Located in the amazon basin, Suriname (the former colony of Dutch Guinea) won its independence from the Netherlands in 1975 only to fall under a military regime in 1980. The military retained power even after democracy was nominally restored in 1987. Since 1991 free elections have improved the condition of democracy for the country.

The population of 438,144 resides mostly along the coast in an area of 63,039 square miles (163,270 square kilometers), an area roughly the size of the U.S. state of Georgia. Suriname's natural resources include timber, hydropower, fish, kaolin, shrimp, bauxite, gold, and small deposits of nickel, copper, platinum, and iron ore. Less than 1 percent of Suriname's land is arable.

Exports are chiefly tied to the alumina industry, which provides 70 percent of ...

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