Jun 13, 74 • Georgetown-State • 0977

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1974GEORGE00977_b.html. The State Department FOIA release of 1981 withheld some material associated with Peoples Temple from this cable under the national security exemption of the Freedom of Information Act. It is denoted below in red type.]

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PAGE 01 GEORGE 00977 131947Z 67
ACTION SCS-03
INFO OCT-01 ARA-10 ISO-00 H-01 SSO-00 /015 W
——————— 015682

R 131935Z JUN 74
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9849
INFO AMEMBASSY CARACAS
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE GEORGETOWN 0977
E.O. 11652: N/A
TAGS: PINT, VE, GY
SUBJECT: AMERICAN CITIZENS IN GUYANA SETTLED NEAR VENEZUELAN BORDER
REF: ARA/NC (DEVINE) MEMCONS OF MAY 21 AND MAY 29; GEORGETOWN 0931

1. IN RESPONSE TO DEPARTMENT AND EMBASSY CARACAS INTEREST, POST HAS DEVELOPED FOLLOWING INFORMATION ON TWO GROUPS OF U.S. CITIZENS, PEOPLE’S TEMPLE AGRICULTURAL MISSION AND SHALOM COOPERATIVE, WHICH HAVE SETTLED IN GUYANA NEAR VENEZUELAN BORDER.

2. PEOPLE’S TEMPLE AGRICULTURAL MISSION: THIS MULTI-RACIAL GROUP CONSISTS OF NINE AMERICANS WHO OPERATE AGRICULTURAL SETTLE- MENT THREE MILES FROM PORT KAITUMA IN NORTHWEST DISTRICT OF GUYANA, APPROXIMATELY TWENTY-FIVE MILES FROM VENEZUELAN BORDER. LINKED WITH PEOPLE’S TEMPLE OF DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, CALIFORNIA BASED RELIGIOUS GROUP, PEOPLE’S TEMPLE AGRICULTURAL MISSION APPEARS WELL ORGANIZED AND FINANCED AND HAS LEASING ARRANGEMENT WITH GOG. THEY HAVE RECENTLY PURCHASED TRAWLER FROM U.S. SHRIMPING COMPANY AND EXPECT TO SUPPLEMENT AGRICULTURAL WORK WITH FISHING. MEMBERS OF PEOPLE’S TEMPLE ARE FAVORABLY KNOWN TO EMBASSY AND HAVE TOLD CONSULAR OFFICERS THAT THEY EXPECT ADDITIONAL TWENTY TO TWENTY-FIVE SETTLERS IN NEXT TWO MONTHS. THEY DECLINE TO SPECULATE ON EVENTUAL SIZE, BUT POINT OUT THAT SPONSORING CHURCHES IN CALIFORNIA HAVE APPROXIMAT TOTAL MEMBERSHIP OF 10,000,; OF WHICH ONLY SMALL ELEMENT WOULD BE POTENTIAL SETTLERS HERE.

3. SHALOM COOPERATIVE; THIS GROUP, ALSO MULTI-RACIAL, IS LOCATED

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APPROXIMATELY EIGHT MILES FROM PORT KAITUMA AND CONSISTS OF TWENTY- SIX AMERICANS. IN CONTRAST WITH FIRST GROUP, THEY ARE INEXPERIENCED , POORLY ORGANIZED, LACK FIRM LEASING ARRANGEMENT WITH GOG, AND RECENTLY HAVE EXHAUSTED THEIR FINANCIAL RESOURCES. COOPERATIVE APPEARS TO BE SPLITTING UP AND ONE MEMBER HAS ASKED FOR REPATRIATION TO U.S. (REFTEL)). IN RESPONSE TO QUESTION BY CONOFF, ONE GROUP MEMBER SAID THERE ARE NO RPT NO THIRD COUNTRY NATIONALS INVOLVED IN COOPERATIVE.

3. EMBASSY BELIEVES THESE ARE ONLY GROUPS OF AMERICANS SETTLED NEAR VENEZUELAN BORDER. WE PERCEIVE NO RPT NO THREAT TO VENEZUELAN SECURITY IN THEIR ACTIVITIES NOR IS THERE EVIDENCE THEY ARE INVOLVED IN GUYANESE POLITICS.

4. INDIRECTLY RELATED MATTER OF POSSIBLE INTEREST IS REPORT FROM VISITING JOURNALIST THAT KIT NASCIMENTO, MINISTER OF STATE IN OFFICE OF PRIME MINISTER, TOLD HIM GROUP FROM VENEZUELAN MOVIMIENTO AL SOCIALISMO (MAS) VISITED GUYANA PRIOR TO VENEZUELAN ELECTIONS LAST YEAR IN UNSUCCESSFUL (AND UNREALISTIC) BID TO OBTAIN POLITICAL ASSISTANCE.

KREBS [Max Krebs, Ambassador]

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Originally posted on February 4th, 2020.

Last modified on June 22nd, 2022.
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