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


  • Reply from President Médici of Brazil

1. The following message [1 line not declassified] is President Médici’s reply to President Nixon’s message:

“President Médici greatly appreciates President Nixon’s message to the effect that in view of the indications that Venezuela and Ecuador may demand the abolition of sanctions against Cuba during the forthcoming meeting of the OAS, he, President Nixon will strongly oppose any such abolition and that the U.S. will vigorously oppose such a proposal if it is made.

“President Médici wishes to inform President Nixon that Brazil’s position will also be firm and resolute against any such attempt as that referred to above whatever the country which makes such a proposal.

“In the same way Brazil will publicly oppose any indirect attempt—and this seems more likely—aimed at achieving the same objectives through a resolution which would in practice open the way for a future lifting of the sanctions.

“Brazil would very much like to be able to count on the support of the United States in such a case.”

2. [less than 1 line not declassified] President Médici’s representative (Colonel Dieguez) said that the President and Foreign Minister Gibson Barboza, who was asked by the President on the evening of 7 March to draft the above position, wished to convey additional thoughts orally. On the occasion of a recent meeting with the Venezuelans at Santa Elena, the Venezuelan Foreign Minister told Gibson Barboza that he planned to introduce a resolution at the upcoming OAS meeting. The Venezuelan insisted that it would not be a motion to lift sanctions because a meeting of consultation would be the only appropriate forum for such an action. Moreover, the Venezuelan reportedly also agreed that such a motion would be defeated easily. What the Venezuelan [Page 240] proposes, he told Gibson, is to head off an alternative Peru-Ecuador resolution in stronger terms. The Venezuelan apparently wishes to enlist Ecuador as co-sponsor of a resolution which, in effect, would say that times have changed, as attested to by U.S. rapprochement with the Soviets and Chinese, and the end of the Vietnam war. On that basis, the Venezuelan is said to have gone on, the OAS must publicly state that a new era of peace and brotherly love is upon the world.

3. Dieguez said that Brazil will oppose the Venezuelan resolution because it could lead to judgments by individual nations that they are free of commitment to the sanctions. Gibson Barboza estimated that at least eight nations would jump on that bandwagon and embrace Cuba. While Gibson believes that it will be a difficult task to defeat the Venezuelan resolution, Brazil will oppose it steadfastly and would hope to count on the U.S. to oppose any such “we are all at peace and brothers” proposal as well as any subsequent meeting of consultation move to end sanctions.

4. [2½ lines not declassified]

5. The following comment was additionally received [less than 1 line not declassified]:

“Since President Médici has brought this matter to the knowledge of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, I would like, for obvious reasons, to be authorized to inform the Ambassador, who is not a square. [name not declassified]”

Vernon A. Walters Lieutenant General, USA
  1. Summary: Médici informed Nixon that Brazil would publicly oppose an attempt to lift sanctions on Cuba.

    Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 772, Country Files, Latin America, Brazil, Vol. IV, 1973–1974. Secret; [handling restriction not declassified]. On March 20, in a backchannel message, Nixon informed Médici that he appreciated Brazil’s opposition to lifting OAS sanctions on Cuba. (Ibid.)