“I wonder what they will say now about this?” – Jagdeo provides proof that Burnham was on the CIA’s payroll
General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo in taking up a challenge by PNC member and former Georgetown Mayor, Hamilton Green, quoted a declassified US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) document which shows that former PNC founder Forbes Burnham was on its payroll, even while serving as Guyana’s Prime Minister.
Dr Jagdeo during a press conference on Thursday at Freedom House, Georgetown, quoted from the memorandum for the Treasury Committee, Washington, dated May 28, 1969.
This follows a call by Green for the General Secretary to provide proof.
Quoting from the document, the PPP General Secretary said, “Prime Minister Forbes Burnham of Guyana, who has previously received covert assistance from CIA, requested that the agency provide $10,000 a month for two years to support his efforts to build his party, the People’s National Congress, into an effective, permanently organised political party.”
The documents further state that Ambassador Delmar Carlson recommended approval of this request in the amount of $5,000 per month for two years, with the understanding that Burnham be aware that the subsidy would be reviewed at the end of the first year and could be terminated, “if the PNC had not made satisfactory progress.”
Dr. Jagdeo told the media that he would personally send the document to Green, questioning, “I wonder what they will say now about this?”
While the then Guyana Government had denied Burnham’s involvement with the CIA, Dr Jagdeo had revealed that Burnham was supported by the CIA in order to maintain a pro-American stance in the country and to counter the influence of the Soviet Union and Cuba, which had established relations with Guyana during that period. Burnham was the Prime Minister of Guyana from 1964 until his death in 1985, during which time Guyana experienced political and social turmoil.