Guyana, officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and previously known as British Guiana, is a state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally associated with the Anglophone Caribbean. It is the only state of the Commonwealth of Nations on mainland South America. Guyana is bordered to the east by Suriname, to the south and southwest by Brazil, to the west by Venezuela, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Historically, the region known as "Guiana" was comprised of the large shield landmass north of the Amazon River and East of the Orinoco River. Five sub-regions were carved out of the landmass by colonial powers in the late 17th and early 18th century; Spanish Guiana (now eastern Venezuela), Portuguese Guiana (now northern Brazil), English Guiana (Guyana), Dutch Guiana (Suriname) and the present French overseas department of French Guiana.
At 215,000 km2, Guyana is the third-smallest independent state on the mainland of South America (after Uruguay, Suriname), and the fourth-smallest political entity (which includes French Guiana). Its population is approximately 770,000. It is one of the five non-Spanish-speaking territories on the continent, along with the countries of Brazil (Portuguese) and Suriname (Dutch), French Guiana (French) and the British Overseas Territory of the Falkland Islands (English).
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