450. Telegram From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State1

12955. Vienna for IAEA. Subject: Treaty of Tlatelolco/NPT Review Conference. Ref: (A) Mexico 8058 (Notal),2 (B) Mexico 5103 (Notal).3

1. (C—Entire text.)

2. Summary: OPANAL SecGen foresees Brazilian final accession to Treaty of Tlatelolco, but believes that Cuba remains negative and Argentina’s ratification continues in doubt. Latin American preparations for NPT Review Conference are at very preliminary stage. End summary.

3. Emboffs met July 31 with OPANAL SecGen Hector Gros Espiell for tour d’horizon. Regarding Treaty of Tlatelolco, Gros said that Brazilians are waiting for U.S. and France to complete ratification of Protocol I before depositing their own Treaty ratification. On Argentina, Gros said that ratification prospects remain discouraging despite past assurances that Argentina would move ahead. Gros asserted that Mexican FonSec Castaneda had recently urged ratification on Argentine [Page 1118] Ambassador here—but efforts of GOM and OPANAL thus far have not been successful.

4. Gros opined that any renewed efforts to encourage Cuba to adhere to Treaty will probably have to await both completion of Latin American ratifications and “political changes” in Washington (that is, improved U.S.-Cuban relations). Gros confirmed earlier reports that Mexican President Lopez Portillo had raised Tlatelolco with Fidel Castro during latter’s May visit to Mexico. According to Gros, Castro was not receptive and Tlatelolco was omitted from Joint Communiqué at his insistence.

5. Regarding NPT Review Conference, Gros said that no reactions have yet been received to OPANAL’s solicitation of Latin American (LA) views. Gros said that LA representatives will probably meet in January or February to elaborate common position for Review Conference, including concrete suggestions for better implementation of NPT Article IV (peaceful nuclear cooperation) by nuclear-weapon states. Gros remarked that Soviet Ambassador is meeting with him this week because of Moscow’s concern that LA states might seek to denounce or undermine NPT at Review Conference—a concern Gros apparently does not share.

6. Turning to LA nuclear organizations, Gros said that he is considering seeking to work out an agreement between IANEC (the OAS Inter-American Nuclear Energy Commission) and OPANAL—whereby function of former would be limited to technical/scientific questions, while latter would have monopoly in political field. (Comment: Key GOM arms control figure Ambassador Sergio Gonzalez Galvez remarked to Gerard Smith in May that IANEC is excessively oriented toward Brazil, Argentina and Chile (see Ref A). Gros’ effort to work out agreement presumably parallels GOM’s effort to maintain primacy of OPANAL in LA nuclear affairs.)

7. On conventional arms control, Gros expressed pessimism over prospects for Mexican initiative—given unsettled LA political situation following Nicaragua.4 (Drafted by Jon Glassman.)

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790352–0811. Confidential. Sent for information to Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Caracas, the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Moscow, Vienna, and all U.S. Consulates in Mexico.
  2. Telegram 8058 from Mexico City, May 16, reported that Smith discussed INFCE, the “desirability of Mexican contribution to work on post-INFCE institutional arrangements, Pakistan, and U.S.-Mexican nuclear cooperation” with Roel and Gonzalez Galvez on May 14 and 15. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790225–0571)
  3. Telegram 5103 from Mexico City, March 28, reported that Gros Espiell expressed “surprise” that Castro Madero said that Argentina would not ratify the Treaty of Tlatelolco given that during his recent trip he “had been assured that ratification presented no problem for Argentina.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790146–0723)
  4. Reference is to the July 16 resignation of Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza Debayle and the assumption of power by the Sandinistas on July 19.