Jan 11, 1980 • 2036 • State-Georgetown • 8378

P 112036Z JAN 80
FR SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN PRIORITY
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE STATE 008378
E.O. 12065: N/A
TAGS: CGEN, PINS, SOBN, GY
SUBJECT: US TELEVISION TEAM TO VISIT GUYANA

1. Maureen O’Leary, television journalist employed by Metromedia Television (Channel 9 in New York) informed Desk Officer January 8 she intends to visit Guyana about January 18 to cover the Layton trial, visit Jonestown and to do a story on the House of Israel (HOI). O’Leary indicated she will be joined by a television camera crew on January 21. O’Leary stated she has already had contact with David Hill of the HOI who has agreed to an interview, and the Guyanese Consulate General in New York about her trip. Desk Officer strongly recommended that she coordinate all aspects of her program with the Guyanese authorities to insure that they are aware of the purpose of her visit.

2. O’Leary is interested in the GOG-HOI connection, if any, particularly as it relates to the political violence

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that occurred in Guyana last summer. She would also like to interview [Guyana Prime Minister Forbes] Burnham if possible. Desk Officer in responding to O’Leary’s questions on these subjects was noncommittal. He pointed out that while allegations of GOG-HOI collusion have been made they are difficult to prove. Desk Officer urged O’Leary to contact PAO [Public Affairs Officer] Kibble on her arrival in Georgetown for background and any assistance she may need. Desk Officer also provided some background information on Georgetown (hotels, street crime, etc.) and the difficulties of traveling to Jonestown.

3. We rely on your judgment as to appropriate Embassy assistance to provide O’Leary, especially concerning possible contacts with GOG officials.

Vance

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Originally posted on June 13th, 2022.

Last modified on June 16th, 2022.
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