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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 02, 1962

TELEGRAM FROM THE BRAZILIAN DELEGATION AT THE UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK, 8 P.M., FRIDAY

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

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    De Melo-Franco outlines the motives that underlie the Brazilian draft about the denuclearization of Latin America (in the United Nations). Panama, Argentina, Nicaragua, Haiti and Peru express their concerns/questions/support of the Brazilian resolution.
    "Telegram from the Brazilian Delegation at the United Nations, New York, 8 p.m., Friday," November 02, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, “600.(24h)—SITUAÇÃO POLITICA—CUBA de novembro a dezembre de 1.962//6223,” Ministry of External Relations Archives, Brasilia, Brazil. Translated from Portuguese by James G. Hershberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115358
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SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EXTERNAL RELATIONS

TELEGRAM

RECEIVED

13094

FROM THE DELEGATION OF BRAZIL AT THE XVII SESSION OF THE GENERAL-ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS—NEW YORK

ON/2/3/XI/62

CONFIDENTIAL

DNU/DEA/DAS/DAC/DAM/DOr/604.(04)

953.(00)

953.(04)

Denuclearization of Latin America and of Africa.

600.(24h)

119 – FRIDAY – 2000hs – Adding to my telegram no 116. I exposed, today, before the Latin American group, the motives that underlie the Brazilian draft about the denuclearization of Latin America. I explained that the fact that the Brazilian Delegation has presented the draft only with its signature as a result of the extreme gravity of the situation created with the introduction of nuclear arms by the Soviet Union on Cuban territory and the urgency of presenting a proposal that could constitute a solution for the crisis. The Delegate from Panama praised with enthusiasm the Brazilian initiative and raised a question of great importance relative to the second subparagraph, in paragraph 3. The Delegation from Panama desired that the draft extend the explicit way the prohibitions mentioned in the referred subparagraph to the territory of the Panama Canal. The Nicaraguan Delegation supported that of Panama. The Panamanian suggestion was counterpoised with the North American [i.e., US] desire, since [Arthur] Dean already has declared to me that the American Government desires to reserve the right to transport nuclear arms through the Panama Canal. Obviously I did not reveal the opinion of Dean. Belaunde, Head of the Peruvian Delegation, raised vague doubts about the opportunity of the project, alleging that the rockets-anti-rockets [anti-missile missiles] could carry nuclear warheads and that, however, the denuclearization could see the continent deprived of an important arm of defense. The Argentine Delegate also expressed reservations to the draft, alleging: 1) that it did not appear to him clear the notion of denuclearization; 2) that, if denuclearizing, Latin America would tie its hands from the future onwards, since the technological development would perhaps transform the nuclear arms into defensive arms. I perceived, behind the long exposition of the Argentine Delegate, perhaps a glimpse of the intention of that country to develop a nuclear potential for non-pacific aims. I responded to all the objections and made in a special manner in relation to the reflections of the Argentine Delegate, pointing out that in my view Latin America should dedicate itself to the utilization of nuclear energy solely for peaceful ends. I recalled that any nuclear competition on the continent, in view of the tremendous financial cost of the same, would imply a gigantic delay in economic development in the entire continent. The Haitian Delegate, after praising the Brazilian initiative, recalled the necessity of coordination with the African countries, in order to increase the electoral base of our proposal [in the UN General Assembly]. All the Delegations recalled the Brazilian initiative and showed profound interest in the same[.] Given the exceptional importance of the matter, it would stay combined [and] that the group would meet again in order to study it.

AFONSO ARINOS DE MELO—FRANCO