403. Editorial Note

On February 16, 1977, President Jimmy Carter told Department of Agriculture employees that he was “moving aggressively” to “eliminate the possibility of additional nations being able to build atomic weapons,” and specifically cited his attempts “to induce the Germans not to sell nuclear processing capability to the Brazilians.” (“President Carter Discusses Foreign Affairs Priorities,” Department of State Bulletin, March 21, 1977, pp. 265–266) The Department of State transmitted Carter’s remarks to the Embassy in Brazil on February 18 in telegram 37480. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770057–0845) The Brazilian government, however, continued to resist Carter’s entreaties. Nogueira Batista, the President of NUCLEBRAS, Brazil’s state-supported nuclear energy company, said that Carter had caused “serious problems” between the United States and Brazil by trying to “pressure” Brazil and West Germany to either suspend or abrogate their nuclear deal. Batista also said that the “Americans acted like amateurs in foreign policy.” (Telegram 1352 from Brasilia, February 18; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770058–0849) Foreign Minister Silveira said that Brazil “had nothing [Page 1028]to fear from President Carter’s statement,” reiterated Brazil’s and the Federal Republic of Germany’s determination to go forward with the deal, and gave Batista “a vote of confidence.” Pressure from Washington, he said, “will get nowhere.” (Telegram 1414 from Brasilia, February 18; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770059–0315)