Runaldo Ronald Venetiaan was born 18 June 1936 in Paramaribo. He was educated in mathematics in The Netherlands. He began his participation in politics when he became chairman of the Nationale Partij Suriname (Suriname National Party—NPS), mainly supported by the Creoles (descendants of intermarriage between Europeans and Africans). He served as minister of education in the first post-independence government, and is respected as a educator and as a fair politician. Venetiaan was the primary force behind the coalition formed to oust the military regime of Désiré Bouterse.