With the seemingly unstoppable territorial expansion of Nazi Europe, the question discussed with growing concern in the US was what consequence this process would have on the western hemisphere. This question was asked looking in particular towards Latin America. The countries south of the Rio Grande were seen by many Americans as the Achilles Heel of the double continent. It was believed that South America was vulnerable to attack via the straight between West Africa and Brazil, that the states were already weakened internally through the clandestine activities of a German Fifth Column, and that they were also vulnerable to political and economic advances of the Axis Powers. The work critically examines how real this perceived threat was and explains its function and role in Roosevelt's global interventionist strategy and his setting up of counter measures, especially as present in Latin American cultural policies.
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