183. Telegram From the Embassy in Brazil to the Department of State1

7525. Subject: Demarche on Brazilian Assistance to Nicaragua. Ref: A) State 219651,2 B) State 211262,3 C) State 211259.4

1. S–Entire text

2. Summary: I met with Brazilian Foreign Minister evening August 23 and reviewed with him in detail Nicaraguan situation and our strategy for achieving successful outcome. Brazil is already making small economic contribution and is keeping close watch on developments. But Foreign Minister said on military assistance that “Nicaragua was not a part of our thinking.” Nevertheless, he promised to discuss within Brazilian government and give me prompt response. End summary.

3. I called on Brazilian Foreign Minister at 4:00 pm. August 23 and spent an hour with him on non-aligned meeting and Nicaragua. I briefed him in general on Secretary’s meetings in Quito (State 211259 and State 211262) and went over in detail comments State 219651. Foreign Minister did not raise any questions on our analysis of situation or strategy.

4. On economic side Brazil is sending this week Varig 707 full of supplies to Nicaragua.

5. Foreign Minister said Brazilian military is reluctant to become involved because it is inclined to see leftist extremist outcome in Nicaragua with repercussions elsewhere. Guerreiro said he had argued that if Latin countries did not help it would help to assure that outcome. I reinforced this argument. He said military aid had not been within Brazilian thinking on Nicaragua. I stressed that only US and Brazil within OAS had capability to supply equipment and provide training. Others such as Cuba would only be pass through for other suppliers. [Page 562] He asked if US would supply as last resort and I replied US sending team to assess situation and I assumed we would try to be helpful but we wanted other OAS members pick up this requirement.

6. I noted current Panamanian effort and fact this tended to occupy ground but said Panama did not have capability to sustain military aid very long as opposed to much stronger capability on police training. Given Cuban activity, I said, time was of essence in giving GNR some sense that countries other than Cuba would help in meeting legitimate security concerns.

7. Foreign Minister asked about attitude of Venezuela and I told him Venezuelan President had taken more positive attitude after need had been explained to him.5 Foreign Minister said that he would discuss within government but he left me with impression that Brazil was reluctant to become involved.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790386-0853. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Sent for information immediate to Managua and for information to Panama City, San Jose, Tegucigalpa, Guatemala City, Caracas, and San Salvador.
  2. In telegram 219651, August 21, the Department instructed Sayre “to make a demarche to the GOB at the highest level for the purpose of describing our views of current developments in the Nicaraguan situation, the role the U.S. is playing and the course it intends to pursue, and the role of third countries.” The Department wanted “to encourage Brazil to contribute assistance, and we believe that it may be particularly well positioned to offer military assistance to the Nicaraguan government.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790382-0419)
  3. See Document 47.
  4. See footnote 2, Document 47.
  5. See Document 365.