Primary Sources: Records of the US Department of State for Panama & Brazil

image of document from resourcesThe Library has recently acquired online access to these government documents:

Panama: Records of the U.S. Department of State, 1950-1963
Documents in this collection trace U.S.-Panamanian relations during the Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy administrations. Issues relating to shipping and the significance of the Panama Canal during the Cold War include: “Panama Stymies Use of Her Flag in Vietminh Trade … A parallel situation exists in the trade with Red China” (September 1955); and “Ships Enroute to U.S. from Soviet or Satellite Ports” (October 1957). A letter to U.S. Ambassador Julian F. Harrington details “the possibility that the Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1960 would result in a general acceptance by the United States of a six-mile breadth of territorial sea” (April 1960). Other documents chart day-to-day aspects of the economy: a report on sugar production with tables on sugar production and consumption (June 1950); and an announcement by the Panamá Canal Company of a contract award for native lumber (August 1952).

Brazil: Records of the U.S. Department of State, 1960-1963
This archive focuses on Brazil in the early 1960s. Sample documents include a report from Recife on the cultivation and export of pineapples, “especially in the states of Pernambuco and Paraíba,” as “an increasing source of foreign exchange for the Northeast.” A November 1962 memorandum details the issuance of 40 billion cruzeiros in new currency “to meet runs on commercial banks during the political crisis, gradually flowing back to the Bank of Brazil following the return of normal conditions.” The collection covers the period following the resignation from the presidency of Janio Quadros in 1961 and the succession of Vice President Joao Goulart, whose years in office were marked by high inflation, economic stagnation, and the increasing influence of radical political elements. The armed forces, alarmed by these developments, staged a coup on March 31, 1964, during the administration of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.