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Guyana: Socialist Reconstruction or Political Opportunism?

  • Ralph H. Premdas (a1)

Guyana has become the second “socialist” republic in the Western Hemisphere after Cuba. The history of how this occurred is an almost classic example of the futility of inept intervention by outside great powers. Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, brought to office in 1965 by Anglo-American intervention that ousted Marxist Cheddi Jagan from power, has turned Guyana from a safe U.S. client committed to a capitalistic economic model into a strident anti-American bastion on the South American mainland, with a politicoeconomic system in theory and increasingly in practice inspired by Marxism-Leninism. The Burnham regime has nationalized all significant foreign firms, declared itself a cooperative socialist republic, and has forged close collaborative links with Cuba, the People's Republic of China, and such left-oriented African countries as Tanzania, Guinea, Angola, and Mozambique.

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Latin American Politics and Society
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