DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE
INSTABILITY IN BRAZIL
IH PHRT EXEMPTIONS [QUI)
I Mill DATE:1
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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Directorate of intelligence9
Instability in Brazil
The developments of the last ten daysilva's debilitating stroke, the kidnaping of Ambassador Elbrick by left-wing terrorists, and growing militarywith thecombined to aggravate military disunity and thus threaten the stability of the government. rolonged period of governmental instabilityhangeore nationalistic government would have major implications for the large US aid program in Brazil and for the substantial US business investment in the country. Conclusions appear inith analysis of thefor the US in paragraphs
Note: This memorandum has been produced solely by CIA, It aae prepared by the Office of Currentand coordinated with the Office ofIntelligence, the Office of nationaland the Clandestine Seroice.
President Arthur dailvaevere stroke onugust. The Brazilianwhich has been the locus of power since4 revolution that ousted leftist President Joao Goulart, decided to bypass the constitution and"caretaker" direction of the government. The three military ministersriumvirate to govern during the President's "temporary impediment" under the authority of Institutionalhich they decreed onugust, and of all previousacts and the constitution. The Act expressly states that the President will resume power upon recovering,
ilva had planned toew constitutioneptember and to reopen thepurged congress on the following day. these steps would have produced little moreacade of representative government, they were opposed by many in the military. Thetakeover pushed aside these plans; thenow in control clearly believe that pursuing the goals of4 revolution--staraping outand corruption and "straightening out" themore important than constitutional formalities.
Vice President Pedro Aleixo, thedesignated successor,ivilian never trusted by the military. They particularly resented his opposition to the government's decision last December to assume broad authoritarian powers. The decision to bypass Aleixo has had almost complete support among the officers*
The triumvirate is an ill-assorted group
to govern Brazil for any length of time* The senior officer. Navy Minister Rademaker Grunewald,ough-minded conservative, as is Air Ministerello* Army Minister Lyra Tavares is morebut he has been criticized by many officers for being too soft on subversives and corrupt The triumvirate has suffered from internal dissension since takingexample, Lyra
reportedly refused to concede leadership to the senior member, the navy minister. Even wider rifts have developed as the three have struggled with crucial policy decisions,
Opposition and resentment to zhetakeover appeared within two days. Many top generals felt slighted that they had not been consulted by the triumvirate prior to its decision to assume the reins of government. Some officers believedingle leader should have been named; others believed that the three ministers were "unsuitable" because they were retired instead of on active duty; many army officers resented the fact that the navy and air force were accordedequal to the army in the junta.
Dissent rapidly spread and became openly apparent. Such long-time government critics as Generals Albuquerque Lima and Moniz de Aragao charged that the three ministers did not represent thebeliefs" of younger officers. General Syseno Sarmento, commander of the key First Army in Rio de Janeiro, reportedly said that he thought that the decision tohree-man government would bevery bad idea." He said that the country could not wait for the President to recover andthat pressure among the officershange in the power structure would soon become explosive.
Before the triumvirate had any chance to deal with the rising military discontent, it was facedrisis that might have strainedell-oiled decision-making machine. US Ambassador c. Burke Elbrick was kidnaped byeptember. The kidnapersanifesto stating conditions for his release. These included publishing the manifesto, whichntigovernment and anti-US diatribe/ in the usually censored press and subsequentlyrisoners to another country. If theirwere not met, the abductors vowed tohe ambassador.
The manifesto was signed by the Revolutionaryctobernd the National Liberation
Action (ALN). Theerrorist group made up mostly of students; it reportedly has links to several dissident Communist and other extreme leftist organizations. Many of its members, who had engaged in successful bank robberies, were rounded up by Brazilian security forces this summer before they could Implement their plan torural guerrilla warfare. There is no evidence that theas received financing or training from abroad.
9. The ALN has not been conclusivelyBTffJfaTaTaTffJi>i>
played by the abductors. The pro-Castro Marighella and his group are probably the most effectivein Brazil. They have been responsible for many robberies and armed assaults and evidently for the assassination of US Army Captain Chandler in Sao Paulo in
prolonged discussion, theto the kidnapers' terms. elease was demanded turned out to be somemilitary's most prized captives andextremist studentixed bag of other Even had the prisoners not beenin the military would have opposedumiliating sell-out to the forcesfervently opposed.
ilva is not likelythe full duties of his office. He isparalyzed and is unable to speakconditions are likely to improve, butnot clear up entirely, particularly hisin speaking. One of his doctorsthat the hopelessness of his case inis so clear that it should be His condition would disqualify Costa
No Foreign Dissem
e Silva in the military's eyes from again taking on the burdens of the presidency. Moreover, it is likely that the President himself/ once the extent of his probable residual disabilities is made clear to him, would prefer to step down.
it becomes increasingly obviousis going toermanent vacancy inmaneuvering for the job willchances for any civilian,tame"the military, to succeedilva mustas extremely low. The only possibleJustice Ministerilva, who has beenvoice in encouraging authoritarianand in drafting harsh measures to enforcesecurity. Although he clearly reflectsviews on these subjects,ivilian
he lacks the prestige and support within the military that an officer would have and that seem essential to any presidential candidate.
The triumvirate has been on shaky ground since it assumed power; it probably cannot survive long as presently constituted. The main factors militating against its removal by dissatisfiedprobably have been the lackonsensusuitable replacement, the desire to preserve the sacred-cow image of military unity, and theabout the actual state of the President's health. This last factor is increasingly less likely to serveestraining influence on ambitious generals who see themselves as eminently qualified for the nation's top office. In fact, many of these generals already were jockeying for position inof the presidential elections scheduled for The President's stroke and the triumvirate's takeover, aggravated by militaryat the Elbrick kidnaping, have picked up the pace of their efforts.
If the triumvirate falls, events might move in several directions, but the end result is most likely to be the emergenceingle general, chosen by the military, to serve as President. Stability during the transitional period will depend largely on whether the military can achieve consensus
uccessor. owerful general might try to pre-empt the time-consuming process by making an open grab for power, but this seems less likely, some officers reportedly hopeoncontrover-sial general can be found to serve outilva'sends in Marchrelative peace and quiet while the military take whatever time is necessary to reach agreementuccessorull four-year term. Others believe that this would merely prolong political maneuvering and give instability an opportunity to grow.
disunity has been severelyby recent events. At least two campsforguard officers,toward conservative social and economicYoung Turks, who believe that Brazilreforms and who favor nationalisticto the nation's problems. The goals ofhave not been clearly defined, andin basic change may, at least in part/
be tactical as well as ideological. If an old guardas Geisel, Medici, Muricy, or Lyrachosen, the younger officers, who back men such as Generals Albuquerque Lima, Syseno Sarmento, or Dutra de Castilho, would probablydissatisfied. These younger officers would be apt to express their discontent openly andwould not give up trying toan whom they considered acceptable into the presidency. The old guard, on the other hand, might noteform-minded officer, but would probably support one in the name of maintaining military unity. The leadership crisis may beeeting of the high command set forrep-tember--as most officers fear that an extended power struggle would shatter vital military unityepair.
the succession is unlikelythe dictates of7 constitution,that the next president will be selectedelectoral college composed of the Congressstate delegates. One option would be toreconvened toort of legal
choice as viceAleixo probably would put up little fuss over his suddenand then resign in his favor. More probably the new leader will be confirmed in office by theof another Institutional Act or by arevised constitution.
Almost certainly there willide-ranging crackdown on anyone who appears even faintly subversive. The government has armed itself with broad powers to "guarantee the nationalany arrests have been made, including some persons suspected of being involved in the kidnaping of Ambassador Elbrick. Many leftists and opposition leaders have taken cover in the expectation of an even wider purge. The government is not likely to lift its curbs on the press, nor is it likely to tolerate criticism from opposition groups such as the church, students, or workers.
One result of the government's tough line may be to force persons previously unwilling to risk punishment to turn to one of the several left-wing extremist groups as an outlet for their Left-wing terrorism invites counterterrorism from the right; moreover, it contributes to military disunity because officers cannot agree on how it should be controlled. Despite the government's best efforts, continued incidents of terrorism are likely to occur. Government and military leaders as well as US citizens reportedly are targets.
20. overnment headedeform-minded officer might attempt toopular base by implementing controversial social and economicopposed by many conservative landowners, businessmen, and other members of the social elite. Conservatives in the military also would oppose such policies. Moreover, this kind of government would probablyuch more nationalistic andforeign policy that could put an additional strain on Brazil's relationships with the US.Original document.