In a recent interview, high ranking Romanian Ion Mihai Pacepa told the National Review “Liberation Theology” was a creation of the KGB. “Liberation theology has been generally understood to be a marriage of Marxism and Christianity. What has not been understood is that it was not the product of Christians who pursued Communism, but of Communists who pursued Christians.”
As a former intelligence professional, I can tell you the Central Intelligence Agency knew this all along. We knew it was the Soviet doctrine of destabilization to weaken fragile Latin American democracies in order to prepare them for Soviet sponsored revolution and eventual inclusion in the Soviet hegemony. These were active and destructive programs designed to undermine Latin leadership in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and into the 90’s.
Naturally you would never be able to insert raw Marxist Communism which repudiates religion of every kind. Back in the day, when “Liberation” movements emerged in Latin America with apparent Christian sponsorship, to the intelligence community, they were transparent as hell, with obvious signs of Cuban, Nicaraguan or Soviet sponsorship and support.
This was a widespread strategy in Latin America, as well as other parts of the world. This type of insurgency emerged in more than half of Central and South American countries. When the Soviets (Nicaraguans, Cubans…) started to withdraw, the abandoned forces made deals with drug traffickers and in many instances became their enforcement arms, as ideals disappeared and the reality of making a living set in.
I spent a great deal of time in Latin America, and love the culture and the people. Many of these countries did indeed have harsh dictators, and oppressed populations. But dictators seldom hang on forever, and I often wonder how these countries would have developed if not for the devastating destabilization that occurred as part of the Cold War.