Guyana became the first cooperative republic in the world after gaining independence from the British in 1966. In the 1980s, under Linden Forbes Burnham, Guyana changed its constitution to install Burnham as president for life (a post he held until his death in 1985), as well as making Guyana a Socialist Republic. Guyana was a founding member of the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) in 1968, its postcursors the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in 1973 and the Caribbean Single Market in 2006. Its main exports are bauxite, alumina, sugar, gold, rice, shrimp, molasses, rum, and timber. Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America, and consists of some 83,000 square miles (214,969 square kilometers)—bordered to the west by Venezuela, east to Suriname, and Brazil at ...

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