Dec 12 1979 • 0140 • State-Georgetown • 320179

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1979STATE320179_e.html.]

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STATE 320179
ORIGIN ARA-15
INFO OCT-00 ADS-00 HA-05 RP-10 IO-14 CIAE-00 INR-10 NSAE-00 /054 R
DRAFTED BY ARA?CAR:RAMCCOY:SCH
APPROVED BY ARA/CAR:WRWARNE
HA – L. MARINELLI (DRAFT)
——————129716 120625Z /20

O 120140Z DEC 79
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN IMMEDIATE
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E.O. 12065:N/A
TAGS: SREF, SOCI, GY
SUBJECT: GUYANA PLANS TO ACCEPT ASIAN REFUGEES

1) ON DECEMBER 11, REPRESENTATIVES FROM RP, THE WHITE HOUSE AND ARA MET WITH OFFICIALS OF WORLD RELIEF (THE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ARM OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF EVANGELICALS) TO DISCUSS THE PROPOSED RESETTLEMENT OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN REFUGEES TO GUYANA. ANDREW BISHOP, DIRECTOR OF WORLD RELIEF STATED HIS ORGANIZATION HAS A PRELIMINARY COMMITMENT FROM PRIME MINISTER BURNHAM TO ACCEPT 1,500 REFUGEES. BISHOP SAID HIS ORGANIZATION HAD PREVIOUSLY DISCUSSED THIS WITH BURNHAM LAST SEPTEMBER AND HAS SINCE CORRESPONDED WITH THE PM. (COPIES BEING POUCHED TO GEORGETOWN). HE PLANS TO TRAVEL TO GEORGETOWN ON DECEMBER 13 TO FINALIZE ARRANGEMENTS AND WILL PAY COURTESY VISIT ON AMBASSADOR.

2) BISHOP INDICATED HE IS AWARE OF GUYANA’S CURRENT

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ECONOMICAL AND POLITICAL PROBLEMS AND THAT BURNHAM’S AGREEMENT TO RESETTLE REFUGEES IS IN PART TO COUNTER THE PRESENT UNFAVORABLE IMAGE OF GUYANA IN THE U.S. AND TO CULTIVATE THE WEST. NEVERTHELESS, BISHOP BELIEVES THERE IS A COMMITMENT BY BURNHAM TO ACCEPT THE REFUGEES AND HE EXPECTS TO COMPLETE ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE GOVERNMENT DURING THIS VISIT TO USE ‘HE JONESTOWN SITE FOR RESETTLEMENT. MOREOVER, HE UNDERSTANDS THAT THE ENTIRE COST OF THE RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM WILL HAVE TO BE BORNE BY HIS ORGANIZATION, THE UNHCR AND OTHER DONORS.

3) BISHOP’S GUYANESE CONTACT IS SIR LIONEL LUCKHOO WHO ARRANGED THE INITIAL MEETING BETWEEN THE PM AND WORLD RELIEF. INITIALLY, THE DISCUSSION CENTERED AROUND GUYANA ACCEPTING 750 DOMINICANS AND 750 OTHER REFUGEES FROM SOUTH EAST ASIA. HOWEVER, AS THERE WERE NO DOMINICAN VOLUNTEERS, IT WAS AGREED THAT THE GUYANESE WOULD ACCEPT 1,500 ASIAN REFUGEES FOR RESETTLEMENT.

CHRISTOPHER

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Originally posted on October 26th, 2020.

Last modified on November 16th, 2020.
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