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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • November 18, 1983

    Letter, Argentinian President Bignone to Brazilian President Figueiredo

    Argentinian President Bignone informs Figueiredo of the Argentine capacity to enrich uranium.

  • November 19, 1983

    Letter, Brazilian President Figueiredo to Argentinian President Bignone

    In his answer to Argentinian President Bignone, Brazilian President João Batista Figueiredo expresses satisfaction for the result achieved by the neighbor country.

  • January 18, 1984

    Note, Argentine Ambassador Garcia del Solar to the Argentine Foreign Ministry, on US Secretary of State George Shultz's Visit to Brazil

    On the eve of the trip of American Secretary of State George Shultz to Brazil, the American officer responsible for the Brazilian desk at the Department of State conveys to the Argentine Embassy in Washington that the United States would appreciate an initiative toward the implementation of a system of mutual inspections or a joint declaration in which both countries would renounce the development of a nuclear device, the same two points proposed by American Congressman Paul Finley in 1977.

  • April 04, 1984

    Memorandum, Minister Saraiva Guerreiro, Information for the President of Brazil, 'Brazil-PRC. Nuclear Energy'

    Memo from Foreign Minister Saraiva Guerreiro to President João Batista Figueiredo on the current state of, and potential for the future of nuclear cooperation with China, in the follow-up to the presidential visit to Beijing. Guerreiro recalls that, since China was also not a party to the NPT, nuclear cooperation and purchase of material, like the uranium acquired in 1982, would not be subjected to full-scope safeguards, preserving the “sovereignty of Brazil’s nuclear program.” Guerreiro mentions a study by the National Security Council, the Nuclear Commission, Nuclebrás and the Foreign Ministry on the commercial and technological potential for an agreement with China, similar to the ones that Brazil had already signed with “other developing countries, namely those that are not members of the NPT.” One such agreement, Guerreiro suggests, could be signed during President Figueiredo’s upcoming visit to Beijing.

  • January 10, 1985

    Memorandum from Brazilian Ambassador Roberto Abdenur to Minister Saraiva Guerreiro, 'Brazil-Argentina. Nuclear energy'

    Report on the bilateral nuclear relationship between Brazil and Argentina from the Alfonsín presidency until the end of the Figueiredo Administration. The main theme is a possible joint declaration on the renunciation of nuclear explosives. Alfonsín and Foreign Minister Caputo are in favor, but elements within the Brazilian government remain opposed.

  • February 21, 1985

    Memorandum, Information for the President of Brazil, No. 011/85 from the National Security Council, Structure of the Parallel Nuclear Program

    This top-secret document describes the secret parallel nuclear—or autonomous—program. The program resulted from the common effort of the three Branches of the Armed Forces—the Army, Navy and Air Force, plus CNEN and IPEN—under the coordination of the National Security Council. The objective was “to develop national competence to create conditions for wide-ranging use of nuclear energy, including naval propulsion and the production of nuclear explosives for peaceful purposes.

  • May 13, 1985

    Memorandum from the Argentine General Directorate for Nuclear Affairs and Disarmament, 'Cooperation with Brazil in the Field of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy'

    This memo from the Argentine General Directorate of Nuclear Affairs and Disarmament to the South America Directorate proposes a joint Argentine-Brazilian declaration on the peaceful use of nuclear weapons. Rejecting the establishment of IAEA safeguards, the memo instead suggests a "mutual guarantee mechanism" based on cooperation and inspections on a case by case basis.

  • September 02, 1985

    Cable from Rafael Vazquez, Argentinian Ambassador to Brazil, Requesting Meeting with the Brazilian Foreign Minister

    In this cable to Buenos Aires, Ambassador Vazquez reports that he requested a meeting with Minister Olavo Setúbal after General Leonidas Pires Gonçalves suggested that he would support a Brazilian nuclear weapons program. Vazquez also discusses a conversation with the Brazilian Foreign Minister's chief of staff, who told Vazquez that General Leônidas Pires refuted the reports of a Brazilian atomic bomb.

  • October 10, 1985

    Memorandum from the Argentine General Directorate for Nuclear Affairs and Disarmament, 'Overflight by Brazilian Military Plane at Pilcaniyeu Uranium Enrichment Plant'

    In this memorandum, General Director for Nuclear and Disarmament Affairs Adolfo Saracho reports on a Brazilian airplane's flight over the uranium enrichment plant at Pilcaniyeu.

  • October 24, 1985

    Telegram, Argentine Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil and China Deny Charges of Nuclear Proliferation

    Telegram from the Argentine Embassy in Brasilia reports on US Senator Alan Cranston’s claim that China was proliferating nuclear technology to countries like Argentina, Brazil, Iran, Pakistan, and South Africa. The telegram reports that both Brazil’s Foreign Ministry and China’s Embassy in Brasilia denied the charges. Part of the telegram is hand-highlighted , where a Brazilian diplomat says that the only deal between China and Brazil was the one signed by President Figueiredo during his visit to Beijing in 1984.

  • November, 1985

    Brazil-Argentina Foz do Iguaçu Joint Declaration on Regional Nuclear Policy

    President Alfonsín of Argentina and President Sarney of Brazil declare their commitment to peaceful nuclear energy cooperation and mutual guarantees.

  • August 08, 1986

    Newspaper Article, 'Serra Do Cachimbo May Be Nuclear Test Site'

    This newspaper article discusses an underground nuclear test site being built at Serra do Cachimbo for the Brazilian military and claims that production of a nuclear weapon was "already under way." President Sarney denied the report.

  • September 04, 1987

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

    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.