BBC Radio British Guiana politics in the 1960’s
Mike Thomson investigates how Britain undermined British Guiana’s democratic process as the colony inched towards independence in the early 1960s. BBC Radio
In the last of the current series Mike Thomson investigates how Britain covertly manipulated the democratic process in its South American colony, then known as British Guiana in the run up to its independence in 1966. Mike discovers new documents which show that they deliberately scuppered the outcome of their own conference organised to determine the country’s future.
On the face of it the conference, held in London in October 1963, was designed to confirm the constitutional future for what was then British Guiana. Publicly Britain encouraged the country’s Prime Minister Dr Cheddi Jagan – who had been fairly elected in 1961 – and the leader of the opposition Linden Forbes Burnham to agree terms for independence. However, behind the scenes, the documents reveal that the British were working to a different outcome – to ensure that agreement was never reached. Continue reading