203. Teleconference Between the Department of State and the Embassy in Brazil1

For Ambassador.

Our request for teleconference at 2030Z today grows out of decision at White House this morning that we have regular daily teleconferences with you in view of high value placed on information obtained by this means previously.

If impossible for you to be present each time DCM entirely satisfactory. Ordinarily DOD and CIA representatives will also be present this end with Ball, or U A Johnson and Mann.

Suggest 1500Z, 1900Z and 2300Z for times of teleconference tomorrow.

Suggest you send telecon message in advance each teleconference to be available at start of conference here with situation report covering any significant developments under following headings referred to by number and letter.

[Page 445]
Military Situation
Developments in each of four armies
Action by air force or navy
Shifts in allegiance of key military forces or officers
Possible or actual independent moves by non-coms or enlisted
Logistic Situation
Adequacy of POL, armaments, ammo, other military supplies
Need for US logistic support action
  • Sec 1


    Treat all messages Secret and Exdis.

    Conferees here are UA Johnson, Adams, McNaughton (DOD) and Col. King (CIA). Who is at your end and did you get our advance?

  • Sec 2

    Your 2147 and Brasilia 133 received.2 Do you have anything further on Goulart resignation?

    End Sec 2.

  • Sec 3

    Undersecretary Ball now present.

    End Sec 3.

  • Sec 4

    Re POL Norwegian tanker Finnanger under Esso charter carrying Avgas and Mogas en route Buenos Aires will be off Santos on or about 7 April. If diversion required instructions must be given 6 April.

    There is also Tidewater ship J Paul Getty carrying 500,000 barrels bunker fuel scheduled arrive Rio 5 April. Another Tidewater vessel carrying same amount bunker fuel due arrive Santos 9 April.

    Re para 1 JANAF msg J–93 we perceive no way get diesel fuel off Rio until arrival MSTS tankers 13 April.

    End Sec 4.

  • Sec 5

    Re last sentence Rio 1, we have a special task force here now at work several days on economic and financial assistance, emergency relief, etc. and are prepared promptly to act on your recommendations.

    [Page 446]

    End Sec 5. Sec 6

    Nothing further here now. Would appreciate flash wrap-up report tonight about four hours from now. Would be prepared gather for another telecon tonight if you consider desirable. Otherwise will telecon with you at 1500Z tomorrow.

    Will reply Rio 6 by cable tonight.

    CCN line 1 wrap-up.

    End Sec 6

This is Ambassador Gordon.

  • Rio 1

    We believe it is all over with democratic rebellion already 95 percent successful. First army solidly in favor and at 1640 Gen Ancora4 ordered cessation military action against rebels. Ancora and Kruel meeting at 1800 in Rezende. First army command to be assumed by Gen Costa e Silva, strongly democratic. Still awaiting formal announcement but we believe Goulart has already or is just about to resign. Mazzilli would then take over on interim basis as provided in constitution. Castello Branco states no need US logistical support. Radio stations in Rio all now in friendly hands state Goulart has resigned but Brigadeiro Mello5 of air force states this not yet true.

    Still some concern at possible civil strife in Porto Alegre, Recife and on limited scale perhaps here too, as well as problem left leaning groups in marines and other scattered groups armed forces. Reaction labor unions still uncertain. We have begun staff work on possible needs for internal security help, financial stabilization etc. No word yet on Congressional reactions. Goulart arrived Brasilia 1430 Brasil time. This ends Rio 1.

  • Rio 2

    Have received your Sec 1 and 2 and 3. I am accompanied here by Mein and Gresham. Have you received my Rio 1?

    End Rio 2.

  • Rio 3

    Have just received [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] indicating that Goulart may be planning to stay in Brasilia and look for some kind of compromise political solution. My first reaction is that this would be most difficult to achieve, given momentum of anti-Goulart movement.

    [Page 447]

    Regarding your advance message, some of it is obsolete but we can meet teleconference times suggested and will also be guided by your format in wrap-up report tonight.

    This ends Rio [3].

  • Rio 4

    Sec 4 recd. Possibility Petrobras sabotage cannot yet be wholly discounted and we should keep these tankers coming until situation clarified. End Rio 4.

  • Rio 5

    Do you have any other questions for us now? End Rio 5.

  • Rio 6

    Sec 5 is good news. Would appreciate summary your thinking these points. End Rio 6.

  • Rio 7

    We have nothing further now. If you do not, should we terminate? End Rio 7.

  • Rio 8

    Sec 6 recd. Will act accordingly. Presently doubt need for further telecon tonight but will give advance warning if desired. Confirm 1500Z tomorrow. End Rio 8.6

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Brazil, Vol. II, 3/64. Secret; Exdis. A handwritten note indicates that “Ball gave essence of this to the President by phone.” According to the President’s Daily Diary, Ball called Johnson at 3:52 p.m. (Johnson Library) No substantive record of the conversation has been found. Ball briefed the Secretary at 3:53 p.m.: “B said Gordon thinks it is all over. B reported on his talk with Rio. Sec said we should look into the question of recognition; perhaps if Mazzilli succeeds, there is no question. B will get Chayes working on it. B said we were still working on getting POL down there, since we could not be sure of the situation.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Calls 3/20/64–4/9/64)
  2. Telegram 2147 from Rio de Janeiro, April 1, forwarded unconfirmed reports that Goulart had resigned. (Ibid., Central Files 1964–66, POL 15–1 BRAZ) Telegram 133 from Brasilia, April 1, reported that Goulart had evidently flown to Brasilia to “confer with congressional leaders.” (Ibid., POL 23–9 BRAZ)
  3. Dated April 1. (Ibid.)
  4. Jair Dantas Ribeiro; he was replaced the next day by Artur Costa e Silva.
  5. Francisco de Assis Correia de Melo, Air Force Chief of Staff.
  6. Bundy called the President at 4:30 p.m., explaining that, in light of Gordon’s report, it would not be necessary to reconvene that day to discuss Brazil. Johnson agreed to schedule a meeting of the National Security Council for the following morning. (Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of telephone conversation between President Johnson and Bundy, April 1, 1964, 4:30 p.m., Tape F64.22, Side A, PNO 3) Bundy later explained to Rusk that the NSC meeting, although “more for show than for use,” would allow the participants to “wrap up on Brazil.” (April 1, 6:37 p.m.; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Calls 3/20/64–4/9/64)