July 24, 1979 • 1924 • Georgetown-State • 3273

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1979GEORGE03273_e.html.]

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ACTION ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 ADS-00 PM-05 NSC-05 SP-02 SS-15 CIAE-00 DODE-00 INR-10 NSAE-00 PA-01 ICA-11 /065 W
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R 241924Z JUL 79
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 157
INFO AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
AMEMBASSY PARAMARIBO
AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN
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EO 12065: NA
TAGS: PINS, MILI, GY
SUBJ: ANOTHER “YAM VINE”
REF: A) GEORGETOWN 2567, B) GEORGETOWN 3123

1. ANOTHER EDITION OF “YAM VINE”, THE SEDITIOUS NEWSSHEET CALLING ITSELF “AN ARMED FORCES PUBLICATION”, DATED JULY 1979 IS CIRCULATING AROUND GEORGETOWN. THE ISSUE WAS PURPORTEDLY PRINTED BEFORE THE ANNOUNCED CHANGES IN THE MILITARY (REF B), BUT IT REPORTS THE RUMOR (SINCE CONFIRMED) THAT NORMAN MCLEAN WOULD BE APPOINTED AS CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE GUYANA DEFENSE FORCE.

2. THE LEAD ARTICLE, WHICH COVERS OVER ONE PAGE OF THE TWO PAGE PAPER, IS ENTITLED “LIEUTENANT JERRY RAWLINS, PLEASE COME FORWARD*” (IN REFERENCE TO THE LEADER OF THE RECENT COUP IN GHANA), AND BEGINS BY POINTING OUT THAT “IT IS A BITTER SEASON FOR ROGUES” SUCH AS THE SHAH, IDI AMIN, GAIRY, JOHN AND COMPTON. THE BANKRUPTCY OF GHANA IS COMPARED TO THE SITUATION IN GUYANA BECAUSE OF SIMILAR METHODS OF CORRUPTION, AND ASKS “WHERE ARE THE LOCAL JERRY RAWLINS?”

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3. PRIME MINISTER BURNHAM (REFERRED TO AS “FAT BOY”) IS CHARGED WITH COVERING HIS CORRUPTION WITH LEGALISTIC TRAPPINGS, AND THE WRITER CLAIMS THAT THE LAW FIRM OF CLARKE AND MARTIN, HANDLES ALL LEGAL WORK FOR THE PUBLIC CORPORATIONS, AND IS OWNED BY PRIME MINISTER BURNHAM, AS IS THE ACCOUNTING FIRM OF STOLL AND COMPANY. THE LATTER IS ALLEGED TO BE THE AUDITOR FOR ALL PUBLIC CORPORATIONS AND, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH BURNHAM, COVERS UP THE “TIEFING” (CREOLE WORD FOR THIEVING) AND DIVIDES THE “LOOT”.

4. MINISTER OF HEALTH, HOUSING AND LABOR HAMILTON GREEN IS ACCUSED OF CORRUPTING THE MINISTRY OF WORKS AND HYDRAULICS (WHICH PORTFOLIO GREEN HELD PREVIOUSLY) TO COVER UP HIS THEFTS, AND POLICE COMMISSIONER BARKER, MINITER OF INTERIOR BIVERT MINGO, AND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER REID ARE ACCUSED OF ACCEPTING BRIBES FROM JIM JONES AND THE PEOPLES TEMPLE.

5. THE ARTICLE SAYS THAT “ONLY THE YOUNG OFFICERS OF THE ARMY CAN SAVE BLACK PEOPLE AND GUYANA. THE YOUNG OFFICERS’ HANDS HAVE NOT BEEN STAINED WITH THE BLOOD OF THE PEOPLE”, BUT POINTS OUT THAT ALL PEOPLE IN GUYANA ARE SUFFERING, INDIANS AND BLACKS ALIKE, AND WARNS SENIOR OFFICERS IN THE ARMY NOT TO BE USED BY OTHERS. IT INDICATES THAT COL. PILGRIM AND COL. MORGAN GOT MEDALS FOR ASSISTING THE GOVERNMENT TO “STEAL” THE 1973 ELECTIONS AND THE 1978 REFERENDUM, AND SAYS THAT “ANYBODY WHO WANTS A MEDAL FOR THE NEXT ELECTION FRAUD MUST BE PREPARED TO FACE BULLETS”. 6. UNDER THE HEADLINE, “BUILD THE LIBERATION ARMY, NOW”, THERE ARE INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SETTING UP OF THREE-MAN CELLS, WITH A WORD OF CAUTION ABOUT THE “MAN’S SPIES”. THE CELLS ARE THEN ADVISED TO “STAY ON THE ALERT FOR THE CALL”. THE PAPER CONCLUDES WITH AN ARTICLE STATING HOW NERVOUS BURNHAM IS BECAUSE AMMUNITION IS DISAPPEARING FROM THE ARMY ARSENALS, AND OUTLINING HIS ATTEMPTS

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TO BUY THE ARMY’S LOYALTY BY PROVIDING CERTAIN FOODSTUFFS IN SHORT SUPPLY AND CIGARETTES TO THE TROOPS. THE WRITER STATES, HOWEVER, THAT “WE HOPE YOU NOT EXPECTING WE TO HIGHJACK ANY BALLOT BOX AGAIN. WE WEARY WITH THAT … RUN, GENERAL, RUN. JUMBIE (GHOST) COMING* YOU MIGHT AS WELL COME AND BUILD A BUNKER IN THE COMPOUND LIKE SOMOZA”.

6. COMMENT: IF ANYTHING, THIS ISSUE OF “YAM VINE” IS EVEN MORE CHALLENGING THAN THE LAST. PRIME MINISTER BURNHAM AND HIS GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS REPORTEDLY STILL DO NOT KNOW WHO IS ISSUING THIS BLATANT INCITEMENT TO MUTINY. AND THE RECENT CHANGES IN THE MILITARY HIERARCHY PROBABLY REFLECT A DESIRE TO PLACE TRUSTED SUPPORTERS IN KEY POSITIONS. THE PLAN MAY BACKFIRE; THERE HAVE BEEN PERSISTENT RUMORS THAT 30-40 MEMBERS OF THE GDF OFFICER CORPS HAVE OR WILL SUBMIT THEIR RESIGNATIONS IN PROTEST OVER NORMAN MCLEAN’S ELEVATION TO THE CHIEF OF STAFF POSITION. THE RUMORS HAVE NOT BEEN CONFIRMED, HOWEVER, AND THEY MAY BE SYPTOMATIC OF THE WIDESPREAD BELIEF THAT THERE IS SERIOUS UNREST IN THE MILITARY.
BURKE

NOTE BY OC/T: TELEGRAM DELAYED IN TRANSMISSION.

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Originally posted on October 25th, 2020.

Last modified on November 16th, 2020.
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