87. Telegram 1738/Secto 191 From the Embassy in Jamaica to the Department of State1

1738/Secto 191. Subj: SecVisit LA: Conversation with Brazilian FonMin Gibson Barboza.

1. Following presentation of gifts, Secretary had approximately one hour talk with Foreign Minister in the presence of advisors: Ambassador Rountree, Under Secretary Casey, Pedersen, Kubisch, Szabo and DCM Cleveland on US side; SecGen Carvalho E Silva, Ambassador Araujo Castro, Director Americas Department Expedito Rezende, and American Desk Officer Frassinetti Pinto on Brazilian side.

2. After welcoming Secretary’s visit, FonMin lauded the excellent present state of US-Brazilian relations. In this connection, he thought that President Médici’s visit to US in December 1971 had marked a high-point in US-Brazilian relations, and had materially enhanced the quality of these relations.

3. President’s visit: Foreign Minister added that Brazil, and in particular President Médici himself, looked forward to the visit of President Nixon, which GOB felt would make an important further contribution in the same sense. Secretary replied that as Foreign Minister Gibson knew, the President was anxious to visit South America and particularly Brazil, and intended to do so during President Médici’s term of office. He originally had in mind later this year but there was a problem about the Venezuelan election in November; hence with Christmas season coming on thereafter, it seemed as if Jan or Feb of 1974 would be the best time for visit. FonMin pointed out that Brazil would be electing a new President on Jan 15, 1974, and suggested that Presidential visit following these elections might be awkward because of possible confusion of roles of President Médici and the President-elect. The Secretary agreed this could be a problem, but wondered if there might [Page 246] not be advantages as well; a visit at this point would enable the President both to renew and cement the close personal relationship which he had established with President Médici, but also get to know the President elect with whom he would be working in the future. The Secretary agreed in any case to consider the matter again in the light of FonMin’s information and be in touch.

4. The Secretary emphasized that he did not want his own visit to be considered as a public relations visit but rather as one designed to produce results which counted. The Secretary added that relations between State Department and Congress in US were steadily improving, which gave the Department a capacity to influence Congress in areas where congressional problems might have arisen in our relations with Latin American countries.

5. Shrimp agreement: In this connection, Secretary said he knew GOB had been somewhat concerned about the length of time it had taken us to submit to the Congress necessary legislation for implementation of US-Brazilian agreement on shrimp fishing. This delay had been caused by bureaucratic difficulties in Washington. He was happy to be able to inform FonMin that these had been overcome and that the legislation would be submitted late the same week or early the next. FonMin thanked the Secretary and acknowledged there had been indeed some difficulties in the implementation of the agreement, in particular late arrival of notification of vessels authorized to fish under agreement. In this connection he made specific reference to “Apollo 12” case. The Secretary assured the FonMin that on his return he would make an effort both to expedite congressional consideration and approval of implementing legislation, and to insure that streamlined procedures were adopted which would bring an end to difficulties the FonMin had mentioned. He pointed as well to US desire to renew fishing agreement when it expired at end this year; FonMin did not comment audibly on this point.

6. Law of the Sea: Secretary underlined basis of US position. In a lengthy reply, Gibson Barboza reiterated essential points of Brazil’s position, describing it as “extreme position” on which flexibility was limited by legislative action; nevertheless FonMin insisted on Brazil’s desire to find some accommodation in this area with [garble—member?] countries and US, and in particular reiterated assurances that Brazil had no intention of using its control over territorial sea to hinder US defense posture.

7. Other agreements: FonMin described shrimp agreement as a “good agreement” because it provided a pragmatic solution to an important problem in a manner which did not prejudice the legal position of either Brazil or the US. He also spoke warmly of our bilateral agreement on peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which once again took [Page 247] account of but did not attempt to settle disagreement in principle over matter of peaceful nuclear explosions. FonMin spoke warmly of the US-Brazil treaty on scientific and technological cooperation which set a pattern for future cooperation in this field; indeed, he felt strongly that the size and number of programs under this agreement should be substantially expanded. The Secretary promised to look into this question on his return.

8. US aid to Brazil: FonMin expressed considerable concern over fact that FY 1974 aid budget contained no provision for continuing loans to Brazil. He pointed out that despite success of “Brazilian miracle”, which had perhaps been oversold, Brazil remained a less developed country in severe need of continued capital support. Concern over discontinuance of US bilateral loan assistance was motivated particularly by fear that such action on USG part would discourage international financial institutions, particularly World Bank and IDB, from continuing to lend support to Brazil at previous rate. He specifically asked that USG review and revise this policy. Secretary in reply pointed out that for some years the US had been under pressure to move from bilateral aid, which many countries felt involved excessive US interference in their internal affairs, to multilateral aid. (Gibson commented that Brazil much preferred bilateral.) Secretary added that he could see no evidence in past cases where bilateral aid had been terminated (e.g. Korea and Taiwan), that this had discouraged World Bank and other international financial institutions from continuing to support a developing country. He said he would certainly do all he could to discourage any such reaction.

7[9]. Multilateral Trade Negotiations: FonMin Gibson Barboza emphasized the importance which GOB attached to success of forthcoming MTN as well as to the work of Committee of 20 on International Monetary System. FonMin hopes to be able to attend opening session MTN in Japan. In his view the combined work of C–20 and MTN will change the face of the world and establish a new basis for international economic relations, one likely to last a long time. Hence Brazil intends cooperate fully in these negotiations, and looks in this connection to visit Ambassador Malmgren later this week. Secretary indicated his pleasure at FonMin’s approach, which largely parallels our own, and hopes US and Brazilian delegations would be able to work closely together in course of MTN.

8[10]. Atlantic Charter: In this connection, FonMin expressed his concern about Kissinger speech proposing a “New Atlantic Charter”, which he felt suggested an exclusive relationship between US and Europe (as well as a questionable “Atlantic” Japan) and failed to consider the role and importance of the under developed countries in trade matters and in general. Ambassador Araujo Castro added this concern [Page 248] was generally shared by the developing country Embassies in Washington. Secretary felt this speech had been somewhat misunderstood. GOB should not worry excessively about it. Kissinger’s speech had been interpreted as statement of general purpose, designed in particular to insure that the Atlantic Alliance, which had played and should continue to play such an important role in the security of the Western world, should not be split because of competition and differences on trade matters. We in no sense had in mind an exclusive club. The point, he added, was that bulk of the trade problems to be discussed in MTN lie among the developed countries. FonMin pursued this point in various ways for considerable period but finally appeared to accept Secretary’s assurance at time he left the session in order to proceed to a private lunch for Secretary Rogers.

  1. Summary: Rogers and Gibson Barboza discussed a possible visit by President Nixon, economic matters, and a speech by Kissinger on a “New Atlantic Charter.”

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, ORG 7 S. Confidential. Repeated Priority to Brasília and Rio de Janeiro. Rogers visited Rio de Janeiro and Brasília May 19–22. In telegram 1734 from Kingston, May 27, the Embassy sent to the Department a memorandum of conversation of a separate Rogers-Gibson Barboza conversation on Law of the Sea. (Ibid.) Kissinger’s April 23 speech is printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXXVIII, Part 1, Foundations of Foreign Policy, 1973–1976, Document 8. In telegram 3014 from Brasília, May 19, the Embassy informed the Department that Gibson Barboza might raise the issues of collective economic security and the multilateral commercial negotiations of 1973, strengthening the UN and OAS, terrorism, and regional issues. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, [no film number]) The 2-year U.S.-Brazil Shrimp Conservation Agreement was signed on May 9, 1972.