In October 1953, the democratically elected People’s Progressive Party (PPP) of British Guyana was removed from power by the British Government—its colonial ruler at that time. The overthrow of the PPP, which had won a landslide victory in the April 1953 election, was engineered through a suspension of the Guyana’s constitution by the British Government and the simultaneous landing and deployment of British troops in the country.
The British governor dismissed government ministers and the House of Assembly, then appointed an interim Government composed of political opponents of the PPP. Many leading members of the PPP were detained without trial while, under a state of emergency declared by the Governor, civil rights were suspended.
The British Government took this drastic action after it was convinced that the PPP was a “communist organisation” bent on “subverting the Government” and making it an ally of the Soviet Union.