Monday, April 23rd 2012 - 09:21 UTC

Brazil helped Soviet support operation for Argentina during the Falklands conflict

Brazil collaborated during the 1982 Falkland Islands conflict in an operation mounted by the Soviets to supply Argentina with spares, arms, munitions and other requirements according to the Rio do Janeiro newspaper O’Globo based on disclosed documents from the National Security Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

To this day the Brazilian Foreign Ministry (Itamaraty) always stated it was ‘neutral’ during the conflict

The documents contradict what has been official policy since the time of the conflict and that was the “neutrality” of Brazil, which allegedly did not take sides in 1982.

The clandestine logistics operation was organized by the former Soviet Union with the help of Cuba, Peru, Libya and Angola and using the airports of Recife (Pernambuco northeast Brazil) and Rio do Janeiro for the air bridge.

The basic argument was that since the US was supporting the UK in the recovery of the Falklands, the Soviet Union called on Cuba to organize the support operation in the framework of the Cold War.

The first contact of Soviet diplomats offering support to Argentina occurred a week after the conflict began, on April 9, according to a report from the Brazilian navy.

However the first aircraft, Cuban flagged caused an incident since Brazil and Havana at the time had no diplomatic relations. The situation was overcome following six hours of discussions with Argentine diplomats, and the plane was allowed to continue.

According to O’Globo the air traffic was ‘intense’, (up to two daily flights in the peak of the conflict) and while Brazil preached ‘neutrality’ it was helping then Junta chief General Galtieri to receive missiles, mines and other weapons in aircraft from the Soviet Union which before reaching Brazil called at Lybia

According to Brazil’s National Security Council, Argentina’s list of requests included “credits for triangle trade operations to purchase weapons in Europe”, aircraft, incendiary bombs and ammo for small weapons, as well as radars and air fuel.

At the time the Brazilian ministry of Foreign Affairs recommended a “favourable treatment” to the requests in their passage through Brazil.

The Aerolineas airbridge became a routine flight on May 26 until the end of the conflict.

O’Globo also exposed a disclosed document from the British embassy to the Foreign Ministry protesting that Brasilia was allowing its airports to receive flights with “lethal cargo” en route to Argentina while a RAF bomber was retained during the whole conflict, after having landed in Rio do Janeiro with mechanical problems following a bombing raid on the Falklands.

Brasilia replied that in its inspections of Aerolineas Argentinas flights originating in Tripoli, Lybia “nothing of military nature had been found”.

O’Globo also mentions that Peru supplied Argentina with Mirage aircraft and spares as well as Exocet missiles.

The Rio newspaper mentions a second source of weapons and arms for Argentina, this time from Israel and two air routes, one with calls at the Canary Islands and Rio do Janeiro and a second with stops in Venezuela, and Lima, Peru.

Apparently the British were aware of these clandestine operations.

34 comments Feed

Note: Comments do not reflect MercoPress’ opinions. They are the personal view of our users. We wish to keep this as open and unregulated as possible. However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Please report any inadequate posts to the editor. Comments must be in English. Thank you.

1 reality check (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 10:09 am Report abuse
Is anyone suprised at the revelation?
2 Xect (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 11:14 am Report abuse
Not really and as the article states the UK was aware of all of these supposed clandestine operations.

Still its interesting to see Argentina was supported by quite a few SA countries during the conflict.
3 Chicureo (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 12:31 pm Report abuse
I attended a British English school (The Grange) and we were completely cheering for the UK. (My older cousins were serving in the navy during the build up of the near war in 1978, so the feeling was that Argentina needed to be defeated. (We actually though at the time of the invasion that Briton would never be able to recover the islands. We were awed by the superiority of Argentina, including their aircraft carrier.)
#1 No #2 This was well monitored by Chile and the UK during the conflict. The mirror side of the story is the clandestine support for the UK via France (They played both sides), the Americans, the Belgians and of course all coordinated with private contractors in the south of Chile.
I was not in the naval service until much later after the war, but it was no secret. In our officer's club there is a display case with a number of authentic combat knives on display: The Argentine Cuchillo de Paracaidista, a Finnish WWII Puukko, the SAS Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting dagger and USMC K-bar, but the the most difficult was an authentic was a Kukri of the Gurkhas as all the knives on display have been traded exchange for a Chilean Corvo. None of the knives is a reproduction.
During the Falklands war we were getting new radar, crated Hawker Hunter jets, missiles, spare parts, anything we wished. Supposedly when the British special liaison officer was asked for an authentic Kukri, he rolled his eyes and said that the Nepalese were not very friendly about exchanging knives. About a fortnight later we received several without any problem and a note of thanks for our Corvos. It seems they fully expected to be operational in Patigonia and were very enthusiastic in fostering good relations with our combat troops. The SAS sent only one dagger, but it is truly beautiful.
A sad comment is the treatment of innocent Chilean and Argentine nationals in Patagonia by both our governments as espionage suspects. Really disgraceful!
4 Idlehands (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 12:47 pm Report abuse
There's an obvious moral to this story.

If you want to buy equipment to win a war go NATO rather than eastern block.
5 JohnN (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 01:10 pm Report abuse
#4: Agreed that given Chilean intel appeared to be useful to Britain (such as informing about Belgrano attack plan), old adage about choosing your friends and enemies wisely is key. Many criticize Britain for accepting cooperation from Pinochet, but what about Soviet weapon resupply to Argentines? Given Soviet's Cold War public position, seems odd.

Even today, Russian Middle East arms trade and conviction of Russian billionaire arms dealer Viktor Bout in US suggests ongoing weapons trade interests and evolving nature of who is trading weapons with whom.

Interesting that while China is supporting G77 position demanding “negotiations” over Falklands, Russia appears quiet. Perhaps because Russia wouldn't really want any comparison of Falklands to their Kaliningrad exclave or Kurile Islands dispute with Japan?
6 Conqueror (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 02:34 pm Report abuse
Nothing about this surprises me but it is interesting. Argie bloggers constantly whine about the support given to Britain by the United States and Chile. We have been aware for some time of the Soviet support. But now we learn of support by Angola, Brazil, Cuba, Libya and Peru. So argieland was getting support from three times as many countries as Britain. And still they couldn't win!

It is also interesting to note that the Soviet Union's attitude toward the West, particularly Britain, changed markedly after the Falklands War. Like the US Navy, the Russians thought that Britain couldn't do it. Showed 'em all. Britain versus a 'loose' coalition of seven countries and Britain won! Best to think of one member of the British armed forces being equal to at least six from any other country.

Something argies might like to think about before trying again. Next time, the British response will not be 'local', i.e. the Falkland Islands. Next time, we will be coming for you!
7 Musky (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 02:34 pm Report abuse
If the Argentine aggression surfaces again then no doubt we'd have an even better picture of the clandestine transports, it would all be track-able through
8 Room101 (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 03:08 pm Report abuse
5 John N:
Or China's Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal.
9 Martin Woodhead (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 03:59 pm Report abuse
BAOR went from Russian intelligence estimate form harmless
to chuck two shock army's at it :)
the Vulcan that ended up in rio wasn't going anywhere quickly anyway.
the crews main concern was keeping the Brazilians form poking about with the armed and hung up shrike missile.
not because it was that secret but untrained and ready to go bang missiles not a good idea.
10 Chris01 (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 05:39 pm Report abuse

An interesting fact, it was noted by several NATO spy agencies that the soviet army reinforced it's troop numbers along the british controled zone in Germany after the end of the conflict.
11 Britworker (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 06:00 pm Report abuse
No surprises from any of this, trust has to be earnt and I wouldn't trust the countries mentioned with my toilet contents back then or today.
12 Max (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 06:07 pm Report abuse
| 6 |

Time to sleep for you ...

Now ..11.06 pm in India....

Oily dreams.......
13 Usurping Pirate (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 07:03 pm Report abuse
This is all so boring. Britain won the war.
The islands are British
Argentina will be ruing “ If only” scenarios for ever more...
“If only we had bought more missiles from Libya”
“If only Capt Bonzo had ordered battle stations on the Belgrano”
“If only the bombs had worked ”
14 Faulconbridge (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 08:05 pm Report abuse
'The clandestine logistics operation was organized with the help of Cuba, '
This is interesting because some of the more enthusiastic Argentine journalists during the war claimed that Britain was bring aided by Cuba and Cuban troops.
15 PirateLove (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 08:29 pm Report abuse
Conclusion : Argentina still lost the Falklands war even with super power help.

still nice for the Falklanders to know who their friends really are and who is worth trading with.
16 briton (#) Apr 23rd, 2012 - 09:46 pm Report abuse
Argentina will not get them
As for [real] support
Russia has its own problems with claims,
China has problems, now, in the south chine seas
South American nations have their own problems keep argentine arrogance at bay,
And Cuba, no interest,
So what has CFK really and truly got to back her?
Timerman and a credit card,
Full stop.

17 Usurping Pirate (#) Apr 24th, 2012 - 07:30 am Report abuse
15 Not worth trading with Argentina , they have no money to pay for things .Anyway, they don't need trading partners , or so they keep telling everyone.
18 lsolde (#) Apr 24th, 2012 - 09:23 am Report abuse
@16 briton,
They couldn't afford to make minimal payments on their credit card.
@17 UPirate,
Agreed, don't have anything to do with them.
Let them stew in their own juices.
@6 Conqueror,
Exactly so,
Next time we won't just expell you Argentines, but we will track you down to your lair. Be warned.
19 reality check (#) Apr 24th, 2012 - 01:56 pm Report abuse
@18 Isolde.
There won't be a next a next time. They invaded because they thought we did not have the resolve to defend the Islanders rights. They were wrong then and their national phsyci has been affected ever since. There's no mistaking our resolve now. They only have to look towards the islands and it's there, right in front of their faces. Try it again and they will have their military balls handed back to them in a basket and what's more, they know it.
20 lsolde (#) Apr 24th, 2012 - 09:41 pm Report abuse
@19 reality check,
Hope you're right, but no-one can guarantee the future.
l don't trust them at all. No-one does.
lf a war ever broke out in Europe & Britain was distracted, the RGs would be in the Falklands in the blink of an eye.
We must never relax our guard.
21 briton (#) Apr 24th, 2012 - 09:45 pm Report abuse
Having said that,
Even if the Argies did invade and retook the islands, and the British government fell,

we still think that a British force can would, and will descend to the Falklands and re-take them, yes, with considerable loss of life, and certainly the mainland may well get stripped, but we think British pride would compel us to re-take them,
Just my opinion.
22 Hepatia (#) Apr 25th, 2012 - 11:00 pm Report abuse
I do not know why everybody is getting so excited about this subject. The outcome is quite predictable. In about 25 years time Brazil will tell the Brits to get lost. And they will. The Malvinas will then be taken over by Argentina.
23 briton (#) Apr 25th, 2012 - 11:14 pm Report abuse
Yep and aliens will descend upon brazil and award them the new earth for bravery,
Yep even flying asses and smell tell that one .
24 Hepatia (#) Apr 26th, 2012 - 04:44 am Report abuse
I do not know why you think the Brazilians will need to be brave. They will not. The Brits will do as they're told.
25 lsolde (#) Apr 26th, 2012 - 09:45 am Report abuse
@24 Hepatia,
You don't say?
ln about 25 years the Falklands will be independent, the British will be based in South Georgia & exploiting Antarctica's resources.
lt's possible that Brazil will rule northern Argentina & Chile will rule the rest.
l would imagine that the Argentines will then be doing as they're told.
26 briton (#) Apr 26th, 2012 - 01:09 pm Report abuse
24 Hepatia
27 Hepatia (#) Apr 26th, 2012 - 01:19 pm Report abuse
Lets examine the record: You have been kicked out of the US, India, Pakistan, The UAE, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mozambique, Kenya, ..... Most recently you were told to leave HK, and you did.

I can understand the emotional distress you Brit chest thumpers feel. You are, after all, citizens of a failed imperial power and a grubby little appendage of Europe. All you have left now are the Malvinas. Enjoy it while you can.

As for Antarctica do you think your masters, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the PRC, are going to allow you to do that?
28 row82 (#) Apr 26th, 2012 - 03:54 pm Report abuse
Please join our Facebook PAGE KEEP THE FALKLANDS BRITISH press the LIKE button on the page to follow the news streams and spread the news to your friends and family.
29 briton (#) Apr 26th, 2012 - 05:46 pm Report abuse
Just like others on here, you think nothing of the truth, but your anti British hatred,
We were not kicked out of anywhere, anymore than you were kicked out of argentine, brazil was beaten by argentine more than once,
Perhaps brazil is frightened of argentine,
Anything is possible is it not,
But at least try to get your facts right,
And perhaps brazil did not lose after all, your choice.
30 JohnN (#) Apr 26th, 2012 - 06:14 pm Report abuse
27 Just for record, Britain did not get kicked out of Canada. History shows that it was Britain who secured Canada from the French empire, and then in 1812, British regulars along with our Canadian militia kept American expansionism from Canada.

Canada maintains close ties with Britain today, through our Queen, our Commonwealth, through historical and current migration and business investment. Like most countries, Canada has its share of republican-sympathsizers, but outside of Québec, these are a small minority.

Canada didn't have a role to play directly in liberating the Falklands, but at Goose Bay, Labrador, we hosted Vulcan bombers practicing for potential bombing raid on Buenos Aires if the surrender on 14 June 1982 hadn't been signed.
31 briton (#) Apr 26th, 2012 - 06:40 pm Report abuse
at least canada is civilised, and backs us, with more than just words [27]
32 Martin Woodhead (#) Apr 27th, 2012 - 08:21 am Report abuse
How and why would brazil go into bat for argentina over the falklands?
Self determination unless you can persuade the islanders nothings happening.
Although Brazilliam overlords might have a better chance:)
Better looking women and a functioning economy and seem to have got over lets have an insane goverment phase.
33 lsolde (#) Apr 27th, 2012 - 08:34 am Report abuse
@27 Hepatia,
Your grasp on recent history is very shaky to say the least.
1) US,
was an unfortunate civil war(NOT a revolution)that could have been avoided had saner heads prevailed. Yes, one point to you.
2) lndia & Pakistan,
we were not kicked out by anyone. who “kicked” us out, pray tell?
A new world was dawning. lt was time to leave & we left of our own free will in 1947.
(l personally believe that we could have left in 1919 at the end of WWI)
3) Don't ever remember being “kicked out” of the UAE.
We had a treaty with them, but never controlled them.
Thats misinformation(lies)on your part.
4) Canada, Australia, New Zealand.
Received self-government(peacefully)in 1901.Think Canada was 1867.
Received full independence(peacefully)in 1931.
All currently in the British Commonwealth.
No “kicking out” there.
5) Moçambique,
Part of the Portuguese Empire, nothing to do with Britain.
For reasons of their own, they have recently joined the British Commonwealth.
Again, no “kicking out”.
6) Kenya,
was granted independence in 1963.
We won the bush war against the Mau mau, who by the way slaughtered thousands of their own people & people from different tribes.
Certainly wasn't “kicked out”.
7) Hong Kong,
We had a lease from China in 1898 for 99 years.
lt expired in 1997.
We wanted to renew the lease but China said “no”.
lt was their right & we respected that.
So we left.
So you see Hepatia, you have posted complete lies.
Either that or you are an idiot that thinks he knows his history but does not.
We may not get ALL of Antarctica but then we never claimed ALL of it.
One thing for sure we'll get more than Argentina.
34 briton (#) Apr 27th, 2012 - 08:00 pm Report abuse
sadly if you cut their brain in half, you will find a burnt union jack on one half, and an indocrination chip on the other half, which says anti brit do not remove

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!


Get Email News Reports!

Get our news right on your inbox.
Subscribe Now!