Guyana is a sovereign state on the Caribbean coast of South America. Although Guyana is part of the Anglophone Caribbean, it is one of the few Caribbean countries that are part of South America. Colonised by the Netherlands, it became a British colony, known as British Guiana, and remained so for over 150 years until it achieved independence on 26 May 1966. On 23 February 1970, Guyana officially became a republic. In 2008, the country joined the Union of South American Nations as a founding member.