Burnham's Foreign Policy

1938 Words8 Pages
Former President and founding leader of the Peoples National Congress (PNC) Party Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham for two decades shaped Guyana’s Foreign Policy destiny after Guyana gained independence from Britain in 1966. When Burnham came to power it was in the midst of a violent struggle for political leadership but he was aided in his fight by the US and Britain. Guyana had inherited a bitter border dispute with neighbours Venezuela and Suriname from its colonial days and had no experience or knowledge of foreign policy formulation. However, through the use of Security Diplomacy through International Organizations (UN), Regional Integration the Non-Align Movement and the African Liberation Movement Burnham achieved Guyana’s foreign policy…show more content…
Burnham gradually adopted a non-capitalist path to nation building, established national institutions and implemented domestic strategies that engendered socialist development. Under his regime Guyana was the only Socialist State in the Caribbean region apart from Cuba. Burnham’s socialist ideology was inspired by “the opportunity which that ideology afforded to gain near-total authoritarian charge of the society, and to out radicalize his Marxist rivals in his pursuit of legitimacy.”3 However, his pursuit of socialism did not sit well with the US who was at that time (post-cold war) the dominant superpower in the Caribbean. He believed the US would be accommodating of his socialist ideology over Cheddi’s communism but this only angered the US. Guyana-US relations deteriorated significantly over time and the US place enormous pressure on Guyana to ensure that Burnham’s socialist experiment would fail. Using their veto power “The US blocked Guyana’s applications to the World Bank, and other Western aid agencies, for loans and credits.”4 They also ensured that the International Monetary Fund imposed stringent conditions on Guyana in order for them to qualify for assistance. Guyana was also blocked out of the Caribbean Basin Initiative and efforts to sell on the world market were frustrated by the US.…show more content…
It was transformational in that the outputs of research into sustainable development within the Iwokrama Reserve, and the partnerships established with the Amerindian communities that are contiguous with the Reserve, provide a crucible for the international community to assess the impacts of climate change, the valuation of our forests and ecosystem services, and for developing models of sustainable development through partnerships. The Centre has as its task to test the proposition that conservation, environmental balance and sustainable economic activities are mutually reinforcing and that it is possible to use a forest without losing it. Since its formal commissioning in 1996, Iwokrama has acquired international reputation for research into community- inclusive rainforest conservation, has established comprehensive ecosystem inventories of the Iwokrama forests and wetlands, has collated a model for commercially sustainable management of tropical forest assets and resources, and has developed international academic links including for future research into mitigation of Climate Change by tropical
Open Document