October 23, 1962
Telegram from Brazilian Embassy in Washington (Campos), 7 p.m. Tuesday
This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EXTERNAL RELATIONS
FROM THE EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON
Question of Cuba.
777 – TUESDAY – 1900hs – [Assistant] Secretary [of State for inter-American Affairs Edwin] Martin addressed me with appeal to check the possibility of voting for a unanimous resolution alleging that Mexico [and] Chile have joined. In the company of Ambassador Penna Marinho I addressed the State Department proposing that we accept dismembering [aceitassem desmembrar] two distinct paragraphs the actual paragraph two for it to be unanimous to accept the blockade becoming only subject to the prior proof by UN observers of the character of the offensive arms already installed in Cuba by further measures intended to stop their nuclear activation. Ambassador Penna Marinho and I argued that this separation is harmless since the current draft was so full that to justify actions such as bombardment or invasion measures of such gravity that should not be taken before Cuba and the Soviet Union, under international pressure, have had an opportunity to interrupt the installation of remote-controlled missiles. Martin responded 1) That there is no time for further negotiations with a view to the unanimity of the text since it is necessary to have a solution even today preferably, before 16 hours [4 p.m.] when the UN Security Council will meet; 2) That they are not able to predict the rapid evolution of events which the necessary measures [quais as medidas necessárias] the North American government does not desire to be dependent on the UN and the OAS making new decisions if one admits various hypotheses as voluntary decisions of the Russians or Cubans to suspend the assembly of the remote-controlled rockets[;] pressure of the mode of the blockade to provoke an insurrection in Cuba[;] limited bombardments specifically on rocket bases[;] and invasion. Contrary to what seemed prior to yesterday I have the impression that the American government foresees the possibility to have to undertake military action perhaps through non-nuclear very limited bombardment if it is proven that Cuba already possesses nuclear missiles and if these are not dismantled or returned to the Soviet Union; 3) That the Russians and Cubans have not since yesterday denied the offensive character of the equipment for which exists full confirmation from aerial photographic information; 4) That the American government gave instructions to its armed forces for the application of the blockade to make it possible to avoid bloodshed, [and] should in case of necessity shoot against the rudder of the ships that try to force the blockade; methods of intercepting aerial transports were also being studied, without revealing details. The OAS Council now starts the session headed to approve the North-American draft resolution. Ambassador Penna Marinho will vote [votará] in favor of the blockade, abstaining from voting on the second part of the second paragraph, giving the explanation of the vote and will vote in favor of the body of the resolution. The Secretary Martin put forward that, soon, there will be fully disseminated, to convince Latin American public opinion of the gravity of the threat, photographs of the remote-controlled missiles in Cuba.
ROBERTO DE OLIVEIRA CAMPOS
A report of the meeting between OAS officials and the descisions that were made regarding the Cuban crisis. Secretary Martin puts forward that, soon, there will be fully disseminated, to convince Latin American public opinion of the gravity of the threat, photographs of the remote-controlled missiles in Cuba.
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