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Guyana History

Guyana - national flagGuyana - national flag

Guyana's flag is called "the golden arrowhead" and has been official since 1966. Green was chosen as the main color due to the country's many forests and green fields. Red stands for the zeal shown by the people in the building of the country. Yellow stands for the country's mineral wealth, black for endurance, and white for the country's many rivers.

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Guyana - history

Columbus discovered the area in 1498, but only approximately In 1580, the Dutch established permanent possessions. From 1814 until independence in 1966, the country was uninterrupted under British rule, from 1831 with the name British Guyana.

The years until independence and the years thereafter were marked by social and ethnic conflicts between the two dominant population groups of resp. Indian and African origin. The dominant party before independence was the People's Progressive Party, PPP. Its goals were independence, socialism, and Caribbean unity; the party's leader, Cheddi Jagan, who first came to power in 1953, represented the Indian people. After the PPP's election victory in 1953, the colonial power suspended the constitution. In 1955, Forbes left Burnham (1923-85), a leading representative of the African population, the PPP, and formed the People's National Congress., PNC. Under pressure from the United States, Britain postponed Guyana's independence from 1963 to 1966 for fear that the PPP would come to power by virtue of the existing majority voting system. After the introduction of a proportional representation system in 1964, Burnham was able to form a coalition government after the election the same year, even though the PPP had become the largest party. Burnham's rule was marked by political repression and widespread electoral fraud, human rights abuses, and the expansion of military and security forces. In 1970, a cooperative republic was established based on an organization of the economy in cooperatives. A new constitution in 1980 defined Guyana as a state in transition to socialism, and Burnham was given great powers as president. The first half of the 1980's was marked by economic problems with rising indebtedness and falling prices for the main export commodity, bauxite. After Burnham's death and under the new head of government, Hugh Desmond Hoyte (b. 1929), Guyana approached the United States. State control over the economy weakened and some democratization took place. The internationally monitored election in 1992 was won by the PPP with 52% of the vote, and Cheddi Jagan returned to power. In the 1990's, economic liberalization continued with extensive privatizations accompanied by high economic growth rates.

Guyana History

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When President Cheddi Jagan died in 1997, he was first succeeded by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds (b. 1943), but later that year, Janet Jagan, widow of Cheddi Jagan, was elected president. The election was followed by unrest and accusations of electoral fraud by the opposition party PNC. A commission set up by CARICOM concluded, however, that the election had been conducted correctly. Janet Jagan held the presidency until 1999, when Bharrat Jagdeo (b. 1964), who also represented the PPP, took office. In the 2000's. Guyana has been plagued by rising violent crime; in 2004 the interior minister had to resign after being accused of being linked to a death squad that killed criminals, and in 2006 the agriculture minister was assassinated. A sea area off Guyana and Suriname, where the subsoil may contain oil, is disputed between the two countries; Guyana has submitted the case to the UN. Bharrat Jagdeo was re-elected president in 2006. In 2011, Donald Ramotar (b. 1950), Jagdeo's former adviser, was elected new president. However, the PPP did not succeed in winning a majority in parliament.

 

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