May 3, 78 • Georgetown-State • 1411

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE01411_d.html.]

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ACTION PPT-01
INFO OCT-01 ARA-10 ISO-00 L-03 CA-01 SCS-06 H-01 INSE-00 CIAE-00 INR-10 NSAE-00 HA-05 PA-01 ICA-11 /050 W
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P 031855Z MAY 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6705
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E.O. 11652: N/A
TAGS: CPAS, CASC, GY (TEMPLE PEOPLES)
SUBJECT: PEOPLES TEMPLE MEMBERS REQUEST GUYANESE CITIZENSHIP

1. APRIL 27 GEORGETOWN’S AFTERNOON DAILY “THE CITIZEN” (PUBLISHED BY THE GOG) IN ITS CLASSIFIED SECTION CARRIES IDENTICALLY-WORDED OFFICIAL NOTICES FROM THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS THAT INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE HAVE APPLIED TO BECOME CITIZENS OF GUYANA. EACH NOTICE READS AS FOLLWS: QUOTE: NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT (NAME) OF P.O. BOX 893, GEORGETOWN GUYANA IS APPLYING TO THE MINISTER FOR NATURALIZATION AND ANY PERSON WHO KNOWS ANY REASON WHY NATURALIZATION WHOULD NOT BE GRANTED SHOULD SEND A WRITTEN STATEMENT OF THE FACTS TO THE PERMANENT SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS, GEORGETOWN, GUYANA. UNQUOTE.

2. FOLLOWING THE PUBLICATION OF THESE NOTICES A SENIOR GUYANESE OFFICIAL INFORMED THE CONSUL THAT ALL FIVE INDIVIDUALS HAVE PETITIONED THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS DIRECTLY REQUESTING THE MINISTER TO WAIVE THE NORMAL RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR GUYANESE CITIZENSHIP IN THEIR CASES. (GUYANESE LAW REQUIRES THAT AN APPLICANT FOR NATURALIZATION MUST BE RESIDENT IN GUYANA FOR SEVEN YEARS WITH THE ADDED REQUIREMENT THAT RESIDENCE

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DURING THE LAST YEAR BE UNBROKEN BY TRAVEL OUTSIDE GUYANA.) THE FIVE INDIVIDUALS HAVE BEEN IN GUYANA FOR 4 YEARS OR LESS. THE OFFICIAL STATED THAT THE MINISTER HAS THE DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY TO WAIVE ALL STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS.

3. CONSUL HAS REVIEWED THE STANDARD APPLICATION FORM FOR NATURALIZATION, THE FINAL PARAGRAPH OF WHICH IS A STATEMENT THAT THE INDIVIDUAL WILL SWEAR UNDER OATH TO UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION OF GUYANA AND TO OBEY ALL OF ITS LAWS AND COMPETENT AUTHORITY. CONSUL BELIEVES THAT THE SWEARING OF THIS OATH WOULD NORMALLY CONSTITUTUE A TRANSFER OF ALLEGIANCE IF COMMITTED VOLUNTARILY AND WOULD THEREFORE APPEAR TO EXPATRIATE AN INDIVIDUAL UNDER SECTION 349 (A) 1.

4. CONSUL WILL BE MAKING ONE OF HIS QUARTERLY VISITS TO THE PEOPLES TEMPLE COMMUNITY AT JONESTOWN ON MAY 10 TO CONDUCT A NUMBER OF SCS AND SOCIAL SECURITY INQUIRIES. ASSUMING OUR INTERPRETATION AS SET FORTH IN PARA 3 IS CORRECT, HE WILL AT THAT TIME INFORM THE PEOPLES TEMPLE LEADERSHIP AS WELL AS THE INDIVIDUALS PLANNING TO BECOME GUYANESE THAT THEIR ACTIONS COULD RESULT IN THEIR LOSS OF US CITIZENSHIP. FOR THAT REASON EMB WOULD APPRECIATE ANY ADVICE OR GUIDANCE L/SCA OR PPT/LE MAY HAVE BEFORE MAY 9.

5. DEPARTMENT SHOULD BE AWARE OF AND BE THINKING ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY THAT THIS DEVELOPMENT WILL RAISE AN ENTIRELY NEW SET OF QUESTIONS REGARDING THE AGRICULTURAL SETTLEMENT AT JONESTOWN. IN THE PAST, THE PEOPLES TEMPLE COMMUNITY WITH ITS EIGHT HUNDRED-ODD AMERICAN CITIZEN INHABITANTS HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF

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A HIGH VOLUME OF TRAFFIC BETWEEN THE DEPT AND GEORGETOWN HAVING TO DO WITH WELFARE-WHEREABOUTS, SOCIAL SECURITY AND CHILD CUSTODY CASES. MANY OF THESE HAVE INVOLVED CONGRESSIONAL INTEREST. IF THERE IS NOW A MASS MOVE BY THE RESIDENTS OF JONESTOWN TO BECOME NATURALIZED GUYANESE, THERE IS CERTAIN TO BE A QUICKENING OF INTEREST ABOUT THE COMMUNITY IN THE U.S. AT LEAST AMONG THE NOK OF THE JONESTOWN RESIDENTS AND OTHERS WHO HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THE COMMUNITY’S PROGRESS.

BURKE

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Originally posted on February 12th, 2020.

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