March 2, 1979 • 1252 • Georgetown-State • 0923

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1979GEORGE00923_e.html.]

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GEORGE 00923 040936Z
ACTION ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 PM-05 NSC-05 SP-02 SS-15 CIAE-00 DODE-00 INR-10 NSAE-00 PA-01 ICA-11 AID-05 SSC-01 /071 W
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R 021252Z MAR 69
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9093
INFO AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
AMEMBASSY PARAMARIBO
AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE GEORGETOWN 0923

E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: PINR, GY
SUBJ: SHIRLEY FIELD-RIDLEY RESIGNS
REF: GEORGETOWN 0734

1. MINISTER OF INFORMATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS SHIRLEY FIELD-RIDLEY, ANNOUNCED HER RESIGNATION OF FEBRUARY 27, 1979 TO TAKE EFFECT ON MARCH 1, 1979. IN A LENGTHY LETTER OF RESIGNATION SHE EXPRESSED HER “VERY, VERY GREAT REGRET” AT BEING OBLIGED BY PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES TO ADOLESCENT CHILDREN TO GIVE UP HER PORTFOLIO. SHE HAS BEEN A MINISTER FOR TEN YEARS. MRS. FIELD-RIDLEY INDICATED THAT SHE WILL CONTINUE TO SERVE AS A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND AS FIRST VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE WOMEN’S REVOLUTIONARY SOCIALIST MOVEMENT.

2. FRANK CAMPBELL, (REFTEL) FORMER AMBASSADOR TO CUBA, WILL ASSUME MRS. FIELD-RIDLEY’S RESPONSIBILITIES, BUT THE POSITION HAS LOST ITS CABINET STATUS. CAMPBELL, A JOURNALIST BEFORE HE WAS NAMED AMBASSADOR TO CUBA, WILL BE MINISTER

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OF STATE RESPONSIBLE FOR INFORMATION IN THE MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, WHICH IS HEADED BY DEPPRIMIN PTOLEMY REID.

3. COMMENT: MRS. FIELD-RIDLEY, WHOSE HUSBAND IS MINISTER OF HEALTH, HOUSING AND LABOR HAMILTON GREEN,(HER FORMER HUSBAND IS FORMIN P.J. PATTERSON OF JAMAICA), HAS MENTIONED THE DIFFICULTIES OF DEVOTING SUFFICIENT TIME TO HER FAMILY SEVERAL TIMES INTHE PAST YEAR. AT THE SAME TIME, HOWEVER, THERE HAS BEEN HIGH LEVEL DISSATISFACTION WITH HER HANDLING OF THE LOCAL MEDIA. REPORTEDLY THERE HAVE ALSO BEEN FREQUENT CLASHES BETWEEN HERSELF AND THE DEPPRIMIN OVER THE REGIME’S INFORMATION POLICY AND RUMORS OF HER IMPENDING DISMISSAL HAVE CIRCULATED SINCE LAST FALL. THE JONESTOWN TRAGEDY AND THE OBVIOUS EMBARRASSMENT OF REPLACING HER WHILE INTERNATIONAL PRESS ATTENTION WAS FOCUSED ON GUYANA PROBABALY EXPLAIN THE REPRIEVE. HER DEPARTURE AND THE PLACING OF THE INFORMATING FUNCTION UNDER REID PROBABLY SIGNALS AN INCREASE IN THE IDEOLOGICAL CONTENT OF THE OUTPUT OF THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED MEDIA.

BURKE

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Originally posted on October 22nd, 2020.

Last modified on November 15th, 2020.
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