366. Memorandum From the Deputy Director of Current Intelligence (Lehman) to the Deputy Director for Intelligence (Cushman), Washington, June 17, 1969.1 2

[Page 1]

I7 JUN 1969

MEMORANDUM FOR: Deputy Director for Intelligence
SUBJECT: Progress Report to the 303 on Guyana

1. In March of 1967 the 303 approved expenditures in the amount of [text not declassified] to prevent Cheddi Jagan from winning the next election in Guyana. At that time I drafted for you a memorandum to the DCI (Attachment B) which you decided not to send.

2. The arguments in that memorandum still hold water, but the price has gone up. As late as January of this year CIA notified the 303 that, of the [text not declassified] was spent in FY-67 and [text not declassified] was programmed for FY–68. However, as of late January only‚ [text not declassified] of the FY–68 slice had been committed. The 303 was warned only that “this figure will rise considerably.” It did. The 303 is now notified that the FY–68 funds are exhausted and an additional [text not declassified] will be needed for this year which ends in 13 days. Furthermore, an additional [text not declassified] will be needed for FY–69. (The election will be held sometime between December 1968 and March 1969).

3. It is probably too late to call the operation off, but it is getting damned expensive. The best result we can hope for will be the continuation of something like the present shaky coalition, maintained in power by fraudulent means, and as paralyzed as ever by Negro-East Indian enmity. On the other hand, if we do not put up the money we will eventually be faced--but probably not for three or four years--with an English speaking Communist state in this hemisphere. In fact, even with funding at this level we may not be able to prevent such an outcome, or at least a bloody little [Page 2] mess which will require forceful intervention from outside. The question is therefore whether to spend the money in the hope of not saddling the next administration with “another Cuba.” And in the present state of the American political psyche, by that time no one in either party may care very much. All this said, I do not think you should splinter any lances over this one. God, Mom, and apple pie are not negotiable.

[signed]
RICHARD LEHMAN
Deputy Director of Current Intelligence

Attachments:
Two Memos (Same Subject)
Support to Anti-Jagan Political Parties In Guyana: Progress Report. Dated 17 March 1967 and 5 June 1968.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.