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......STATEHOOD AND COMMONWEALTH ISSUES
 

 

The Constitution of the United States provides for additional states to become part of the Union.

In the late 1950s Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the Union as the forty-ninth and fiftieth states: the first two non-contiguous states to become part of the United States. Guyana should become the third non-contiguous American State.

Pursuant to Article IV of the United States Constitution, Guyana could become a territory, commonwealth, or state of the United States by a simple majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Historically, the Congress would not consider such a vote until the people of a territory or republic under consideration for Statehood voted upon the issue. A referendum on statehood, commonwealth or US possession must be held in Guyana as soon as possible.

Guyana is about the size of the state of Idaho; yet its population is relatively small, only 650,000 people. There are now more than 300,000 Guyanese living in the USA. According to some studies, of those people who remain in Guyana, nearly all of them desire or are awaiting the issuance of an American visa.

Over 100,000 Guyanese residents of the USA have already become United States citizens through the process of naturalization. The rest will become citizens upon fulfilling the statutory requirements of naturalization. The overwhelming majority of these individuals support the incorporation of Guyana into the USA.

  • The people of Guyana would be fully self-governing with their rights secured under the United States Constitution, which would be the the supreme law and have the same force and effects as in other states of the Union;
  • The sovereign State of Guyana would be in permanent union with the United States, and powers not delegated to the Federal Government or prohibited to the States by the United States Constitution would be reserved to the people of Guyana or the State Government;
  • United States citizenship for those born in Guyana would be guaranteed, protected and secured in the same way it is for all United States citizens born in the other states;
  • Residents of Guyana would have equal rights and benefits as well as equal duties and responsibilities of citizenship, including payments of Federal taxes, as those in the several States;
  • Guyana would be represented by two members in the United States and would be represented in the House of Representatives proportionate to the population;
  • United States citizens in Guyana would be enfranchised to vote in elections for the President and Vice-President of the United States;
  • The borders and territory of Guyana would remain unchanged;
  • The end of Guyana's prohibitively high import tax;
  • The laws (and holidays) of Guyana would remain unchanged, subject to the Constitution and Laws of the United States;
  • An individual could not be "deported" to Guyana, because Guyana would no longer be a foreign country;
  • All citizens of the State of Guyana would be entitled to US passports, thereby eliminating the need to get a visa in order to legally enter into the USA;
  • The Guyanese living in or outside of the USA would become American citizens;
  • Religious observance would be protected by the United States Constitution;
  • The United States citizenship of persons born in Guyana would be guaranteed and secured as provided by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and equal to that of citizens born in the several states;
  • Guyanese-Americans would be free to return to Guyana and fully participate fully in the local Guyanese political process without loosing their American citizenship or permanent resident status;
  • Statehood would mean that goods "imported" from the U.S. would enter Guyana tax free. The price of all goods including: computers, televisions, automobiles and industrial machinery would no longer be subjected to the prohibitively high "import tax." Guyana could impose a sales tax, just like other American states do.
  COMMONWEALTH DEFINED:
  As an alternative to full-fleged statehood, a U.S. Commonwealth form self-government could be established in which:
  • Guyana could become a Commonwealth, retaining self-government with respect to internal affairs and administration;
  • Provisions of the Constitution and laws of the United States could apply to Guyana as determined by Congress;
  • Guyana could become a locally self-governing unincorporated territory of the United States;
  • Modification of current Federal law and policy applicable to Guyana could come under the discretion of Congress, including, application of Federal tax measures and Immigration laws.
  The new Commonwealth of Guyana could be joined in a union with the United States that could be permanent and the relationship could only be altered by mutual consent. Under a compact, the Commonwealth could be an autonomous body politic with its own character and culture, not incorporated into the United States, and sovereign over matters governed by the Constitution of Guyana, consistent with the Constitution of the United States.

The United States citizenship of persons born in Guyana could be guaranteed and secured as provided by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and equal to that of citizens born in the several states. The individual rights, privileges, immunities provided for the Constitution of the United States would apply to residents of Guyana. Residents of Guyana could be entitled to receive benefits under Federal social programs equally with residents of several States contingent on equitable contributions by Guyana as provided by law.

To enable Guyana to govern matters necessary to its economic, social and cultural development under its constitution, the Commonwealth could be authorized to submit proposals for the entry of Guyana into international agreements or exemptions of Guyana from specific Federal laws and provisions thereof to the United States. The President and Congress, as appropriate, could consider whether such proposals would be consistent with vital national interests of the United States on an expedited basis through special procedures to be provided by law. The Commonwealth would assume any expenses related to increased responsibilities resulting from the approval of these proposals.