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September 4, 1987

Cable on Ambassador Rubens Ricupero’s Meetings with President Alfonsín and Ambassador Jorge Sabato about Nuclear Cooperation

This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)

From Brasemb Baires to Exteriores  4/9/87




Brazil-Argentine relations.

Nuclear cooperation. Mission by

Ambassado Rubens Ricupero.


2494 – Friday 11:45 hs. On instructions from the President of the Republic, Ambassador Rubens Ricupero arrived yesterday afternoon in the capital, on a special FAB airplane, and went directly from the military airport, in my company, to the presidential residence in Olivos.


2. He was immediately received by President Alfonsín, whom President Sarney had personally apprised of the mission by a phone call the previous day. After conveying to the Argentine Head of State the most cordial greetings from his Brazilian colleague, Ambassador Ricupero handed over the message of which he was the bearer. Its addressee read the document with the utmost interest, interrupting the reading soon after the start to spontaneously express his joy for the news that was being conveyed to him of the announcement, to be made by the President of the Republic on this date, that Brazilian scientists had succeeded in mastering the technology of uranium enrichment by the ultrcentrifuge method.


3. After finishing the reading of the letter, President Alfonsín requested us to convey to President Sarney his great satisfaction for this important achievement which made him, as he stressed, "proud as a Latin American."


4. The efforts that are being made between the two countries in the field of nuclear collaboration  were then mentioned, as well as the importance of that piece of news to open new prospects for such cooperation and in other fields of the projects of integration.


5. Clearly moved by the gesture of the Brazilian Government to single out the Argentine Government by bringing him that information through the dispatch of a personal envoy, President Alfonsín asked Ambassador Ricupero to convey to President Sarney his most sincere thanks  for what he described as "a great courtesy" from the Brazilian Head of State toward him.


6. Stressing the importance of the message received and the repercussion that its dissemination could have, he asked if it would be possible to publish it after the announcement to be made in Brasilia.  


7. The interview took still some time in a climate of great cordiality with the exchange of comments about the forthcoming elections in Argentina and the economic and political circumstances experienced by both countries and his expectations for his next visit to Brazil.


8. On our taking leave, President Alfonsín, who walked with us to the car, reiterated his satisfaction with the news and renewed his request to Ambassador Ricupero to convey his congratulations to President Sarney and his thanks for the kind gesture toward him.


9. Upon returning to the Embassy, Ambassador Ricupero reported the interview by telephone to the President of the Republic, who authorized him to transmit to the Argentine Government his agreement for the dissemination of the fact.


10. Moments later we received, at the Embassy, the visit of Ambassador Jorge Sabato, whom Ambassador Ricupero informed of the objective of his mission. The news was received by Secretary of International Relations with the same expressions of satisfaction, thanks and congratulations. Ambassador Sabato stressed in particular the sense and the importance of the advance communication which will enable the Argentine Government to deal with the natural interest which the news will raise in this country. He also mentioned in a very expressive way to the auspicious possibilities that this advancement opens for the expansion of Brazilian-Argentine cooperation, a process that, in his words, already advanced significantly in a short period of time.


11. May I be allowed to present my congratulations to Your Excellency and, through you, to the President of the Republic, both for the historic event that is being announced to-day and for President Sarney’s decision to give to the Argentine Government yet another demonstration of particular friendship and extreme courtesy, which greatly moved President Alfonsín and which will have great repercussion in this country and in the context of the relations between Brazil and Argentina.







For the immediate attention of the Minister of State




Brazil-Argentine relations.

Nuclear cooperation. Mission of Ambassador

Rubens Ricupero. Letter of reply from President



2506 –Friday 21:00 Follow-up to cable 2494. I inform.


I have just received the original letter of reply by Presient Alfonsín to the message that was addressed to him by the President of the Republic, which I am sending by the next pouch.


2. The text of the letter, which is being advanced to President Sarney through the Argentine Embassy in Brasília is the following:


"Buenos Aires, September 4 1987


My dear President and friend,


I received with great satisfaction your letter informing me that you will announce to-day that the technique of uranium enrichment by the ultracentrifuge method has been mastered in Brazil. Be assured that, together with my compatriots, I share with joy the pride that you and all Brazilians can legitimately feel at the great success that demonstrates the high level attained by science and technology in Brazil.


I also wish to reiterate my conviction about the exclusively peaceful objectives of the Brazilian nuclear activity. Just like Argentina, both countries share the same goals in favor of complete nuclear disarmament in the world and especially that of freeing Latin America forever from nuclear weapons, as is the intention of the Treaty of Tlatelolco.


At the same time, just as you mentioned, both in Brazil and in Argentina we are committed to advance in all fields of scientific knowledge and its applications, and for this reason we congratulate you for the significant progress which puts at the reach of our peoples and those of Latin America as a whole the benefits that the science and technique of our times can bring to them.


I agree with you that it is very encouraging to see that cooperation in the nuclear field between our countries has accelerated and deepened since the meeting we held at Foz do Iguaçu in November 1985. Every day joint activities advance and multiply ever more rapidly. In this connection, your welcome announcement means that between the two countries the main techniques used in the world in the sophisticated process of uranium enrichment have been mastered. The joint capability of Argentina and Brazil lets us envisage, with confidence, the further development of nuclear science, technology and industry to the benefit of our peoples and their right to decide their own destiny.


The intensification of our cooperation in the nuclear field has solidified the trust and fraternal friendship that united us. Your letter giving me advance notice of the success attained by Brazil is further testimony of this trust and friendship, a testimony for which I am especially grateful on behalf of all Argentines.


Finally I ask you to receive, for that reason, my most warm congratulations, which I request you to extend to the scientists and technicians from the Nuclear Energy Commission, the Institute of Nuclear and Energy Research of the University of São Paulo, as well as to the Brazilian national industry, which have brought forward this ambitious project.


I avail myself of this opportunity to reiterate the assurances of my highest esteem and consideration,

with a warm hug from your friend


(Signed) Raúl R. Alfonsín."


(Signed) HERMESAR                   



This cable summarizes Ambassador Ricupero’s mission to Argentina, where he conveyed a report that Brazil had mastered uranium enrichment. President Alfonsín’s letter of reply is included.

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AHMRE. Obtained and translated by Fundação Getúlio Vargas.


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