Dec 14, 78 • 1838 • State-Georgetown • 315208

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978STATE315208_d.html.]

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STATE 315208
ORIGIN ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 SCS-06 CA-01 HA-05 ( ISO ) R
DRAFTED BY ARA/CAR:R MCCOY:KC
APPROVED BY ARA/CAR:J GRIFFITH
——————007416 142039Z /50

P 141838Z DEC 78
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN PRIORITY
UNCLAS STATE 315208

E.O. 12065: N/A
TAGS: OVIP, (LOWERY, JOSEPH DR.)
SUBJECT: TRAVEL TO GUYANA OF BLACK RELIGIOUS LEADERS

1. DESK OFFICER INFORMED TODAY THAT BLACK AMERICAN DELEGATION PLANS TO ARRIVE IN GUYANA ABOARD PAA ON DECEMBER 19 TO EXAMINE TRAGEDY AT JONESTOWN AND IN PARTICULAR WHY SO MANY BLACK AMERICANS FOLLOWED A WHITE LEADER TO THEIR DEATHS.

2. DELEGATION IS COMPOSED OF (A) DR. JOSEPH LOWERY PRESIDENT OF THE SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE (SCLC) AND MINISTER OF THE CENTRAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH (B) DR. WILLIAM JONES – PRESIDENT, PROGRESSIVE NATIONAL BAPTIST CONVENTION – (C) DR. MAJOR J. JONES – DEAN, GAMMON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY – ATLANTA, GA – (D) DR. NELSON SMITH, MINISTER, NEW PILGRIM BAPTIST CHURCH, BIRMINGHAM, ALA, SCLC BOARD MEMBER AND PAST PRESIDENT, PROGRESSIVE BAPTIST CONVENTION.

3. DR. LOWERY MET LAST WEEK WITH GUYANESE AMBASSADOR MANN IN WASHINGTON TO DISCUSS VISIT. AMBASSADOR MANN

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INFORMED DR. LOWERY THAT DELEGATION MAY NOT BE PERMITTED TO TOUR JONESTOWN BECAUSE OF PRESENT GOG INVESTIGATION. NEVERTHELESS DELEGATION STILL WISHES TO CONSULT WITH EMBASSY, GOG AND CHURCH GROUPS SUCH AS GUYANA COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN AN ATTEMPT TO UNDERSTAND TRAGEDY. DESK OFFICER INFORMED GUYANESE EMBASSY (CICELY GOUVEIA) TODAY (DEC 13) OF TRAVEL PLANS. EMBASSY IS REQUESTED TO OFFER ALL APPROPRIATE ASSISTANCE TO FACILITATE VISIT.

CHRISTOPHER

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Originally posted on March 24th, 2020.

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