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Revenue Issue of 1976 Overprinted "ESSEQUIBO IS OURS"

Revenue Stamp Overprinted for Postal Use
On the left is a 1976 Guyana Revenue and on the right a
Revenue surcharged and overprinted for postal use in 1981.

The Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue notes that starting in the spring of 1981 there were as many as seven agencies producing postage stamps for Guyana at the same time. Numerous surcharged and overprinted stamps were issued and used in the ensuing years.

Amongst those issues was a set of five stamps that Scott indicates was issued on May 11, 1981. These were revenue stamps from a 1976 issue overprinted "ESSEQUIBO IS OURS" and surcharged with new values. Stanley Gibbons Stamps of the World indicates that eventually at least 39 stamps of this design were issued.

A dispute with Venezuela over the resource rich and relatively unexplored territory west of the Essequibo River (2/3's of Guyana's land area) dates back to the nineteenth century. In 1970 a protocol was signed in Port of Spain in which Venezuela agreed not to pursue its claims for twelve years. In 1981 the Venezuelans indicated that they did not intend to renew the agreement. These stamps were part of a propaganda war. Although the dispute continued, Venezuela refrained from asserting its claim by force.

Venezuelan stamp showing territorial claims
In 1970-1971 Venezuela issued fourteen stamps
depicting maps justifying its territorial claims against Guyana.


British Commonwealth Revenues. York: J. Barefoot Ltd., 2000.

Mackay, James. Collecting Stamps. Glasgow: HarperCollins, 1999.

"Guyana." Stanley Gibbons Stamps of the World 2002. 2001.

"Guyana." Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. 1997.

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