This essay situates Guyana’s recent election standoff in a longer, relatively unbroken trajectory of racially divisive politics. It explores how historically oppressed peoples have directed their hostility at each other while governments have worked with extractive industries to perpetuate a neo-imperial economidepenc structure. The recent discovery of major offshore oil deposits has started a new cycle of this economic dency on commodity exports and multinational corporations while raising the stakes of racialized domestic political competition.

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