Nov 21, 78 • 1743 • Port of Spain-State • 3339

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978PORTO03339_d.html.]

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PAGE 01
PORT O 03339 211753Z
ACTION ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 INR-10 /026 W
——————125191 211755Z /47

P 211743Z NOV 78
FM AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN
TO USINFO WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO SECSTATE WASHDC 3256
AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
UNCLAS PORT OF SPAIN 03339
FOR PGM/RC, AR

E.O. 11652: N/A
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION

1. GUYANA NEWS CONTINUES TO TOP LOCAL MEDIA OUTPUT. TUESDAY NOVEMBER 21 “EXPRESS” DEVOTED ENTIRE FRONT PAGE TO STORY UNDER BANNER HED, “UNWILLING ONES WERE FORCED TO TAKE POISON.” OTHER EXPRESS STORIES, INCLUDING EDITORIAL, OCCUPIED APPROXIMATELY ONE ADDITIONAL PAGE. ALMOST ALL REPORTS ARE CANA-BASED AND GENERALLY CONTINUE FACTUALLY OBJECTIVE, REFRAINING FROM SPECULATION.

2. ONE ASPECT EMERGENT FROM COLLECTIVE REPORTS IS THAT AFFAIR BASICALLY INVOLVED AMERICANS ONLY AND WAS ENTIRELY “AMERICANS FIGHTING AMERICANS.” THIS BECAME MAJOR, IF INDIRECT, THREAD FOR EXPRESS EDITORIAL HEADED “REAPING A HARVEST OF BLOOD.”

3. EDITORIAL SAID IF PRIME MINISTER BURNHAM ASKS WHAT HE HAS DONE TO DESERVE THIS, ANSWER “HAS TO DO, AMONG OTHER THINGS, WITH THE PECULIAR STANCE SOME UNDERDEVELOPED COUNTRIES, NEWLY INDEPENDENT, ARE FORCED INTO IN ORDER TO SURVIVE.”

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4. EXPRESS CITED: (1) “MR. GAIRY HAS HIS FREE PORT IN ST. GEORGE’S ORGANIZED BY SOME PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD PROBLEMS IN THE UNITED STATES, (2) CARIBBEAN CASINOS ARE REPORTED TO BE IN THE GRIP OF THE MAFIA, (3) LATEST PHENOMENON IS THE AMERICAN OFFSHORE MEDICAL SCHOOLS WHICH APPEAR TO BE COINING MONEY WHILE DEBASING THE STANDARDS OF MEDICAL TUITION IN THE REGION, (4) RELIGIOUS SECTS HAVE BEEN WITH US A LONG TIME. ONE HEARS THEM ON RADIO, WATCHES THEM ON TELEVISION, AND THOUSANDS OF WEST INDIANS ARE ATTRACTED TO THEIR TABERNACLES.” PAPER DREW PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO “THOSE FROM AMERICA WHO ARE SO ACTIVE IN OUR MIDST.”

5. EXPRESS SAID “THE JONESTOWN TRAGEDY HAS CONFIRMED THAT THERE IS MORE TO IT THAN RELIGION…AND…IN THE PROCESS, MR. BURNHAM’S COUNTRY HAS REAPED A HARVEST OF BLOOD.”

ASKEY

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Originally posted on March 1st, 2020.

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