Letter from Plk. (colonel) Houska to Minister of the Interior Lubomír Štrougal giving a summary of the report submitted by Jaroslav Mercl on a business trip/confidential probe in British Guyana. The report indicates that the Prime Minister, Cheddi Jagan, and his party are trying to gain independence and are strongly interested in gaining economic aid from socialist countries, including Czechoslovakia.
June 15, 1962
Letter to Minister of Interior Lubomír Štrouga, 'Jaroslav Mercl – Proposal to Send Him to British Guiana'
1st Directorate (Intelligence) Prague, 15 June 1962
č.j.: A/1-00243/21-62 (Top secret)
Minister of the Interior
s. [comrade] Lubomír Štrougal
Re: Jaroslav Mercl – proposal to send him to British Guiana to make a confidential probe
Dear comrade Minister,
On 18 June of this year the four man delegation consisting of staff of our foreign trade enterprises is leaving to British Guiana. Its aim is to establish the first economic and business contacts with the government of British Guiana and British Guiana businesses. This delegation is leaving at the direct request and interest of British Guiana Prime Minister Cheddi Jagan who is for political reasons looking to establish economic collaboration with the countries of the socialist bloc, especially with Czechoslovakia.
Our secret service has a possibility to use the stay of our trade delegation in British Guiana to make a confidential probe of a political character, including the preparation for the opening of diplomatic relations between both countries after British Guiana gains independence which should be in this year.
I suggest, comrade Minister, to send as a part of this delegation a member of the 1st Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior [foreign intelligence] Jaroslav Mercl, who works at a high position in the foreign trade enterprise OMNIA. He is very experienced because he served in the United States and at the residency [as a secret agent attached to the embassy] in Canada as the trade attaché.
Mercl as a head of the delegation will make a direct contact with British Guiana Prime Minister dr. Jagan and will talk with him about matters that we are interested in. To make a contact, he will use a recommendation letter from Jagan’s close friend Rudolf David who, from the decision of Jagan, currently studies in Czechoslovakia, and our 2nd department is in touch with him. Rudolf David should be appointed to one of the high government position after British Guiana gains independence and according to Mrs. Jagan, who spoke with him this spring in Prague, he will become minster of education. Rudolf David promised us every help.
We have confirmed Jagan’s interest in holding talks with representatives of Czechoslovakia from [agent] ALONSO – the confidential workmate of the resident [chief agent] in Mexico – whom we sent to British Guiana to meet with dr. Jagan. Jagan even asked Alonso if he has the ability to facilitate such a meeting. The same was confirmed by our resident [chief agent] in Rio de Janeiro KÁJA who made the first probe in British Guiana at the beginning of this year.
A high ranking official of the Cuban secret service told us that the Prime Minister of Cuba Fidel Castro recommended to Mrs. Jagan that she could ask the specific questions [e.g. a request of weapons] with confidence to the Czechoslovakians. Then Castro symbolically gave her a Czechoslovakian pistol.
[The next paragraph notes that the secretariat of the ministry of foreign trade agrees with the idea of sending the delegation and incorporating an agent to this delegation.]
Mercl and the other four members of the delegation will probably leave on 25 June 1962 and will stay abroad from 10 to 15 days. The expenses will be covered by the Ministry of Foreign Trade, we will cover only the expenses of this delegation in British Guiana.
I ask you, comrade Minister, for approval of this proposal
Head of 1st Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior
On behalf mjr. Pražský
A letter sent on behalf of the Head of 1st Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior regarding a proposal to send Jaroslav Mercl to British Guiana to make a confidential probe "of a political character, including the preparation for the opening of diplomatic relations between both countries after British Guiana gains independence."
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