Suriname. The arrival of sixteen Dutch marines in June sparked speculation that former President and Suriname’s strong man Desi Bouterse would be forcibly brought to the Netherlands, where he is wanted for drug offenses and threatened by eleven years in prison.
According to Countryaah website, national day of Suriname is every November 25. The opposition accused the government of using Bouterse as a means of pressure to persuade the Netherlands to release the $ 200 million in annual aid money that Suriname previously received but which was frozen two decades ago. President Runaldo Ronald Venetiaan claimed that the Marines had come to participate in the planning of a joint military exercise and that Bouterse will not be extradited. A domestic legal process against him has also been started.
The biggest general strike in the country’s history and huge protest demonstrations that paralyzed Paramaribo over several months caused the parliament to wake up from its hibernation. In June, the Wijdenbosch government was ousted and blamed for the country’s economic collapse.
Although Parliament tried to prevent it, Wijdenbosch managed to retain its position and appointed nine new ministers. But after allegations of corruption involving several of his ministers, the entire government resigned in December.
In May 2000, the Venetian NF won the parliamentary elections. The front got 47.3% of the vote, and in August Venetiaan was elected president by 37 of the parliament’s 51 parliamentarians. Jules Ajodhia was elected to the post of Vice President and Prime Minister.
The tension between Suriname and Guyana due to the decades-long dispute over the territorial waters between the two countries reached a tentative peak in June 2000, when ships from Suriname forced Canadian exploration firm CGX Energy to withdraw from the area. The company had been authorized by the Government of Guyana to investigate oil deposits in the area. In July, leaders from the two neighboring countries in Jamaica met to negotiate the issue, but were unable to reach an agreement, and the Canadian company therefore finally decided to suspend the investigation.