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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • August 27, 1947

    Minutes of the Tenth Session of the Brazilian National Security Council, Alvaro Alberto’s proposal to establish a Brazilian Atomic Energy Program

    The minutes describe the internal discussion at the National Security Council of a proposal to establish a nuclear program sent from New York by Admiral Alvaro Alberto, who was representing Brazil at the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (UNAEC). The Council approved the Admiral’s proposal and one of its members, Colonel Bernardino Corrêa de Matos Netto declared that "it is not convenient that Brazil relinquishes [nuclear energy], because it is necessary to prepare the ground for future generations."

  • August 30, 1956

    Minutes of the Twentieth Session of the Brazilian National Security Council, Second Brazilian Nuclear Plan

    At this meeting the National Security Council decided to reform the Brazilian nuclear sector by placing it under the direction of CNEN (National Nuclear Energy Commission). The CSN suggested young technicians and academics should be instructed abroad in order to stimulate the development of professionals in that field. One of the objectives of the nuclear policy was the production of nuclear fuel from domestically-sourced minerals. The Brazilian government criticized the monopoly on nuclear fuel by the big powers.

  • October 27, 1962

    Telegram from Yugoslav Embassy in Rio de Janeiro (Barišić) to Yugoslav Foreign Ministry

    A telegram from the Yugoslav Embassy in Rio de Janeiro to the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry about a meeting with Brazilian President João Goulart. Barišić says Goulart considers that everything must be done to prevent the beginning of war, because war would bring unpredictable catastrophe and it would be hard to extinguish it if war operations start. Goulart also shares his opinion that negotiations are necessary, and that Cuba must be prevented from becoming an atomic base for it could be the constant cause of war dangers.

  • October 29, 1962

    Telegram from Yugoslav Foreign Ministry to Yugoslav Embassies in Havana and Washington and Yugoslav Mission to the United Nations

    Brazilian President João Goulart emphasizes that the possibility of an adequate solution (to the Cuban Missile Crisis) could be increased if there were measures to suspend the quarantine (blockade) immediately, followed by corresponding and effective stoppage of weapons shipment to Cuba as well as determining obligations to prevent the spreading of nuclear weapons and the installation of bases. In his opinion the danger of war could increase significantly and worries of Brazil would grow as far as its own security was concerned, if such bases were installed in Cuba or any other part of LA. He also brought to the attention the proposal of Brazil in the UN for the denuclearization of Latin America.

  • November 02, 1962

    Telegram from Yugoslav Foreign Ministry, Belgrade, to Yugoslav Embassies in Havana and Washington and the Yugoslav Mission to the United Nations, New York

    The Yugoslav Foreign Ministry relays to its embassies a summary of the Brazilian proposal on the Cuban Missile Crisis which, they say, mainly includes: the denuclearization of Latin America with inspections, Cuba's commitment to not "export" revolutionary operations, and guarantees to Cuba for sovereignty and independence. Allegedly, Castro welcomed the idea of the above plan. Brazil thinks that the USA could accept it after negotiations.

  • November 07, 1962

    Letter from Arie Meyron, Counselor, the Embassy in Rio de Janeiro, to the Head of the Latin American Desk at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, 'Brazil-Cuba'

    A letter from Arie Meyron, a Counselor at the Embassy in Rio de Janeiro, to the Head of the Latin American Desk at the Israeli Foreign Ministry about Cuba-Brazil relations and about Brazil's proposal to the Organization of American States (OAS) to create a nuclear-free zone in Latin America.

  • November 14, 1962

    Telegram from the Brazilian Embassy in Havana (Bastian Pinto), 12:15 p.m., Wednesday

    A conversation between Pinto and Raul Roa discussing denuclearization of Latin America and the dismantling of bases like Guantanamo. Pinto also writes that the denuclearization of Africa was an initiative of Fidel Castro in the UN in 1960, and he praised the Brazilian draft, saying that, with the Cuban amendments, it would be an effective guarantee for Latin America and an important step toward disarmament and the suspension of nuclear tests.

  • November 16, 1962

    Telegram from the Brazilian Foreign Ministry to the Brazilian Delegation at the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 9 p.m., Friday

    The Brazilian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly advises the Brazilian government not to postpone the voting on the draft resolution about the denuclearization of Latin America.

  • November 16, 1962

    Israeli Foreign Ministry, Jerusalem, to Israeli Embassy, Havana

    Israeli Ambassador to Brazil Arie] Eshel sent a telegram from Rio about Brazil's efforts to mediate the Cuban crisis, as well as Brazil's attempt to pass a resolution at the Security Council declaring Latin America, Africa and the Middle East nuclear free zones but that they were unable to do so due to French opposition.

  • October 04, 1967

    Minutes of the Fortieth Session of the Brazilian National Security Council

    Guidelines for the Brazilian nuclear policy in Costa e Silva’s government (1967-1969) and defines the diplomatic attitude of Brazil regarding the negotiations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). During the meeting of the National Security Council, participants agreed on the need to cooperate with another country to start a national nuclear program. On the NPT negotiations, the members of the National Security Council agreed to establish a condition to adhere to the Treaty: the defense of the right to develop peaceful nuclear explosions. Several ministers defended the possibility of using nuclear energy in the future for international security reasons.

  • August 13, 1974

    Memorandum, Information for the President of Brazil, No. 055/74 from the National Security Council

    Outline of the government of Brazil’s decision to acquire all phases of the cycle of production of nuclear fuel through cooperation with a foreign government, in this case the Federal Republic of Germany. Reference is made to the need to develop uranium enrichment technology in accordance with the 1967 nuclear policy, which had not yet been implemented.

  • 1975

    Cables between the Brazilian Embassy in Washington and the Brazilian Foreign Ministry on the Transfer of Nuclear Material

    A series of correspondence between Brazilian Foreign Ministry and Brazilian Ambassador to the US about the transfer of nuclear material from France to Brazil. Myron Kratzer, Acting Assistant Secretary for Scientific Affairs in the US, expressed his concern over the fact the nuclear material was of American origin.

  • November 19, 1976

    US Embassy Cable, Brazilian Public Reaction to US Nuclear Policies

    The US Embassy in Brazil quotes a Brazilian ministry official who declares Brazil will continue its nuclear program “despite all the threats and reprisals” from the US. The unnamed official goes on to say, “The Americans, our allies, are behaving in a way worse than that of our common enemies, the Russians.”

  • January 31, 1977

    Memorandum from Brazilian Foreign Minister Silveira to President Geisel on Jimmy Carter’s “Radical” Nuclear Stance

    Brazilian Minister of State for External Relations, Antonio F. Azeredo da Silveira, comments on the recently elected Carter administration’s nuclear politics. Silveira’s message to President Geisel displays Brazilian frustration over American interference in its nuclear program and relations with Germany.

  • February 25, 1977

    Memorandum from Brazilian Foreign Minister Silveira to President Geisel, US Threats and Promises and Brazilian Responses

    This memo outlines “possible American approaches” and “possible Brazilian reactions” as the US attempts to compel the Brazilians and Germans to cease their nuclear cooperation.

  • March 21, 1977

    Brazilian Embassy Cable, Brazilian Ambassador to Bonn Reports on Soviet Pressure on West Germany

    The Brazilian Ambassador in Bonn reports on a Der Spiegel article, which states, “After the United States, it is now the Soviet Union’s turn to exert pressure for Bonn to revise its controversial atomic agreement with Brazil.” The article shows US-Soviet solidarity against Brazil and Germany’s cooperation in developing nuclear weapons.

  • September 23, 1978

    US Embassy Paris cable 31540 to State Department, 'Elysée Views on Reprocessing Issues'

    A source in President Giscard's staff informed the US embassy that Pakistan was determined to complete the reprocessing plant and was searching for another country willing to supply the necessary technology. Also discusses a developing nuclear deal between West Germany and Brazil.

  • June 18, 1979

    Notice No. 135/79 from the General Secretariat of the Brazilian National Security Council

    In 1978 the National Security Council identified the most important shortcoming of nuclear cooperation with Germany: the non-transfer of technology for the production of uranium hexafluoride (UF6). The lack of this crucial phase for the production of nuclear fuel led Brazil to decide to develop this method by national means, in view of the unwillingness of France and Great Britain to export said technology without a full scope of safeguards. The document reports how the government decided to create an autonomous nuclear project with regard to cooperation with Germany and free from the international safeguards regime. Coordinated by CNEN and implemented by the Institute of Energy and Nuclear Research (IPEN), this project represented the first phase of the “parallel” nuclear program whose objective was the autonomous mastery of the nuclear cycle.

  • October 29, 1979

    Cable from Brazilian Embassy in Bonn to Brasilia, 'Nuclear energy. South Africa: Uranium Enrichment'

    In October 1979 the scientific attaché of the South African Embassy in Bonn met his Brazilian counterpart in order to propose an exchange of experiences in the nuclear field. The South African diplomat recalled the similarities between the Brazilian and South African enrichment processes and specified that the initiative of a possible cooperation had been taken by the South African Atomic Energy Board and not by the Pretoria Government, because of the cold relations between the two countries. In this cable the Brazilian Ambassador in Western Germany, Jorge Silva, asked for instructions from Minister Saraiva Guerreiro in order to reply to the South Africans.

  • November 05, 1979

    Information from Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs Saraiva Guerreiro to President Figueiredo, 'Nuclear Energy. South Africa'

    The Minister of Foreign Relations, Ramiro Saraiva Guerreiro, asks for instructions from the President of the Republic, João Baptista Figueiredo, in order to reply to a South African proposal of cooperation in the nuclear field.