Slavery in Suriname was formally outlawed by the Netherlands 160 years ago today. The General Liberation and Development Party (ABOP) points out that although slavery was officially abolished on July 1, 1873, slaves were really released on that date after having to work on plantations for an additional 10 years. In horrifying circumstances, the arduous labor was done to export the highly desired products to Europe.
Your freedom being deprived without authorization is never a good thing. There will be physical and psychological repercussions from this. This is still observable right now. Slaves’ descendants have continued to live with the aftereffects of this extremely sad time in our history. Being free is the highest good you can have as a human being.
ABOP is pleased that there has recently been a positive breakthrough in the shared history of the Netherlands and Suriname. This will aid the healing process. A step in the right direction, but we know that much more needs to be done to ease the so-called ‘Golden Age’ of the colonizer for the descendants of the slaves.
It is very important for nation building that we as Surinamese realize that the indentured laborers who were brought to Suriname after the abolition of slavery have done the hard work under almost the same conditions as the enslaved. We have that in common. When we realize that, there will be no wedge between us and we will continue to develop this country in a brotherly manner.
The ABOP wishes everyone a reflective Manspasi Dei.