promised while standing on his soapbox. Mr Bouterse is even less accessible than the previous president since he moves around the country heavily armored and guarded by murky bodyguards with questionable reputations, usually on his way to the airport for yet another undefined trip abroad.

The current government is overcome by a lack of transparency, it brims with hidden agenda’s, secrecy and too many shadowy advisors that seem to make decisions. Many observers on social media view the team of ministers as front-men, yes-men, hired help that merely follows orders. These serious allegations are underwritten by early departure of the minister of Finance, Mrs Boedoe, after a series of incidents and confrontations with confidants of the president.

A selection of posts by online media, tell the story of a fleecing and fleeting government, of officials floating around the political space with absolutely no clue. Indeed government. in the hands of amateurs, dangerous amateurs with ample power and access to capital to develop ambitious plans that will not be carried out.
Mr Bouterse should pay greater attention to what happens in neighboring Venezuela, where his trusted ally tangles with a myriad of multi- nationals that took Venezuela to court because their companies became nationalized.Suriname has all the makings of following Venezuela’s path of political and social disaster, of becoming a one-party authoritarian state, ruled by a megalomaniac president. (The last State of the Union, the president spoke for two hours).

Suriname also plans to renegotiate contracts with bauxite multi-nationals, to increase government take.  But they should be aware that plans to change provisions in the new contracts, means fewer multi-nationals willing to accept the new terms and invest in the country.  For Venezuelan nationals it means less jobs, for the  Venezuelan government less income, less opportunity to invest in the well-fare and well- being of the people.


  • http://www.waterkant.net/suriname/2011/10/10/bouterse-trekt-zich-terug-in-surinaams-binnenland/
  • http://www.starnieuws.com/index.php/welcome/index/nieuwsitem/7559
  • http://www.waterkant.net/suriname/2011/10/10/suriname%e2%80%99s-grondstoffen-als-onderpand-is-optie/
  • http://www.nospang.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13094:25000-arbeidsplaatsen-in-de-maak&catid=73:binnenland&Itemid=6
  • http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/09/ap/latinamerica/main20117799.shtml

AUTHOR: Natascha Adama
URL: http://natascha23.blogspot.com
E-MAIL: nataliapestova23 [@] yahoo.com


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