Sputnik discussed this with Venezuelan publicist Vicente Quintero, author of the book “Nazism and the Third Reich in Venezuela During the Second World War”.
“Germany was interested in Latin America long before World War II started. Of particular interest were the territories of South America’s northern coast, particularly Venezuela and its islands in the Caribbean. There are documents confirming that Berlin tried to take advantage of Venezuela’s political instability at the end of the 19th century to take control of those islands. In this context, Venezuela was even forced to seek international help. It’s documented that Germany planned to expand its presence in the region. As for Venezuela, the interest in it was due to geopolitical reasons: its geographical location allows you to be a key player in the Caribbean. For that same reason, Germany’s close attention was on Colombia and Panama. In their case, we are also talking about control over the water corridor between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, the most important trade artery. In this sense, there were plans to create military strongholds in Colombia and Venezuela in order to seize the Panama Canal”, he said.
According to the publicist, “one shouldn’t forget about Latin America’s abundant natural resources”.
“Before World War II, Venezuela was the world’s largest oil exporter. At that time, Middle Eastern oil countries couldn’t compete with it. The United States also produced large volumes of oil, but a significant part of it was for the domestic market. Thus, Venezuelan oil resources, as well as the natural resources of other countries in the region, caused great ‘appetite’ of Germany”, the political analyst emphasised.
According to Vicente Quintero, the Third Reich being victorious would have been a disaster for the population of Latin American states.
“In the context of the ethnosocial structure of society, implied by the Third Reich's ideology, Latin American countries needed ‘whitening’ and the dominant role of the German nation. On the one hand, that strategy implied a major relocation of the German population to the countries of the region. On the other hand, it implied serious discrimination against representatives of the ‘wrong’ races”, the publicist noted.
“For example, an Estonian-born Nazi criminal, Harry Männil, had for several decades lived in Venezuela, where the local ‘high society’ was perfectly aware of who he was and what crimes he had committed. However, nobody cared. I regard this as aiding. And only under pressure from international intelligence services at the end of his life, was he forced to flee to Costa Rica, where he died in 2011. However, he never faced punishment for what he had done. This is one of the evidence that ideas that the Third Reich preached still exist in certain social strata of Latin American societies. In this sense, Argentina stands out, which has been in detail reflected in many works. And this is a potential threat. Just look at how neo-Nazism raises its head in Europe amid existing problems. In France, for example, calls are increasingly heard for attacking Jewish community members. The same thing may happen in Latin America, where serious persecution can start against Jews, black people or gypsies. This is a real threat”, the expert warned.