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Samuel Kanyon Doe was the 21st President of Liberia, holding de facto office from 1980 and official office from 1986 until his assassination in 1990. He had previously been Chairman of the People's Redemption Council from 1980 to 1986. He was the first indigenous head of state in Liberian history. Doe was a part of a rural tribe in inland Liberia. The Krahn are a minority ethnic group but part of the large majority of the Liberian population that are of indigenous descent. These groups faced economic and political domination by the Americo-Liberian elites, who were descended from free-born and formerly enslaved blacks from America who founded Liberia in 1847. Under Doe, Liberian ports were opened to Canadian, Chinese and European ships, which brought in considerable foreign investment from foreign shipping firms and earned Liberia a reputation as a tax haven. Doe attempted to legitimize his regime with a new constitution in 1984 and elections in 1985. However, opposition to his rule only increased, especially after the 1985 elections which were declared to be fraudulent by the U.S. and other foreign observers. In the late 1980s, as fiscal austerity took hold in the United States and the threat of Communism declined with the waning of the Cold War, the U.S. became disenchanted with entrenched corruption in Doe's government and began cutting off critical foreign aid to Doe. This, combined with the popular anger generated by Doe's favoritism toward his native Krahn tribe, placed him in a very precarious position. (via Freebase)