Suriname 1983

By | September 12, 2023

In 1983, Suriname, officially known as the Republic of Suriname, was a nation facing political turmoil, economic challenges, and social change. Located on the northeastern coast of South America, Suriname was grappling with the aftermath of a military coup and a complex web of ethnic and political tensions. Here, we provide an overview of Suriname in 1983, covering its political landscape, society, economy, and key events.

Political Landscape:

  1. Military Rule: In February 1980, Suriname experienced a military coup led by Sergeant-Major Desi Bouterse, resulting in the overthrow of the civilian government. Bouterse and the military junta took control of the country, leading to a period of military rule.
  2. Ethnic and Political Tensions: According to computergees, Suriname’s population is ethnically diverse, with the major groups being Creoles (of African and mixed African-European ancestry), Hindustanis (of Indian descent), Javanese (of Indonesian descent), and Maroons (descendants of African slaves who escaped into the interior). Ethnic and political tensions were a significant aspect of Suriname’s political landscape.
  3. Nationalism and Marxism: The military regime in Suriname espoused nationalist and Marxist ideologies, aligning itself with leftist governments in the region and fostering close ties with Cuba.


  1. Ethnic Diversity: Suriname’s society was characterized by its ethnic diversity, with each ethnic group contributing to the country’s cultural mosaic. The capital, Paramaribo, was a melting pot of cultures and traditions.
  2. Languages: Dutch was the official language, but various ethnic groups also spoke their own languages, including Sranan Tongo, Hindustani, Javanese, and others.
  3. Religions: Suriname was home to a variety of religious beliefs, including Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and indigenous animist practices. Religious freedom was constitutionally guaranteed.


  1. Natural Resources: Suriname possessed abundant natural resources, including bauxite, gold, and timber. Bauxite mining was a significant industry, with the country being one of the world’s largest producers.
  2. Economic Challenges: Despite its resource wealth, Suriname faced economic challenges in 1983. The global economic downturn and fluctuations in commodity prices affected the country’s export-dependent economy.
  3. Inflation and Debt: High inflation rates and external debt were pressing economic issues, leading to austerity measures and economic reforms.

Key Events of 1983:

  1. Strained Relations with the Netherlands: Relations between Suriname and its former colonial ruler, the Netherlands, remained strained. The Netherlands had suspended development aid in response to the 1980 military coup and criticized the human rights situation in Suriname.
  2. Civil Conflict: Ethnic and political tensions within Suriname’s diverse population resulted in sporadic violence and clashes between different groups. The government’s attempts to address these tensions were not always successful.
  3. External Relations: Suriname sought to strengthen its ties with other socialist and non-aligned countries, including Cuba, Guyana, and Libya. These relationships had implications for the country’s foreign policy and economic development.
  4. Economic Reforms: The government implemented economic reforms to address inflation and debt issues. These measures included currency devaluation and austerity programs.

Demographic Changes:

In the early 1980s, Suriname experienced significant emigration as people sought better economic opportunities and political stability abroad. Many Surinamese emigrated to the Netherlands, particularly in the wake of the political turmoil and economic challenges.

International Relations:

Suriname’s foreign policy was influenced by its alignment with socialist and non-aligned nations. The country was a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Group of 77 (G-77), advocating for the interests of developing nations on the global stage.


In 1983, Suriname was a nation in the midst of political and economic challenges. The military regime led by Desi Bouterse had consolidated power but faced internal and external pressures. Ethnic diversity and political tensions played a significant role in the country’s dynamics, and economic challenges required difficult reforms. Despite these difficulties, Suriname’s rich cultural tapestry and the resilience of its people continued to shape its identity and future. The country would go on to experience further political changes in the years that followed, eventually transitioning back to democratic rule in the early 1990s.

Location of Suriname

Suriname, officially known as the Republic of Suriname, is a unique and culturally diverse country located on the northeastern coast of South America. Its geographical location, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the northern border of Brazil, has played a significant role in shaping its history, society, and economy. In this comprehensive description, we will explore the geographical features, coordinates, borders, and its place in the region.

Geographical Coordinates:

According to paulfootwear, Suriname’s geographical coordinates place it between approximately 2 and 6 degrees north latitude and 54 and 58 degrees west longitude. These coordinates position Suriname in the northern part of South America and within the western hemisphere.


Suriname shares its borders with several neighboring countries:

  1. Guyana: To the west, Suriname shares a border with Guyana (formerly British Guiana), which is known for its lush rainforests and savannahs. The Corentyne River forms part of the border between the two nations.
  2. French Guiana: To the east, Suriname shares a border with French Guiana, an overseas department of France. The Maroni River forms a natural border between Suriname and French Guiana.
  3. Brazil: To the south, Suriname shares a border with Brazil, one of South America’s largest countries. The Tumuc-Humac Mountains mark the border between Suriname and Brazil.
  4. Atlantic Ocean: To the north, Suriname has a coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, providing access to maritime trade routes and a source of economic activity.

Geographical Features:

Suriname’s geography is characterized by a diverse range of natural features:

  1. Tropical Rainforests: A significant portion of Suriname’s landscape is covered by tropical rainforests, particularly in the interior. These rainforests are part of the larger Amazon rainforest, known for its rich biodiversity.
  2. River Systems: Suriname is crisscrossed by numerous rivers, many of which are navigable. The Suriname River, Corantijn River, and Maroni River are some of the country’s major waterways.
  3. Mountains: The southern border region with Brazil features mountainous terrain, including the Tumuc-Humac Mountains and the Wilhelmina Mountains.
  4. Swamps and Wetlands: In the northern coastal areas, there are swamps and wetlands, which are important for biodiversity and provide habitats for various bird species.


Suriname has a tropical climate influenced by its proximity to the equator:

  1. Tropical Rainforest Climate: The northern and central parts of the country have a tropical rainforest climate characterized by high temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. There are distinct wet and dry seasons.
  2. Savannah Climate: The southern part of Suriname experiences a tropical savannah climate, with a longer dry season and less rainfall compared to the northern regions.

Natural Resources:

Suriname possesses valuable natural resources, including:

  1. Bauxite: Suriname is one of the world’s leading producers of bauxite, a key ingredient in aluminum production. The mining of bauxite is a significant economic activity.
  2. Gold: Gold mining is another important industry, and Suriname has substantial gold reserves, attracting international mining companies.
  3. Forests: The country’s extensive forests are a source of timber and support a variety of wildlife.
  4. Fisheries: Suriname’s rivers and coastal waters provide opportunities for fishing, contributing to the country’s food supply and exports.


Suriname is known for its remarkable biodiversity, with a wide range of plant and animal species, including jaguars, tapirs, and various types of primates. The country’s pristine rainforests and protected areas, such as the Central Suriname Nature Reserve, are critical for conserving this biodiversity.

Cultural Diversity:

Suriname’s population is ethnically and culturally diverse, reflecting its history of colonization and immigration. The major ethnic groups include Creoles, Hindustanis, Javanese, Maroons, and Amerindians. Each group has contributed to the country’s unique cultural tapestry, with influences from Africa, India, Indonesia, and Indigenous traditions.


Suriname’s geographical location on the northeastern coast of South America places it at the crossroads of diverse ecosystems, cultures, and economic opportunities. Its lush rainforests, river systems, and natural resources are central to its identity and economic activities. Additionally, the country’s rich cultural diversity and its history as a former Dutch colony contribute to its unique character and vibrant society. Suriname’s strategic position in South America and its connections with neighboring countries make it an important player in regional affairs and trade.