104. Memorandum From the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (Walters) to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft)1


  • Brazil

[1 line not declassified] Brazilian National Intelligence Chief, General Figueiredo, [less than 1 line not declassified] and Chief Presidential Advisor, General Golbery. [less than 1 line not declassified] They expressed the following views:

1. Political “decompression” (allowing broader political activity) is an aim of the Government and it is coming. It will be cautious and measured. The opposition and others will have to behave in a responsible manner.

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2. Brazil has realized that the monopoly on oil exploration of Petrobras will not produce new fields. In about a year they will change existing legislation to permit U.S. and West Europeans to participate as only they have the necessary technology. This is a break with a long-standing nationalistic myth and it will take a year to educate young officers and others to accept fundamental need to allow foreign participation in oil prospecting. This is a very big step.

3. Brazilians are moving towards some sort of normalization with Red China. This too will require an educational process to convince young officers of advantages in this course.

4. They are concerned with events in Portugal and their impact in Brazil. Figueiredo believes Spinola is much more of a Naguib than a Nasser. He is, however, more concerned with rightist tendencies of hard-line young officers. 1974 will be a difficult year but Geisel will make it and sailing will be easier thereafter. Golbery agreed with this assessment.

5. Brazil has no intention of changing its policies towards Cuba. If the U.S. is ever forced to change its policies, they hope we will let them know well in advance of any public move on our part.

6. They expressed great concern about situation in Argentina. They hope Mrs.Perón can maintain herself as there is no acceptable alternative to her. She has signalled Brazilians that she would like to come to Brazil. They feel it is premature and would rather wait a while to see if she can hold on to power. The Argentine Armed Forces were inhibited by a “failure complex”.

[1 paragraph (6½ lines) not declassified]

Vernon A. Walters
Lieutenant General, USA
  1. Summary: Walters informed Scowcroft [text not declassified] with Brazilian officials on political and economic matters, and on Brazil’s relationship with China, the Soviet Union, Argentina, Cuba, and Portugal.

    Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Henry A. Kissinger Office Files, Box 147, Agency and Congressional Files, CIA, Colby, 1974, 2, General Walters. Secret; [handling restriction not declassified].