March 16, 1979 • 0137 • State-Georgetown • 64189

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1979STATE064189_e.html.]

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STATE 064189
ORIGIN H-02
INFO OCT-01 ARA-11 ISO-00 SSO-00 SS-15 L-03 /032 R
DRAFTED BY GEORGE BERDES:HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
APPROVED BY ARA:BRANDON GROVE
——————051148 160155Z /62

O 160137Z MAR 79
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN IMMEDIATE
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E.O. 12065 N/A
TAGS: PINS, PINT, GY
SUBJECT: VISIT OF HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE STAFF

1. PLEASE DELIVER TO THE PRIME MINISTER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE THE FOLLOWING RESPONSE TO THE GUYANESE GOVERNMENT FROM CHAIRMAN ZABLOCKI.

2. BEGIN TEXT: DEAR MR. PRIME MINISTER: THIS IS TO ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF MR. H. E. DYETT’S RESPONSE OF MARCH 13TH TO MY LETTER TO YOU OF MARCH 2. PLEASE BE ASSURED THAT I APPRECIATE YOUR MOST THOUGHTFUL SUGGESTION THAT I MAY WISH TO RECONSIDER THE NECESSITY OF MY ORIGINAL REQUEST. UNFORTUNATELY, I REGRET THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO DO SO FOR REASONS OUTLINED BELOW. I DEEPLY APPRECIATE YOUR GOVERNMENT’S REAFFIRMED PLEDGE OF FULL COOPERATION WITH THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS INVESTIGATION INTO THE DEATH OF REP. LEO J. RYAN AND THE RESULTING EVENTS AT JONESTOWN ON NOVEMBER 18, 1978.

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ALSO TO BE COMMENDED IS YOUR GOVERNMENT’S DECISION TO BEGIN A JUDICIAL INQUIRY OF THIS TRAGEDY. AS YOU KNOW, HOWEVER, OUR OWN INVESTIGATION HAS BEEN UNDER WAY SINCE NOVEMBER 21, 1978 AND THE INVESTIGATION GROUP’S VISIT TO GUYANA IS THE LAST PHASE OF THAT EFFORT. GIVEN THE ENORMITY OF THE EVENTS OF NOVEMBER 18, 1978 WHICH YOU SO APTLY DESCRIBED AS QUOTE THE GREATEST SINGLE TRAGEDY THAT HAS EVER OCCURRED IN THE HISTORY OF GUYANA, UNQUOTE IT IS URGENT THAT THE INVESTIGATION BE COMPLETED IN A TIMELY AND COMPLETE FASHION. SURELY, PROSPECT OF DELAY OR INCOMPLETENESS IS ONE WHICH THE U.S. CONGRESS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WOULD FIND DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND.

THE SUGGESTION TO EXCHANGE OUR RESPECTIVE INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS IS CERTAINLY ACCEPTABLE. AT THE SAME TIME, I AM COMPELLED TO RESPECTFULLY REITERATE MY FIRM BELIEF THAT A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION STILL REQUIRES THAT OUR INVESTIGATORS TALK WITH OFFICIALS IN GUYANA WHO CAN HELP THE COMMITTEE COMPLETE ITS INVESTIGATION. WHILE I UNDERSTAND THE LEGAL IMPORT OF THE FACT THAT THOSE OFFICIALS MAY BE REQUIRED TO TESTIFY BEFORE YOUR OWN INQUIRY I AM DEEPLY CONCERNED THAT THE LACK OF INFORMATION THAT THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO PROVIDE TO THE COMMITTEE WOULD LEAVE A CONSPICUOUS VOID IN THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE’S INVESTIGATION.

ACCORDINGLY, I HAVE DIRECTED THE STAFF INVESTIGATIVE GROUP OF THIS COMMITTEE TO VISIT GUYANA THE WEEK OF MARCH 18 FOR THE PURPOSE OF INTERVIEWING U.S. EMBASSY PERSONNEL AND OTHERS. YOUR KIND COOPERATION IN MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR THE GROUP TO COME TO GUYANA IS DEEPLY APPRECIATED.

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WITH BEST WISHES, I AM,
SINCERELY YOURS,
CLEMENT J. ZABLOCKI
CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS

VANCE

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Originally posted on October 23rd, 2020.

Last modified on November 15th, 2020.
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