Temple Leaders Contact Soviets with Analysis of Status with Guyana Government, September

[Editor’s notes: The transcript of this document retains its original spellings, with corrections noted only where necessary for clarity.

[This two-page document seems to be draft of a letter from Temple leaders to the Soviet Embassy in Georgetown, likely in the person of Fedor Timofeyev. While undated, its references to visits by Don Freed and Carlton Goodlett place it in September 1978.]


Even though we are putting our necks out by having anything to do with [Guyana opposition leader] Cheddi Jagan at all, we spoke with him. He was friendly to us, but he told us not to be disturbed by the article. He does not seem to realize the situation with this and the attack on Jim. The implication is that the clothes selling is illegal. He wouldn’t talk about Carlton Goodlett or Don Freed with us, and when we offered him statements from people who are supportive of the Soviet Union, and who also support our work, he didn’t say a word. (One of these people wasn’t even supportive of the Soviet Union until they met us and saw the way we lived and our character.)

Although Jagan told us not to be disturbed by the article there is no use to fool with him if he can’t see what it does – it’s too much risk on our part. Jim has said it takes courage for us to keep talking with him. A PNC man who was very friendly to us and who is more Marxist than any other of the Marxists we’ve met in the government said that if we don’t stop being friendly to Jagan we could get thrown out of Guyana overnight. But Jim wouldn’t sell out his friends even if it meant dying – even though this seems to be a one-way of friendship.

We don’t understand why Jagan uses press to quote Goodlett and Freed and what they said about our project. Everybody knows how Goodlett feels about Jagan. Goodlett spoke praiseworthy of him to the press. It would be a show of good faith for Jagan to do this because the blurb about our selling clothes up-river played right into the hands of the CIA. Maybe you could get him to do something along these lines and explained to him that we did invite somebody from the Mirror. The other press that was there just happened to hear about it and asked if they could come. We invited the only two that knew about it.

We showed our devotion to the Soviet Union during the press’ visit. Admittedly, we praised the Soviet Union more than we did Jagan, but at the same time we didn’t counter any of the things Goodlett was saying about him. But we did say sounds like what Jagan recommends in a national front/unified government. We feel that all the Marxists in Guyana ought to get together, because division plays right into the hands of the imperialists. Because of this posture we may not be talked about much in the press, or perhaps not at all.

You might also pass along to Jagan that we know there are friends of the PNC involved in the CIA conspiracy against us. Freed told us this even before Jagan did, but we don’t want to go into it. We don’t want to talk about by the press either because Freed is still looking into it and it would interfere with what he is doing.

Freed is a very prominent and powerful man, and is very favorable to the Soviet Union. He had a liberal attitude towards China before we talked to him, but Jim pointed out what China was doing in Africa and other countries. He told of their helping the fascists get established in Chile by giving them aid and at the same time not even giving asylum to the Chilean left refugees trying to escape the fascist’s terror. He explained that China has been on the wrong side in Angola, Zaire, Somalia, and Kampuchea (even Sen. McGovern recognizes that in Kampuchea 1/3 of the population – including socialists and communists – has been murdered



by the nationalistic government). The China-Japan friendship treaty is a threat to world peace; China is maneuvering in Yugoslavia; and it seems China is ready to come out in an open alliance with imperialists. Jim made it clear that China’s agressive expansionist policies are threatening World War III.

You might be interested to know that Carlton Goodlett has been on Radio Moscow twice in the last few days. He was talking about the investigations of US Congressmen and their financial holdings in South Africa. Over half of them have gold shares or some other type of investment in the fascist apartheid dictatorship. You know that he is very supportive of the Soviet Union. It is unfortunate he could not have spent more time in Guyana. He had a commitment to speak at a convention, so had time only to go straight to Jonestown and then return. He wanted to see Jim for at least one day. – they have been life-long friends and he calls Jim his “adopted brother.” By the way, Goodlett told us – and this is very confidential – that Jagan always has to be right. Whatever is meant by this, we don’t know.

To work together with certain elements of the PNC is rough sledding. You don’t realize that every time we come in to talk to you we heard about it from the US Embassy. No doubt it will be the same about us seeing Jagan.