When the Brazilian military overthrew President João Goulart in 1964, American diplomats characterized the coup as a "100 percent Brazilian movement." It has since become apparent, largely through government documents declassified during the course of research for this book, that the United States had an invisible but pervasive part in the coup.
Relying principally on documents from the Johnson and Kennedy presidential libraries, Phyllis Parker unravels the events of the coup in fascinating detail. The evidence she presents is corroborated by interviews with key participants.
U.S. interference in the Goulart regime began when normal diplomatic pressure failed to produce the desired enthusiasm from him for the Alliance of Progress. Political and economic manipulations also proving ineffective, the United States stood ready to back a military takeover of Brazil's constitutional democracy.
U.S. operation "Brother Sam" involved shipments of petroleum, a naval task force, and tons of arms and ammunition in preparation for intervention during the 1964 coup. When the Brazilian military gained control without calling on the ready assistance, U.S. policy makers immediately accorded recognition to the new government and set in motion plans for economic support.
By Phyllis R. Parker
Phyllis R. Parker received her master of public affairs degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, in 1976.