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New Documents Show the US Hand in Installing Dictatorship in Brazil

United States encouraged and supported the 1964 military coup in Brazil against elected president João Goulart according to documents from the US State Department recently declassified.

In the latest edition of the Globo television program Fantástico, Carlos Fico a historian and researcher from the Federal University of Rio do Janeiro revealed he had access to US government documents which showed the involvement of US diplomacy at the time in the downfall of the Goulart administration.

One of the documents is titled, "A contingency plan for Brazil" and was drafted with help from then US Ambassador in Brazil, Lincoln Gordon. State Department named the operation to oust Goulart in 1964, "Brother Sam"

In messages sent to the White House, Gordon describes the chances that Goulart be ousted in the face of what is described as a potential "communist intervention" in Brazil with the possible support from Cuba or the Soviet Union.

Ambassador Gordon described opposing forces to president Goulart as "constructive", who had convinced the Brazilian president "to hand over office," according to what was aired in the Globo program.

Goulart was finally ousted by a military coup on March 31, 1964, opening the way for a dictatorship with five general presidents which lasted until 1985, when constitutional normality was restored under president José Sarney.

In spite of having military support from the southern garrison, Goulart left office without resisting avoiding bloodshed and died in 1976 during exile in Argentina, apparently suffering from food poisoning.

However in 2003, former ambassador Gordon denied any links with the 1964 coup against Goulart. But other documents link the State Department with the military takeover which the Brazilian generals, – most of them belonging to a generation of officers who fought next to US forces in Italy during the Second World War – described as the "Revolution".

"This is the first time we are faced with documents which confirm US involvement in the 1964 coup. It’s no delirious imagination from the opposition or from those who suffered persecution under the coup and the military dictatorships that followed. It’s a fact of history", said Jessie Jane Vieira de Souza head of Rio do Janeiro’s university Philosophy and Social Sciences Institute.

Ms Vieira de Souza and her family had to abandon Brazil and lived in exile fearing for their lives under the military regime that lasted until 1985.



  • Show Comments (5)

  • DavidB

    Your Illusion is Not Real
    If the United States was gone tomorrow, Brazil would be sitting there with zero protection.
    I can guarantee you that China would not be making deals with you. They would be telling you want they would take and what you would have left.
    Do you really think Brazil enjoys freedom with little to no military?
    Brazil is our ally, just as Taiwan. If China were to attack either, the US would not allow this to happen. China knows this and the US knows this. It is a stand-off.
    Take out the US in the equation and Brazil would be a new China puppet nation.
    Why do you think China is developing the worldˢ۪s largest military force?
    You better thank God everyday that the US exists.

  • Will Pickering

    Nothing new here
    This is a lot of sensationalistic crap. Fantastico made two claims. One, that the US ambassador wrote a memo three months before the coup outlining what could happen in Brazil over the next few months. One of those possibilities came true, so the paranoid UFRJ professor sees this as a “plan”. On the interenet, anyone can see a record of the State Department meeting where the memo was discussed two days after it was written:
    A bonus is the annotation by a U.S. official regarding Adhemar de Barros, then Governor of Sao Paulo: “Steals but is on our side”.
    The second claim is that the US was going to deliver weapons to the coup plotters if a civil war broke out. You can read all about it in the book “1964 : o papel dos Estados Unidos no golpe de Estado de 31 de marÀƒ§o” by Phyllis R. Parker, which was published in Rio de Janeiro by the Editora CivilizaÀƒ§Àƒ£o Brasileira in 1977 [!]. The U.S. Ambassador to Brazil in 1964, Lincoln Gordon, also wrote a book a few years ago, “Brazil’s Second Chance” where he goes over the whole issue. Fantastico unfairly portrayed him as a liar. Finally, other recently declassified memos can be seen at the National Security Archive’s site:
    These only add minor details to what has been known for years. The Brazilian generals planned and executed the coup, and a large part of the Brazilian press and public supported it at the time. The US let the generals know that if they decided to go ahead, the US would back them up. As it turned out, the help wasn’t needed.

  • Rick

    After 40 years, we needed this article to tell us what everybody already knew? There is a saying in CearÀƒ¡ that it took 20 years to finish the road from Fortaleza to Russas and only a couple more years to finish it all the way to Juazeiro. During the military years. Then they built the BelÀƒ©m-Brasilia road. And the CTA. One was safe on the streets. There was more progress during that period than any other comparable period in the history of the country.

  • Gringousa

    Where is Ch.C
    Where is this asshole. He hasnt come and shit on this article?
    Come on you doggy bastard, show ur dirty habit of pissing all over this site.

    US, has been a nasty boy around for a long time.

  • Costinha

    Down with the USA…
    Infidels from Hell.

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