228. Memorandum of Conversation1
- Brazilian-U.S. Relations
- Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States
- Lincoln Gordon, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs2
- John W. Tuthill, United States Ambassador to Brazil
- José A. De Seabra, Interpreter
- Arthur da Costa e Silva, President-elect of Brazil
- Vasco Leitão da Cunha, Brazilian Ambassador to the United States
- Edmundo Macedo Soares e Silva, President, National Confederation of Industries of Brazil
President-elect Costa e Silva expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to meet a man of the stature and leadership qualities of President Johnson, and stated emphatically that his country was, as it has always been, a staunch friend of the United States.
President Johnson said that he was well aware of the traditional friendship between the two countries, and was glad that the President-elect had been able to come to the United States before assuming his many important responsibilities. It is the intention of the United States to continue to cooperate with Brazil in all possible efforts towards achieving ever greater progress in that country.
Costa e Silva said that he hoped that the United States will continue to be favorably disposed toward Brazil while he endeavors to reestablish a totally democratic and legitimate regime in his country.
At this point, the two Presidents moved to the White House lawn and continued their conversation.
President Johnson expressed in warm and forceful terms his appreciation for Brazil’s prompt and determined action during the Dominican crisis. Costa e Silva mentioned the part that he played at that time as Minister of War. He further stressed the need for continued vigilance and action against the danger of communism.[Page 509]
President Johnson said that the two countries should always stand together so as to resist effectively any totalitarianism, be it from the left or the right.
Then the conversation continued for a short time in the Cabinet Room in the presence of Assistant Secretary Gordon, Ambassador Leitão da Cunha, Ambassador Tuthill, and Governor Macedo Soares.
The Presidents exchanged complimentary remarks about their respective Ambassadors. President Johnson mentioned that he had granted very prompt recognition to the Brazilian revolutionary regime on the strong recommendation of Mr. Gordon. He added that even though such prompt action had created some difficulties for him at home, the subsequent turn of events had borne out the sound judgment of Mr. Gordon, who was to be considered a hero and not a “scapegoat.”
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 7 BRAZ. Secret. Drafted by J.A. DeSeabra (OPR/LS) and S.C. Lyon (ARA/BR). Approved in the White House on February 2. The time of the meeting is taken from the President’s Daily Diary. (Johnson Library) The conversation began in the Oval Office.↩
- A note on the memorandum indicates that Gordon, Tuthill, Leitão da Cunha, and Macedo Soares were present for part of the conversation only.↩