Timofeyev Counsels Patience, Warns Against Over-Reaction, October 24

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

[Likely in an effort to save paper, Temple members often used the reverse side of old documents. That is the case here, and the reverse sides of all pages on this memo were not transcribed.]


Sharon Amos

USSR (Sharon & Jimmy Jr.) 24/10/78 [October 24, 1978]

– Jimmy left the room at the end when I talked about money

– re the band – I dropped that tape by of our music, singers etc. that was made in JT and he said that it would go to Moscow the end of the month/ it’s a little late but the cassette we made for them wasn’t adequate as you could only hear the voices not the music

– he described our group as semi-professional when he described it to Moscow but he hasn’t heard an answer yet


– we talked about Guyana and I talked about our concern about the situation here

– I mentioned Dr. Sharma and what he had said about his life being in danger and the life of his friend/ I told him to keep it confidential

– he said he knows Dr. Sharma very well and tho Dr. Sharma is supportive of the PPP, he isn’t a member (or later he said, if he is a member is not an official or very intimately connected with the PPP)

– he said that there are some people who are and he used a word I forget now that means one who will use violence or more extreme methods/ he said the PPP is official opposition party and so are in no danger and the new constitution will include the PPP and the PM [Prime Minister] has made it clear that the opposition has a place

– I told how Sharma had said that Guyana will go fascist

– he said that he cannot say for sure but you have to analyze the facts and Guyana does take an anti-imperialist position and takes progressive stands in the UN

– that even tho (and I mentioned by [my] concern about the IMF [International Monetary Fund]) Guyana is taking (or will take) IMF money, that it is possible to take such funds and keep one’s goals in sight if one negotiates carefully – he says [Prime Minister Forbes] Burnham has been negotiating very carefully on this

– I told him about a woman official who was racist and some of the pro-US feelings we here [hear]/ that if all Guyanese had a chance to go to the US and stay I think that 3/4 or even 9/10ths would go as they are so pro-US

– he said perhaps so but you can’t say that the govt. course is a certain way just because many of the officials are colonialistic or pro-US or because many of the people are not educated [Marginal note: “Well, what do you use for a guide?!”]

– he said that the govt. has taken a Marxist-Lenininst position and has gone too far to retreat in his mind. I said that most officials I talk to don’t even admit to being Marxist-Leninists or agree with Marxist-Leninism

– he said that the official booklets mention it tho and he has talked to Burnham on a couple of occasions and Burnham made his position clear about taking a stand but Burnham also feels that perhaps he has gone too far at times and mentions his fear of becoming another Chili [Chile]

– I said that from what I understand Chili had gone too slow not too far and had allowed the radio stations and military to become too democratic and reactionary. He said he had spent working with Carlos Alta Maran who was one of the head advisors to Allende and also with Carillo (he wrote the publication JJ read on the loud speaker)

– I said that we know he thinks we in PT get anxious at every change in the moon but from our prospective [perspective] we can’t see that the policies are that progressive in terms of the day to day decisions even tho the people talk ideologically at times

– he said that he is sorry he made that remark but he feels that we don’t always analyze the facts carefully – he said you can say Guyana is going fascist but you have to find particular facts that add up to that

– he said there could be some danger but you have to see particular facts

– he said actually in relation to the USSR the attitude has become much better – than when he first came – much better relations and much better relations with socialist countries in general

– I said but economically the trade of Guyana is with capitalist countries and not with socialist countries

– he agreed, only 5% with socialist countries but he said that is not always Guyana’s fault – if they want to sell their products, they often have to make trade agreements

– he agreed also that Guyana might be telling people that they had no alternative in terms of the IMF but still Guyana might have felt that they needed all the aid that the IMF will generate (the push that US put on other capitalist countries to aid Guyana 140 million)

– he said that Burnham recognizes that some of his officials are not educated in socialism

– I said also – there are some things like the vast extremes of wealth and poverty, the general hospital and treatment of people – the reaction of some when we try to help here – threatened by us



G-1-f-6b [Reverse side of G-1-f-6a, not transcribed]



– I said “you can afford to take a long range view – you have your base in Moscow. Whatever happens you can wait, even if Guyana went thru a fascist phase, you would be able to return to Moscow, or your family would be safe as your son right now is in Moscow and you only have your wife and yourself, but we have shifted our base here and we have children and seniors and the reaction to us is very confusing.”

– he said “well I try to think as you do, see how you see things and understand how you react to things.”

– I said we appreciate this but your joking about our situation – maybe it’s hard to think the way we think when you are in a different situation – your country has its power and its sucesses and you don’t have to worry about its future.

– (this conversation was continued later)

– I showed him the paper which made comment about his joke about Venezuela (this paper is attached)

– he read it and handed it back to me when he was thru and said You better keep this.

– he said he was sorry about making the joke – he said sometimes I get too pessimistic. He said that he didn’t mean to hurt me or upset us – he said that Venezuela after the talks with the PM had agreed to leave the present situation about the border

– I said but Venezuela did take over an island (ancola?????) and it might change when the new President came in

– he said he didn’t think so because Guyana is small and in terms of world opinion he didn’t think it was likely as it would look very bad for Venezuela to do so and why hadn’t they done so already if they were going to do so

– I said I didn’t know but if there is a new president who is more reactionary he might do so

– he said he didn’t think so

– he said he does have good friends in Venezuela – (at the Embassy)

– I asked if he spoke the way he did because [Guyana opposition leader Cheddi] Jagan and his wife were at the reception given by President Perez/ he said no, he said that Perez invited them because they are the official opposition party and they have a fairly good relationship with Venezulea

– he said that Guyana is the only So. American country to declare it’s [its] intentions to be socialist and that is not to be discounted – he thinks they have gone to [too] far to retreat

– he said “you didn’t expect to live without struggle, he said you are free here in the sense of being able to make a community.

– I said yes but our leader has been restrained for 18 mos. and that is not only bad in terms of his being detained but the principles he stands for it has significance to all of us and thus we haven’t been free

– he said Yes, but you had success in that one in that he now has the paper to travel

– we asked for tickets more to the 61’st anniversary of the revolution and he said he could give us the 6 or 7 we asked for/ he said now that JJ can travel, can we invite him?

– I said yes but I didn’t know if he was well enough to travel right now or not at the time of the anniversary – which is Nov. 7th but why didn’t he give us an 8th ticket anyway in case

– he gets sarcastic at times – it’s his form of humor and he said sure we’ll give you 140 if you want – I said No that’s ok, eight would be fine

– he said he would have to know the names but could leave the tickets blank for now if we wish (I said that would be best as people come in and out but we’d tell him when the time comes)

RE visitors to JT

– I told him how we in PT have to be better than anyone, we’re not allowed to even make human mistakes, or lay a hand on our children (not that we want to but that we’ve been so subject the questioning that we are in a fishbowl and our sexual lives and been questioned

[next four entries circled, handwritten note: “This is interesting –”]

– he said he has no question at all about our morality but he wonders why we allow so many visitors to come

– he said it opens us up to having a CIA agent come

– I told him that if we don’t they call us secretive

– he said he thinks we should have guests that we invite to see the project once in awhile [a while] but he doesn’t think it benefits us to have guests all the time as they give us a hard time anyway with all the questioning


– I asked him the questions that CL [Carolyn Layton] had asked me to ask him/ the problem was that first when I told him that I had misunderstood the message on the radio he was a little perterbed, nice about it, but said when they bother telexing something to the USSR and then telling them it is wrong it causes some consternation as it is up to them at this embassy to do the proper research and get messages right and it does cost money to telex – it’s quite expensive and he had already gotten the message back on the last telex about money but they had wondered about the cashier’s check for a million [dollars] going out


G-1-f-6d [Reverse side of G-1-f-6c, not transcribed]



to the US and had thought it was some wrong info – they doubted it and said to recheck it

– I asked the questions and first he said he doesn’t know anything about banking – I asked if there was someone connected with them who did/ he said they have someone who deals with their banking but haven’t felt it would be good for him to talk to us so he’ll have to have the questions and get answers for us

– I asked if I could go over the questions and have him take notes but he said that’s also too subject to miscommunication and he’d like the questions in writing

– I said I would see about that but I’d need them now as this is my only copy

– I told him about the Peoples Bank in Moscow or whatever the name is and started asking questions but unfortunately that bank is not the state owned bank – it’s the bank that is mostly Russian capital but it is 51% Russian capital and the rest English and it functions under English law so it wouldn’t be a matter of confidentiality at all and Russia can’t guarantee anything about it – he said that the name was the total wrong info (he expected that we would ask him by the right name, the state-owned bank)

– so I started all over again and asked about the state owned bank/ this would be confidential and it would be entered, the money, thre [there] and then transferred to Moscow and it could be accessible to us but if so it wouldn’t have any interest or very minimal just as the Russians have an external account in Guyana that they draw upon constantly and it has absolutely no interest and they lose a small percent because of the transference of funds – there is a loss when you transfer funds from one country to another like Russia to Guyana or Guyana to England –

– but to take money out if it was transferred to Russia, we could still withdraw it from England or even have it transferred to a bank here – tho to telex it would cost about 20% of the money just for the cost of the telex

– anyway the other private bank in England is mixed capital and it has its own responsibility for the financial operation not the Soviet Gvt.

– he was talking about all the wrong info we gave in this kind of thing and I started to cry – with the lack of answers and all – it just seemed so difficult – with all we have to go thru to communicate and make arrangements and JJ stuck there

– he saw me being close to tears and mentioned it in a kindly voice and I started to really cry (tiredness, menstrual period and frustration I guess)

– he said kindly – you don’t think I understand – I said well, I just wish you could afford to be like you with a country that is stable and you can be efficient because you can develop your country without interference but we seem at times to be building on a sandy foundation

[next four entries circled, asterisk in margin]

– I said we just don’t get answers and if it keeps on, we might interpret this as a no

– he said “no you don’t have to do that, you don’t have to interpret it diplomatically” (In diplomatic circles, a time lapse I think of about 6 mos. without an answer means no answer) – he said that would be a mistake – he said that he would tell us if it was a no answer when they are working on this question very hard up on the Politburo level and are getting a big headache trying to work it out. He said there is great concern for us and for the children and seniors

– he said that a revolutionary woman who is a fighter like me shouldn’t cry and he thought I was tired

– I said I was tired but I would continue to fight even tho I cried

– he said I know, you are a very strong woman


G-1-f-6f [Reverse side of G-1-f-6e, not transcribed]