Dec 29, 1979 • 1152 • Georgetown-State • 5712

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1979GEORGE05712_e.html.]

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 01
GEORGE 05712 01 OF 02 291347Z
ACTION RP-10
INFO OCT-01 ARA-11 EA-10 ADS-00 SR-04 IO-14 AID-05 CIAE-00 INR-10 NSAE-00 SS-15 SP-02 HA-05 /087 W
——————112263 291544Z /44 P

R 291152Z DEC 79
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1351
INFO AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
AMEMBASSY CARACAS
AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
AMEMBASSY AMCONSUL MARTINIQUE
AMEMBASSY PARAMARIBO
AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE SECTION 1 OF 2 GEORGETOWN 5712

E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: SREF, GY
SUBJ: REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT IN GUYANA – WORLD RELIEF PROJECT DESIGN TEAM FINDS POSITIVE RECEPTION
REF: STATE 324921

1. BEGIN SUMMARY: THE REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT PROJECT DESIGN TEAM LED BY ANDY BISHOP OF WORLD RELIEF LEFT GUYANA ON DECEMBER 22 AFTER MEETING WITH THE AMBASSADOR AND SENIOR GUYANESE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND VISITING POSSIBLE RESETTLEMENT SITES IN NORTHWEST GUYANA. THE TEAM FOUND A POSITIVE RESPONSE ON THE PART OF THE GUYANESE GOVERNMENT TO THE TEAM’S INITIAL PROPOSAL FOR THE RESETTLEMENT OF 1,500 REFUGEES MADE ON BEHALF OF SIX CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATIONS. THE VISITING GROUP APPEARED TO HAVE AN ENTHUSIASTIC

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 02 GEORGE 05712 01 OF 02 291347Z

BUT REALISTIC VIEW OF THE POTENTIAL PROBLEMS. MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT H.D. HOYTE ON DECEMBER 22 WROTE TEAM MEMBERS MANGHAM AND GRAHAM A LETTER OF INTENT STATING THAT THE GOG WAS “DISPOSED ON HUMANITARIAN GROUNDS TO CONSIDER FAVORABLY” THE TEAM’S PROPOSALS. END SUMMARY.

2. THE WORLD RELIEF PROJECT DESIGN TEAM REPRESENTS SIX CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATION AND WAS WORKING ORIGINALLY THROUGH PROMINENT GUYANESE ATTONREY SIR LIONEL LUCKHOO. THEY DISCUSSED WITH THE AMBASSADOR ON DECEMBER 19, AND BRIEFLY ON TWO SUBSEQUENT OCCASIONS, THEIR PROPOSAL TO RESETTLE 1,500 REFUGEES, EQUALLY EQUALLY DIVIDED BETWEEN LAO HMONG REFUGEES CURRENTLY IN THAILAND AND DOMINCAN HURRICAN DAVID REFUGGES. THE TEAM STATED THAT SHOULD THERE BE A SHORTFALL OF VOLUNTEERS FROM ONE GROUP THE NUMBER OF REFUGEES FROM THE OTHER WOULD BE AUGMENTED TO REACH THE 1,500 LEVEL.

3. THE PROPOSAL CALLS FOR A JOINT UNDERTAKING BETWEEN THE TEAM AND OFFICIALS OF THE GOG WHO WILL FORM A JOINT COMMITTEE TO SUPERVISE THE PROJECT. THE GOG WILL MAKE MUTUALLY AGREED UPON LANDS AVAILABLE FOR THE REFUGEES ON LEASE BASIS. APPLICANTS FOR RESETTLEMENT WILL BE VOLUNTEERS WHO HAVE BEEN THOROUGHLY BRIEFED ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS IN GUYANA, WHO ARE WILLING TO ACCEPT THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC PHILOSOPHY OF THE GOG, AND WHO ARE READY TO INTEGRATE WITH THE PEOPLE OF GUYANA. THE TEAM WILL UNDERTAKE THE SELECTION, ORIENTATION, MEDICAL SCREENING, AND TRANSPORTATION OF THE REFUGEES, AS WELL AS SITE PREPARATION, PROVISION OF SOCIAL SERVICES, DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE INCLUDING AGRICULTURAL INFRASTRUCTURE, AND THE SETTING UP OF LIGHT INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION. THE GOG WILL GUARANTEE BASIC CIVIL RIGHTS AS DEFINED BY THE UNITED NATIONS, SET UP PROCEDURES FOR THE ACQUISITION OF GUYANESE CITIZENSHIP, PROVIDE LAND

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 03 GEORGE 05712 01 OF 02 291347Z

ON A LEASED BASIS, AND PERMIT DUTY FREE IMPORTATION OF “MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR THE SUCCESSFUL ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SCHEME”. THE TEAN IS TO BEAR ALL COSTS OF RESETTLEMENT WHICH WILL BE CONCLUDED WHEN THE REFUGEES ARE SELF-SUFFICIENT.

4. THE TEAM HAD DISCUSSION WITH A NUMBER OF GUYANESE OFFICIALS, INCLUDING DEPTY PRIME MINISTER REID AND SEVERAL OTHER MINISTERS. THE TEAM VISITED BY GOG HELICOPTER LIKELY AREAS IN NORTHWEST GUYANA, INCLUDING JONESTOWN. THE INITIAL REACTION OF THE TEAM WAS THAT JONESTOWN MIGHT PROVE A SUITABLE STAGING AREA FOR A PERMANENT RESETTLEMENT SITE ELSEWHERE IN THE NORTHWEST, PERHAPS AT A LOCATION A FEW MILES SOUTH OF MABARUMA (LEFT BANK OF THE ARUKA RIVER, FIVE MILES BY ROAD FROM A POINT OPPOSITE MORAWHANNA, NEAR THE VENEZUELAN BORDER). AN EXPERIENCED SITE SELECTION TEAM WILL VISIT GUYANA IN THE NEAR FUTURE TO EXAMINE POTENTIAL SITES MORE CLOSELY.

5. MEMBERS OF THE TEAM ARE SCHEDULED TO DISCUSS THE GUYANESE RESETTLEMENT PROJECT WITH THE HMONG (AND PRESUMABLY WITH ANY POTENTIAL DOMINICAN REFUGEES) EARLY IN THE NEW YEAR. IF THE INTITAL RESETTLEMENT SHOULD PROVE SUCCESSFUL, THE TEAM INDICATED THAT RESETTLEMENT OF AS MANY AS 30,000 REFUGEES WOULD BE SOUGHT.

6. MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT H.D. HOYTE, IN A ONE SENTENCE LETTER OF INTENT ADDRESSED TO MESSRS. GRAHAM AND MAGHAM, STATED: “FOLLOWING ON RECENT DISCUSSIONS IN GEORGETOWN BETWEEN REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GOVERNMENT AND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SIX REFUGEE ORGANIZATIONS LED BY YOU, AND HAVING BEEN APPRISED OF THE GRAVE HUMAN PROBLEMS OUTLINED BY YOU, THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA IS DISPOSED ON HUMANTIARIAN GROUNDS TO CONSIDER FAVORABLY PROPOSALS FOR THE RESETTLEMENT OF REFGUEES IN GUYANA UPON THE BASIS OF THE REPRESENTATIONS MADE BY THESE ORGANIZATIONS AND

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 04 GEORGE 05712 01 OF 02 291347Z

ALONG THE LINES OF THE PROPOSALS OUTLINED BY THEM IN THE ATTACHED MEMORANDUM” OUTLINE DIN PARA. 3 ABOVE.

7. THE MEMORANDUM AND OTHER DOCUMENTS SUPPLIED BY THE TEAM ARE BEING SENT BY POUCH TO ARA/CAR.)

8. IN DISCUSSIONS WITH THE AMBASSADOR, THE TEAM APPEARED TO HAVE AN ENTHUSIASTIC BUT FAIRLY REALISTIC APPROACH TO THE PROBLEMS INVOLVED. MR. GRAHAM REMARKED THAT HE HOPED THE SUCCESS OF THE RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM WOULD REFLECT WELL UPON CHRISTIAN ENDEAVORS AND ON GUYANA, THEREBY OFFSETTING THE DAMAGE DONE BY “BISHOP” JIM JONES AND THE PEOPLES TEMPLE.

9. THE AMBASSADOR NOTED THE OBVIOUS PROBLEMS IN USING JONESTOWN IN AN UNDERTAKING INVOLVING PEOPLE SOME OF WHOM HAVE STRONG ANIMIST BELIEFS. HE POINTED OUT THAT MANY OF THE HMONG

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
NNN

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 01
GEORGE 05712 02 OF 02 291353Z
ACTION RP-10
INFO OCT-01 ARA-11 EA-10 ADS-00 SR-04 IO-14 AID-05 CIAE-00 INR-10 NSAE-00 SS-15 SP-02 HA-05 /087 W
——————112347 291545Z /44 P

R 291152Z DEC 79
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1352
INFO AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
AMEMBASSY CARKAS
AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
AMCONSUL MARTINIQUE
AMEMBASSY PARAMARIBO
AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE SECTION 2 OF 2 GEORGETOWN 5712

WERE REFUGEES WHO HAD REFUSED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE RESETTLEMENT EFFORTS OF THE LAO GOVERNMENT. SOME HMONG MIGHT THUS THINK THEY WERE BEING BROUGHT HALF-WAY AROUND THE WORLD TO BE RESETTLED IN A SOCIALIST SOCIETY IN GUYANA SUCH AS THAT FROM WHICH THEY HAD BEEN FLEEING. THE TEAM REPLIED THAT THESE FACTORS HAD BEEN CAREFULLY CONSIDERED. BISHOP POINTED OUT THAT THE HMONG WERE UNDERGOING SEVERE HARDSHIP IN THEIR THAI REFUGEE CAMPS. THEY HAD TO BE MOVED. BISHOP SAID THAT THE GUYANA RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM AN D ALL ITS POTENTIAL PROBLEMS WOULD BE FULLY DESCRIBED AND EXPLAINED TO ALL.

ROBERTS

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
NNN

Originally posted on October 26th, 2020.

Last modified on November 16th, 2020.
Skip to main content