198. Memorandum From the Deputy Director of Coordination of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Heavner) to the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Bowdler)1


  • Your October 18 Meeting with Ambassador Vaky: Jamaica

The RAR analyst most knowledgeable about Jamaica is Liz McKune. Hunter2 thinks she would be useful in your meeting.

I judge from the Embassy’s recent reporting and the CIA proposal that they have given up on working with Manley and want to concentrate on replacing him with Seaga. The latest interagency study, contained in the attached Exdis,3 says Manley is not a lost cause, but parts of the cable seem to support the opposite view.

My personal intuition is that Seaga will not win the next election, with or without CIA’s intervention. Furthermore, I am not at all sure we would find him any easier to live with than Manley, even though he almost certainly would not play the Cuban game.

I conclude that we should, once again, try to work with Manley—which really translates into continued efforts to help him fend off economic disaster.

When I told Ambassador Vaky why you wanted to meet with him, he said he is opposed to any covert action in Jamaica. He favors the strategy outlined in the attached Exdis, to be implemented by overt means.

You may want to discuss with Ambassador Vaky some of the following:4

—Importance of coming to a decision about Manley: have we written him off, or do we still want to try to work with him? Is a double track feasible, i.e. can we support Manley and try to influence him while encouraging opponents and potential opponents in both the JLP and the PNP?

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—Usefulness of a joint State/CIA instruction asking for a survey of the PNP, with emphasis on identifying moderates whom we can work with and perhaps assist, either overtly or covertly.

—Should we again stroke Manley with a high level visit? Could we somehow acknowledge his aspirations to spearhead the “new international economic order”?

—What opportunities, overt and covert, are there in the labor field, in the Gleaner, in the private sector?

—How can we present a positive and active program to the SCC without endorsing some covert action?

  1. Source: Department of State, INR/IL Files, Volume 22, Transfer Identification Number 980643000012, Jamaica, 1977–80. Secret; Sensitive.
  2. Hunter Estep of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
  3. Attached but not printed.
  4. No record of a meeting between Bowdler and Vaky has been found.