The international relations of the former British colony have been oriented toward the English-speaking world and guided by ideological principles. Except for those countries on Guyana's borders, Latin America is largely ignored. Independent Guyana's foreign policy has had five predominant themes: political nonalignment, support for leftist causes worldwide, promotion of economic unity in the English-speaking Caribbean, opposition to apartheid, and protection of Guyanese territorial integrity in the resolution of the border disputes with Venezuela and Suriname.
Although upholding the principal foreign policy themes, the PNC has adroitly shifted emphasis to reflect changes in domestic policy. To consolidate power against the leftist PPP, PNC foreign policy from 1964 to 1969 was pro-Western. Confident of its domestic power base from 1970 to 1985, the government was nonaligned in international affairs, with strong support for less-developed countries and socialist causes. Guyana established diplomatic ties and symbolic economic ties with the communist governments in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and Cuba. Since Hoyte's accession to the presidency in 1985, foreign policy has again been less supportive of leftist causes, in part to obtain backing for Hoyte's economic programs from Western nations.
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