Timofeyev Discusses Strategy to Get Small Temple Delegation into USSR, October 4

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


Sharon Amos

USSR meeting with [Fedor] Timofeyev 4/10/78 [October 4, 1978] (Sharon and Jimmy Jr.)

– told him that we maybe [may be] able to avoid embarrassment in our situation to tell Guyana that we are very concerned about venezueal [Venezuela] and don’t want to live in Venezuela territory. He didn’t seem to quite understand the strategy of this at first. He said wait until we see the results of the visit of the Venezuelan President (or PM??). I explained that this would be so that we could say to Guyana we love Guyana but we don’t want to live in a territory that Venezuela could take over. (I had him put on the radio before we talked about this and other subjects)

– asked if 25 people could go to the cultural events in USSR (could go with the performers) instead of 20. Told him Marceline [Jones] would be one of those going. He said he saw no problem but would have to check on it. He said later that the only reason there would be a problem this year is if  USSR when Guyana turned down the quota selected another country to have a gropu come to USSR. Told him the instruments we would need but he wouldn’t let me finish. He acted like it was an insult to tell him instruments when they have everything in the USSR. He thought if we weren’t taking instruments, or only our bongos, we probably could take extra people because there would be more room. He said this was just his idea, about our group coming (I kind of doubt that as I don’t think he does much on his own without first getting a tentative approval) and would now have to submit the idea to Moscow and get an answer. He couldn’t give any idea about when it would be as that too would have to be answered in Moscow.

– but he asked if our whole program, could be taped for him and for those numbers like the Soul Steppers that are visual, could we write up a short description.

– they call in Russia such a number as the soul steppers “Eccentric Pantomime”

Re TRANSLATION FOR THE RUSSIAN TAPES: said he’d have to look and see if they have it. If not perhaps we could get their summaries of the tapes, which is English word for word what is in the film. (but I have to xerox that as they have only 1 copy and it’s perhaps quite long as I recall, maybe 20 pages for each movie – but that’s just a guess)

– ask about the results of vit c [vitamin C] for burn patients and if they have applied Vit E directly to burns. He said he’d check. They have a special burn medicine made from a special grass in the USSR. It’s very hard to get as the grass only grows in one area and it wouldn’t last in the shipping but he will check further.


– he said they are only allowed to give treatment to their embassy legally and sometimes in exceptional cases like one of the Ambassadors they gave treatment, but he’s afraid they’d lose their doctor if they violate this. He said someone from the PM’s office lives right near them and perhaps could see us taking people into the building where the doctor’s office is. He said that in JT that was exceptional and there was privacy there where the dr. could see some cases.

(TOOK IN J’s symptoms to leave by for Nikolai as he wasn’t there today  and Fedor we told but he didn’t really have time to write them down)

[Following paragraph bracketed, with marginal note “F.E.B.”] TRADE: he said (he volunteered this idea) that if we could get together a list of equipment we need, medical and agricultural, he could arrange a meeting next week with the commercial councellor of the USSR and see if we could get the stuff we want. Prices he’d be able to supply, not on the first meeting, but could be supplied to us after they get our order (depends somewhat on the quantity you buy etc.) I told him it may take longer than a week




to get the list together and he said that’s OK. However, it is up to us to get the clearance from Min. of  Trade to bring the items in.


– he said that it is a contract you work out/ he’ll give us the conditions or some ideas about it and then he would want us to be frank about whether it is acceptable or not (in JT he had suggested 2 possibilities, one you have USSR pay all expenses and then you don’t get any pay for the shows which seems to me a safer bet at least for the first time you do this sort of thing) or you pay your expenses and get a percentage of the take as it would be commercial performances.

SWISS BOOK: he mentioned again wanting the name and author and year of print of the books CL [Carolyn Layton] had talked about. (Harriet [Tropp] dictated info on this and I gave it to them but it didn’t have the year of print of the books)

YUGOSLAVIANS: told him (Jimmy did) that there was an article in a Yugoslavian paper about us saying we were a hippy [hippie] colony but we had all cut our hair short and shaving beards (the men).

– he said he would like to know the date and periodical of the article as there is some cooperation between the Yugoslavian periodical Tanik and the USSR press and it might be printed without knowing it was eroneous and could give a bad impression of us. He said Yugoslavian press has been quite hard on USSR at times also, but he’d like to know so he could see that we aren’t badly represented in the USSR again.

MONEY: told him that we would like to know what the chances of our having our money go in one package to the USSR and if it would be a problem if it is Guyanese money going. He said you can’t send Guyanese money unless you have an external account. (I didn’t mention the amount of money 3 1/2 million Harriet had said on the radio, as he said it couldn’t be done unless it was external account. I could say this in another session if you still want the amount mentioned). With an external account he said you may lose a small amount maybe 1% but not much when you transfer the funds into other currency.

IMF [International Monetary Fund]: I said we were concerned about the article in the paper and the fact Guyana was moving closer and closer to commitments in terms of IMF. He said there were eroneous aspects in them article such as saying USSR was once in the IMF when it first started and then pulled out. He said they had asked the paper to clarify this and the paper said it would. He also said that the Communist loaning programs have no deficits and this was printed in the paper that they did. He said that Guyana might accept a loan from the USSR on very good terms which are, offerred socialist countries and this loan was talk about when the PM went to the USSR and it is not yet agreed upon that Guyana will go into the next phase of the IMF. He said it took them 6 mos. to agree to go into the last phase so it isn’t settled about this phase and there are a lot of strings in the IMF so he’s not so sure Guyana will accept it.