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Guyana, officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America. Culturally Guyana is part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana is one of the few Caribbean countries that is not an island. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), of which Guyana is a member, has its secretariat's headquarters in Guyana's capital, Georgetown.Guyana was originally colonized by the Netherlands. Later, it became a British colony and remained so for over 200 years until it achieved independence on 26 May 1966 from the United Kingdom. On 23 February 1970, Guyana officially became a republic. In 2008, the country joined the Union of South American Nations as a founding member.Guyana, a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations, is the only South American nation whose official language is English.Historically, 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". Historical Guyana consists of three Dutch colonies: Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice. Modern Guyana is bordered by Suriname to the east; by Brazil to the south and southwest; by Venezuela to the west; and by the Atlantic Ocean to the north. At, Guyana is the third-smallest independent state on the mainland of South America after Uruguay and Suriname. Its population is approximately 770,000.