"We came to understand from Brazil that real power doesn't destroy"


Suriname feliciteert Brazilie met de viering van de 193e gedenkdag van onafhankelijkheid. Op de receptie in Jacana Welness Resort sprak Vicepresident Ashwin Adhin de felicitatieboodschap namens de Republiek Suriname uit. 

Hij bracht namens President Bouterse o.a. in herinnering dat Brazilie ons land altijd gesteund heeft en meer dan een grote broer is voor Suriname. Ook memoreerde Suriname aan de vele uitdagingen die ons land voor zich heeft en de mogelijkheden die er zijn voor samenwerking en kennisdeling op het gebied van investeringen en milieu.

- Speech Vicepresident Adhin -

Mr. Ambassador, 
Let me assure you that it is both an honor and, indeed, a pleasure to participate in the celebration of the one-hundred-and-ninety-third anniversary of the Federative Republic of Brazil.

I also bring heartfelt congratulations from our President, H.E. Desiré Delano Bouterse, who is addressing other pressing matters, and regrets not being able to join you tonight. President Bouterse sends the following message. 

Brazil has taught the world so many important lessons that today we consider you our elder and wiser brother - not just a far more powerful brother. Tonight, I want to highlight one aspect of Brazil’s approach to relations with the states on its immediate borders.

During the Second World War, the colonies of British Guiana, French Guiana and Suriname could not be effectively controlled, nor by Great Britain, nor France, nor the Netherlands 

And so it happened that Brazil, after joining the Allied Forces in 1942, was strongly advised to show its commitment to this cause by annexing the three Guiana’s through military force. Suriname alone − one must know − was providing 75 percent of the bauxite needed in the United States for producing aluminum for the construction of war planes! There was an immediate need, therefore, to prevent a German takeover of the three Guiana's.

Brazil, however, refused to do so, and the US subsequently sent troops to Guyana and Suriname to protect the mining operations, and establish the convoys that escorted the ships to the East Coast of the US. As a result, by the way, we are still enjoying the benefits of having an excellent airstrip at Zanderij.

The reasoning expressed by Brazil’s both Armed Forces and Foreign Affairs for refusing military intervention boiled down to this:

What good would it do to expand the Brazilian territory, but in return create seven nervous neighbors who could become stepping-stones to enemy forces in the future!

Replacing the use of military force and coercion, by dialogue and cooperation directed to development, has been your consistent policy. We have experienced this in a very positive way. As we went through the birth pains of our Second Republic in the nineteen eighties, peace and stability surrounding us proved to be key in making steps forward.

You have strengthened our armed forces by training our officers, interchanging with our troops and helping maintain our equipment. You have educated our diplomats, our agricultural experts, our mining- and biodiversity experts. And you continue to do so.

Many strategic positions in our society, nowadays, are filled by people whose expertise is connected to Brazil. Thus we have come to understand what real power is made of; what real power can build; and, most importantly, that real power does not destroy. 

Mr. Ambassador, 
Suriname is committed to keep improving the relations with Brazil. Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the representations in Brasilia, Belem do Para and New York will further explore with you the many areas of existing and potential cooperation. Today, I want to call attention to one such area.

Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname have something important in common. Our four countries share a northern coastline that borders on the Atlantic Ocean. We suffer equally the negative effects of climate change on our coast and coastal zones, while considering the impact of our development plans. This common challenge, therefore, asks of us a common plan of action.

Suriname is strongly committed to this cause. We are looking forward to actively support all initiatives geared towards the protection of our natural coastal defense systems, and full respect of the aquatic life forms that have made our seas their home. 

Mr. Ambassador, 
We have studied your history and we have learned a lot. You are going through rough waters. We are doing the same. But we look at our problems as challenges, as opportunities to expand our horizons, and to bring about mind shifts that will truly emancipate our peoples.

In closing, may I invite you, and everyone present, to join me in a toast − on the continued friendship and cooperation between Suriname and Brazil, to the good health of Her Excellency, President Dilma Rousseff, and to peace and prosperity for the people of Brazil.

Muito Obrigado.