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Country information - Guyana
Country name - conventional long form : Cooperative Republic of Guyana
Country name - conventional short form : Guyana
Country name - former : British Guiana
Government type : republic
Capital - name : Georgetown
Capital - time difference : UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
National holiday : Republic Day, 23 February (1970)
Nationality - noun : Guyanese (singular and plural)
Nationality - adjective : Guyanese
Languages : English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Urdu
Currency (code) : Guyanese dollar (GYD)
Currency code : GYD
Major infectious diseases - degree of risk : high

Guyana is located Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela. The climate is tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons (May to August, November to January). The terrain is mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south.


This entry usually highlights major historic events and current issues and may include a statement about one or two key future trends.
Background : Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to black settlement of urban areas and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations. This ethnocultural divide has persisted and has led to turbulent politics. Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966, and since then it has been ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments. In 1992, Cheddi JAGAN was elected president in what is considered the country's first free and fair election since independence. After his death five years later, his wife, Janet JAGAN, became president but resigned in 1999 due to poor health. Her successor, Bharrat JAGDEO, was reelected in 2001 and again in 2006.

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