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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 06, 1962

TELEGRAM FROM THE BRAZILIAN DELEGATION AT THE UNITED NATIONS (AFONSO ARINOS), NEW YORK, 8 P.M., TUESDAY

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

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    Melo-Franco says he received some confidential information from Secretary General U Thant about the situation in Cuba. He also lists the advise he gave to the Cuban ambassador Carlos Lechuga.
    "Telegram from the Brazilian Delegation at the United Nations (Afonso Arinos), New York, 8 p.m., Tuesday," November 06, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, “M.D.B.—CB OI—SECRETO—CONSULADOS DIVERSOS NO INTERIOR E EXTERIOR—TELEGRAMAS—CTs—RECEBIDAS E EXPEDIDAS—1962,” CX 49 (also in “ANEXO Secreto—600.(24h)—SITUAÇÃO POLITICA—CUBA—Novembro à dezembro de 1962/”), Ministry of External Relations Archives, Brasilia, Brazil. Translated from Portuguese by James G. Hershberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115369
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SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EXTERNAL RELATIONS

TELEGRAM

RECEIVED

13073

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

ON/6/6/XI/62

SECRET – EXTREMELY URGENT

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

Question of Cuba.

Brazilian mediation.

128 – TUESDAY – 2000hs – For the exclusive information of the Minister of State and of the Secretary General, Ambassador Carlos Alfredo Bernadares. I was received by Secretary General U Thant who gave me the following confidential information about the situation in Cuba: 1) the Soviets and Americans are combining to effect an inspection on the sea of Soviet ships or [ships] rented by the Soviet government; the Red Cross accepts, in principle, to make an inspection but is reluctant to accept a review of possible alleged arms that its regulations do not permit this; 3) the discussions continue about this point; 4) Fidel refuses to authorize a UN inspection in Cuba alone declaring that it is not against the UN but considers it blocked from heeding this suggestion due to acts by the United States; 5) Khrushchev did not consult Fidel about his decision which was communicated to the Cuban government after its transmission to Washington; 6) Fidel responded with his legendary [lendo] declaration against inspection three hours after receiving the note from Khrushchev; 7) Fidel is strongly supported by China; 8) the situation is aggravated between Peking and Moscow to the point that China will not send a delegation to the commemoration tomorrow of the anniversary of the Russian Revolution; 9) in the American delegation [Adlai] Stevenson and [John] McCloy will meet this afternoon with the Russian delegate [Vasily] Kuzuetsov [sic—Kuznetsov]; 10) Stevenson is more conciliatory and McCloy more firm; 11) the American government focuses entirely on the problem of inspection in Cuba, which the Cubans reject;[1]) until today U Thant has not seen any progress in the negotiations of [Anastas] Mikoyan. In making this explanation U Thant asked me if Brazil, which is “the country most respected in Latin America,” was not able to make some contribution. I took advantage of the opportunity, however, to repeat to him the suggestion that I made already some days ago in a personal character to the Cuban ambassador [Carlos] Lechuga, who promised to send it to his government. This suggestion was as follows: 1) Fidel invites the diplomatic representatives of some countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Switzerland, Sweden, India and perhaps, others, to comprise a group of inspection in order to bear witness to the dismantling and the departure of the arms considered offensive; 2) these representatives will supply a report to the American and Soviet governments and to the secretary general; 3) the solution will not represent neither foreign inspection nor an American imposition; 4) after mediating, U Thant declared that he considered my suggestion worthy of examination and asked me if I received a response from Lechuga; 5) I told him that [I had] not and explained that Lechuga accepted [it] well but feared an American rejection; 6) U Thant asked me if I desired that he pass on the proposal to the Americans; 7) I told him that yes but that would ask such a thing of him [que o fizesse como coisa dele], because it would give more authority and because I did not have authorization of Your Excellency; 8) without hesitating U Thant responded that he would take on the initiative and requested me to maintain secrecy until he called on me again. As U Thant spoke to me of the importance of a personal demarche of [Brazilian] President [João] Goulart, I consult Your Excellency [whether] it would not be appropriate for the president of the republic to telephone the prime minister of Cuba.

AFONSO ARINOS DE MELO FRANCO

[1] For example, a researcher who visited the foreign ministry Archives in Brasília was unable to see previously opened files of records of Brazilian diplomacy in Chile during the Allende period (1970-1973).