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Strengthening democracy in Suriname.

THE OAS PERMANENT COUNCIL condemned the sacking of a Suriname national television station on May 10 by unknown terrorists, while at the same time reaffirming strong support for the democratic government of President Ronald Venetiaan.

"Both the government and the National Assembly see the destruction of the television studio as an act of extreme terrorism and cowardly intimidation," stated Wim Udenhout, OAS Permanent Representative of Suriname and Ambassador to the White House. "President Venetiaan has assured the Surinamese people that we will not be deterred by these crimes; they will not make us stray from the road we have taken to strengthen and defend democracy in Suriname," Udenhout declared.

OAS Secretary General Ambassador Joao Clemente Baena Soares called "on all sectors of the Surinamese society to restrain from acts of violence and work together toward the preservation of peace." Baena said that his representative, Edgardo C. Reis, is at work in Suriname in support of efforts to strengthen democracy.

Delegates from Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Grenada (for the CARICOM countries), Venezuela and the United States, among others expressed their solidarity with the Venetiaan government's efforts to establish democratic institutions and assert civilian control over the military. U.S. Ambassador Harriet Babbitt said, "we call on all democratic governments to adopt strong positions in support of democracy in Suriname."
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Publication:Americas (English Edition)
Date:May 1, 1993
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