The US Plan to Prevent Brazil from Becoming a New Cuba

Leonel Brizola in 1962 Declassified documents prove that the United States was planning a military coup in Brazil in the early sixties to prevent labor leader Leonel Brizola from reaching power and the possible "Cubanization" of the country revealed Tuesday daily Folha de S. Paulo.

In 1963 the US State Department already had a plan anticipating the Brazilian military coup which took place a year later, as an alternative to a possible "Cubanization" of the country if then governor Leonel Brizola (1922/2004) was elected president.

Folha de S. Paulo, which had access to the documents declassified by the US government and interviewed the man behind the plan, former US ambassador in Brasí­lia Lincoln Gordon, revealed that the US already anticipated a coup as an alternative to prevent Brizola or any other "left wing" leader from reaching Brasí­lia.

Lincoln Gordon, 93, currently in a nursing home in Washington wrote the so called "Contingency plan for Brazil" in the sixties, warning about the possibility of Brizola becoming elected president, and in a second document requested clandestine shipments of weapons to be taken to Brazil at night by submarine in support of the military.

Both documents in spite of having been declassified from the secret archives of the US government do not have electronic copies and can only be consulted personally, points out the São Paulo daily.

Both reports are endorsed by Benjamin H Head (1905/1993) who then had a commanding post in the State Department and who further suggests the ousting of then elected president João Goulart, to be succeeded by the president of the Lower House Ranieri Mazzilli and then the "interim take over by the military."

"Brazil was running the risk of becoming a second Cuba," argued Lincoln Gordon with the reporters from the Brazilian newspaper. He also wrote the two reports and addressed them to President Lyndon Johnson asking for a quick reply to the "deteriorating (Brazilian) economy and growing political unrest." Johnson rejected both proposals according to the declassified reports.

Gordon later explains that the execution of the plan was not necessary because of the Brazilian military coup of 1964, and subsequent authoritarian rule which was to last until 1985.

President Goulart at the time accused Ambassador Gordon of conspiring to oust him because Brazil was planning to impose taxes on iron ore exports which were mostly under control of US steel companies.

The Brazilian top brass, which toppled Goulart, as young officers belonged to the land and air Brazilian Expeditionary Force which during Second World War fought mostly in Italy in support of the US war effort. The Brazilians were distinguished for their service when taking Monte Casino.

The first "interim military president" in April 1964 was Marshal Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco, a Colonel at the time of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force.

In March 1964 President Goulart and governor Brizola to discourage strong civilian resistance in southern states to the military, and a possible bloodshed, fled to neighboring Uruguay where they took refuge until pressure from the Brazilian military government forced them to leave the country for Europe and the United States.

Goulart died under mysterious circumstances in Argentina in 1976 and Brizola survived him to become governor of Rio Grande do Sul, his native state, and of Rio do Janeiro, and run for president on several occasions.

The two "gaucho" (from Southern Brazil) political leaders who were described by the US State Department as left wing and admirers of Cuba were actually ranchers with extensive land holdings in their home state.

Brizola spent several years living in exile in New York before returning to Brazil in 1982 when he was first elected governor of Rio do Janeiro in spite of a vote fraud strategy planned by the military government to prevent him from getting back into politics.



  • Show Comments (9)

  • O Velhinho

    [quote]I understand you minimize the value of the Brazilian history study and of education in general. The military also thought this way.[/quote]

    I,not the least nor the Military. They always stressed upon education and tell me something, how many Federal Universities were founded during the past 22 years after they handed over the government to Sarney?. How far have we progressed in the field of BASIC education? Have our kids in the interior of the country been benefited by the evolution of Technology in Education? I know the answer for that dear. It is the fault of the “Milicos” and of course the convenient Bicho PapÀƒ£o “the hated Americans and other foreigners. Quoting you “Brazil has always suffered foreign interference in its history”.

    You know something dear, we should stop feeling sorry for ourselves,stop blaming the others (including the long gone Generals) and start moving forward. Also to flood the message boxes of our elected officials with protest messages. No we dont want to do it,beacuse, we think that being submissive in front of folks like Renan Calheiros will bring in wealth,joy and fame to us.

    btw, do you REALLY think that the Americans were really responsible for staging the coup in 1964?

  • João PInga

    Acept the truth? NEVER!
    These types of articles and the regurgitating and manipulation of these already twisted myths are convenient for whatever government is in power in Brazil (as we can see and have seen) because it detracts from the day to day problems (albeit briefly), places blame on foreigner marauders (and the evil Empire in particular) and further fosters a sense of blind nationalism. I had a friend with the Folha and this particular article on hand Sunday rabbiting on like a madman about how all of Brazilˢ۪s woes stemmed from this IMPOSED period by the US. Good grief.

    However, as I pointed out then as I will here, there is nothing new in this article; there is no revelation and nothing that leads to a political epiphany. We all know, because the Johnson records have been public for some time now, that Gordon was in contact with the US administration and was looking for help in Brazil if needed (although in the weeks and days leading up to the coupe, none, including Gordon, knew whom could be trusted and so Johnston ordered the Ambassador to À¢€œavoid making promises to anyoneÀ¢€Â, and just keep vigilant). This government was still reeling and backpedaling from the failed and supported Bay of pigs Invasion, and wanted to avoid further embarrassment and not be caught again with their pants down if the coupe failed. So, none knew, until much later, that the US would have been willing to help. This is all in the Johnson records and all, of course, conveniently left out of the Brazilian press.

    The US didnÀ¢€™t start the upheaval, the US didnÀ¢€™t lay the political seeds for this coupe, and the US literally did NOTHING other than create (red this carefully) À¢€œa CONTIGENCY planÀ¢€Â to help whoever would finally displace Jango À¢€œif neededÀ¢€Â.

    So the US had plans, and even sent a sub, for delivering armaments, petrol and the like, however none of this was ever necessary (the subs were turned around) and Branco had no idea whatsoever that the US prepared, relatively, minimal assistance.

    The coupe was home grown, stewed and served accordingly with pinga as a kicker.

    Now, one of the questions all you Brazilians should be asking yourselves (or your politicians more importantly) is, if you really want to get to the bottom of these darks years (because other than blaming MERICANS, you are taught NOTHING on this in high school): why hasnˢ۪t the Brazilian government, under Lula (who fought against the dictatorship) opened up THEIR secret files on what happened and records of who did what to whom? Hmmmmmmmmm?

    The simple reason is that it is easier to keep the running myth that the US À¢€œIMPLEMENTEDÀ¢€Â or À¢€œIMPOSEDÀ¢€Â the dictatorship (how it is usually expressed among the knuckle-draggers) than take a deep breathe and have a good long look at your own role during this period. In Brazil, it is so much easier to defend a well crafted lie if you can save face or deflect blame to others than to confront the brutal truth and accept the consequences. Hence, there is little to no forward movement in this Nation.

  • bo

    Right on the mark Gustavo!!
    although it was definitely in the interest of the U.S. to not see Brazil go the way of Cuba, and although Gordon asked Johnson for immediate replies to his reports, his requests were DENIED. No action by the U.S. military was necessary, the brazilian military planned and carried out the coup on their own…and with little to no resistance!

  • Gustavo Brum

    The left is always playing the same old tunes
    I am always annoyed by those in the left who continue to blame the US, for the coup d’etat in 1964.
    Never mind that PTB and PSD parties (both inventions of dictator Getulio Vargas) had been alternating power since 1945.
    Never mind that UDN (the third strongest party) had been alienated from power ever since it was created. Never mind that when there was a sailor’s strike the president (Joao Goulart) sided up with the sailors instead of the heads of Armed Forces. Never mind that the president itself never talked about future presidential elections or who would be his candidates even thinking the actual elections were a year away…and the list can go on and on and on…
    There was so many wrong things about the politics in the Brazil of the 60’s that blaming the US (like the article above tries to imply) as the sole cause of Brazil’s misfortunes is not only naive, but it’s ignorance of its own history and only serves the leftist/nationalist types who feed themselves on misinformation.

  • forest Brown

    new element , taking over US & Brasil
    A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. Its existence was proved during the hurricane, gasoline and other issues of the last year or two.

    The new element has been named *Governmentium*.

    Governmentium (Gv) Has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

    These 312 particles are held together by forces called mo-rons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called pe-ons.

    Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take over four days to complete.

    Governmentium has a normal half-life of 4 years. It does not decay, however, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more mo-rons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

    This characteristic of mo-ron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever mo-rons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

    When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium — an element which radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since though it has only half as many peons it has twice as many mo-rons.

    and it is the peoples right to rid ourselves of this

  • Jay Glenn

    The colonists broke from the oppressive government.
    Set up a new type of government, one never seen before in the world.
    They Placed there lives on the line, Evolved from a dependent Colony to a world power.

    Brazil was a Colony too what happened?
    Your life or your country is what you make it.

  • ch.c..

    Brazil has always suffered foreign interference in its history !!!!
    Ohhhh yesssssss and even today most White Brazilians are the descendants of those who have stolen the country from the Indians !!!!
    And Blacks Brazilians have been improrted by the “new” Brazilians Whites.

    Right…or not ?

    Smile !!

  • be honest once in your life

    Brazil has always suffered foreign interference in its history; donÀ¢€™t forget it was a colony subjected to the world order of those times. In a more recent past, some of the most delicate political and social sceneries in Brazil involved some À¢€˜obscureÀ¢€™ forces, quoting an expression of the Brazilian former president Getulio Vargas in his letter of suicide. So, it is not confusion that leads me to write. I understand you minimize the value of the Brazilian history study and of education in general. The military also thought this way. More importantly for the development of this country was providing extensive funds to technical, managerial and communication public courses in Brazil.

    IÀ¢€™ll give you a recipe to make a rather Brazilian-like country: place all the conditions mentioned on the first post in a bowl; add up the notorious Brazilian corruption, functional illiteracy and impunity. Stir. Complement with the following ingredients: the proverbial Brazilian self-indulgency, excess of individualism and cowardice for political actions. There you go, a brand new Brazilian-like country. Enjoy. What comes first the egg or the chicken? The lyrics of Cazuza can always add up a help and put a light into it: À¢€œBrazil, show your face, I want to see who pays to make us being this way. What is your business, the name of your business partner? You can say it, trust in me.À¢€Â

    🙁 🙁

  • be honest once in your life


    O Velhinho wrote:

    [quote]You are a very confused young man. You are one of those Brazilians,who always put the blame on others for our miseries.Till now, it was fashionable to bash the Military government for all our miseries. Since the last General gave up the power to Sarney 22 years ago, all your elected politicians accomplished were taking the country to the boondaks. Of course you invented the Americans and Europeans for our woes.

    I am betting that in a couple of years time, you are going to find a fresh scapegoat. That would be Chinese!

    YOU BE HONEST ONCE IN YOUR LIFE.Stop blaming others and start asking yourself why we are in this s**tsville.

    We need leaders and NOT chronic grumblers like you.And I dont have to read any good history book written by the half assed intellectual followers of Fidel nor Che.

    The US Plan to Prevent Brazil from Becoming a New Cuba


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