Batting for Suriname
By Marvin Hockstam AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Aug 20, CMC - Jules Wijdenbosch has never hidden his dislike for President Desi Bouterse, politically.
In fact, he left Bouterse’s National Democratic Party (NDP) which held ultimate power in the Dutch speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country after a military coup there in the 1980s, and formed his own Democratic National Platform 2000 that catapulted him to the highest office in the land from 1996 till 2000.
But now the two leaders have buried the proverbial political hatchet and Wijdenbosch, who is now Chairman of an economic advisory council, is turning out to be a strong and fierce supporter of President Bouterse and his government that came to office in 2010.
“When this government was sworn in, Holland ceased its development aid and that was something Suriname was always fearful of. We were told that without development aid we would become totally dependent, but we have achieved the opposite,” he told a packed town hall meeting on Saturday, sponsored by the government.
“Suriname always struggled with a deficit of three per cent, even when we had the advantage of receiving development aid. Today Suriname has a finance surplus of one per cent, which means we could be able to pay off all current creditors.
(Details in Features section)