Statement from the Carter Center on former President Jimmy Carter: 'President Carter was not feeling well and has departed Guyana to return to Atlanta today. The Carter Center election observation mission in Guyana is continuing its work and will keep him informed of developments. President Carter is hopeful about Guyana's election and expressed his commitment and that of The Carter Center to supporting Guyana in the days ahead, stressing the need for a peaceful process before, during, and after the election'
Guyana (pronounced /ɡaɪˈɑːnə/ or /ɡaɪˈænə/), officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, is a sovereign state on the northern mainland of South America. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and southwest, Suriname to the east and Venezuela to the west. At 215,000 square kilometres (83,000 sq mi), Guyana is the third-smallest country on mainland South America after Uruguay and Suriname.
The region known as "Guiana" or "Guyana" comprised the large shield landmass north of the Amazon River and east of the Orinoco River known as the "Land of many waters". Originally inhabited by several indigenous groups, Guyana was settled by the Dutch before coming under British control in the late 18th century. It was governed as the plantation economy of British Guiana until independence in 1966, and officially became a republic within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1970. The legacy of British rule is reflected in the country's diverse population, which includes Indian, Africa, Amerindian, and multiracial groups.
Guyana also has the distinction of being the only South American nation in which English is the official language. The majority of the population, however, speak Guyanese Creole, an English-based creole language with slight Dutch, Arawakan and Caribbean influences. In addition to being part of the Anglophone Caribbean, Guyana is one of the few Caribbean countries that is not an island in the West Indies. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), of which Guyana is a member, is headquartered in Guyana's capital and largest city, Georgetown. In 2008, the country joined the Union of South American Nations as a founding member.