Suriname - Country history and economic development

1667. By the Treaty of Breda, England cedes Dutch Guiana (now Suriname) to the Netherlands in exchange for New Amsterdam (later New York City); Dutch colonization and plantation settlement begins.

1799-1815. Britain controls Dutch Guiana during the Napoleonic wars.

1863. Slavery is abolished.

1954. Suriname becomes internally autonomous (with foreign affairs and defense still controlled from the Netherlands).

1975. With independence from the Netherlands, Suri-name becomes a republic under a new constitution.

1980. A military coup ejects the civilian government of Henck Arron and suspends the constitution, replacing it with a government by Lieutenant-Colonel Deysi Bouterse's National Military Council.

1982. The so-called "December Bloodbath" occurs in which 15 critics of the junta are murdered. Dutch aid suspended.

1988. Elective government is restored.

1990. Deysi Bouterse stages another military coup.

1991. Elections are held, but no party carries the required two-thirds majority of seats, so parliament chooses Ronald Venetiaan, a former education minister, as president.

1992. Deysi Bourtese resigns as army chief.

1994. Bread riots occur in Paramaribo.

1996. Elections are held; again no party carries the required two-thirds majority of seats, so parliament selects Jules Wijdenbosch as president and forms a 5-party coalition.

1997. The Dutch government again suspends aid after Suriname refuses to extradite Deysi Bouterse, indicted in the Netherlands on drug charges.

2000. President Wijdenbosch resigns in face of mounting crises and mass demonstrations; new elections are called; with no party able to command a two-thirds majority, parliament selects Ronald Venetiaan as president.

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