Guyana has applied for an unspecified "formal association' with Comecon, the Communist bloc's common market.
If approved, the agreement with Comecon would make Guyana the second Latin American nation, along with Mexico, to establish formal trade ties with the nine-country group. Jamaica is also said to considering a Comecon agreement.
According to a Reuter report, Guyana's industrial development minister, Desmond Hoyte, made the request in Havana Wednesday at the closing session of Comecon's executive commission. The commission met for the first time in Cuba, which is a member.
In a speech Tuesday to the group, Cuban President Fidel Castro said that Cuba was in a position to become the natural link between the COmmunist group and Latin America, Reuter reported.
A Guyana embassy spokesman said here yesterday that while the government of Prime Minister Forbes Burnham has "no plan to join" the economic group, it is "exploring the possibility of expanding trade with the industrial sector" of the organization.
A State Department spokesman said the possibility of an agreement between Comecon and Guyana might be a cause for U.S. concern, depending on changes in the new administration" of President Carter.
"Guyana is going through an economic disaster because of the low price of sugar," another principal export, and strikes in the bauxite mines, the State Department spokesman said. "They are looking for economic diversification."
Formed in 1949, Comecon's membership now includes the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland and Romania as well as Cuba, which joined four years ago. ALbania, an original member, has been inactive since 1961.
Unlike the Common Market, which has many "associate" non-European members, few outside nations have associate aggreements with Comecon. Finland, which shares a border and traditionally has close economic ties with the Soviet Union; Yugoslavia and Iraq, a close Soviet ally, are the only other nations with Comecon trade agreements aside from Mexico.