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Introduction: 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...

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History: Before the arrival of Europeans, the region was inhabited by both Carib and Arawak tribes, who named it Guiana, which means "land of many waters." The Dutch settled in Guyana in the late 16th century, but their control ended when the British became the de facto rulers in 1796. In 1815, the colonies of Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice were officially ceded to Great Britain at the Congress of ...

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International Relations: Relations with Neighbours

Guyana has a long-standing border controversy with Venezuela. In 1962 Venezuela rejected a decision on the delineation of the border between the two countries which had been made by an international arbitration tribunal in 1899. It claims all of the area west of the Essequibo River. Guyana also has a border dispute with Suriname. Suriname claims the area between the New river (Upper Corentyne) and the Corentyne/Kutari [Koetari] rivers (all headwaters of the Corentyne). In February 2004 Guyana took a maritime border dispute with Suriname to the UN’s International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. ...

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The first humans to reach Guyana belonged to the group of peoples that crossed into North America from Asia perhaps as much as 35,000 years ago. These first inhabitants were nomads who slowly spread south into Central America and South America. Although great civilizations later arose in the Americas, the structure of Amerindian society in the Guianas remained relatively simple. At the time of ...

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