The Trouble in Suriname, 1975-1993

By Edward M. Dew | Go to book overview

credits and investment from abroad. What could they do without them?

Popular mobilization, so dramatic at the time of the De Koning visit in July 1980, was no longer easy. Volkscomites, in some cases, achieved success in communal projects and validated the idea that local government was long overdue in this tiny but overcentralized society. Nevertheless, wayward leadership at the top doomed any effort to maximize the talent and thrust of local initiative. The only site of effective mobilization, it seemed, was in the armed forces, where Bouterse brilliantly used political indoctrination--and fear--to build solidarity. The ease of the Rambocus takeover of the barracks came as a shock. Now Bouterse would devote considerable time and effort to training and fraternizing with his men. He may have harbored romantic ideas about joining the international ranks of populist revolutionaries. But, first and last, he had to keep his grip on power, whatever might happen to the revolution.


NOTES
1.
Manifest van de revolutie ( Paramaribo: n.p., May 1, 1981), selection quoted from Chin and Buddingh', 81-82.
2.
De Ware Tijd, Sept. 2, 1981.
3.
This, in general, was the thrust of an address by a Jamaican bauxite union leader to Surinamese government and army leaders in April 1981. De Ware Tijd, Apr. 2, 1981.
4.
OGEM was nationalized in June 1981, and the Surinamese Electric Company became a wholly public enterprise in early 1982.
5.
J. S. Furnivall, Colonial Policy and Practice: A Comparative Study of Burma and Netherlands India ( New York: New York University Press, 1956), 306-07.
6.
Rupert Emerson, From Empire to Nation: The Rise to Self-Assertion of Asian and African Peoples ( Boston: Beacon Press, 1960), 246.
7.
Brana- Shute, 27.
8.
De Ware Tijd, Aug. 29, 1981.
9.
Ibid, Sept. 12, 1981. Horb was also singled out for criticism by radical members of the press for his contacts with the commission.
10.
Bram Behr, Terreur op Uitkijk: Over de moord op de landbouwer Mahes ( Paramaribo: Surinaamse Arbeiders Publikaties, 1981).

-87-

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