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Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 A.D. Guyana had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to black settlement of urban areas and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations. This ethnocultural divide has persisted and has led to turbulent politics. Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966 A.D., and since then it has been ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments. In 1992 A.D., Cheddi Jagan was elected president in what is considered the country's first free and fair election since independence. English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), and Urdu are spoken.