Venezuela vs. Guyana


BackgroundVenezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and New Granada, which became Colombia). For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959. Under Hugo CHAVEZ, president from 1999 to 2013, and his hand-picked successor, President Nicolas MADURO, the executive branch has exercised increasingly authoritarian control over other branches of government. At the same time, democratic institutions have deteriorated, freedoms of expression and the press have been curtailed, and political polarization has grown. The ruling party's economic policies have expanded the state's role in the economy through expropriations of major enterprises, strict currency exchange and price controls that discourage private sector investment and production, and overdependence on the petroleum industry for revenues, among others. Current concerns include: human rights abuses, rampant violent crime, high inflation, and widespread shortages of basic consumer goods, medicine, and medical supplies.
Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to settlement of urban areas by former slaves and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations. The resulting ethnocultural divide has persisted and has led to turbulent politics. Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966, and since then it has been ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments. In 1992, Cheddi JAGAN was elected president in what is considered the country's first free and fair election since independence. After his death five years later, his wife, Janet JAGAN, became president but resigned in 1999 due to poor health. Her successor, Bharrat JAGDEO, was elected in 2001 and again in 2006. Early elections held in May 2015 resulted in the first change in governing party and the replacement of President Donald RAMOTAR by current President David GRANGER


LocationNorthern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana
Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela
Geographic coordinates8 00 N, 66 00 W
5 00 N, 59 00 W
Map referencesSouth America
South America
Areatotal: 912,050 sq km
land: 882,050 sq km
water: 30,000 sq km
total: 214,969 sq km
land: 196,849 sq km
water: 18,120 sq km
Area - comparativealmost six times the size of Georgia; slightly more than twice the size of California
slightly smaller than Idaho
Land boundariestotal: 5,267 km
border countries (3): Brazil 2,137 km, Colombia 2,341 km, Guyana 789 km
total: 2,933 km
border countries (3): Brazil 1,308 km, Suriname 836 km, Venezuela 789 km
Coastline2,800 km
459 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 15 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the outer edge of the continental margin
Climatetropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands
tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons (May to August, November to January)
TerrainAndes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest; central plains (llanos); Guiana Highlands in southeast
mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 450 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Pico Bolivar 5,007 m
mean elevation: 207 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Roraima 2,835 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, bauxite, other minerals, hydropower, diamonds
bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish
Land useagricultural land: 24.5%
arable land 3.1%; permanent crops 0.8%; permanent pasture 20.6%
forest: 52.1%
other: 23.4% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 8.4%
arable land 2.1%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 6.2%
forest: 77.4%
other: 14.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land10,550 sq km (2012)
1,430 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardssubject to floods, rockslides, mudslides; periodic droughts
flash flood threat during rainy seasons
Environment - current issuessewage pollution of Lago de Valencia; oil and urban pollution of Lago de Maracaibo; deforestation; soil degradation; urban and industrial pollution, especially along the Caribbean coast; threat to the rainforest ecosystem from irresponsible mining operations
water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed but not ratified:: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - noteon major sea and air routes linking North and South America; Angel Falls in the Guiana Highlands is the world's highest waterfall
the third-smallest country in South America after Suriname and Uruguay; substantial portions of its western and eastern territories are claimed by Venezuela and Suriname respectively
Population distributionmost of the population is concentrated in the northern and western highlands along an eastern spur at the northern end of the Andes, an area that includes the capital of Caracas
population is heavily concentrated in the northeast in and around Georgetown, with noteable concentrations along the Berbice River to the east; the remainder of the country is sparsely populated


Population30,912,302 (July 2016 est.)
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 27.68% (male 4,385,415/female 4,170,160)
15-24 years: 17.27% (male 2,709,359/female 2,629,097)
25-54 years: 40.4% (male 6,182,604/female 6,304,876)
55-64 years: 7.84% (male 1,162,400/female 1,260,451)
65 years and over: 6.82% (male 952,627/female 1,155,313) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 27.12% (male 101,637/female 97,970)
15-24 years: 21.46% (male 81,017/female 76,912)
25-54 years: 37.73% (male 145,003/female 132,640)
55-64 years: 7.9% (male 26,195/female 31,924)
65 years and over: 5.79% (male 17,585/female 25,026) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 28 years
male: 27.3 years
female: 28.7 years (2016 est.)
total: 25.8 years
male: 25.5 years
female: 26.2 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate1.28% (2016 est.)
0.17% (2016 est.)
Birth rate19.2 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
15.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate5.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
7.4 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-1.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-6.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.82 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 12.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 13.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 31.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 35.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 27.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 75.8 years
male: 72.7 years
female: 78.9 years (2016 est.)
total population: 68.4 years
male: 65.4 years
female: 71.5 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.35 children born/woman (2016 est.)
2.04 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.55% (2015 est.)
1.5% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Venezuelan(s)
adjective: Venezuelan
noun: Guyanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Guyanese
Ethnic groupsSpanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, indigenous people
East Indian 39.8%, black (African) 29.3%, mixed 19.9%, Amerindian 10.5%, other 0.5% (includes Portuguese, Chinese, white) (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS107,300 (2015 est.)
7,800 (2015 est.)
Religionsnominally Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%
Protestant 34.8% (Pentecostal 22.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 5.4%, Anglican 5.2%, Methodist 1.4%), Hindu 24.8%, Roman Catholic 7.1%, Muslim 6.8%, Jehovah's Witness 1.3%, Rastafarian 0.5%, other Christian 20.8%, other 0.9%, none 3.1% (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths3,300 (2015 est.)
100 (2015 est.)
LanguagesSpanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects
English (official), Guyanese Creole, Amerindian languages (including Caribbean and Arawak languages), Indian languages (including Caribbean Hindustani, a dialect of Hindi), Chinese (2014 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.3%
male: 96.4%
female: 96.2% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 88.5%
male: 87.2%
female: 89.8% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 14 years
male: NA
female: NA (2009)
total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 10 years (2012)
Education expenditures6.9% of GDP (2009)
3.2% of GDP (2012)
Urbanizationurban population: 89% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.54% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 28.6% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.76% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 95% of population
rural: 77.9% of population
total: 93.1% of population
urban: 5% of population
rural: 22.1% of population
total: 6.9% of population (2015 est.)
urban: 98.2% of population
rural: 98.3% of population
total: 98.3% of population
urban: 1.8% of population
rural: 1.7% of population
total: 1.7% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 69.9% of population
total: 94.4% of population
urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 30.1% of population
total: 5.6% of population (2015 est.)
urban: 87.9% of population
rural: 82% of population
total: 83.7% of population
urban: 12.1% of population
rural: 18% of population
total: 16.3% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationCARACAS (capital) 2.916 million; Maracaibo 2.196 million; Valencia 1.734 million; Maracay 1.166 million; Barquisimeto 1.039 million (2015)
GEORGETOWN (capital) 124,000 (2014)
Maternal mortality rate95 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
229 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight2.9% (2009)
8.5% (2014)
Health expenditures5.3% of GDP (2014)
5.2% of GDP (2014)
Hospital bed density0.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
2 beds/1,000 population (2009)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate24.3% (2014)
21.9% (2014)
Demographic profile"Social investment in Venezuela during the CHAVEZ administration reduced poverty from nearly 50% in 1999 to about 27% in 2011, increased school enrollment, substantially decreased infant and child mortality, and improved access to potable water and sanitation through social investment. ""Missions"" dedicated to education, nutrition, healthcare, and sanitation were funded through petroleum revenues. The sustainability of this progress remains questionable, however, as the continuation of these social programs depends on the prosperity of Venezuela's oil industry. In the long-term, education and health care spending may increase economic growth and reduce income inequality, but rising costs and the staffing of new health care jobs with foreigners are slowing development.
While CHAVEZ was in power, more than one million predominantly middle- and upper-class Venezuelans are estimated to have emigrated. The brain drain is attributed to a repressive political system, lack of economic opportunities, steep inflation, a high crime rate, and corruption. Thousands of oil engineers emigrated to Canada, Colombia, and the United States following CHAVEZ's firing of over 20,000 employees of the state-owned petroleum company during a 2002-03 oil strike. Additionally, thousands of Venezuelans of European descent have taken up residence in their ancestral homelands. Nevertheless, Venezuela has attracted hundreds of thousands of immigrants from South America and southern Europe because of its lenient migration policy and the availability of education and health care. Venezuela also has been a fairly accommodating host to more than 200,000 Colombian refugees. However, since 2014, falling oil prices have driven a major economic crisis that has pushed Venezuelans from all walks of life to migrate or to seek asylum abroad to escape severe shortages of food, water, and medicine; soaring inflation; unemployment; and violence. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have migrated, often illegally, to Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Chile, Guyana, the Dominican Republic, or taken perilous journeys by raft to Aruba and Curacao. Asylum applications increased significantly in the US and Brazil in 2016 and 2017. Although several receiving countries are making efforts to increase immigration restrictions and to deport illegal Venezuelan migrants, Venezuelans continue to migrate to avoid economic collapse at home.
Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America and shares cultural and historical bonds with the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana's two largest ethnic groups are the Afro-Guyanese (descendants of African slaves) and the Indo-Guyanese (descendants of Indian indentured laborers), which together comprise about three quarters of Guyana's population. Tensions periodically have boiled over between the two groups, which back ethnically based political parties and vote along ethnic lines. Poverty reduction has stagnated since the late 1990s. About one-third of the Guyanese population lives below the poverty line; indigenous people are disproportionately affected. Although Guyana's literacy rate is reported to be among the highest in the Western Hemisphere, the level of functional literacy is considerably lower, which has been attributed to poor education quality, teacher training, and infrastructure.
Guyana's emigration rate is among the highest in the world - more than 55% of its citizens reside abroad - and it is one of the largest recipients of remittances relative to GDP among Latin American and Caribbean counties. Although remittances are a vital source of income for most citizens, the pervasive emigration of skilled workers deprives Guyana of professionals in healthcare and other key sectors. More than 80% of Guyanese nationals with tertiary level educations have emigrated. Brain drain and the concentration of limited medical resources in Georgetown hamper Guyana's ability to meet the health needs of its predominantly rural population. Guyana has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the region and continues to rely on international support for its HIV treatment and prevention programs.
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 52.4
youth dependency ratio: 42.8
elderly dependency ratio: 9.5
potential support ratio: 10.5 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 51.1
youth dependency ratio: 43.5
elderly dependency ratio: 7.6
potential support ratio: 13.2 (2015 est.)


Country name"conventional long form: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
conventional short form: Venezuela
local long form: Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela
local short form: Venezuela
etymology: native stilt-houses built on Lake Maracaibo reminded early explorers Alonso de OJEDA and Amerigo VESPUCCI in 1499 of buildings in Venice and so they named the region ""Venezuola,"" which in Italian means ""Little Venice""
"conventional long form: Cooperative Republic of Guyana
conventional short form: Guyana
former: British Guiana
etymology: the name is derived from Guiana, the original name for the region that included British Guiana, Dutch Guiana, and French Guiana; ultimately the word is derived from an indigenous Amerindian language and means ""Land of Many Waters"" (referring to the area's multitude of rivers and streams)
Government typefederal presidential republic
parliamentary republic
Capitalname: Caracas
geographic coordinates: 10 29 N, 66 52 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Georgetown
geographic coordinates: 6 48 N, 58 09 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions23 states (estados, singular - estado), 1 capital district* (distrito capital), and 1 federal dependency** (dependencia federal); Amazonas, Anzoategui, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolivar, Carabobo, Cojedes, Delta Amacuro, Dependencias Federales (Federal Dependencies)**, Distrito Capital (Capital District)*, Falcon, Guarico, Lara, Merida, Miranda, Monagas, Nueva Esparta, Portuguesa, Sucre, Tachira, Trujillo, Vargas, Yaracuy, Zulia
note: the federal dependency consists of 11 federally controlled island groups with a total of 72 individual islands
10 regions; Barima-Waini, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Demerara-Mahaica, East Berbice-Corentyne, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara, Mahaica-Berbice, Pomeroon-Supenaam, Potaro-Siparuni, Upper Demerara-Berbice, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo
Independence5 July 1811 (from Spain)
26 May 1966 (from the UK)
National holidayIndependence Day, 5 July (1811)
Republic Day, 23 February (1970)
Constitutionmany previous; latest adopted 15 December 1999, effective 30 December 1999; amended 2009 (2016)
several previous; latest promulgated 6 October 1980; amended many times, last in 2016; note - in 2017, Guyana's High Court reversed the constitutional two-term presidential limit (2017)
Legal systemcivil law system based on the Spanish civil code
common law system, based on the English model, with some Roman-Dutch civil law influence
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Nicolas MADURO Moros (since 19 April 2013); Executive Vice President Tareck EL AISSAMI (since 4 January 2017); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Nicolas MADURO Moros (since 19 April 2013); Executive Vice President Tareck EL AISSAMI (since 4 January 2017)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 6-year term (no term limits); election last held on 14 April 2013 - a special election held following the death of President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias on 5 March 2013 (next election expected in late 2018 or early 2019 pending official convocation by the country's electoral body)
election results: Nicolas MADURO Moros elected president; percent of vote - Nicolas MADURO Moros (PSUV) 50.6%, Henrique CAPRILES Radonski (PJ) 49.1%, other 0.3%
chief of state: President David GRANGER (since 16 May 2015); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President David GRANGER (since 16 May 2015)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president, responsible to the National Assembly
elections/appointments: the designated leader of the party winning the majority of votes in the last National Assembly election becomes president for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 11 May 2015 (next to be held no later than 2020); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: David GRANGER (APNU-AFC) designated by the majority party in the National Assembly
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (167 seats; 113 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 51 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote, and 3 seats reserved for indigenous peoples of Venezuela; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 6 December 2015 (next expected to be held in 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - MUD (opposition coalition) 56.3%, PSUV (pro-government) 40.9%, other 2.8%; seats by party - MUD 112, PSUV 55
description: unicameral National Assembly (65 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies and a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 11 May 2015 (next to be held by May 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - APNU-AFC 50.3%, PPP/C 49.19%, other 0.51%; seats by party - APNU-AFC 33, PPP/C 32
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Tribunal of Justice (consists of 32 judges organized into 6 divisions - constitutional, political administrative, electoral, civil appeals, criminal appeals, and social (mainly agrarian and labor issues)
judge selection and term of office: judges proposed by the Committee of Judicial Postulation (an independent body of organizations dealing with legal issues and of the organs of citizen power) and appointed by the National Assembly; judges serve non-renewable 12-year terms
subordinate courts: Superior or Appeals Courts (Tribunales Superiores); District Tribunals (Tribunales de Distrito); Courts of First Instance (Tribunales de Primera Instancia); Parish Courts (Tribunales de Parroquia); Justices of the Peace (Justicia de Paz) Network
highest court(s): Supreme Court of Judicature (consists of the Court of Appeal with a chief justice and 3 justices, and the High Court with a chief justice and 10 justices organized into 3- or 5-judge panels); note - in 2009, Guyana ceased final appeals in civil and criminal cases to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London), replacing it with the Caribbean Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the Caribbean Community
judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and High Court chief justices appointed by the president; other judges of both courts appointed by the Judicial Service Commission, a body appointed by the president; judges appointed for life with retirement at age 65
subordinate courts: Land Court; magistrates' courts
Political parties and leadersA New Time or UNT [Manuel ROSALES]
Brave People's Alliance or ABP [Richard BLANCO]
Christian Democrats or COPEI [Roberto ENRIQUEZ]
Coalition of opposition parties -- The Democratic Unity Table or MUD [Jose Luis CARTAYA]
Communist Party of Venezuela or PCV [Oscar FIGUERA]
Democratic Action or AD [Henry RAMOS ALLUP]
Fatherland for All or PPT [Rafael UZCATEGUI]
For Social Democracy or PODEMOS [Didalco Antonio BOLIVAR GRATEROL]
Justice First or PJ [Julio BORGES]
Movement Toward Socialism or MAS [Segundo MELENDEZ]
Popular Will or VP [Leopoldo LOPEZ]
Progressive Wave or AP [Henri FALCON]
The Radical Cause or La Causa R [Americo DE GRAZIA]
United Socialist Party of Venezuela or PSUV [Nicolas MADURO]
Venezuelan Progressive Movement or MPV [Simon CALZADILLA]
Venezuela Project or PV [Henrique Fernando SALAS FEO]
A Partnership for National Unity or APNU [David A. GRANGER]
Alliance for Change or AFC [Raphael TROTMAN]
Justice for All Party [C.N. SHARMA]
National Independent Party or NIP [Saphier Husain SUBEDAR]
People's Progressive Party/Civic or PPP/C [Donald RAMOTAR]
The United Force or TUF [Manzoor NADIR]
United Republican Party or URP [Vishnu BANDHU]
Political pressure groups and leadersBolivarian and Socialist Workers' Union (a ruling-party-oriented organized labor union)
Confederacion Venezolana de Industriales or Coindustria (a conservative business group)
Consejos Comunales (pro-government local communal councils)
Federation of Chambers and Associations of Commerce and Production of Venezuela or FEDECAMARAS (a conservative business group)
Union of Oil Workers of Venezuela or FUTPV
Venezuelan Confederation of Workers or CTV (opposition-oriented labor organization)
other: various civil society groups and human rights organizations
Amerindian People's Association
Guyana Bar Association
Guyana Citizens Initiative
Guyana Human Rights Association
Guyana Public Service Union or GPSU
Guyana Trans United
Private Sector Commission
Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination or SASOD
Trades Union Congress
International organization participationCaricom (observer), CD, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, LAS (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, Petrocaribe, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant) (since July 2014); Charge d'Affaires Carlos Julio RON Mart?nez (since February 2017)
chancery: 1099 30th Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 342-2214
FAX: [1] (202) 342-6820
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
chief of mission: Ambassador Riyad INSANALLY (since 16 Sept 2016)
chancery: 2490 Tracy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-6900
FAX: [1] (202) 232-1297
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Lee MCCLENNY (July 2014)
embassy: Calle F con Calle Suapure, Urbanizacion Colinas de Valle Arriba, Caracas 1080
mailing address: P. O. Box 62291, Caracas 1060-A; APO AA 34037
telephone: [58] (212) 975-6411, 907-8400 (after hours)
FAX: [58] (212) 907-8199
chief of mission: Ambassador Perry L. HOLLOWAY (since 2 October 2015)
embassy: US Embassy, 100 Young and Duke Streets, Kingston, Georgetown
mailing address: P. O. Box 10507, Georgetown; US Embassy, 3170 Georgetown Place, Washington DC 20521-3170
telephone: [592] 225-4900 through 4909
FAX: [592] 225-8497
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), blue, and red with the coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band and an arc of eight white five-pointed stars centered in the blue band; the flag retains the three equal horizontal bands and three main colors of the banner of Gran Colombia, the South American republic that broke up in 1830; yellow is interpreted as standing for the riches of the land, blue for the courage of its people, and red for the blood shed in attaining independence; the seven stars on the original flag represented the seven provinces in Venezuela that united in the war of independence; in 2006, then President Hugo CHAVEZ ordered an eighth star added to the star arc - a decision that sparked much controversy - to conform with the flag proclaimed by Simon Bolivar in 1827 and to represent the historic province of Guayana
green with a red isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) superimposed on a long, yellow arrowhead; there is a narrow, black border between the red and yellow, and a narrow, white border between the yellow and the green; green represents forest and foliage; yellow stands for mineral resources and a bright future; white symbolizes Guyana's rivers; red signifies zeal and the sacrifice of the people; black indicates perseverance
National anthem"name: ""Gloria al bravo pueblo"" (Glory to the Brave People)
lyrics/music: Vicente SALIAS/Juan Jose LANDAETA
note: adopted 1881; lyrics written in 1810, the music some years later; both SALIAS and LANDAETA were executed in 1814 during Venezuela's struggle for independence
"name: ""Dear Land of Guyana, of Rivers and Plains""
lyrics/music: Archibald Leonard LUKERL/Robert Cyril Gladstone POTTER
note: adopted 1966
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCT jurisdiction
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)troupial (bird); national colors: yellow, blue, red
Canje pheasant (hoatzin), jaguar, Victoria Regia water lily; national colors: red, yellow, green, black, white
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: na


Economy - overviewVenezuela remains highly dependent on oil revenues, which account for almost all export earnings and nearly half of the government’s revenue. In 2016, GDP contracted 10%, inflation hit 720%, people faced widespread shortages of consumer goods, and central bank international reserves dwindled. On the other hand, Venezuela managed to pay down its external debt and narrow its current account deficit. Domestic production and industry continues to severely underperform and the Venezuelan government continues to rely on imports to meet its basic food and consumer goods needs.

Falling oil prices since 2014 have aggravated Venezuela’s economic crisis. Insufficient access to dollars, price controls, and rigid labor regulations have led some US and multinational firms to reduce or shut down their Venezuelan operations. Market uncertainty and state oil company PDVSA’s poor cash flow have slowed investment in the petroleum sector, resulting in a decline in oil production.

Under President Nicolas MADURO, the Venezuelan Government’s response to the economic crisis has been to increase state control over the economy and blame the private sector for the shortages. MADURO has ceded increasing authority for the production and distribution of scarce goods to the military and to local socialist party member committees. The Venezuelan Government has maintained strict currency controls since 2003. On 17 February 2016, the Venezuelan Government announced a change from three official currency exchange mechanisms to only two official rates for the sale of dollars to private-sector firms and individuals, with rates based on the government's import priorities. The official exchange rate used for food and medicine imports was devalued to 10 bolivars per dollar from 6.3 bolivars per dollar. The second rate moved to a managed float. These currency controls present significant obstacles to trade with Venezuela because importers cannot obtain sufficient dollars to purchase goods needed to maintain their operations. Meting out access to the multiple exchange rates has created opportunities for arbitrage and corruption. MADURO has used decree powers to enact legislation to deepen the state’s role as the primary buyer and distributor of imports, further tighten currency controls, cap business profits, and extend price controls.
The Guyanese economy exhibited moderate economic growth in recent years and is based largely on agriculture and extractive industries. The economy is heavily dependent upon the export of six commodities - sugar, gold, bauxite, shrimp, timber, and rice - which represent nearly 60% of the country's GDP and are highly susceptible to adverse weather conditions and fluctuations in commodity prices. Much of Guyana's growth in recent years has come from a surge in gold production in response to global prices, although downward trends in gold prices may threaten future growth. In 2014, production of sugar dropped to a 24-year low.

Guyana's entrance into the Caricom Single Market and Economy in January 2006 broadened the country's export market, primarily in the raw materials sector. Guyana has experienced positive growth almost every year over the past decade. Inflation has been kept under control. Recent years have seen the government's stock of debt reduced significantly - with external debt now less than half of what it was in the early 1990s. Despite recent improvements, the government is still juggling a sizable external debt against the urgent need for expanded public investment. In March 2007, the Inter-American Development Bank, Guyana's principal donor, canceled Guyana's nearly $470 million debt, equivalent to 21% of GDP, which along with other Highly Indebted Poor Country debt forgiveness, brought the debt-to-GDP ratio down from 183% in 2006 to 67% in 2015. Guyana had become heavily indebted as a result of the inward-looking, state-led development model pursued in the 1970s and 1980s.

Chronic problems include a shortage of skilled labor and a deficient infrastructure.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$468.6 billion (2016 est.)
$520.7 billion (2015 est.)
$555.2 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$6.051 billion (2016 est.)
$5.857 billion (2015 est.)
$5.675 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate-10% (2016 est.)
-6.2% (2015 est.)
-3.9% (2014 est.)
3.3% (2016 est.)
3.2% (2015 est.)
3.8% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$15,100 (2016 est.)
$17,000 (2015 est.)
$18,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$7,900 (2016 est.)
$7,600 (2015 est.)
$7,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 4%
industry: 36.1%
services: 59.9% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 20.6%
industry: 33.1%
services: 46.3% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line19.7% (2015 est.)
35% (2006 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 32.7% (2006)
lowest 10%: 1.3%
highest 10%: 33.8% (1999)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)720% (2016 est.)
121.7% (2015 est.)
0.8% (2016 est.)
-0.9% (2015 est.)
Labor force14.12 million (April 2016 est.)
313,800 (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 7.3%
industry: 21.8%
services: 70.9% (4th quarter, 2011)
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate10.5% (2016 est.)
6.8% (2015 est.)
11.1% (2013)
11.3% (2012)
Distribution of family income - Gini index39 (2011)
49.5 (1998)
44.6 (2007)
43.2 (1999)
Budgetrevenues: $95.62 billion
expenditures: $228.8 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $899.8 million
expenditures: $1.036 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesagricultural products, livestock, raw materials, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, construction materials, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, iron and steel products, crude oil and petroleum products
bauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, textiles, gold mining
Industrial production growth rate-8% (2016 est.)
12% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscorn, sorghum, sugarcane, rice, bananas, vegetables, coffee; beef, pork, milk, eggs; fish
sugarcane, rice, edible oils; beef, pork, poultry; shrimp, fish
Exports$28.07 billion (2016 est.)
$38.45 billion (2015 est.)
$1.15 billion (2016 est.)
$1.17 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum and petroleum products, bauxite and aluminum, minerals, chemicals, agricultural products
sugar, gold, bauxite, alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses, rum, timber
Exports - partnersUS 24.5%, China 14.1%, Colombia 10.8%, Netherlands 9.3%, Brazil 6.8%, Cuba 4.2% (2015)
US 33.4%, Canada 17.9%, UK 6.7%, Ukraine 4.3%, Jamaica 4% (2015)
Imports$27.13 billion (2016 est.)
$36.46 billion (2015 est.)
$1.44 billion (2016 est.)
$1.475 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesagricultural products, livestock, raw materials, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, construction materials, medical equipment, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, iron and steel products
manufactures, machinery, petroleum, food
Imports - partnersUS 24%, China 18.3%, Brazil 8.9%, Colombia 5.1%, Mexico 4.4%, Argentina 4% (2015)
US 24.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 24.3%, China 10.8%, Suriname 9.5% (2015)
Debt - external$91.99 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$101.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.303 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.974 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Exchange ratesbolivars (VEB) per US dollar -
56.57 (2016 est.)
13.72 (2015 est.)
13.72 (2014 est.)
6.284 (2013 est.)
4.29 (2012 est.)
Guyanese dollars (GYD) per US dollar -
206.6 (2016 est.)
206.5 (2015 est.)
206.5 (2014 est.)
206.45 (2013 est.)
204.36 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt36.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
49.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover central government debt, as well as the debt of state-owned oil company PDVSA; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include some debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; some debt instruments for the social funds are sold at public auctions
53.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
48.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$10.43 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$16.37 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$547.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$600.9 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$6.942 billion (2016 est.)
-$20.36 billion (2015 est.)
$120 million (2016 est.)
-$181 million (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$333.7 billion (2016 est.)
$3.456 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$25.3 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$5.143 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$3.991 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$610.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$440.4 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$339.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Central bank discount rate29.5% (2015)

5.5% (31 December 2011)
4.25% (31 December 2010)
Commercial bank prime lending rate22.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
19.4% (31 December 2015 est.)
13% (31 December 2016 est.)
12.83% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$260.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$331.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.566 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.492 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$216.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$273.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$677.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$631 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$360 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$196 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.621 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.62 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues28.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
26% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-39.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
-3.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 71.1%
government consumption: 18.8%
investment in fixed capital: 16.7%
investment in inventories: 1.4%
exports of goods and services: 5.6%
imports of goods and services: -13.6% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 82.2%
government consumption: 19.7%
investment in fixed capital: 25.9%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 47.9%
imports of goods and services: -75.7% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving24.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
40% of GDP (2015 est.)
9.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
18.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
8.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
5.6% of GDP (2014 est.)


Electricity - production124 billion kWh (2014 est.)
1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption78 billion kWh (2014 est.)
800 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports705 million kWh (2012 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports700 million kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Oil - production2.5 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports1.548 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves300 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves5.617 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Natural gas - production21.88 billion cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption23.72 billion cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports1.839 billion cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity31 million kW (2014 est.)
400,000 kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels44.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
96.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants55.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
3.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production999,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption776,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
13,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports390,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports41,530 bbl/day (2013 est.)
13,250 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy188 million Mt (2013 est.)
1.7 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 100,000
electrification - total population: 99.7%
electrification - urban areas: 99.8%
electrification - rural areas: 98.6% (2013)
population without electricity: 154,540
electrification - total population: 79%
electrification - urban areas: 91%
electrification - rural areas: 75% (2012)


Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 7,780,096
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 27 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 154,057
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 21 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 29.094 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 99 (July 2015 est.)
total: 543,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 74 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: modern and expanding
domestic: 2 domestic satellite systems with 3 earth stations; recent substantial improvement in telephone service in rural areas; substantial increase in digitalization of exchanges and trunk lines; installation of a national interurban fiber-optic network capable of digital multimedia services; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership about 125 per 100 persons
international: country code - 58; submarine cable systems provide connectivity to Cuba and the Caribbean, Central and South America, and US; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 PanAmSat; participating with Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia in the construction of an international fiber-optic network (2013)
general assessment: reliable international long distance service; 100% digital network; national transmission supported by fiber optic cable and rural network by microwaves; more than 150,000 lines; many areas still lack fixed-line telephone services
domestic: fixed-line teledensity is about 20 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity about 75 per 100 persons
international: country code - 592; SIP trunking to most providers; international calls via diverse fiber optic cables; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2017)
Internet country code.ve
Internet userstotal: 18.113 million
percent of population: 61.9% (July 2015 est.)
total: 281,000
percent of population: 38.2% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediagovernment supervises a mixture of state-run and private broadcast media; 13 public service networks, 61 privately owned TV networks, a privately owned news channel with limited national coverage, and a government-backed Pan-American channel; state-run radio network includes roughly 65 news stations and another 30 stations targeted at specific audiences; state-sponsored community broadcasters include 235 radio stations and 44 TV stations; the number of private broadcast radio stations has been declining, but many still remain in operation (2014)
government-dominated broadcast media; the National Communications Network (NCN) TV is state-owned; a few private TV stations relay satellite services; the state owns and operates 2 radio stations broadcasting on multiple frequencies capable of reaching the entire country; government limits on licensing of new private radio stations has constrained competition in broadcast media (2017)


Roadwaystotal: 96,189 km (2014)
total: 7,970 km
paved: 590 km
unpaved: 7,380 km (2001)
Waterways7,100 km (Orinoco River (400 km) and Lake de Maracaibo navigable by oceangoing vessels) (2011)
330 km (the Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo Rivers are navigable by oceangoing vessels for 150 km, 100 km, and 80 km respectively) (2012)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): La Guaira, Maracaibo, Puerto Cabello, Punta Cardon
oil terminal(s): Jose terminal
major seaport(s): Georgetown
Merchant marinetotal: 53
by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 12, chemical tanker 1, liquefied gas 5, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 14, petroleum tanker 16
foreign-owned: 9 (Denmark 1, Estonia 1, Germany 1, Greece 4, Mexico 1, Spain 1)
registered in other countries: 14 (Panama 13, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2010)
total: 10
by type: cargo 7, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 1
registered in other countries: 3 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2, unknown 1) (2010)
Airports444 (2013)
117 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 127
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 33
914 to 1,523 m: 62
under 914 m: 17 (2013)
total: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 8 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 317
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 57
914 to 1,523 m: 127
under 914 m: 130 (2013)
total: 106
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 16
under 914 m: 89 (2013)


Military branchesBolivarian National Armed Forces (Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana, FANB): Bolivarian Army (Ejercito Bolivariano, EB), Bolivarian Navy (Armada Bolivariana, AB; includes Naval Infantry, Coast Guard, Naval Aviation), Bolivarian Military Aviation (Aviacion Militar Bolivariana, AMB; includes Air National Guard), Bolivarian National Guard (Guardia Nacional Bolivaria, GNB), Bolivarian Militia (Milicia Bolivariana, NMB) (2016)
Guyana Defense Force: Army (includes Air Corps, Coast Guard) (2012)
Military service age and obligationall citizens of military service age (18-60 years old) are obligated to register for military service, though mandatory recruitment is forbidden; the minimum service obligation is 12 months (2016)
18 years of age or older for voluntary military service; no conscription (2014)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP1% of GDP (2015)
1.16% of GDP (2014)
1.43% of GDP (2013)
1.3% of GDP (2012)
0.75% of GDP (2011)
1.43% of GDP (2015)
1.28% of GDP (2014)
1.18% of GDP (2013)
1.18% of GDP (2012)
1.26% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - internationalclaims all of the area west of the Essequibo River in Guyana, preventing any discussion of a maritime boundary; Guyana has expressed its intention to join Barbados in asserting claims before the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea that Trinidad and Tobago's maritime boundary with Venezuela extends into their waters; dispute with Colombia over maritime boundary and Venezuelan administered Los Monjes Islands near the Gulf of Venezuela; Colombian organized illegal narcotics and paramilitary activities penetrate Venezuela's shared border region; US, France, and the Netherlands recognize Venezuela's granting full effect to Aves Island, thereby claiming a Venezuelan Economic Exclusion Zone/continental shelf extending over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea; Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines protest Venezuela's full effect claim
all of the area west of the Essequibo River is claimed by Venezuela preventing any discussion of a maritime boundary; Guyana has expressed its intention to join Barbados in asserting claims before UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that Trinidad and Tobago's maritime boundary with Venezuela extends into their waters; Suriname claims a triangle of land between the New and Kutari/Koetari Rivers in a historic dispute over the headwaters of the Courantyne
Illicit drugssmall-scale illicit producer of opium and coca for the processing of opiates and coca derivatives; however, large quantities of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana transit the country from Colombia bound for US and Europe; significant narcotics-related money-laundering activity, especially along the border with Colombia and on Margarita Island; active eradication program primarily targeting opium; increasing signs of drug-related activities by Colombian insurgents on border
transshipment point for narcotics from South America - primarily Venezuela - to Europe and the US; producer of cannabis; rising money laundering related to drug trafficking and human smuggling
Trafficking in personscurrent situation: Venezuela is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; Venezuelan women and girls, sometimes lured from poor interior regions to urban and tourist areas, are trafficked for sexual exploitation within the country, as well as in the Caribbean; Venezuelan children are exploited, frequently by their families, in domestic servitude; people from South America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa are sex and labor trafficking victims in Venezuela; thousands of Cuban citizens, particularly doctors, who work in Venezuela on government social programs in exchange for the provision of resources to the Cuban Government experience conditions of forced labor
tier rating: Tier 3 – Venezuela does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, the government appeared to increase efforts to hold traffickers criminally accountable, but a lack of government data made anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts difficult to assess; publically available information indicated many cases pursued under anti-trafficking law involved illegal adoption rather than sex and labor trafficking; authorities identified a small number of trafficking victims, and victim referrals to limited government services were made on an ad hoc basis; because no specialized facilities are available for trafficking victims, women and child victims accessed centers for victims of domestic violence or at-risk youth, and services for men were virtually non-existent; NGOs provided some services to sex and labor trafficking victims; Venezuela has no permanent anti-trafficking interagency body, no national anti-trafficking plan, and still has not passed anti-trafficking legislation drafted in 2010 (2015)
current situation: Guyana is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor – children are particularly vulnerable; women and girls from Guyana, Venezuela, Suriname, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic are forced into prostitution in Guyana’s interior mining communities and urban areas; forced labor is reported in mining, agriculture, forestry, domestic service, and shops; Guyanese nationals are also trafficked to Suriname, Jamaica, and other Caribbean countries for sexual exploitation and forced labor
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Guyana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Guyana was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; the government released its anti-trafficking action plan in June 2014 but made uneven efforts to implement it; law enforcement was weak, investigating seven trafficking cases, prosecuting four alleged traffickers, and convicting one trafficker – a police officer – who was released on bail pending appeal; in 2014, as in previous years, Guyanese courts dismissed the majority of ongoing trafficking prosecutions; the government referred some victims to care services, which were provided by NGOs with little or no government support (2015)

Source: CIA Factbook