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Guyana is a heavily indebted poor country (HIPC) with a population of 750,000 people. A former British Colony, Guyana achieved independence in 1966. Four years later, it became a Cooperative Republic within the British Commonwealth following strong socialist politics. In 1980 a new Constitution was enacted, declaring Guyana an indivisible, secular, democratic, sovereign state. The policies pursued by the Government of Guyana in the 1970s and 80s were characterized as Cooperative Socialism. The productive sectors were predominantly controlled by the state. Since 1988, however, the Economic Recovery program (ERP) reversed most of those financial and industrial policies pursued since 1970.

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