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Title: The Cold War in British Guiana, 1953-1966 : a case study of Anglo American cooperation
Author: Ramcharan, Lilowatti
ISNI:       0000 0001 3506 1776
Awarding Body: University of Kent at Canterbury
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis looks at how the Cold War impacted on a small colony, British Guiana, between 1953 and 1966. The period was the height of the cold war. A local Marxist nationalist leader, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, had started the country's first political party and was agitating for independence. He won the legislative elections in 1953 under a Constitution providing for internal self-government and governed for 133 days before being removed from office for allegedly wanting to make British Guiana a communist state. The question arose: was he a communist leader aligned to Moscow or a left-wing patriot wanting to pursue a socialist course. What was the evidence that led to his removal as a Communist? How did the British and American Governments deal with the situation. How did they cooperate in dealing with it? Cheddi Jagan would subsequently win elections until 1964 when, although obtaining the highest number of seats in the legislature under a system of proportional representation introduced at the insistence of the USA, he would not be given an opportunity to form a government. He was effectively removed from power at the insistence of the USA and it would take twenty-eight years, until after the Cold War had ended, for him to win another election. The archival evidence indicates significant Anglo-American cooperation in keeping Jagan out of power because of his Marxist inclinations. Materials in the British and American national archives, and in the libraries of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, show significant Anglo-American cooperation in the areas of diplomatic relations, economic cooperation, intelligence-sharing, trades unions relations, debates in international organisations, and civil interactions. Materials examined at the George Meany Memorial Archives, and not hitherto written about, show the extent to which the AFIJCIO was active on the ground during periods of severe internal unrest in the 1960s, and show local leaders in their pay. American leaders have acknowledged the role of the C.I.A. in the country at this time but the C.I.A. papers have reportedly been destroyed. However, the papers examined at the George Meany Memorial Archives are vivid on the role of foreign operatives in British Guiana at this time. This thesis is the first to have looked at Anglo-American cooperation in containing an alleged communist threat in British Guiana.
Supervisor: Williams, Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: J Political Science