101. Telegram 90883 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Brazil1

90883. Subject: Conversation in Atlanta Between Secretary and Foreign Minister Silveira. Ref: State 0829931. For Ambassador Crimmins.

Summary: The Secretary met with Foreign Minister Silveira during lunch on April 20 in Atlanta. Also present were Ambassador Araujo Castro, Ambassador Maciel, Assistant Secretary Kubisch and Stephen Low of the NSC.

The Foreign Minister agreed with the Secretary that the MFM came out well. They decided to propose Brasília as the site of the meetings of the science and technology working group established at the MFM. In their discussion of bilateral relations the Secretary and the Foreign Minister agreed they should meet twice a year, once in each country. They also agreed that a bilateral commission to consider political, economic and scientific issues would be established. On the question of the countervailing duty on shoes, Silveira implied that he may believe that Secretary Shultz and Finance Minister Simonsen agreed to deal with the specific bilateral issue at the GATT, rather than bilaterally. The Foreign Minister approved of the US decision to grant licenses to the Argentine subsidiaries of American automotive firms.

Silveira described relations between Brazil and several Latin American nations. Among the highlights of these remarks were: Brazil was making progress in its efforts to woo Uruguay from Argentina; the GOB was considering inviting the President of Venezuela to Brazil; that despite Brazil’s good relations with Chile, Brazil would not be a major supplier of military equipment to Chile; Brazil was advising Chile and Bolivia separately on the question of Bolivian access to the sea; Brazil would try to improve relations with Peru; Brazil would not recognize Cuba nor support Cuba’s attendance at the next MFM. He reiterated his view that the OAS should be simplified but not reformed. End summary.

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1. The Secretary and Foreign Minister Silveira agreed that the Washington meeting of Foreign Ministers turned out very well. They discussed the locations for the meetings of the working groups on the transfer of science and technology and on trans-national enterprises which were established at the Washington MFM. The Secretary supported Silveira’s proposal that the science and technology working group hold its meetings in Brasilia and suggested that perhaps the trans-national enterprise group could meet in Mexico or Costa Rica.

2. The Secretary said that Brazil and the United States should consult before either nation makes a major move in Latin America. He proposed that he and Silveira get together twice a year, once in Washington and once in Brazil. He asked Silveira for his views as to how the relationship between the two countries should be worked out and suggested that a scientific cooperation commission be established which, inter alia, could work on oil shale technology. Silveira replied that they could establish a US-Brazil special coordinating commission such as Brazil has with other countries. He explained that it could deal with economic, political and scientific subjects. The Secretary suggested that topics like the countervailing duty on shoes issue could be handled by the commission. Later in the conversation Silveira again raised the issue of a commission and noted that Brazil already had commissions with Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. He added that if the US agreed to establish one with Brazil, it might also establish one with Argentina. He said the focus of the commission should be political. The Secretary tentatively agreed to the establishment of such a commission which, he said, would include a scientific committee. He promised to write to the Foreign Minister about the idea by the end of May.

3. Silveira said that Secretary Shultz had agreed to negotiate the issue of the countervailing duty on shoes within the GATT. When the Secretary said that there was no problem with this provided Shultz accepted it, Silveira reaffirmed that Shultz had accepted international negotiations on the issue. When the Secretary asked whether Silveira was referring to such things as the definition of subsidies, Silveira replied “yes, you are considering everything as a subsidy.” (Comment: Silveira left the impression that he may believe that Secretary Shultz and Finance Minister Simonsen agreed to handle the countervailing duty on shoes at the GATT, whereas in fact they apparently agreed to continue handling the specific issue on a bilateral basis but to discuss the general issue of export subsidies at the GATT.)

4. The Foreign Minister said that he approved of the USG’s decision to grant licenses to Argentine subsidiaries of US automobile firms to trade with Cuba. He added that he could not understand why his predecessor had been so strongly opposed to such action.

5. Silveira described Brazil’s relations with a number of Latin American countries. He said that Brazil and Argentina were close to agree[Page 286]ment on the river issue. He stressed Paraguay’s importance to Brazil by noting that Brazil “would even defend” that country. In Uruguay the security situation had improved. He noted that although Uruguay had signed an agreement with Argentina and had been attracted to Argentina, it was “acting better now.” The GOB had asked the GOU for an interpretation of the Argentine-Uruguayan agreement, he said. “Even if it is settled,” he added, “it will be confused enough so it won’t work.”

6. The Foreign Minister said the GOB was “watching Colombia and Venezuela.” Brazil was thinking of inviting the President of Venezuela to visit Brazil. He noted that Brazil had not had such a visit for a hundred years and that the GOB wanted to create a climate which would make such visits possible. He said Brazil was ready to do many things with Venezuela, but not let it have Guyana.

7. Silveira said that Chile and Brazil had excellent relations, but Brazil was not going to send major supplies of military equipment to Chile. He said Brazil will not encourage Chile to take any action against Peru.

8. The Foreign Minister said that Peru had poor relations with all its neighbors: Bolivia, Chile, and even Brazil. He said that he would try to “enter” Peru and suggested that the fact that both countries had military governments with similar objectives could facilitate his effort. Silveira asserted that it was Velasco’s advisors that created most of the problems between Peru and Brazil and added that if Velasco should leave office the situation would change for the better. He said Brazil would try to maintain a dialogue and engage in common ventures with Peru. The Secretary said that he would visit Brazil before Peru so that he could discuss with Silveira US policy toward Peru.

9. The Foreign Minister said that Peru was worried about Bolivia, noting that Peru can veto any concession Chile might make to Bolivia. Assistant Secretary Kubisch explained that the treaty settling the war between Peru and Chile required that Peru be consulted in any disposition of Chilean territory that formerly belonged to Peru and that the President of the United States is the arbitrator of any differences of interpretation. Silveira said that he was advising both Chile and Bolivia privately on the question of access to the sea for Bolivia. Silveira suggested that Chile could grant Bolivia certain “jurisdictions” over a seaport and an access corridor which would be less than full sovereignty. He promised to send the Secretary a paper on this subject. The Secretary asked him to do so.

10. On Cuba Silveira said that in a year or so Brazil would be more flexible, but would not recognize Cuba. He added that for domestic reasons China would be easier to recognize than Cuba. The Secretary asked what Brazil would do if Cuba was present at the next meeting [Page 287]of Foreign Ministers. Silveira allowed as how it was a difficult problem but told the Secretary the United States would not be forced to make a decision on that matter. He said that the Paraguayan Foreign Minister had told him that he would not attend such a meeting. Silveira added that Chile and Uruguay also would not attend. When the Secretary pressed him again on what the GOB would do, Silveira replied, “nothing. I must be rigid with Cuba, but I’m not going to say so. Our strategy is based on the behavior of Cuba. We are not ready to make concessions.” Silveira said that Cuba can only be invited to the next MFM by consensus. When Ambassador Araujo Castro asked what was meant by “consensus”, the Secretary replied if Brazil, the US, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile were against Cuba’s attending the next meeting there could be no consensus. The Secretary and the Foreign Minister agreed to remain in close contact on this issue. Silveira said “we will never change our position without consulting with you. We are not ready to make concessions—in words yes—but not actions.”

11. Silveira said that whereas others wanted to reform the OAS, he did not see how that could be done. He would just like to simplify it a little. Later he indicated that Brazil would not be out in front in efforts to restructure the OAS or revise the Rio Treaty. He implied that the countries that want the changes will have to fight their own battles.

  1. Summary: Meeting during the OAS General Assembly session in Atlanta, Kissinger and Silveira discussed the possible establishment of a U.S.-Brazil special coordinating mission, trade issues, and Brazil’s relations with neighboring countries.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P840114–2579. Confidential; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Watson; cleared by Bowdler, Schwab, and Gammon; approved by Eagleburger. In telegram 86800 to Brasília, April 27, the Department transmitted a letter in which Kissinger informed Silveira he supported the idea of setting up a working group to discuss science, technology transfer, and transnational enterprises. (Ibid., P840114–2584)