Guyana


365. Memorandum for the 303 Committee, Washington, May 23, 1969.

The memorandum contained proposed objectives for U.S. covert aid to Guyana with emphasis given to strengthening Burnham’s People’s National Congress Party. It recommended continuing the same level of secret support.

Source: National Security Council, NSC Intelligence Files, Country Files, Guyana, 23 May 1969–6 February 1973. Secret; Eyes Only. A handwritten note at the bottom of the first page reads, “Approved by the 303 Committee on 17 June 1969 with a proviso re additional source of funds (see minute).”


366. Memorandum From the Deputy Director of Current Intelligence (Lehman) to the Deputy Director for Intelligence (Cushman), Washington, June 17, 1969.

Deputy Director of Current Intelligence Lehman argued that CIA covert funding in Guyana was becoming expensive, and questioned its efficacy. However, he concluded that the investment was ultimately worth it in order to prevent a Castro-like regime in the hemisphere.

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Office of Current Intelligence, Job 79–B01737A, Box 14, 303 Latin America, 1962–1969. Secret; Eyes Only. There were two attachments, neither found, both concerning support to anti-Jagan political parties in Guyana. The first as dated March 17, 1967, and the second June 5, 1968.


367. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Coordination, Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Trueheart) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer), Washington, June 23, 1969.

Deputy Director for Coordination William C. Trueheart forwarded the portion of the 303 Committee minutes of the June 19 meeting that dealt with a proposal for support to the PNC Party of Guyana.

Source: National Security Council, NSC Intelligence Files, Country Files, Guyana, 23 May 1969–6 February 1973. Secret; Eyes Only.


368. Telegram 557 From the Embassy in Guyana to the Department of State, May 28, 1970, 1615Z.

Ambassador Burns provided a comprehensive review of Prime Minister Burnham’s foreign policy and concluded that the United States had no alternative but to support Burnham.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 785, Country Files, Latin America, Guyana, Vol. 1. Secret.


369. Memorandum for the 40 Committee, Washington, June 15, 1970.

Because covert assistance had helped Prime Minister Burnham to strengthen and organize his political party, the objectives of the aid had been met. It was recommended that the covert support be continued.

Source: National Security Council, NSC Intelligence Files, Country Files, Guyana, 23 May 1969–6 February 1973. Secret; Eyes Only. A handwritten note at the bottom stated, “Continuation approved by the 40 Committee on 27 June 1970.”


370. Telegram 1436 From the Embassy in Guyana to the Department of State, December 5, 1970, 1700Z.

The Embassy discussed the upcoming negotiations between Guyana and ALCAN, and predicted an agreement would not be reached. Because the issue was very important to many Guyanese citizens, there was a possibility of large demonstrations, which could turn violent.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 785, Country Files, Latin America, Guyana, Vol. 1. Secret; Priority. Copies sent to Bridgetown, Caracas, Kingston, London, Ottawa, Port of Spain, USINCO POLAD, and Paramaribo UNN.


371. Telegram 106 From the Embassy in Guyana to the Department of State, January 29, 1971, 1430Z.

The success of the negotiations between Prime Minister Burnham and the aluminum companies depended on whether the companies would accept the Government of Guyana having majority ownership and control of the bauxite industry.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 785, Country Files, Latin America, Guyana, Vol 1. Secret. A stamped notation on the telegram indicates that it was received in the White House Situation Room at 9:10 on January 30.


372. Telegram 207 From the Embassy in Guyana to the Department of State, February 17, 1971, 2150Z.

According to Ambassador King, former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg discussed with Prime Minister Burnham the negative economic effects of the nationalization of the bauxite industry for Guyana’s economy. Goldberg raised the possibility that Reynolds might construct processing facilities in Guyana, and Burnham showed interest.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 785, Country Files, Latin America, Guyana, Vol. 1. Secret; Exdis; Priority. Justice Goldberg requested that this message be give no foreign dissemination. After Burnham’s conversation with Goldberg, Burnham decided not to nationalize Reynolds, but would nationalized DEMBA. (Telegram 204 from Georgetown, February 17, ibid.)


373. Information Memorandum From the Director of the Office of Regional Economic Policy (Rogers) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer), Washington, March 5, 1971.

Director of the Office of Regional Economic Affairs (ARA/ECP) Rogers outlined the important aspects of Guyana’s nationalization of ALCAN (DEMBRA). He concluded that the reaction to the nationalization in Guyana was mixed.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, ARA Deputy Assistant Secretary Subject and Country Files: Lot 74 D 343, Economic Policy Plans, Coordination, Guyana, 1970, 1971. Confidential. Sent for information. Drafted by King and Bittner; and cleared by Moser (ARA/ECP). Copies sent to Hurwitch, Szabo, Broderick, Freeman, Heller, Feldman, and Richardson (INR/RAR). The memorandum is an unsigned copy.


374. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Secretary of State Rogers and the Secretary of Defense Laird, Washington, March 17, 1971.

President Nixon requested that the NSC Undersecretaries Committee assess how Guyana’s nationalization of part of its bauxite industry would affect the United States.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files, (H-Files), Box H–181, NSSM Files, NSSM 117. Secret. A copy was sent to the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, the Chairman of the JCS, and the Chairman of the NSC Under Secretaries Committee. A covering memorandum from Kennedy to Kissinger noted that typically such memoranda are sent only to the Chairman of the Undersecretaries Committee, and sending the memorandum to the Secretaries of State and Defense was a new practice. Kissinger wrote on the bottom, “What I want is the directive to go to all agencies on that committee, as a directive [illegible] from me.” Although the study was not found, the portion of the response to NSSM 117 that dealt with bauxite is published as Document 46.


375. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer) to the Undersecretary of State (Irwin), Washington, June 18, 1971.

Assistant Secretary Meyer argued for caution in taking action, such as abstaining on an IBRD loan to Guyana, that would weaken Burnham’s support and strengthen Jagan.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Subject and Country Files: Lot 73 D 395, Guyana. Secret; Exdis. It was drafted by Hurwich. The memorandum is an unsigned copy.


376. Memorandum for the 40 Committee, Washington, July 9, 1971.

Covert assistance to Prime Minister Burnham had strengthened his government, and helped to maintain communication between the U.S. Government and the PNC Party. Even though the assistance terminated as planned on June 30, it was expected that Burnham’s relationship with the U.S. Government would remain unchanged.

Source: National Security Council, NSC Intelligence Files, Country Files, Guyana, 23 May 1969–6 February 1973. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. A handwritten note at the bottom stated, “Telephonically approved by the 40 Committee on 3 April 1972.” In a memorandum from Jessup, Kissinger indicated his approval the same day. (Ibid.)


377. Telegram 996 From the Embassy in Guyana to the Department of State, July 14, 1971, 1458Z.

Ambassador King credited former Chief Justice Arthur Goldberg’s visit to Guyana as instrumental in the hammering out of an agreement between Burnham and ALCAN.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 785, Country Files, Latin America, Guyana, Vol. 1. Secret; Exdis. A stamped notation on the telegram indicates that it was received at the White House Situation Room at 4:39 p.m. on July 14.


378. Memorandum From the Ambassador to Guyana (King) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer), Washington, September 20, 1971.

Ambassador King reported that U.S. abstention on a World Bank loan for Guyana helped cause Guyana to reach out to leftist countries.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 785, Country Files, Latin America, Guyana, Vol. 1. Confidential. On October 7, Eliot sent a copy to Kissinger. (Ibid.) Meyer discussed the negative ramifications of the U.S. abstention on the World Bank loan in Document 375.


379. Memorandum for the 40 Committee, Washington, November 14, 1972.

The 40 Committee approved cutting covert subsidies to Prime Minister Burnham because his policy had become more anti-United States. But, if Burnham changed course prior to the national election in March, 1974, and implemented pro-United Stated policies, the 40 Committee would be advised of his new policies so it could re-evaluate the decision to terminate covert support.

Source: National Security Council, NSC Intelligence Files, Country Files, Guyana, 23 May 1969–6 February 1973. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. A handwritten note at the bottom stated, “40 Committee Approved on 12 December 1972.” Kissinger indicated his approval the same date in a memorandum from Ratliff dated December 5. In the memorandum, Ratliff concluded, “The key factor in this negative proposal is that Burnham has made it clear that he will win the election with or without our help.” (Ibid.)