Suriname Coup Condemned By OAS
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Political Council of the Organization of American States has appealed for reinstatement of a democratic government in Suriname and denounced the military coup that overthrew that nation’s elected leadership.
Twenty-four of the 32 governments in the OAS quickly joined Venezuela’s sponsorship of a resolution denouncing the Dec. 24 coup, in which President Ramsewak Shankar was forced from office.
Suriname is a former Dutch colony located on the northern coast of South America.
The United States and all Latin American representatives, with the exception of Honduras, endorsed the Venezuelan request despite a request from the Surinamese ambassador to delay action.
Ambassador Glenn A. Alvares had asked the council for the postponement until ″we have sufficient information of what happened in Suriname to act in conformity with the realities.″
But the Venezuelan representative, Guido Grooscors, refused to accept a delay, calling the coup an intolerable action against the will of the people of Suriname.
″The use of armed force to take decisions in the political field must be eradicated from this continent,″ he said.
U.S. Representative Luigi Einaudi said:
″We cannot be silent about the events in Suriname that deprive the Surinamese people of their rights. We cannot allow those illegal acts to threaten the democracy now developing in Latin America.
″The United States condemns the violation of constitutional order in Suriname and calls on the Surinamese military to restore power immediately to the democratically elected authorities of that country.″
Earlier this month President Bush visited South America, emphasizing the movement away from military government and dictatorship.
In Paramaribo, the Surinamese capital, President Shankar and his cabinet handed their resignations to Parliament on Friday. Parliament was expected to name a new president and vice president by Saturday.
The resolution adopted by the OAS council ″appeals for the reinstatement of the democratic institutional order and the avoidance of any act that could aggravate the situation and impair the full enjoyment of human rights.″