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dominated by blacks.
Consequently, the CIA turned to Public Services International (PSI) in London,
an international trade union secretariat for government employees, one of the
international networks which exist to export the union know-how of advanced industrial
countries to less-developed countries.
According to a study undertaken by The Sunday Times of London, by 1958 the
PSI's "finances were low, and its stocks were low with its own parent body, the
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions [set up by the CIA in 1949 to rival the
Soviet-influenced World Federation of Trade Unions]. It needed a success of some kind.
The financial crisis was resolved, quite suddenly, by the PSI's main American affiliate
union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)."
AFSCME's boss, Dr Arnold Zander, told the PSI executive that he had "been shopping"
and had found a donor.
"The spoils were modest at first-only a couple of thousand pounds in 1958. It
was, the kind donor had said, for Latin America. The money went towards a PSI


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'recruiting drive' in the northern countries of Latin America by one William Doherty, Jr.,
a man with some previous acquaintance of the CIA." (Doherty was later to become the
Executive Director of the American Institute for Free Labor Development, the CIA's
principal labor organization in Latin America.)
"The donor was presumably pleased, because next year, 1959, Zander was able
to tell the PSI that his union was opening a full-time Latin American section in the PSI's
behalf. The PSI was charmed."
The PSI's representative, said Zander, would be William Howard McCabe (a
CIA. labor apprentice). The Times continued:
McCabe, a stocky, bullet-headed American, appeared to have no previous union
history, but the PSI liked him. When he came to its meetings, he distributed cigarette lighters
and photographs of himself doling out food parcels to the peasants. The lighters and the
parcels were both inscribed "with the compliments of the PSI".5
In 1967, in the wake of numerous revelations about CIA covert financing, the
new head of AFSCME admitted that the union had been heavily funded by the Agency
until 1964 through a foundation conduit (see Appendix I). It was revealed that
AFSCME's International Affairs Department, which had been responsible for the British
Guiana operation, had actually been run by two CIA "aides".6
CIA work within Third World unions Typically involves a considerable
educational effort, the basic premise of which is that all solutions will come to working
people under a system of free enterprise, class co-operation and collective bargaining,
and by opposing communism in collaboration with management and government, unless,
of course, the government, as in this case, is itself "communist". The most promising
students, those perhaps marked as future leaders, are singled out to be sent to CIA
schools in the United States for further education.
The CIA, said The Sunday Times, also "appears to have had a good deal of
success in encouraging politicians to break away from Jagan™s party and government.
Their technique of financing sympathetic figures was to take out heavy insurance
policies for them."7
During the 1961 election campaign, the CIA's ongoing program was augmented
by ad hoc operations from other American quarters. The US Information Service took the
most unusual step of showing its films, depicting the evils of Castroism and
communism, on street corners of British Guiana. And the Christian Anti-Communist
Crusade brought its traveling road show down and spent a reported $76,000 on electoral
propaganda which lived up to the organization's name.8 One historian has described this
as "a questionable activity for a private organization, which the State Department did
nothing to discourage".9 On the other hand, the activities of US government agencies in
British Guiana were no less questionable.
Despite the orchestrated campaign directed against him, Jagan was re-elected by a
comfortable majority of legislative seats, though with only a plurality of the popular
vote.
In October, at his request, Jagan was received at the White House in Washington.
He had come to talk about assistance for his development program. President Kennedy
and his advisers, however, were interested in determining where Jagan stood on the
political spectrum before granting any aid. Oddly, the meeting, as described by Kennedy
aide Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. who was present, seemed to be conducted as if the Kennedy
men were totally unaware of American destabilization activities in British Guiana.
To Jagan's expressed esteem for the politics of British Labour leader Aneurin
Bevan, those in the room "all responded agreeably".


109
To Jagan's professed socialism, Kennedy asserted that “We are not engaged in a
crusade to force private enterprise on parts of the world where it is not relevant”.
But when Jagan, perhaps naively, mentioned his admiration for the scholarly,
leftist journal, Monthly Review, it appears that he crossed an ideological line, which
silently and effectively sealed his country's fate. "Jagan," wrote Schlesinger later, "was
unquestionably some sort of “Marxism.”10
No economic aid was given to British Guiana while Jagan remained in power,
and the Kennedy administration pressured the British to delay granting the country its
independence, which had been scheduled to occur within the next year or two.11 Not
until 1966, when Jagan no longer held office, did British Guiana become the
independent nation of Guyana.
In February 1962, the CIA helped to organize and finance anti-Jagan protests
which used the newly announced budget as a pretext. The resulting strikes, riots and
arson were wholly out of proportion to the alleged instigation. A Commonwealth
Commission of Enquiry later concluded (perhaps to the discomfort of the British Colonial
Office which had appointed it) that:
There is very little doubt that, despite the loud protestations of the trades union leaders to
the contrary, political affinities and aspirations played a large part in shaping their policy
and formulating their programme of offering resistance to the budget and making a
determined effort to change the government in office.12


The CIA arranged, as it has on similar occasions, for North American and Latin
American labor organizations, with which it had close ties, to support the strikers with
messages of solidarity and food, thus enhancing the appearance of a genuine labor
struggle. The agency also contrived for previously unheard-of radio stations to go on the
air and for newspapers to print false stories about approaching Cuban warships.13
The centerpiece of the CIA's program in British Guiana was the general strike
(so called, although its support was considerably less than total) which began in April
1963. It lasted for 80 days, the longest general strike in history, it is said.14
This strike, as in 1962, was called by the Trades Union Council (TUC) which, as
we have seen, was a member in good standing of the CIA's International labor mafia.
The head of the TUC was one Richard Ishmael who had been trained in the US at the
CIA's American Institute for Free Labor Development along with other Guianese labor
officials.
The strike period was marked by repeated acts of violence and provocation,
including attacks on Jagan's wife and some of his ministers. Ishmael himself was later
cited in a secret British police report as having been part of a terrorist group which had
carried out bombings and arson attacks against government buildings during the strike.15
No action was taken against Ishmael and others in this group by British
authorities who missed no opportunity to exacerbate the explosive situation, hoping that
it would culminate in Jagal™s downfall.
Meanwhile, CIA agents were giving "advice to local union leaders on how to
organize and sustain" the strike, the New York Times subsequently reported. "They also
provided funds and food supplies to keep the strikers going and medical supplies for pro-
Burnham workers injured in the turmoil. At one point, one of the agents even served as a
member of a bargaining committee from a Guiana dike workers1 union that was
negotiating with Dr. Jagan." This agent was later denounced by Jagan and forbidden to
enter the country.16 This is probably a reference to Gene Meakins, one of the CIA's main
labor operatives, who had been serving as public relations advisor and education officer


110
to the TUC. Meakins edited a weekly paper and broadcast a daily radio program by
means of which he was able to generate a great deal of anti-Jagan propaganda.17
The Sunday Times study concluded that:

Jagan seems to have thought that the unions could hold out a month. But McCabe was
providing the bulk of the strike pay, plus money for distress funds, for the strikers' daily
15 minutes on the radio and their propaganda, and considerable travelling expenses. All
over the world, it seemed brother unions were clubbing together.
The mediator sent from London, Robert Willis, the general secretary or the London
Typographical Society and a man not noted for his mercy in bargaining with newspaper
managements was shocked. “It was rapidly clear to me that the strike was wholly
political”, he said. "Jagan was giving in to everything the strikers wanted, but as soon as
he did they erected more demands".18

Financial support for the strike alone, channeled through the PSI and other
labour organizations by the CIA, reached the sum of at least one million dollars.
American oil companies provided a further example of the multitude of resources
the US can bring to bear upon a given target. The companies co-operated with the
strikers by refusing to provide petroleum, forcing Jagan to appeal to Cuba for oil.
During Jagan's remaining year in office, in the face of a general US economic embargo,
he turned increasingly to the Soviet bloc. This practice of course provided ammunition
to those critics of Jagan in British Guiana, the United States and Great Britain who
insisted that he was a communist and thus fraught with all the dangers that communists
are fraught with.
The strike was maintained primarily by black supporters of Forbes Burnham and
by employers who locked out many of Jagan's Indian supporters. This inevitably
exacerbated the already existing racial tensions, although The Sunday Times asserted
that the "racial split was fairly amicable until the 1963 strike divided the country".
Eventually, the tension broke out into bloodshed leaving hundreds dead and wounded
and "a legacy of racial bitterness".19
Jagan was certainly aware, to some extent at least, of what was transpiring
around him during the general strike. After it was over he charged that:

The United States, in spite of protestations to the contrary by some of its leaders,
is not prepared to permit a Socialist government or a government committed to
drastic and basic reforms to exist in this hemisphere, even when this government
has been freely elected ... It is all too clear that the United States will only support
a democratic government if it favors a classic private enterprise system.20

In an attempt to surmount the hurdle of US obsession with the Soviet Union and
"another Cuba in the Western hemisphere", Jagan proposed that British Guiana be
"neutralized" by an agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union, as the
two powers had done in the case of Austria. Officials in Washington had no comment
on the suggestion.21
Cheddi Jagan's government managed to survive all the provocations and
humiliations. With elections on the agenda for 1964, the British and their American
cousins turned once again to the gentlemanly way of the pen.
The British Colonial Secretary, Duncan Sandys, who had been a leading party to
the British-CIA agreement concerning Jagan, cited the strike and general unrest as proof
that Jagan could not run the country or offer the stability that the British government
required for British Guiana to be granted its independence. (Sandys was the founder, in
1948, of The European Movement, a CIA-funded cold-war organization.)22


111
This was, of course, a contrived position. Syndicated American columnist Drew
Pearson, writing about the meeting between President Kennedy and British Prime
Minister Macmillan in the summer of 1963, stated that "the main thing they agreed on
was that the British would refuse to grant independence to Guiana because of a general
strike against pro-Communist Prime Minister, Cheddi Jagan. That strike was secretly
inspired by a combination of U.S. Central Intelligence money and British intelligence. It
gave London the excuse it wanted."23
The excuse was used further to justify an amendment to the British Guiana
constitution providing for a system of proportional representation in the election, a
system that appeared certain to convert Jagan's majority of legislative seats into a
plurality. Subsequently, the British-appointed Governor of British Guiana announced
that he would not be bound to call on the leader of the largest party to form a
government if it did not have a majority of seats, a procedure in striking contrast to that
followed in Great Britain.
When, in October 1964, the Labour Party succeeded the Conservative Party to
power in Great Britain, Jagan had hopes that the conspiracy directed against him would
be squashed, for several high-ranking Labour leaders had stated publicly, and to Jagan
personally, their opposition to the underhanded and anti-democratic policy of their
Conservative Party foes. Within days of taking office, however, the Labour Party
dashed these hopes.24
"Bowing to United States wishes," the New York Times disclosed, the Labour
Party "ruled out early independence for British Guiana" and was going ahead with the
proportional representation elections. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, it was reported, had
left the new British Foreign Secretary, Patrick Gordon-Walker, "in no doubt that the
United States would resist a rise of British Guiana as an independent Castro-type
state".25 On a previous occasion, Rusk had urged Gordon-Walker's Conservative
predecessor, Lord Home, to suspend the British Guiana constitution again and "revert to
direct colonial government".26
The intensive American lobbying effort against British Guiana (the actual
campaign of subversion aside), led Conservative MP and former Colonial Secretary,
Iain Macleod, to observe in the House of Commons: "There is an irony which we all
recognize in the fact of America urging us all over the world towards colonial freedom
except when it approaches her own doorstep."27
The day before the election of 7 December, a letter appeared in a British Guiana
newspaper”a bogus pro-Communist letter, a tactic the CIA has used successfully the
world over. The letter was purportedly written by Jagan's wife Janet to Communist
Party members, in which she stated: "We can take comfort in the thought that the PNC
[Burnham's party] will not be able to stay in power long ... our communist comrades
abroad will continue to help us win eventual total victory."
Ms. Jagan quickly retorted that she would not be so stupid as to write a letter
like that, but, as in all such cases, the disclaimer trailed weakly and too late behind the
accusation.28
As expected, Jagan won only a plurality of the legislative seats, 24 of 53. The
governor then called upon Forbes Burnham, who had come in second, to form a new
government. Burnham had also been named as a terrorist in the British police report
referred to earlier, as had several of his new government ministers.
Jagan refused to resign. British Army troops were put on full alert in the capital
city of Georgetown. A week later, Her Majesty's Government waved its hand over a
piece of paper, thereby enacting another amendment to the British Guiana constitution



112
and dosing a loophole which was allowing Jagan to stall for time. He finally
surrendered to the inevitable.29
In 1990, at a conference in New York City, Arthur Schlesinger publicly
apologized to Cheddi Jagan, who was also present. Schlesinger said that it was his
recommendation to the British that led to the proportional representation tactic. "I felt
badly about my role thirty years ago," the former Kennedy aide admitted. "I think a
great injustice was done to Cheddi Jagan."30
Four years later, with Jagan again president”having won, in 1992, the country's
first free election since he had been ousted”the Clinton administration prepared to
nominate a new ambassador to Guyana: William Doherty, Jr. Jagan was flabbergasted
and made his feelings known, such that Doherty was dropped from consideration.31
When it was time, in 1994, for the US government to declassify its British
Guiana documents under the 30-year rule, the State Department and CIA refused to do
so, reported the New York Times, because "it is not worth the embarassment". The
newspaper added:
Still-classified documents depict in unusual detail a direct order from the
President to unseat Dr. Jagan, say Government officials familiar with the secret
papers. Though many Presidents have ordered the CIA to undermine foreign
leaders, they say the Jagan papers are a smoking gun: a clear written record,
without veiled words or plausible denials, of a President's command to depose a
Prime Minister.32

“They made a mistake putting Burnham in,” said Janet Jagan looking back at it all. "The
regrettable part is that the country went backwards." And so it had. One of the better-off countries in the
region 30 years ago, Guyana in 1994 was among the poorest. Its principal export was people.33




17. Soviet Union late 1940s to 1960s
From spy planes to book publishing
Information ... hundreds of young Americans and ©migr© Russians gave their
lives so that the United States could amass as much information as possible about the
Soviet Union ... almost any information at all about the land Churchill had described as
"a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma".
There is no evidence, however, that any of the information collected ever saved
any lives, or served any other useful purpose for the world. Today, tons of files stuffed
with reports, volumes of computer printouts, tapes, photographs, etc., lie in filing
cabinets, gathering dust in warehouses in the United States and West Germany.

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