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Guyana (gīănˈə, –änˈ–), officially Co-operative Republic of Guyana, republic (2015 est. pop. 769,000), 83,000 sq mi (214,969 sq km), NE South America. It is bordered on the N by the Atlantic Ocean, on the E by Suriname, on the S and W by Brazil, and on the W by Venezuela. The capital and largest city is Georgetown.

Land and People

On the east Guyana is separated from Suriname by the Courantyne (Corantijn or Corentyne) River. The Akarai Mts. form the southern border with Brazil. Several rivers make up much of the western border with Brazil and Venezuela, and the Essequibo River flows through the center of the country. There is a cultivated coastal plain and a forested, hilly interior (for a more detailed description of the physical characteristics of the area, see Guiana). The climate is hot and humid, and the rainfall is heavy.

Most of the population lives along the coast. About half of the people trace their ancestry to the Indian subcontinent, and the rest are of African, mixed, or indigenous descent. English, Hindi, Urdu, and various indigenous dialects are spoken. Christianity and Hinduism are the main religions, and there is a substantial Muslim minority. The Univ. of Guyana in Georgetown was founded in 1963.


Agriculture and mining are the principal economic activities. Sugarcane and rice are the leading crops, and wheat, corn, coconuts, and citrus fruit are also grown. Cattle and other livestock are raised. Bauxite, gold, diamonds, and manganese are mined, and in 2019 production from offshore oilfields began. There are large forest resources (notably greenheart and balatá) that have been exploited.

The chief exports are gold, bauxite, alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses, rum, and timber. Imports include manufactures, machinery, petroleum, and foodstuffs. Reforms were instituted in the late 1980s to liberalize the country's economy and to attract foreign aid and investment, and the economy grew in the 1990s and early 2000s. The United States, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, and Great Britain are the most important trading partners.


Guyana is governed under the constitution of 1980. The president, who is the head of state, is popularly elected (as leader of a parliamentary party list) for a five-year term. The president appoints the prime minister, who is the head of government, and the cabinet. The legislature is the unicameral National Assembly, whose 65 members are elected for five-year terms. Administratively, the country is divided into ten regions. Guyana is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.


Before the arrival of European settlers, the indigenous Warrau tribe controlled the territory of Guyana. In the early 17th cent. the Dutch established settlements about the Essequibo River, and England and France also founded colonies in the Guiana region. By the Treaty of Breda (1667) the Dutch gained all the English colonies in Guiana. Possessions continued to change hands in the late 18th and early 19th cent. until the Congress of Vienna (1815) awarded the settlements of Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo to Great Britain; they were united as British Guiana in 1831. Slavery was abolished in 1834. In 1879 gold was discovered, thus speeding British expansion toward the Orinoco delta and resulting in the Venezuela Boundary Dispute.

After World War II significant progress toward self-government was made. Under the 1952 constitution, elections were won (1953) by the People's Progressive party (PPP), headed by Cheddi Jagan, who formed a government. However, the British deemed the government pro-Communist and suspended the constitution. Subsequently the PPP split, and Forbes Burnham formed the People's National Congress (PNC). The PPP again won elections in 1957 and (after self-government was granted) in 1961, but was politically weakened by strikes and unrest; it later emerged that much of the agitation was precipitated or funded by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency at the instigation of the Kennedy administration. Proportional representation was then introduced, in response to PNC charges that the electoral system was unfair.

After the 1964 elections the PNC and the United Force were able to form a coalition government, and Burnham became prime minister. Full independence was negotiated in 1966. In the elections of 1968 and 1973 the PNC won a majority, and Burnham continued as prime minister. Antagonism between the Indo-Guyanese, who have historically dominated the country's commerce, and Afro-Guyanese led to frequent clashes and bloodshed in the 1960s, but violence subsided by the 1970s.

Guyana became a republic in 1970, embarking on a socialist path that ultimately led to economic ruin. The boundaries with Venezuela and Suriname continued to be a matter of dispute, with Venezuela still laying claim to some 60% of Guyana's territory. In 2007 the disputed sea border with Suriname was settled by a UN Law of the Sea tribunal, but sections of the Suriname land border remain contested. Concessions granted by Guyana for offshore oil exploration revived the boundary dispute with Venezuela in 2015, and in 2018 the United Nations referred the dispute to the International Court of Justice. In 1978 more than 900 followers, mostly Americans, of a religious cult (the People's Temple) led by Jim Jones committed suicide in Jonestown, a jungle village in Guyana. In 1980 a new constitution was adopted, under which Burnham became president. In the early 1980s, the government instituted heavy media restrictions and openly harassed opposition parties.

After Burnham's death in 1985, he was replaced by Desmond Hoyte, who began some liberalization programs and invited foreign aid and investment. In the late 1980s, austerity policies implemented by the government caused considerable unrest, as opposition parties called for new elections. In 1992 Hoyte lost the presidency to the former prime minister (1957–64) and ex-Marxist Cheddi Jagan of the PPP. Under Jagan, the country saw economic growth, especially in the agricultural and mining sectors, and enjoyed continuing international support.

Jagan died in Mar., 1997, and his prime minister, Samuel Hinds, became president, naming Jagan's widow, Janet Jagan, as prime minister. In December of that year, she was elected president. Janet Jagan resigned in Aug., 1999, because of ill health and was succeeded by Bharrat Jagdeo, Guyana's finance minister. Jagdeo and the PPP were returned to power in elections held in March, 2001. Heavy rains, high tides, and drainage canals in disrepair resulted in severe flooding in Georgetown and coastal areas of Guyana in early 2005, disrupting the lives of almost half of the population. Jagdeo was reelected in Aug., 2006, and at the same time the PPP increased its legislative majority by two seats.

In the Nov., 2011, elections the PPP won the election but fell shy of a majority of the legislative seats; PPP leader Donald Ramotar became president. A threatened no-confidence vote by the opposition led in Nov., 2014, to the suspension and then dissolution of the legislature by the president. In early elections in May, 2015, a five-party coalition dominated by A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) narrowly won control of the legislature, and APNU/AFC candidate David Granger, a retired general, was elected president. In Dec., 2018, the government narrowly and unexpectedly lost a no-confidence vote. It subsequently challenged the result in court instead of calling a new election, but the Caribbean Court of Justice ultimately upheld (2019) the vote.

Preliminary results from the Mar., 2020, elections suggested that Granger and his coalition had narrowly won, but results from the crucial election district that included the capital were questioned by the PPP and foreign observers. A recount, which was endorsed by CARICOM and other international bodies, gave the PPP the most votes and a majority of the seats. Granger's coalition rejected that result and sought to stymie its certification, but the PPP's Irfaan Ali ultimately became president in Aug., 2020.


See R. A. Glasgow, Guyana: Race and Politics among Africans and East Indians (1970); A. H. Adamson, Sugar Without Slaves: The Political Economy of British Guiana, 1838–1904 (1972); R. H. Manley, Guyana Emergent: The Post Independence Struggle for Non-Dependent Development (1982); C. Singh, Guyana: Politics in a Plantation Society (1988).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Cooperative Republic of Guyana; until 1966, British Guiana), a country in northeastern South America and a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Guyana is bounded on the northwest by Venezuela, on the southwest and the south by Brazil, and on the east by Surinam (Dutch Guiana). On the northeast it is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The area is 215,000 sq km and the population is 763,000 (1970 estimate). The capital is Georgetown. Guyana is divided administratively into nine districts.

Constitution and government. Since February 1970, Guyana has been a republic. The present constitution came into effect in 1966, and it provided for the declaration of a republic after 1969. The head of state is the president, who is elected by the parliament for a six-year term; he is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The highest legislative body is the unicameral parliament (the National Assembly), popularly elected for a four-year term. The government consists of the Cabinet, headed by the prime minister. By recommendation of the prime minister the president appoints for a four-year term a so-called ombudsman, whose duty it is to review complaints by individuals against the actions and regulations of administrative organs and their officials. Suffrage is granted to all citizens who have attained the age of 21.

Natural features. The shoreline is not clearly defined, with wide sandbars appearing at low tide and the flooding of coastal vegetation (mangroves) at high tide. The northern and northeastern parts of the country are covered by sedimentary swampy lowlands, broadening toward the east. The central and southern parts are covered by the Guiana Highlands. Most mountainous is the west-central part, where outlier sandstone massifs rise from a broken plateau (the Pakaraima Mountains, with Mount Roraima, 2,772 m and Mount Ayanganna, 2,042 m). In the central part of the country is a hilly plain that becomes an upland of 900-1,000 m in the south.


Geologically, the base of Guyana’s upland is part of the Guiana Shield. Its southern part is composed of an ancient (more than 3 billion years) nucleus, consisting of gneisses, granulites, and migmatized granites of the Rupununi group. In the central and northern parts are found metamorphosed sedimentary and effusive rocks of folded belts of the Archeozoic and Lower Proterozoic eras, with intrusions of “young” (up to 2 billion years) granites. The consolidation of the shield occurred before the Karelian (mid-Proterozoic) epoch of folding and did not undergo folding later. The Archean belt in the west is covered with a mantle of reddish strata (sandstones and traps) of the Roraima formation, with extrusions of dolerite dikes and sills (1,700 million years).

Within the young granites are deposits of gold and niobium (columbite), and diamonds are found in the Proterozoic structures. Within the weathering crust occur large deposits of bauxite (the total reserves are estimated at 150 million tons with an alumina content of over 50 percent), as well as manganese ore.


The climate is subequatorial, hot and humid. The average monthly temperature in Georgetown ranges from 26° to 28° C, and the precipitation is 2,230 mm per year, with the least rainfall in the autumn. The many deep rivers, such as the Essequibo, Cuyuni, Demerara, Berbice, and Courantyne have many rapids and waterfalls (Roraima, Kaieteur). Even the largest rivers, the Essequibo and the Courantyne, are navigable only near the mouth. Almost the entire territory of Guyana is covered with perpetually moist evergreen forests containing valuable species of trees, such as the Ocotea, or greenheart. In the north and northeast and in the southwest savannas are widespread.


Population. About 51 percent of the population consists of immigrants from India and 43 percent, of English-speaking descendants of African slaves (in anthropological terms three-fourths are Negroes and one-fourth are mulattoes). In the interior regions live about 30,000 native Indians, such as the Caribs and Arawaks. Urban inhabitants include Portuguese, Chinese, Lebanese, Syrians, and English. The official language is English, and a part of the East Indian population speaks Hindi. The majority of believers are Protestants of various denominations, and there are also Catholics, Hindus, and Muslims. The official calendar is the Gregorian.

The natural population growth between 1963 and 1969 was 3.1 percent per year. The average density is three persons per sq km. The majority of the population lives in the coastal zone and in the lower reaches of the large rivers, where there are 10-30 persons per sq km. In remote areas the density is less than one person per sq km. In 1965 the economically active population consisted of 175,000 persons. Of these 32 percent were engaged in agriculture, 19 percent in industry (including 3 percent in mining), 5.5 percent in construction, 6 percent in transport, warehouse storage, and communications, 13 percent in trade, and 24.5 percent in other branches. About 30 percent of the population is urban. The largest city is Georgetown, with 97,200 inhabitants (1969). Other important cities are New Amsterdam, Mackenzie, and Bartica.

Historical survey. The original inhabitants of the territory of Guyana were Indian tribes. In the late 15th century this territory was discovered by Spanish navigators. In the late 16th century the coast of Guyana was explored by the English. Dutch merchants followed and soon founded settlements in the region of the Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice rivers. In 1732 the settlement of Berbice and in 1773 Essequibo and Demerara acquired the status of Dutch colonies. From 1650 to the early 19th century Negro slaves were continuously brought from Africa to work on the sugarcane plantations and in the mines. In the late 18th and early 19th century there was a continuous struggle between Great Britain, the Netherlands, and France for control of Guyana. In 1781 the English seized Guyana, in 1782 it passed to France, and in 1783 it came under Dutch control. In 1803 the English succeeded in seizing the settlements of Berbice, Essequibo, and Demerara. In 1814, after the signing of an Anglo-Dutch treaty, the three settlements finally passed to Great Britain, and in 1831 they were united into one colony under the name of British Guiana. The late 18th and early 19th century was marked by a series of mass slave uprisings (the largest in 1763, 1812, and 1823) and by the flight of slaves from the plantations. In 1834 slavery was abolished, and the former slaves abandoned the plantations, moving to the cities and large population centers. The importation of cheap labor began—from India in 1838 and from China in 1853. The difficult working conditions on the sugar plantations resulted in large strikes and unrest among the plantation workers in the 1880’s and in 1905. Beginning in 1880 the planters began to sell small, agriculturally unproductive plots of land in an effort to bind the East Indian families to the colony. Small farms thus began to appear. The first trade union, the British Guiana Labour Union, did not arise until 1922. By 1939 there were ten trade unions, and in 1941 the British Guiana Trades Union Council was created. The broad scope of the class struggle was due to the fact that the population had been proletarianized to a great extent.

During World War II (1939-45), American and Canadian capital significantly strengthened its position in British Guiana, working the bauxite deposits. The cruel exploitation of the population on the plantations and in the mines provoked resistance to the colonial regime. The struggle of the people of British Guiana against the colonial rule grew, particularly in the late 1940’s. In 1950 the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) was formed, uniting part of the working class, the farmers, and the national bourgeoisie. The PPP succeeded in overcoming the racial prejudices cultivated by the colonialists and in uniting the working masses, both East Indian and Negro, in the struggle for the liquidation of colonialism. In 1953 the English authorities were compelled to promulgate a constitution for British Guiana, providing for broader participation by the local population in the government of the colony. In April 1953 general elections to the House of Assembly were held. The PPP was victorious, and its leader, C. Jagan, became head of government. Seeing the progressive reforms undertaken by the Jagan government and frightened by the scope of the democratic movement, the English authorities brought troops to British Guiana in October of that year, suspended the 1953 constitution, and dissolved the Jagan government. Power was concentrated in the hands of the English governor. However, in the 1957 elections to the House of Assembly, the PPP was again victorious. The persistent popular struggle for national independence forced the English government to grant the country a new constitution broadening internal self-government but leaving questions of foreign policy and defense in the hands of the English government. The 1961 elections also brought victory to the PPP. The Jagan government formed in September 1961 worked out a five-year plan for the country’s economic development, limiting the activity of foreign monopolies, creating a diversified economic structure and a national fiscal system, and introducing measures to solve the agrarian question. The Jagan government also demanded British Guiana’s independence from Great Britain by May 31, 1962, the date set for the granting of independence to the Federation of the West Indies (created by Great Britain in 1958). However, the ruling circles of Great Britain and the USA broke off the negotiations over the granting of independence and provoked a number of antigovernment demonstrations. In December 1964, a year prior to the date fixed, new elections to the National Assembly were held. The PPP received the greatest number of seats. Nevertheless, a coalition government was formed of representatives of rightist parties, the People’s National Congress (PNC, founded in 1955) and the United Force (founded in 1961), which together gained a majority of seats. Despite the fact that disagreements existed between these parties, the leader of the PNC, F. Burnham, categorically refused Jagan’s offer to form a government with the participation of representatives of the PPP. The new government, headed by Burnham, repealed a number of progressive laws enacted by the Jagan government designed to develop the country’s economy, to liquidate unemployment, and to raise the general standard of living. The new government also gave foreign monopolies—primarily American—access to the country.

On May 26, 1966, under pressure from the mass movement for independence, British Guiana was proclaimed an independent state and was renamed Guyana. That same year Guyana became a member of the United Nations. However, the state of emergency declared under British rule continued to be in effect, and many important leaders of the PPP were imprisoned. The state of emergency was ended only in December 1966. In January 1967 an antidemocratic law on national security was passed in Guyana, limiting freedom of movement and of the press, as well as other civil liberties. Several ministers were accused of corruption and removed from office. In December 1968 the first general elections after independence were held in Guyana, in which the PNC, headed by Burnham, won a victory. The USA, in its efforts to keep Burnham in the post of prime minister, continued to give his government considerable aid. Among the countries in the western hemisphere Guyana was second (after Panama) in per capita aid received from the United States in 1968. As a result of the continuing struggle of the people of Guyana for genuine independence, the country was proclaimed a republic on Feb. 23, 1970. In March 1970, A. Chung became the first president of Guyana. In December 1970 diplomatic relations were established with the USSR.


Political parties, trade unions, and other social organizations. The People’s National Congress (PNC) was created in 1955 by right-wing elements that emerged from the People’s Progressive Party. It is a right-wing socialist party, closely linked with British and American capital. It is supported largely by the urban Negro population. It holds the ruling position in the country. The People’s Progressive Party (PPP), founded in 1950, is the most influential opposition party. It unites part of the workers, farmers, and national bourgeoisie, primarily of East Indian origin. The Guyana Trades Union Council was founded in 1941, and it unites 27 trade unions. It is affiliated with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the Inter-American Regional Organization of Labor.


Economy. The basis of the economy is agriculture and the extraction of minerals. In 1968 agriculture accounted for 25.5 percent of the gross national product, including the production of sugarcane, 12.8 percent, and rice, 3.6 percent. Cattle raising accounted for 2.4 percent of the GNP, fishing for 2.2 percent, forestry for 1.6 percent, and other branches of the economy for 2.9 percent. Foreign capital, primarily British, American, and Canadian, predominates in the economy. According to UN statistics, about 1 percent of the entire area of Guyana is under cultivation, and pastures and meadows cover 13.8 percent. The plantations belong for the most part to foreign companies and to large local landowners. The agricultural regions are the Atlantic coast and the valleys of the lower Demerara and Berbice rivers. Sugarcane is cultivated and 90 percent of the sugar is exported. Rice is also grown, mainly on peasant farms, and more than 30 percent is exported. Other agricultural products include coconuts, coffee (2,900 tons in 1968), cocoa, citrus fruits, pineapples, cassava, yams and sweet potatoes, and corn. (See Table 1 for data on area and harvest of principal crops.) In the southwest live-stock is raised on the savanna along the Rupununi River. Cattle represent most of the livestock bred: in 1967-68 there were 306,000 head of cattle, 100,000 sheep, 42,000 goats, and 83,000 pigs. On the coast there is fishing, primarily shrimping (by foreign companies). The shrimp are exported mainly to the USA. In the forests valuable woods are exploited (240,700 cu m in 1968). Because of the lack of roads large tracts of forest are for the most part inaccessible.

The extraction of bauxite is the most important of Guyana’s mining industries. Guyana occupies fourth place in bauxite production in the capitalist world, after Jamaica, Surinam, and Australia. Mining is concentrated in the hands of the Demerara Bauxite Company, Ltd. (a subsidiary of the Aluminum Company of Canada, Ltd., controlled by the Mellon financial group in the USA) and of the Reynolds Metals Company (USA). The mines of the Demerara Bauxite Company (Demba and Ituni) are located in the basin of the Demerara River, near the port of Mackenzie, through which bauxite and alumina are exported by ocean-going vessels, primarily to Canada. (There is a large alumina plant in Mackenzie.) The mines of the Reynolds Metals Company are located in the valley of the Berbice River, 160 km from its mouth. The bauxite is transported by barges from the mining site to the ocean port of Everton. On the basis of a bill approved by parliament in 1971, the government of Guyana has announced the nationalization of the enterprises of the Demerara Bauxite Company. Diamonds are mined, as well as gold and manganese ore (by British companies). (See Table 2 for data on the mining of principal minerals.)

Table 1. Principal crops
 1948-521Area (ha) 196219681948-521Harvest (tons) 19621968
1 Average annual yield 2From 1948-49 to 1952-63, average annual yield 31962-63 41968-69 5Millions
Sugarcane (raw sugar production)...............29,000239,000345,0004218,0002322,0003366,0004
Coconut Palms      
Yams and sweet potatoes...............3,0002,0001,0009,0005,0005,000
Table 2. Mining of principal minerals
1 Metal content
Bauxite (tons)...............3,359,0003,422,0003,723,000
Diamonds (carets)...............35,000101,00066,000
Gold (kilograms)...............54167127
Manganese ore1 (tons)...............49,90038,400

Thermal power plants are the primary source of electrical energy. The installed capacity of electric power plants is 81,000 kW (1967); the production of electrical energy is 267 million kW-hr (1968). Processing industries are little developed. Principal industrial enterprises include sugar refineries, beer breweries, tobacco factories, and sawmills. Guyana’s rum is famous throughout the world (6.7 million liters in 1967). In 1969 a flour mill and shrimp cannery began operations. The majority of the enterprises are concentrated in Georgetown.

In 1968 there were 258 km of railroad tracks, including 130 km of which were government-owned, and more than 1,700 km of auto and cart tracks. There were 19,800 motor vehicles (1968), including 14,200 passenger cars. The total length of river routes is more than 400 km. Ocean and air transport are handled mainly by foreign companies. The most important ports are Georgetown, New Amsterdam, Everton, and Mackenzie. There is an airport at Timeri.

In 1967 exports were sugar (27.6 percent of the total value of exports), bauxite (23.1 percent), alumina (16 percent), rice (12.6 percent), diamonds (3.1 percent), shrimp (3 percent), rum (2.7 percent), molasses (2.4 percent), wood (1.3 percent), and other goods (8.2 percent). In 1967 imports were machines and equipment (25 percent of total value of imports), fuel (6.9 percent), dairy products (3.1 percent), flour (3.3 percent), cotton cloth (1.8 percent), and shoes (1.7 percent). In 1967 the principal trading partners were Great Britain (24.5 percent of exports and 25.1 percent of imports), the USA (22.3 percent and 27.7 percent), Canada (18.6 percent and 11 percent), and the countries of the West Indies in the Caribbean (20 percent of exports). Guyana is a member of the Caribbean Free Trade Association, and its trade with member nations, primarily with the government of Trinidad and Tobago (the import of oil products), has been steadily increasing. Trade connections with the Federal Republic of Germany are developing. The monetary unit (since 1965) is the Guyana dollar, which in January 1971 was equivalent to the US $0.50.


Armed forces. There is an army consisting of about 1,000 men (one infantry battalion). There is also a police force (about 1,500 men). The president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Health and social welfare. In 1968 the birth rate was 35.3 and the general mortality rate was 9.0 per 1,000 inhabitants. The infant mortality rate was 51.0 per 1,000 live births. The average life expectancy is 61 years. Guyana is divided into two medical-geographic regions: the coast, low and swampy, where the greater part of the population (engaged in agriculture) lives and the interior, which is hilly and covered with forests. In the coastal area intestinal infections are widespread, including dysentery, typhoid, poliomyelitis (morbidity from 28.9 in the vicinity of Berbice to 228.3 per 100,000 around Demerara), helminthiasis, malaria, and yellow fever. The incidence of leprosy is 38 per 10,000 inhabitants (1967). In mountainous regions, cases of skin Leishmaniosis and rabies are frequently recorded.

In 1968 there were 39 hospitals in operation, with 3,300 beds (4.4 beds per 1,000 inhabitants). In 1968 there were 163 physicians (one per 4,400 inhabitants), of whom 90 were practicing in state institutions. Physicians are trained by the faculty of medicine at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica.


Education and cultural affairs. Education is compulsory between the ages of six and 14, and classes are conducted in English. There are six-year primary schools and seven-year secondary schools, with two stages of five and two years of instruction. Vocational training is provided upon graduation from the primary school. Primary school teachers are trained by a pedagogical college, where students may enroll after finishing the first level of secondary school. In the 1966-67 school year more than 168,000 pupils were enrolled in elementary schools and 17,700 pupils in secondary schools. There were 1,500 students enrolled in vocational and technical schools and 415 students in the pedagogical college. In 1963 a university was founded in Georgetown with faculties of arts, social sciences, and natural sciences. In the 1967-68 academic year there were 614 university students. Georgetown has the Public Library (more than 98,000 volumes) and the Guyana Museum, founded in 1853.

Press, radio, and television. In 1970 there were 20 newspapers and magazines. The largest of these, published in Georgetown, are the Guyana Graphic (founded 1945; circulation 20,000; daily), the Sunday Chronicle (founded 1881; circulation 12,000; weekly), the New Nation (founded 1955; circulation 10,000; weekly; organ of the PNC), the Mirror (founded 1962; circulation 13,000; daily; organ of the PPP), Thunder (founded 1950; circulation 10,000; monthly; organ of the PPP), and the Labour Advocate (circulation 20,000 copies; weekly; organ of the Trades Union Council).

The Guyana United Broadcasting Company—Radio Demerara—was founded in 1950 and is located in Georgetown. It is a commercial station, an affiliate of the British Rediffusion International, Ltd., and broadcasts in English on one station.



Ralegh, W. Otkrytie obshirnoi bogatoi i prekrasnoi Gvianskoi imperii. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from English.)
Bogoslovskii, V. Gaiana. Moscow, 1969.
Jagan, C. Zapad na skam’e podsudimykh. Moscow, 1969. (Translated from English.)
Gviana. Gaiana. Frantsuzskaia Gviana. Surinam. Moscow, 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Official name: Cooperative Republic of Guyana

Capital city: Georgetown

Internet country code: .gy

Flag description: Green, with a red isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) superimposed on a long, yellow arrowhead; there is a narrow, black border between the red and yellow, and a narrow, white border between the yellow and the green

National anthem: “Dear land of Guyana of rivers and plains” (first line)

Geographical description: Northern South America, bor­dering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela

Total area: 83,000 sq. mi. (214,970 sq. km.)

Climate: Tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons (May to August, Novem­ber to January)

Nationality: noun: Guyanese (singular and plural); adjective: Guyanese

Population: 769,095 (July 2007 CIA est.)

Ethnic groups: East Indian 43%, African 30%, Amerindian 9%, other (European, Chinese, and mixed) 17%

Languages spoken: English, Amerindian languages (pri­marily Carib and Arawak), Guyanese Creole, Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Urdu

Religions: Christian 50%, Hindu 35%, Muslim 10%, other 5%

Legal Holidays:

Boxing DayDec 26
Caricom DayJul 4, 2011; Jul 2, 2012; Jul 1, 2013; Jul 7, 2014; Jul 6, 2015; Jul 4, 2016; Jul 3, 2017; Jul 2, 2018; Jul 1, 2019; Jul 6, 2020; Jul 5, 2021; Jul 4, 2022; Jul 3, 2023
Christmas DayDec 25
Easter MondayApr 25, 2011; Apr 9, 2012; Apr 1, 2013; Apr 21, 2014; Apr 6, 2015; Mar 28, 2016; Apr 17, 2017; Apr 2, 2018; Apr 22, 2019; Apr 13, 2020; Apr 5, 2021; Apr 18, 2022; Apr 10, 2023
Good FridayApr 22, 2011; Apr 6, 2012; Mar 29, 2013; Apr 18, 2014; Apr 3, 2015; Mar 25, 2016; Apr 14, 2017; Mar 30, 2018; Apr 19, 2019; Apr 10, 2020; Apr 2, 2021; Apr 15, 2022; Apr 7, 2023
Independence DayMay 26
MashramaniFeb 23
May DayMay 1
New Year's DayJan 1
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


a republic in NE South America, on the Atlantic: colonized chiefly by the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries; became a British colony in 1831 and an independent republic within the Commonwealth in 1966. Official language: English. Religions: Christian and Hindu. Currency: dollar. Capital: Georgetown. Pop.: 767 000 (2004 est.). Area: about 215 000 sq. km (83 000 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The Crown Prince, in his name and on behalf of the Government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, wished constant good health and happiness for the President and steady progress and prosperity for the people of Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
The King, in his name and on behalf of the Government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, wished constant good health and happiness for the President and steady progress and prosperity for the people of Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

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