Suspending the Parliament in Suriname – Pros and Cons in the Historic Context
Aai-, dear, dear Steven,
My esteem and respect for you, since the days when I visited you when you still studied so incredibly hard in the U.S. of A. and to which I even devoted a radio story, is boundlessly great.
Your statement about suspending parliament in Suriname to save the country in various areas is in principle good and interesting.
But now that I try to think about it further and deeper, I believe that other solutions must be found and sought after.
01) After the Second World War, the IMF, as an offshoot of Bretton Woods, saved Western Europe from ruin and poverty with good and respectful management of the money.
So your comment that they are good for nothing is not entirely correct. I really understand very well that times have changed, but still.
The distribution of wealth, albeit in fits and starts in Europe, is much better now in 2023 than elsewhere. And some countries prosper.
02) However, suspending parliament for five years is a very big question mark.
Plans to return power to parliament after a certain time – such as the five years you are talking about – have already been tried and implemented in various countries. It is true: the economy could flourish again and achieve growth.
But: [ what could be the results and at what human costs ] That’s why social history is so interesting.
On our own continent:
01) Brazil 1964 with Marshal Castelo Branco and his successors lasted until 1989, the generals also had the plan to make it only five years. I was able to shake the hand of the last general in question Joao Figueiredo and still have a sore arm left.
It is true that the economy has grown enormously and Brazil has been able to join the so-called BRIC countries thanks to a great variety of factors, mainly from the private sector and has quickly overtaken us in Suriname.
But the better distribution of wealth was not due to the generals, but to an economist and president, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who inspired Lula to better distribute the proceeds of taxes and all other incomes and, in return, demanded that the poor had to send their children to school and feed them well. ( And training of teachers, of course )
In this way, 38 million people have been lifted out of severe poverty.
Also a little, but not quite, by disabling the generals and parliament, but by common sense and honest sincerity.
Do you want it better or nicer ??
But never, please never forget that in our humble country, before that, we had a much further, a much better and a much, much more proper constitution than Brazil, with an education system for all, health care for all, and more respect for human rights than our beautiful and samba neighboring country had. 10,000 people were then killed by the military and thousands more arrested and there was no parliament to oppose because there was no control.
In the 25 + years I lived in Brazil, I have seen thousands of percent inflation and over the course of 12 zeros after the decimal point of the currency disappeared. Watching the currency name changes five times.
02) Argentina, where General Aramburu seized power in 1976 after the Peron family made a complete mess of society.
I have experienced it very closely and visited concentration camps where opponents of generals like Videla and others, including friends of mine, were imprisoned, tortured and killed there.
Some survived, others did not, succumbing to the torture and pressure and deadly force of the guns. In addition to a total disruption of the economy with an inflation rate of more than 1000% (yes really a thousand percent)
I am still in touch with a few who survived and the stories are not pretty. The 30,000 (thirty thousand) dead can no longer tell the tale. Hundreds of thousands of others do.
03) Chile, where I was stationed before parliament on September 11, 1973, and where I lived for three years experiencing the coup d’état, seizing of Parliament – fifty years ago this year – by Augusto Pinochet from very close by and where I myself became a victim of kidnapping , humiliating torture, robbery of my personal belongings and expulsion from what I would call the most civilized country in Latin America. 10,000 murdered and tens of thousands more victims.
Economic prosperity? Of course, sure.
At a very high price. Black market of the peso against the dollar 10 to 1. [ So wet your appetite. ]
04) Our own Suriname. I don’t have to tell you anything about it etc.etc.
Good. Not Good.
Africa: Moammar Gaddafi (one of the ten richest people in the world after his coup), Robert Mugabe, Idi Amin and many others who had the good intentions of temporarily suspending parliament.
South East Asia [ Soeharto in Indonesia, Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines and his wife Imelda with her 6000 pair of shoes. I met with them in Cancun, Mexico and they had brought their own furniture in a rented DC 10 to the conference they attended. Shit man.
Really good intentions everywhere to suspend parliament for only a few years.
Those folks who are there in the opposition don’t know anything about “undereducated and uneducated” as they are and don’t think of the people but of their own wallet. In general.
The British Lord Acton knew: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The example I would like to give is Singapore, where with a very heavy hand, the economy has been turned into one of the most prosperous areas in the world.
Besides, of course, in Europe, where Estonia is my great example of a transformation without violations of basic rights.
Ironically enough, former Governor of the CBvS, the fugitive Gilmore H. inspired me to do so. I have devoted a long (six years) time to this and have seen with my own eyes how a country can be transformedpeacefully and prosper beyond belief.
What has happened there in 25-30 year is almost unbelievable. From a medieval-looking lumpen proletariat to one of the most prosperous and exemplary countries in the world.
We, and again with the utmost respect for you, are far too civilized and well educated – notwithstanding Bouterse and the chaos and disruption, the humiliation, which has been wrought under his responsibility – to fall back into the trap of the history of colonial domination with all its consequences.
In that respect, I think your book: ‘Breaking Rank’ is a more than shining example.
But we need to find a better, more elegant solution, a more intelligent one than all those Putins, Trumps, Bolsonaros and all those aforementioned greats put together.
Then we can. Yes, we can.
With practical solutions.
With your brain power.
No doubt in my mind.
Joe mate and stamang,
Anton JieSam Foek
Nice, 21 Feb 2023