284. Memorandum From Robert Pastor of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • Letter to Prime Minister Burnham

State and I have been wrestling with the problem of what to do with the repeated requests Guyanese Prime Minister Forbes Burnham has made to meet with the President. He has gone to extraordinary lengths to persuade us of the need for such a meeting, but I am still unpersuaded. I do agree, however, with State that a letter as an alternative to a meeting would be extremely helpful. State has drafted the letter at Tab A, which was cleared by Fallows, and I recommend that you send it along with the memorandum at Tab I.2 In that memo I have also explained why we have recommended against such a meeting, and I have also tried to provide the President with a little bit more understanding of the politics of the Caribbean.


That you send the memorandum at Tab I and the letter at Tab A to the President.3 (Tab B, incoming from State, need not be sent.)4

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Pastor, Country, Box 24, Folder: Guyana, 1/77–12/78. Confidential. Sent for action.
  2. Tab A is not attached. An April 6 draft letter from Carter to Burnham is ibid. A handwritten note on that letter reads, “not delivered.” Tab I is an undated memorandum from Brzezinski, in which he recommends to Carter that the President send a letter to Burnham, but not meet with him, because “already there have been complaints in the Caribbean that the Carter Administration is paying too much attention to the leftist governments in the Caribbean and too little to the more moderate ones.”
  3. Inderfurth wrote beneath the recommendation, “ZB, I think the letter is a good idea, but I think you could approve and have Susan sign it.” Aaron wrote, “I agree.” Brzezinski wrote, “ask Susan Clough.” Clough wrote, “letter at Tab A signed 4/6/78.”
  4. Not attached and not found.