134. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Brazil1

1922. Brazilian proposals 8th MFM action as set forth in memorandum Valle brought2 and Foreign Minister’s January 12 statement discussed by Secretary, Woodward and Goodwin with Valle and Campos morning January 13.3 Our discussion largely aimed at clarification their ideas. No commitment was made for other than further study, but it was suggested that they might wish discuss with Argentines. We also emphasized strong feeling of many other OAS members in favor vigorous action and strength of feeling within US on Cuban problem.

Seems clear that Brazilian program, while fostering notion that Cuba can or should have its right to “neutral” status recognized by OAS, contemplates no action by MFM beyond some kind of preliminary indication of incompatibility between declarations (not acts) of Castro regime and OAS principles and that all other aspects working out “statute of relations” between Cuba and hemisphere would be left to Foreign Ministers group or other “special organ” which would hear all parties and report to COAS. Valle vague on precise terms reference for such group.

Principal questions raised with them were: 1) Whether their formula does not contemplate possibility permanent acceptance neutral status for Cuba, i.e. permanent acceptance accomplice of Soviet bloc; Valle’s reply was that things couldn’t go on there indefinitely as they are (he conceded that a “communist state” is “by definition interventionist”). 2) Effect within Brazil of MFM decision on obligatory measures; Valle said result would be [to] greatly accentuate existing tensions. 3) Whether neutralization not the same as isolation other programs contemplate; Valle said isolation would inevitably widen gap between Cuba and other American states, while their program could lead to its being narrowed (even to consideration of resumption of US-Cuban trade).

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Valle produced copy of the illustrative draft (Depcirtel 1236)4 which we are making available other COAS representatives here (but not by us to Brazilian pending your reaction Deptel 1903).5 We explained carefully to him the basis on which it was prepared and is being used for consultative purposes.

Valle queried whether Secretary would be able stop off in Brasilia on January 19 en route to Punta (when he will be receiving four other FonMins including Roa) and he explained that unavailability aircraft before evening January 20 would make that impossible.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/1-1462. Confidential; Niact. Drafted by Jamison, cleared by Woodward and Rogers, and approved by U. Alexis Johnson.
  2. Not found, but summarized in telegram 1593 from Rio de Janeiro, January 9. (Ibid., 737.00/1-962)
  3. A more detailed record of the conversation is ibid., Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 65 D 330.
  4. Circular telegram 1236, January 11, instructed recipient Embassies to give the Foreign Minister in confidence a draft prepared on the basis of circular telegram 1200 (see footnote 2, Document 129) emphasizing that it was not a U.S. proposal but an example of a position that might have substantial support. (Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/1-1162)
  5. Telegram 1903, January 11, instructed the Embassy to give the Brazilians the draft resolution on the basis set forth in circular telegram 1236, unless it perceived objections to doing so. (Ibid., 371.04/1-1162)