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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 26, 1962

TELEGRAM FROM THE BRAZILIAN EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON (CAMPOS), NOON, FRIDAY

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Campos offers an analytical review of the latest events in the Cuban Crisis, which has led him to some conclusions, including the goals of the United States government (to block new offensive arms from arriving in Cuba and to obtain the dismantling or removal of the present warlike installations).
    "Telegram from the Brazilian Embassy in Washington (Campos), Noon, Friday," October 26, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MD—Washington—Telgr.-Cartas—Receb.-Exped.—1962 (7 á XII), (Cx 324), Ministry of External Relations Archives, Brasilia, Brazil. Translated from Portuguese by James G. Hershberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115300
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115300

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SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EXTERNAL RELATIONS

TELEGRAM

RECEIVED

12.830

FROM THE EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON

ON/26/26/X/62

CONFIDENTIAL—URGENT

DAS/DAC/DEA/DNU/DOr/600.(24h)

Question of Cuba.

795 – FRIDAY – 1200hs – SUPPLEMENTARY TO MY TELEGRAM No 790. AN ANALYTICAL REVIEW OF THE LAST EVENTS IN THE CUBAN CRISIS LEADS ME TO SOME CONCLUSIONS LIKELY TO AUTHORIZE A QUITE GRAVE FORECAST OF THE CURRENT SITUATION. TWO …[SÃO OS] IMMEDIATE OBJECTIVES OF THE NORTHAMERICAN GOVERNMENT ACCORDING TO WHAT WAS DEFINED IN THE SPEECH OF KENNEDY ON THE 22ND ARE CURRENT: A) TO BLOCK NEW OFFENSIVE ARMS FROM ARRIVING IN CUBA; B) TO OBTAIN THE DISMANTLING OR REMOVAL OF THE PRESENT WARLIKE INSTALLATIONS OF AN OFFENSIVE NATURE. VARIOUS FACTORS MAKE WITH WHAT TO BE ALMOST THAT EXCLUSIVELY WITH FOCUS ON THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: IMMEDIATE BEGINNING OF THE BLOCKADE, UNANIMITY OF SUPPORT OF LATIN-AMERICA AND GENERAL SUPPORT OF EUROPE, EFFECTIVENESS OF THE QUARANTINE, MODERATE REACTION OF THE SOVIET UNION AND TRANQUILITY OF THE FIRST CONTACT OF THE AMERICAN SQUADRON WITH THE RUSSIAN SHIPS, SOLID INTERNAL SOLIDARITY TO THE PRESIDENTIAL DECISION. THESE SAME FACTORS THAT ASSURE THE POLITICAL SUCCESS OF THE BLOCKADE, LINKED TO THE INCREDIBLITY THAT THERE WILL BE APPLIED DIRECT MILITARY ACTION AGAINST CUBA TO DESTROY THE CURRENT INSTALLATIONS TOGETHER WITH THE BEGINNING OF DIPLOMATIC NEGOTIATIONS IN THE UN, WOULD MAKE WITH THAT WILL SHIFT AWAY FROM THE FOCUS SECONDARY OBJECTIVE OF THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT. IT APPEARS TO ME UNDENIABLE, HOWEVER, THAT ONE WILL SEE THE PATH GRADUALLY PREPARING THE GROUND FOR SECURING [CONSECUÇÃO] THE SECOND OBJECTIVE THAT APPEARS TO REVEAL THE FOLLOWING CHAIN OF CIRCUMSTANCES: 1) IN HIS SPEECH ON THE 22ND, KENNEDY HAS ESTABLISHED CLEARLY THE DEMAND OF TWO SIMULTANEOUS CONDITIONS AND NO ALTERNATIVES[:] NO SUPPLY OF NEW OFFENSIVE MATERIAL AND DISMANTLING OR DESTRUCTION OF PRESENT OFFENSIVE INSTALLATIONS – ADDING THAT THE AMERICAN ARMED FORCES ARE ALREADY PREPARING FOR WHATEVER EVENTUALITY; 2) PROPOSE TO THE OAS A DRAFT RESOLUTION [IN WHICH] THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT INSISTED INTRANSIGIENTLY ON PRIOR AND IMMEDIATE ENDORSMENT OF ACTIONS CAPABLE TO REALIZE ITS TWO OBJECTIVES; 3) [ON TUESDAY], CONFORMING TO MY TELEGRAM 777 EDWIN MARTIN INDICATED TO ME, WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, THAT THERE HAS BEEN [QUE HAVIA], INCLUDING, THE IMMEDIATE POSSIBILITY OF DIRECT ACTION AGAINST CUBAN TERRITORY; 4) IN THE LETTER THAT YESTERDAY HE DIRECTED TO THE UN SECRETARY-GENERAL PRESIDENT KENNEDY INDICATED POSITIVELY THAT THERE WAS AN ESSENTIAL CONDITION FOR THE SUPENSION OF THE MILITARY MEASURES IN PROGRESS AND IN THE FUTURE[:] THE PROMPT REMOVAL OF THE OFFENSIVE INSTALLATIONS IN CUBA; 5) YESTERDAY ALSO, IN THE SECURITY COUNCIL, TO EVADE FROM THE DIRECT QUESTION OF [ADLAI] STEVENSON, [VALERIAN] ZORIN PRACTICALLY ADMITTED THAT THE SOVIET UNION SUPPLIED AND IS INSTALLING OFFENSIVE ARMAMENT IN CUBA; 6) IN THE LAST TWO DAYS, SOME PARLIAMENTARY LEADERS, AFTER CONFERENCES WITH KENNEDY, HAVE DECLARED THAT IF THE INSTALLATIONS WERE NOT DISMANTLED SOON THE UNITED STATES HAS TO REMOVE THEM; 7) THE SUBSECRETARY OF DEFENSE, [ARTHUR] SYLVESTER, DECLARED THAT, ACCORDING TO AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY OF 17 HOURS INDICATED CLEAR EVIDENCE OF THE INSTALLATION OF REMOTE-CONTROLLED MISSILES CONTINUED AT THE SAME PACE; 8) UNIDENTIFIED VOICES OF THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT HAVE INSINUATED CLEAR DEEDS, IN THE PRESS THAT IT WILL HAVE TO DESTROY THESE INSTALLATIONS, IN CASE THEY ARE NOT REMOVED BY THE CUBANS AND SOVIETS THEMSELVES ALREADY, THAT THE SAC [STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND] AERIAL BASES, RESPONSIBLE FOR THE GREAT PART OF THE AMERICAN NUCLEAR CAPABILITY, WILL BE EASILY VULNERABLE TO MISSILES COMING FROM CUBA, ADDING THAT ALL THE NETWORK OF CANADIAN AND NORTH AMERICAN RADAR IS ORIENTED TOWARD THE ARCTIC, THERE IS NOT YET A FUNCTIONING SYSTEM OF UNIDIRECTIONAL RADAR THAT PERMITS, EVEN ON SHORT NOTICE, TO DETECT THE CUBAN MISSILES; 9) VARIOUS POLITICAL COMMENTARIES ALREADY SHOW HOW THE DECISION WAS AGREED THAT THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT WILL PROCEED LIKE THIS AT WHATEVER COST. THIS CONJUNCTION OF CIRCUMSTANCES LEADS ME TO THE THOUGHT ON THE PROBABILITY THAT SOON THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT WILL GIVE A DEFINITE TIME FOR INTERRUPTION OF THE WORK AND THE REMOVAL OF THE OFFENSIVE WARMAKING MATERIAL AND, IF ITS ULTIMATUM IS NOT HEEDED, PROCEED ALTERNATIVELY TO A) BOMBARDMENT OF THE LAUNCHERS [RAMPAS]; B) ORDER A TOTAL BLOCKADE, INCLUDING PETROLEUM, PARALYZING THE CUBAN ECONOMY; OR C) INVASION, HYPOTHESIS LESS PROBABLE [IF?] NOT TO BE IN SUPPORT OF AN INSURRECTION IN CUBA. OF THIS FORECAST EQUALLY RISKY AND THE SOVIET CONDUCT WILL BE MORE DIFFICULT IN THIS HYPOTHESIS. THE INTERPRETATION SEEMS ADMISSIBLE THE INTERPRETATION …THEY HAVE THE FACT [QUE SE TEM DADO DE QUE] THAT THE SOVIET UNION WAS ACCELERATING THE ARMAMENT OF CUBA FOR COMPLETING IT IN THE PERIOD OF THE NORTH AMERICAN ELECTIONS IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO, THEN, CREATE A CRISIS CAPABLE OF INFLUENCING THE PROBLEM OF BERLIN AND THAT A DRASTIC AMERICAN DECISION SURPRISED MOSCOW AND DISRUPTED ITS PLANS. THE APPARENT MODERATION OF THE SOVIET REACTION, SUCH AS REFLECTED IN THE DECLARATION OF ITS GOVERNMENT ON THE 23RD [OF OCTOBER] – THAT IN TRUTH CONSTITUTED ONLY A TYPE OF INTERLOCUTOR [PROBE?] – AS WELL AS IN THE BEHAVIOR OF THE SOVIET NAVY THAT PEACEFULLY RECOGNIZED THE NORTH AMERICAN BLOCKADE, SEEMS TO PROVE NOT ONLY THAT IT WAS A SURPRISE, BUT ALSO THAT MOSCOW IS MARKING STEPS TO A CHANGE OF TACTICS. IT IS FITTING TO SPECULATE AT THIS POINT THAT THE SOVIET UNION IS ABLE TO SEE EVENTUAL CONCESSIONS IN CUBA AGAINST AMERICAN CONCESSIONS IN RELATION TO BASES IN OTHER COUNTRIES, SUCH AS TURKEY. THIS POSSIBILITY, WHICH HAS BEEN ADVANCED ALSO IN THE UNITED STATES, ENCOUNTERS, HOWEVER, INSUPERABLE DIFFICULTIES OF INTERNATIONAL INSPECTION, INCLUDING THOSE CONNECTED WITH THE NEGOTIATIONS OF GENERAL DISARMAMENT, STILL WITHOUT SOLUTION. OTHER ALTERNATIVES THAT THE SOVIET UNION COULD AIM AT WILL BE TO GAIN TIME FOR THE PRESENT NEGOTIATIONS IN THE UN, ACCERATING SIMULTANEOUSLY THE INSTALLATIONS IN CUBA, IN ORDER TO LEAD THE UNITED STATES TO A DIRECT MILITARY ACTION AGAINST THE CUBAN TERRITORY, VICTIMIZING CUBA AND OBTAINING WITH IT A POLITICAL AND JURIDCAL ETHICAL POSITION SUPERIOR TO THE UNITED STATES. FACED WITH SUCH POSSIBILITIES, THE ONLY HOPE IS TO STILL INTENSIFY THE DIPLOMATIC PRESSURE ON HAVANA AND MOSCOW, IN THE SENSE OF IF OBTAINING OR IN EXCHANGE FOR CONCESSIONS OR A RAPID ADVOCACY OF A PLAN OF DENUCLEARIZATION OF LATIN AMERICA THAT NOT BE POSSIBLE TO BE EASILY REFUSED BY ELEMENTS OF THE LEFT SO MUCH ON THE INTERNAL FRONT AS MUCH AS ON THE INTERNATIONAL.

ROBERTO DE OLIVEIRA CAMPOS