Guinea Bissau unilaterally declared its independence from Portugal in September 1973, but didn't gain it wasn't universally recognised for another seven months, following a military coup.
The country has one of the world's lowest per-capital GDPs in the world, and political instability in the country has led to deterioration of infrastructure and the economy.
More than two-thirds of Bissau Guineans live below the poverty line, and the country has one of the lowest Human Development Indexes in the world.
Following the death of President Malam Bacai Sanhá in 2012, his Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Júnior declared himself candidate and ran for the presidency. Guinea Bissau has had, on average, one Prime Minister per year for the past decade.
The population showed apathy during the elections; a feeling of lacklustre based on the cycle of coups and military rule. Candidates paid "supporters" to come to their rallies.
The 2012 presidential elections were hastily organised, required by the constitution to take place within 60 days of Sanhá's death.
The European Union did not send an electoral monitoring team, partly because they were busy with Senegal's elections that were taking place around the same time. The United Kingdom sent a team of electoral observers to a country that, prior to which, had not been mentioned in the Houses of Parliament since the end of the 19th century.
Turn-out for the hastily organised elections was 55%.
Carlos Gomes Júnior took just under 49% of the vote, forcing a second-round run-off. A military coup, which involved Júnior and the second-placed candidate Kumba Yalá being arrested, prevented the run-off from taking place.
Kumba Yála was president of the country from 2000 until 2003, when he was ousted in a military coup. He ran again for the 2012 elections.
The European Union embassy compound became a safe-house for politicians fearing assassination, who fled there.
The presidential palace stands derelict after being shot at and set alight during the country's civil war in 1999.
Much of the capital, Bissau, is crumbling, with little investment and few opportunities.
Guinea Bissau consists of many islands, both inhabited and uninhabited, which provide a poorly surveilled drop-off point for the trans-Atlantic drug trade.
In 2011, locals living along this road claim that the army shut it off at night and used it as an impromptu runway, where they landed an aircraft, from which they unloaded kilos of "white sacks", presumed to be cocaine.
Guinea Bissau's military holds a strong grip over the country, and is "top-heavy", with a greater number of higher ranks than lower. The army offers no pension, and so officers stay in it in order to still draw a wage.
Thousands upon thousands of rounds of rusting munition still litter the country; remnants of the civil war and bolstered by ex-Soviet Bloc countries unloading their old weapons and munitions on third-world countries.
As much as 98% of the country's GDP is attributed to the cashew nut. Women generally have the job of harvesting the nut, which is almost all sold for export. Guinea Bissau does not have the capacity to commercially process cashews in-country.
The cashew grows beneath a fruit, the juice of which can be easily—and quickly—fermented into alcohol. Men like Carlos spend much of their day brewing, and subsequently drinking, this liquor.
The cashew "wine" is widely available throughout the country, sold in old beer bottles and providing a cheap moonshine for populations.
The reliance on the cashew, and the alcohol side-product, has meant that much of the country's subsistence agriculture has fallen into decay. Guinea Bissau used to produce enough rice to export its surplus; it is now an importer of rice. Dykes—critical to rice cultivation in the mangroves of the coast—have fallen into disrepair and the paddy fields have run dry.
Guinea-Bissau has one of the worst public health sectors in the world, with little government funding.
Men sit outside a "dodgems" ride, during one of relatively few periods of electricity at one of the only leisure attractions in the city.
People stand around a monument in Praça dos Heróis Nacionais (National Heroes Square) - a communist monument transformed on independence - at dusk.
Guinea Bissau's future is uncertain. Following the April 2012 coup, the military rule the country, and some of the top ranking military are wanted for drug trafficking.