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Paramaribo Capital of Surinam, a port on the River Surinam. It was founded in the early 17th century by the French and became a British colony in 1651. It was held intermittently by the British and the Dutch until 1816, when the latter finally took control until independence. Industries: bauxite, timber, sugar cane, rice, rum, coffee, cacao. Pop. (1996 est.) 222,800.