429. Telegram 2024 From the Embassy in Jamaica to the Department of State1 2

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  • On Your Mark, Get Set, Don’t Go (For Now)

1. In answer to Ambassador’s inquiry, “Do you have any bombshells about Cuba?” on August 8, Jamaican Prime Minister Manley said that Jamaica had no repeat no intention of establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba or of trading with Cuba as long as U.S. “restrictions” were in effect.

2. Manley said, however, that British had told Jamaican Government that they no longer wanted to provide consular services for the 20,000 (Manley’s figure) Jamaicans living in Cuba. Jamaica thus planned to establish Consulate in Cuba, but, according to Manley, “probably not in Havana.” Manley said that Consulate would probably be located in town convenient to area where most Jamaicans lived.

3. On trade, Manley said that Jamaica “would not be the last” to start trading with Cuba as soon as U.S. restrictions were lifted. In preparation for this eventuality, Manley said “there are a couple of potential areas of trade between us and we intend to explore them [Page 2] with our people going there and theirs coming here.”

4. Manley also said that he hoped he would have some advance notice if U.S. policy toward Cuba was to be changed, as he did not want to read in newspaper that “Kissinger had made another trip to Havana.” Manley said that he did not want to seem to be following U.S. lead on Cuban policy.

5. Ambassador told Manley that he would see that he (Manley) had notice of any Cuban policy change.

De Roulet
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 17 JAM–CUBA. Confidential. Repeated to Bridgetown, Georgetown, London, and Port-au-Spain. In telegram 1928 from Kingston, July 29, the Embassy reported that Manley denied press reports that his government had invited Fidel Castro to attend Jamaican independence day celebrations. (Ibid.)
  2. The Embassy reported that Prime Minister Manley told Ambassador de Roulet that the Jamaican Government had no intention of establishing diplomatic or trade relations with Cuba while U.S. restrictions were still in effect.