Guyana Guyana guyana us_interventions_project April 24, 1953 guyana_510 false 1 ------ The Progressive People's Party (PPP) wins 18 of the 24 elected seats in the general elections in Guyana, a British island colony in the Caribbean. Dr. Cheddi Jagan, an admirer of the works of Karl Marx, heads the new government. [[ | New York Times, 10/30/1994 ]] [[ | BBC, 1/14/2004 ]] ====== ((+ Cheddi Jagan )) ((- Karl Marx )) October 9, 1953 guyana_511 false 1 ------ British Prime Minister Winston Churchill sends troops into Guyana, suspends its constitution and orders its government dissolved four months after Dr. Cheddi Jagan of the leftist Progressive People's Party (PPP) is chosen to head the island's government (see [[ guyana_510 ]]). [[ | BBC, 1/14/2004 ]] [[ | New York Times, 10/30/1994 ]] ====== ((+ Cheddi Jagan )) ((+ Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill )) August 1957 guyana_512 false 1 ------ Dr. Cheddi Jagan and his wife, Janet, are freed from jail after the British restore Guyana's constitutional government. General elections are held and the Progressive People's Party (PPP) wins 9 of the 14 seats. Jagan is appointed the Chief Minister. [[ | New York Times, 10/30/1994 ]] [[ | BBC, 1/14/2004 ]] ====== ((+ Cheddi Jagan )) ((+ Janet Jagan )) August 11, 1961 guyana_513 false 1 ------ US Secretary of State Dean Rusk sends British Foreign Minister Lord Home a letter which includes the following passage: “... we do believe that Jagan and his American wife are very far to the left indeed and that his accession to power in British Guiana would be a most troublesome setback in this Hemisphere. Would you be willing to have this looked into urgently to see whether there is anything which you or we can do to forestall such an eventuality?” The British foreign minister will respond to this letter a week later (see [[ guyana_514 ]]). (( Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom )) ====== ((+ David Dean Rusk )) ((+ Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home )) August 18, 1961 guyana_514 false 1 ------ In response to a letter sent by US Secretary of State Dean Rusk (see [[ guyana_513 ]]), British Foreign Minister Lord Home writes: “... now the choice before us in situations like this is either to allow the normal process of democracy and progress towards self-government to go ahead and do our best to win the confidence of the elected leaders, and to wean them away from any dangerous tendencies, or else to revert to what we call ‘Crown Colony rule.’ It is practical politics to take the latter course only when it is quite clear that a territory is heading for disaster. We have done this once already in British Guiana-in 1953. But since the restoration of the democratic process in 1957, the elected government has behaved reasonably well and we have had no grounds which would justify a second attempt to put the clock back.” (( Message From Foreign Secretary Home to Secretary of State Rusk )) ====== ((+ David Dean Rusk )) ((+ Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home )) October 25, 1961 guyana_515 false 1 ------ Guyana President Cheddi Jagan pays a visit to the White House, seeking financial aid and offering assurances that Guyana will not host a Soviet base. President Kennedy tells Jagan that the US is not concerned with his left-leaning politics. Kennedy says: “National independence. This is the basic thing. As long as you do that, we don't care whether you are socialist, capitalist, pragmatist or whatever. We regard ourselves as pragmatists.” Also in attendance at the meeting are the President's special assistant Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and George Ball, the Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs at the State Department. (( Cheddi Jagan )) [[ | New York Times, 10/30/1994 ]] [[ | Ishmael, n.d. ]] ------ Following Jagan's departure, US President John F. Kennedy will meet in secret with his top national security officers and issue a direct order to remove Dr. Jagan from power. (( Unnamed US Government officials familiar with the secret papers. )) [[ | New York Times, 10/30/1994 ]] [[ | CJ Research Center, 1999 ]] ------ Sources will note that “Though many Presidents have ordered the CIA to undermine foreign leaders, they say, the Jagan papers are a rare smoking gun: a clear written record, without veiled words or plausible denials, of a President's command to depose a Prime Minister.” [[ | New York Times, 10/30/1994 ]] ====== ((+ George Ball )) ((+ Arthur M. Schlesinger )) ((+ Cheddi Jagan )) ((+ John F. Kennedy )) Early 1962 guyana_516 false 1 ------ US President John F. Kennedy denies accusations that the US is meddling in the affairs of Guyana. He states: “_the United States supports the idea that every people should have the right to make a free choice of the kind of government they want. Mr. Jagan who has recently elected Prime Minister in British Guiana, is a Marxist, but the United States doesn't object because that choice was made by honest election, which he won.” [[ | CJ Research Center, 1999 ]] ====== ((- John F. Kennedy )) ((+ Cheddi Jagan )) 1962-1963 guyana_517 false 1 ------ The CIA promotes civil unrest in the Caribbean country of Guyana. “Previously unheard-of radio stations went on the air in the capital, Georgetown,” the New York Times will later recount. “The papers printed false stories about approaching Cuban warships. Civil servants walked out. The labor unions revolted. Riots took the lives of more than 100 people.” [[ | New York Times, 10/30/1994 ]] [[ | Workers World, 4/3/1997 ]] ====== February 19,1962 guyana_518 false 1 ------ US Secretary of State Dean Rusk sends British Foreign Minister Lord Home a letter addressing concerns about Guyana President Cheddi Jagan that had been discussed in previous correspondences (see [[ guyana_514 ]]) (see [[ guyana_513 ]]). He writes: “I must tell you now that I have reached the conclusion that it is not possible for us to put up with an independent British Guiana under Jagan .... These considerations, I believe, make it mandatory that we concert on remedial steps.” (( Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom )) ====== ((+ Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home )) ((+ David Dean Rusk )) ((- Cheddi Jagan )) February 26, 1962 guyana_519 false 1 ------ The US President's Special Assistant Arthur Schlesinger has lunch with British politician Iain MacLeod and Colonial Secretary Reginald Maudling. Describing the event in an letter to the US ambassador to Britain, he writes: “1. Jagan is not a Communist. He is a naive, London School of Economics Marxist filled with charm, personal honesty and juvenile nationalism. 2. The tax problem which caused the trouble was not a Marxist program. It was a severely orthodox program of a ‘Crippsian’ sort appropriate for a developed nation like Great Britain but wholly unsuited for an immature and volatile country like British Guiana. 3. If another election is held before independence Jagan will win. 4. Jagan is infinitely preferable to Burnham.” (( Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Schlesinger) to the Ambassador to the United Kingdom (Bruce) )) ====== ((+ Arthur M. Schlesinger )) ((+ Reginald Maudling )) ((+ Iain MacLeod )) ((- Cheddi Jagan )) March 15, 1962 guyana_520 false 1 ------ The US State Department drafts a planning document titled, “Possible Courses of Action in British Guiana.” In it, its authors ask: “Can we topple Jagan while maintaining at least a facade of democratic institutions,” and “Can the PPP be defeated in new elections without obvious interference?” The paper observes that “it is unproven that CIA knows how to manipulate an election in British Guiana without a backfire.” The document also notes: “Disclosure of US involvement would undermine our carefully nurtured position of anti-colonialism among the new nations of Asia and Africa and damage our position in Latin America. It could also strengthen Jagan over the long term if he became a ‘martyr of Yankee imperialism.’ ” (( Paper Prepared in the Department of State )) ====== ((- Cheddi Jagan )) June 30, 1963, 10 am guyana_521 false 1 ------ US and British officials meet and discuss the Guyana government of the left-leaning Cheddi Jagan. A memorandum of the meeting states: “The President [Kennedy] said he agreed with the analysis of all the difficulties, but that these still paled in comparison with the prospect of the establishment of a Communist regime in Latin America. Mr. Sandys said he thought the best solution was that of a Burnham-D'Aguiar government to which the UK would grant independence.” (( Paper Prepared in the Department of State )) ====== ((+ Harold Macmillan )) ((+ David Kirkpatrick Este Bruce )) ((+ David Ormsby Gore )) ((+ McGeorge Bundy )) ((+ Peter Thorneycroft )) ((+ William R Tyler )) ((+ Quintin McGarel Hogg, Lord Hailsham )) ((+ David Dean Rusk )) ((+ John F. Kennedy )) ((+ Philip de Zulueta )) ((+ Lord Hood )) ((+ Harold Anthony Cacciae )) ((+ Duncan Sandys )) ((+ Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home )) October 23, 1963 guyana_522 false 1 ------ The British, at the behest of the Kennedy administration, postpones Guyana's independence and modifies the country's electoral system so that the Guyanese would have to vote for parties instead of individual candidates. [[ | New York Times, 10/30/1994 ]] [[ | CJ Research Center, 1999 ]] [[ | Workers World, 4/3/1997 ]] ====== ((+ John F. Kennedy )) 1964-1985 guyana_525 false 1 ------ For the next 20 years the country is governed by Forbes Burnham, who is later described by Kennedy's special assistant Arthur Schlesinger in his book, A Thousand Days, as “an opportunist, racist and demagogue intent only on personal power.” He holds power through force and fraud until his death in 1985 and runs up a foreign debt totaling over $2 billion during this time—an amount representing over five times the country's GDP. [[ | New York Times, 10/30/1994 ]] [[ | CJ Research Center, 1999 ]] ------ Burnham's two decades of rule is marked by questionable elections; suppression of human rights, civil liberties, and union activities; corruption and economic stagnation. During this time there are two major political assassinations. Jesuit priest and journalist Bernard Darke is killed in July 1979 and the distinguished historian and Working People's Alliance (WPA) party leader Walter Rodney is murdered in June 1980. President Burnham is widely believed to have had a hand in the killings. [[ | GlobalEdge website, n.d. ]] ====== ((+ Bernard Darke )) ((+ Walter Rodney )) ((+ Arthur M. Schlesinger )) ((+ Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham )) December 7, 1964 guyana_523 false 1 ------ Elections are held and the Progressive People's Party (PPP) gains 46 percent of the vote, while the People's National Congress (PNC) receives 41 percent and the conservative United Force (TUF) ends up with 12 percent. But the TUF gives its votes in the legislature to the PNC and consequently PNC candidate Forbes Burnham becomes the prime minister. [[ | New York Times, 10/30/1994 ]] [[ | Workers World, 4/3/1997 ]] ====== ((+ Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham )) May 26, 1966 guyana_524 false 1 ------ Britain grants Guyana independence. [[ | New York Times, 10/30/1994 ]] [[ | Workers World, 4/3/1997 ]] ====== October 9, 1992 guyana_526 false 1 ------ The first completely free parliamentary elections since independence (see [[ guyana_524 ]]) are held and Cheddi Jagan is re-elected. [[ | BBC, 1/14/2004 ]] [[ | GlobalEdge website, n.d. ]] ====== ((+ Cheddi Jagan ))