Nov 14, 78 • Georgetown-State • 3714

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE03714_d.html.]

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ACTION H-03
INFO OCT-01 ARA-10 ISO-00 SS-15 AID-01 NSCE-00 SSO-00 ( ISO ) W
——————033014 301927Z /45

O 141415Z NOV 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC NIACT IMMEDIATE 8024
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE GEORGETOWN 3714

E.O. 11652: NA
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO) GY
SUBJ: GONGRESSMAN RYAN’S VISIT TO GUYANA.
REF: STATE 285461

1. EMBASSY HAS BEEN INFORMED THAT IN ADDITION TO AN NBC TELEVISION TEAM FROM SAN FRANCISCO TWO AND PERHAPS THREE OTHER JOURNALISTS REPRESENTING NEWSPAPERS IN THE BAY AREA MAY BE ACCOMPANYING CODEL RYAN TO GEORGETOWN. AS DEPT. HAS ALREADY INFORMED US IN PARA 4 REFTEL, CONCERNED RELATIVES WILL ALSO BE IN GEORGETOWN AT THE TIME OF CODEL’S VISIT. IN ORDER TO RESPOND TO ANTICIPATED QUESTIONS FROM BOTH THE MEDIA AND CONCERNED PARENTS, EMBASSY WOULD APPRECIATE DEPT’S AUTHORIZATION TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT AVAILABLE ON AN “IF ASKED” BASIS.

2. QUOTE: THE PEOPLES TEMPLE COMMUNITY AT JONESTOWN IS A GROUP OF PRIVATE AMERICAN CITIZENS WHO HAVE CHOSEN TO COME TO GUYANA AS PERMANENT OR SEMI-PERMANENT RESIDENTS. AS WITH PRIVATE AMERICAN CITIZENS RESIDING ANYWHERE ABROAD, THEY ARE SUBJECT TO THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF THE HOST COUNTRY, IN THIS CASE GUYANA. THE AMERICAN EMBASSY IN GEORGETOWN HAS NO OFFICIAL CONTACT WLNTH THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE OTHER THAN THE PROVISION OF ROUTINE CONSULAR

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SERVICES TO THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THIS COMMUNITY ON A REGULAR BASIS. THESE SERVICES INCLUDE RENEWAL OF PASSPORTS, REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS, ETC. THE EMBASSY HAS NO OFFICIAL AUTHORITY OVER THE COMMUNITY OR ITS INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OR ANY LEGAL RIGHT TO DEMAND ACCESS TO ANY PRIVATE AMERICAN CITIZEN IN GUYANA. IF THE MEMBERS OF PEOPLES TEMPLE CHOOSE TO AVOID CONTACT WITH OTHER AMERICANS EITHER OFFICIAL OR UNOFFICIAL, THAT IS THEIR LEGAL RIGHT AND NEITHER THE U.S. GOVERNMENT NOR THE GOVERNEMENT OF GUYANA CAN LEGITIMATELY FORCE A REVERSAL OF THIS DECISION. THE MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE ARE PROTECTED BY THE PRIVACY ACT OF 1974, AS ARE ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS. UNQUOTE.

BURKE

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Originally posted on February 11th, 2020.

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