Celebrating Guyana’s Independence Day, 26 May

Guyana, officially the Co‑operative Republic of Guyana, is a country on the northern mainland of South America and the capital city is Georgetown. Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and southwest, Venezuela to the west, and Suriname to the east. With 215,000 square kilometres (83,000 sq mi), Guyana is the third-smallest sovereign state by area in mainland South America after Uruguay and Suriname, and is also the second-least populous sovereign state in South America after Suriname, also it is one of the least densely populated countries on Earth. It has a wide variety of natural habitats and very high biodiversity.

It gained independence in 1966, and officially became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970. The legacy of British rule is reflected in the country’s political administration and diverse population, which includes IndianAfricanAmerindianChinesePortugueseother European, and various multiracial groups. In 2017, 41% of the population of Guyana lived below the poverty line.[11]

Guyana is the only South American nation in which English is the official language. However, the majority of the population speak Guyanese Creole, an English-based creole language, as a first language. Guyana is part of the Anglophone Caribbean. It is part of the mainland Caribbean region maintaining strong cultural, historical, and political ties with other Caribbean countries as well as headquarters for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). In 2008, the country joined the Union of South American Nations as a founding member.

Independence

Guyana achieved independence from the United Kingdom as a dominion on 26 May 1966 and became a republic on 23 February 1970, remaining a member of the Commonwealth. Shortly after independence, Venezuela began to take diplomatic, economic and military action against Guyana in order to enforce its territorial claim to the Guayana Esequiba.[17] The US State Department and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), along with the British government, also played a strong role in influencing political control in Guyana during this time.[18] The American government supported Forbes Burnham during the early years of independence because Cheddi Jagan was identified as a Marxist. They provided secret financial support and political campaign advice to Burnham’s People’s National Congress, to the detriment of the Jagan-led People’s Progressive Party, which was mostly supported by Guyanese of East Indian background.

The present population of Guyana is racially and ethnically heterogeneous, with ethnic groups originating from India, Africa, Europe, and China, as well as indigenous or aboriginal peoples. Despite their diverse ethnic backgrounds, these groups share two common languages: English and Creole.

The largest ethnic group is the Indo-Guyanese (also known as East Indians), the descendants of indentured labourers from the Indian subcontinent and Afghanistan,[39] who make up 43.5% of the population, according to the 2002 census. They are followed by the Afro-Guyanese, the descendants of slaves imported from Africa, who constitute 30.2%. The Guyanese of mixed heritage make up 16.7%, while the indigenous peoples (known locally as Amerindians) make up 9.1%. The indigenous groups include the Arawaks, the Wai Wai, the Caribs, the Akawaio, the Arecuna, the Patamona, the Wapixana, the Macushi and the Warao.[40] The two largest groups, the Indo-Guyanese and Afro-Guyanese, have experienced some racial tension.[41][42][43]

Most Indo-Guyanese are descended from indentured labourers who migrated from North India, especially the Bhojpur and Awadh regions of the Hindi Belt in the present day states of Uttar PradeshBihar and Jharkhand.[44] A significant minority of Indo-Guyanese are also descended from indentured migrants who came from the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh; these South Indian descendants are the plurality ancestry in the East Berbice-Corentyne region.

Cheddi Jagan

Cheddi Jagan Anefo.jpg
Cheddi Jagan, first Prime Minister of Guyana

Cheddi Berret Jagan (22 March 1918 – 6 March 1997) was a Guyanese politician and dentist who was first elected Chief Minister in 1953 and later Premier of British Guiana from 1961 to 1964. He later served as President of Guyana from 1992 to his death in 1997. Jagan is widely regarded in Guyana as the Father of the Nation.[1] In 1953, he became the first person of Indian descent to be a head of government outside of South Asia.

Source: Wikipedia

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