199. Editorial Note

On October 17, 1979, President Carter sent a handwritten note to Secretary of State Vance and Director of Central Intelligence Turner, that reads, “To Cy and Stan, Re: Jamaica. I’m afraid we may be on the verge of driving Manley and Jamaica irrevocably to Cuba. Let’s reassess & see if we can’t move Manley back toward us. He’ll be P.M. until 1981—J.C.” (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Pastor, Country, Box 26, Jamaica, 10–11/79)

In an October 19 meeting about the Caribbean and Central America, Carter revealed that he was initially inclined to “knock the hell out of Manley and support a moderate group,” but was dissuaded from that course of action during a conversation with Andrew Young, who insisted that “such a policy would be suicide in Jamaica, that Manley is in power until 1981 and he is too strong to be overthrown.” Carter then stated he would be prepared to invite Manley to the White House for a visit if necessary, or perhaps send Andrew Young, former U.S. Representative to the United Nations, to Jamaica. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Pastor, Country, Box 4, Folder: Caribbean 10–12/79) Portions of the Summary of Conclusions of the meeting are printed as Document 368.

At an October 23 Special Coordination Committee meeting, the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Brzezinski, Turner, Secretary of Defense Brown, and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Newsom, among others, met to discuss covert action in Jamaica. The SCC concluded “the political proposal presented by the CIA appeared premature. Just what needs to be done—and what could be done in Jamaica, it was felt—needs to be examined in greater depth. The Chairman (Brzezinski) directed the State Department to plan a full [Page 484] PRC review of the Jamaican situation and possible options for U.S. Government action, both covert and overt, in the near future. Meanwhile, it was agreed propaganda activity in support of our present policy objectives could be undertaken within the scope of the existing Findings.” (National Security Council, Carter Intelligence Files, Box 20, Minutes—SCC 1979) For the CIA proposal, see Document 197. For the Summary of Conclusions of the PRC meeting, see Document 370.