415. Editorial Note

On June 8, 1977, First Lady Rosalyn Carter met with Brazilian Foreign Secretary Antônio Francisco Azeredo da Silveira in Brasilia to discuss President Jimmy Carter’s desire to maintain “close cooperation and consultation with Brazil” on a number of subjects, including the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. She also asked him to waive the conditions Brazil had articulated regarding ratification of the Treaty of Tlatelolco. Silveira replied that while Brazil believed in safeguarding nuclear materials, “it will never accept restrictions on the transfer of technology.” He also said that while Brazil had not ratified the Treaty, it “considers itself committed” to upholding its principles, and had adopted such conditions “as a means of pressuring the Soviets to adhere” to the Treaty. (Telegram 4682 from Brasilia, June 8; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770205–0025)

The Ambassador to Brazil, John Crimmins, later informed Washington about the status of a variety of nuclear issues with Brazil, including the Treaty of Tlatelolco, and advised the Department to follow up on Mrs. Carter’s presentation to Silveira, perhaps via a personal letter from Carter to Brazilian President Ernesto Geisel. A private comment by Geisel to the First Lady that “he would consider this matter,” Crimmins suggested, might indicate his openness to such a personal entreaty by Carter. The Brazilians, Crimmins stressed, remained “sus[Page 1050]picious” not only of the Soviet Union but also Argentina’s and Chile’s nuclear ambitions, as well as France’s reticence about signing the Treaty. (Telegram 5033 from Brasilia, June 18; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770219–0055)

The Department of State also tried to enlist other Latin American nations, particularly Mexico, in its diplomatic effort to convince Brazil, Argentina, and Cuba to bring the Treaty of Tlatelolco “into full force within two years.” The Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, C. William Maynes, told the Mexican Ambassador to the United States, Sergio Gonzalez Galvez, that the United States “would prefer to work with both Argentina and Brazil so that adherence” to the Treaty was “not achieved under compulsion.” The United States, he said, would take the same tack with the Soviet Union “and continue to do so cautiously.” Maynes also urged the Ambassador to convince Cuba to sign the Treaty. (Memorandum of Conversation, June 27; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P770116–1900)