P 121412Z MAY 80
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2460
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 2202
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CGEN, GY
SUBJ: USG PAYMENT TO GUYANA AIRWAYS FOR DAMAGED AIRCRAFT BY MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE
REF: STATE 121503
1. The United States Government, acting through the Agency for International Development, concluded a grant project agreement in the amount of $55,000 with the Government of Guyana on July 13, 1979. The project was entitled “Rural Transportation Support,” and the grant number was 504-00-0089. It covered the majority of costs incurred by the Guyana Airways Corporation for the temporary rental of an aircraft engine and the repair of the engine which was damaged on November 18, 1978, at Port Kaituma, Guyana. The agreement provided that the Government of Guyana would ensure that the Guyana Airways Corporation “will assert and pursue all possible avenues of reimbursement for the damages suffered as a result of the incident at Port Kaituma,” and that the Guyanese government would refund to the United States Government all or part of the grant on a prorated basis “in the event it retrieves through legal action(s) and/or insurance claim(s), financial awards fully or partially
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sufficient to meet the costs of engine repair and engine rental”.
2. Communications with regard to this grant include: 78 Georgetown 4084, 4419 and 78 State 305327, 309114, 327031, 79 Georgetown 1096 and 3183, and 79 State 72988, among others. We recommend you consult with the AID and State country desk officers for Guyana who are fully conversant with this grant project and with the information requested in the reftel. The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, Congressman Clement Zablocki, expressed an interest in this issue to then-AID Director Gilligan in his letter of March 1, 1979.
3. The Government of Guyana and Guyana Airways Corporation are suing the Peoples Temple organization in Guyana for the recovery of costs incurred by the GOG and GAC in connection with the Jonestown tragedy, as has been fully reported to the Department.