Dec 29, 78 • 2021 • Caracas-State • 12160

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978CARACA12160_d.html.]

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PAGE 01
CARACA 12160 301130Z
ACTION ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 PM-05 H-02 INR-10 L-03 NSAE-00 NSC-05 PA-02 SP-02 SS-15 ICA-20 AID-05 /085 W
——————045914 301504Z /43

R 292021Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5183
INFO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
UNCLAS CARACAS 12160

E.O. 12065: N/A
TAGS: PBOR PEPR GY VE
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER CONSALVI TO REQUEST INFORMATION FROM USG ON PEOPLE’S TEMPLE
REF: GEORGETOWN 4236

1. QUOTING FROM AN INTERVIEW IN MAGAZINE “RESUMEN,” CARACAS ENGLISH-LANGUAGE “DAILY JOURNAL”OF DECEMBER 29 REPORTED THAT FONMIN CONSALVI WILL ASK THE USG FOR INFORMATION ON THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE AND ITS FINANCING. CONSALVI EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT SETTLEMENT AND THE SUICIDES TOOK PLACE IN THE HEART OF TERRITORY CLAIMED BY VENEZUELA IN ITS DISPUTE WITH GUYANA. HE NOTED THAT, EXCEPT FOR CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH TERMINATED THE SETTLEMENT, JONESTOWN SETTLERS “QUITE POSSIBLY MIGHT HAVE CREATED GRAVE PROBLEMS FOR VENEZUELA HAD THEY NOT DECIDED TO PASS ON TO THE OTHER WORLD.”

2. CONSALVI ALSO EXPRESSED CONCERN OVER PUBLISHED REPORTS THAT JIM JONES AND THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE HAD 7 MILLION DOLLARS ON DEPOSIT IN THE BANCO UNION OF CARACAS, SAYING SUCH LARGE DEPOSITS SHOULD BE SUSPECT AND INVESTIGATED WHEN THEY APPEAR IN LATIN AMERICAN

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PAGE 02 CARACA 12160 301130Z

COUNTRIES.

3. FINALLY, HE NOTED HIS DISCOMFORT WITH SECTS, “PRESUMABLY RELIGIOUS, BUT THAT WERE NOT AT ALL RELIGIOUS IN REALITY.” WHICH HAVE APPEARED IN OTHER PARTS OF LATIN AMERIA. HE EXPRESSED “CONCERN” THAT THESE GROUPS, MOSTLY ORIGINATING IN CALIFORNIA, MIGHT CONSTITUTE A THREAT TO THE “POLITICAL AND MENTAL STABILITY OF LATIN AMERICA.” HE ADDED THEY SHOULD BE STRICTLY CONTROLLED, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY SEEK TO FORM COLONIES IN REMOTE AREAS.

LUERS [William Luers, American Ambassador to Venezuela]

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Originally posted on March 25th, 2020.

Last modified on July 17th, 2022.
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