31. Memorandum From Arnold Nachmanoff of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2

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  • Your Luncheon at the Argentine Embassy, 1:00 PM November 17
  • Ambassador Pedro REAL, Argentina
  • Ambassador Mozart Gurgel VALENTE, Brazil
  • Ambassador Dr. Hector LUISI, Uruguay

You are scheduled to have lunch with the Argentine, Brazilian and Uruguayan Ambassadors tomorrow at 1:00 PM. Pete Vaky and I will also be there, and there may be one or two Counselors from the Argentine Embassy as well. The Argentine Ambassador invited you so that he and his Uruguayan and Brazilian colleagues, who are his close personal friends, would have an opportunity to get to know you and to discuss general Latin American problems.

I have prepared briefing materials on the current bilateral questions we now have with the three countries (Tabs A, B and C). However, all three Ambassadors will be chiefly interested in feelings out your views on Latin America in general, and particularly on the problem of Chile. As you know, Argentina and Brazil have the uneasy feeling that the U.S. is withdrawing from the hemisphere. The Argentine Ambassador thinks very much in “balance of power” terms and believes it important that the “big powers” cooperate de facto among themselves in the region. The Brazilians, being the largest nation in the region, consider themselves in a class apart and feel they they have—or should have—a special relationship with the United States. You will want to reinforce the idea of close cooperation among the principal countries of the region, but of course you should be careful about articulating the “big power” thesis in front of the Uruguayan. Your acceptance of the invitation to this luncheon will in itself be an important demonstration of your interest in Latin America and contribute significntly to our relations with these countries.

Some of the specific subjects you may want to raise are:

1. Latin America: You may want to:

  • —ask the Ambassadors for their assessments of trends and prospects for the hemisphere;
  • —emphasize that our “mature partnership” approach is not intended to be a withdrawal from the region, but rather to reflect the recognition that the United States cannot, and should not, try to dominate the processes which Latin Americans themselves must determine; and
  • —note that we place great value on close and friendly relations with Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

2. Chile: All three governments have taken a cool but correct stance with respect to the Allende Government, but all have indicated privately their deep concern about its impact on the hemisphere and the inter-American system. They will want to know our thinking about Chile and will try to determine what the U.S. plans to do about the Allende Government.

In this connection, you may recall that the Argentine Ambassador was quite upset about your Chicago backgrounder, which seemed to imply that Argentina might go Communist. He called on Pete Vaky, who assured him that your remarks were an analytical exposition of the situation and were not intended to convey any feeling that Argentina would go Communist. If the opportunity arises, you may wish to express regret for any misinterpretation of your remarks at the backgrounder and assure Ambassador Real that you intended to express your concern about the threat which an Allende Government posed to its neighbors.

In general, you may wish to:

  • —convey our concern about the threat which an Allende Government poses to the hemisphere;
  • —note that while we expect Allende to proceed carefully, his ultimate intentions seem clear; recognition of Cuba is just the first step toward establishment of a hostile regime which will be aligned against the interests of the free nations of the hemisphere;
  • —indicate that we intend to pursue a correct but cool policy, but will be watching Allende’s actions carefully and will react appropriately to them.

3. Trade: The Latin Americans are deeply worried about the general trend of U.S. trade policy in the direction of protectionism just at a time when their own economic development depends extensively on expanding industry by means of increasing exports. Each country has specific trade concerns [Page 3] (which are discussed in the Tabs), but they are more likely to express their concern about the inconsistency of our trade policy with the President’s announced policy of expanding trade opportunities with Latin America. You may wish to indicate that:

  • —the President is determined to resist unreasonable protectionist pressures;
  • —we expect to submit legislation soon to implement the generalized tariff preferences scheme, which we believe will have substantial benefits for Latin America.

Biographic data on the three Ambassadors is attached at Tab D.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 768, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina, 1969–August 31, 1971. Confidential. Sent for information. A stamped notation on the memorandum reads: “HAK has seen.” Attached but not published are Tabs A, B, and C. Tab A is background on Argentina, Tab B is background on Brazil, and Tab C is background on Uruguay. Also attached is telegram 517 from Brasilia, November 12. It is published as Document 129. Although no record of the meeting was found, Kissinger’s Record of Schedule indicates the meeting occurred at the Argentine Ambassador’s residence from 12:51 to 2:36 p.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Papers of Henry A. Kissinger, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–76, Record of Schedule)
  2. Nachmanoff provided Kissinger with briefing material for his upcoming luncheon meeting with the Argentine, Brazilian, and Uruguayan Ambassadors to discuss regional security, Chile, and trade issues.