Burnham had achieved excellent results by improving communication routes, with a consequent increase in exports. With the entry into force of the new Constitution on 23 February 1970 the “Cooperative Republic of Guyana” was proclaimed and the first President was Arthur Chung, a judge of Chinese origin.
According to Abbreviationfinder, an acronym site which also features history of Guyana, a conference of “non-aligned” countries was held in Georgetown in 1972, and in 1973 the July elections assigned leadership to Burnham, accused by Jagan of winning thanks to the votes of Negroes abroad. He established relations with Cuba, the People’s Republic of China, the USSR and the German Democratic Republic.
The aims of Prentier Burnham were clearly socialist, but difficult to pursue given the centralization that he was operating in all sectors of power. To avoid the emergence of state capitalism, W. Rodney, head of the WPA (Working People Alliance), proposed a government of national unity; this did not happen and Burnham’s party joined the Socialist International.
In 1983 there was a constitutional reform that limited workers’ claims. The economy in crisis, also due to difficulties in world markets, forced the government to move closer to the United States, with the intention of obtaining aid and loans. Developed internal clientelism in the government also experienced repressive measures. Unemployment, prices, wage freezes and a certain migratory current increased.
The protests and oppositions were noteworthy until in 1984, while the economic situation improved, the political one worsened, also due to Burnham’s death in 1985.
Elections were called: D.Hoyte won, who immediately practiced a review of “Cooperative Socialism”, privatizing industries or reducing their state contribution, hoping first of all for foreign investment.
The widespread discontent led in 1989 to negotiate the democratization of the regime with the opposition; all efforts stopped due to the failure to agree on electoral reform. The elections, repeatedly postponed, led to the proclamation of a state of emergency in 1991. However, they were carried out in 1992 and decreed the defeat of Hoyte and his party and the return to the government of the Progressive People’s Party, allied for the occasion with an entrepreneurial and professional movement called “Civic”, whose leader C. Jagan became President of the Republic. S. Hinds, head of the “Civic” was appointed as premier.
An economic policy was implemented which was based little on state intervention and much more on the private sector. For this reason, a series of privatizations of state-owned enterprises and a search for greater inflow of foreign capital began, to improve the situation in the country and to ensure that citizens, at all levels, could access positive essential social services.
The administrative elections of 1994 were won by the Progressive People’s Party; the government established a special ministry to control and destroy racial discrimination and in 1995 signed the Tlatelolco Treaty for nuclear non-proliferation in Latin America.
On the other hand, relations with Suriname and Venezuela always worsened due to territorial border issues.
In March 1997 C. Jagan died of a heart attack in New York, so the legislative elections in December of the same year brought his wife Janet Jagan to the head of state. The “People’s National Congress” declared these elections invalid and organized protests that were severely repressed by the military.
After an initial agreement in January 1998 between the two main parties in the country, unrest still occurred in June. With the umpteenth mediation of the Caribbean Community and Common Market, the two parties’ relaxation talks resumed and an agreement was reached in January 1999 for institutional reforms.