This article analyzes the aid provided by U.S. and multilateral institutions to Brazilian states during the government of João Goulart in Brazil (1961–1964). Although scholars have long emphasized that John F. Kennedy's Alliance for Progress employed state-by-state shaped by Cold War goals that helped to destabilize Brazil's political system and to facilitate the advent of a military regime that lasted 21 years, little has been known until now about the amount, characteristics, and impact of these loans. This article presents the first comprehensive list of U.S. dollar loans and cruzeiro grants to Brazilian states during this crucial period of Brazil's history and demonstrates that U.S. aid was strongly guided by political objectives, particularly boosting anti-Communist and pro-U.S. governors for the forthcoming Brazilian presidential elections. Officials in Washington were hoping to keep strategic Brazilian states under U.S. influence in case a military move against Goulart proved necessary.

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