A high-ranking communist official who defected to the United States in the 1970s now says the Soviet KGB was behind the tidal wave of “liberation theology” that swept through Catholic countries in Latin America before the opposition of Pope John Paul II effectively ended the movement.
Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former three-star general in Romania’s Securitate, or secret police, said he first learned of liberation theology during meetings with Nikita Khrushchev and General Aleksandr Sakharovsky, then chief director of the KGB, when Sakharovsky accompanied the Soviet premier on a six-day visit to Romania in October of 1959.
“Khrushchev wanted to go down in history as the Soviet leader who had exported communism to Central and South America,” Pacepa said in a May 1 interview with the Catholic News Agency. “Romania was the only Latin country in the Soviet bloc, and Khrushchev wanted to enroll her ‘Latin leaders’ in his new ‘liberation’ war.”
Sakharovsky was little known to the world at large during the “hot years” of the Cold War, when secrecy was so highly valued that not all the members of the British and Israeli governments knew the heads of their own intelligence agencies, Pacepa said. But Sakharovsky played a key role in the East-West conflict as an architect of the export of communism to Cuba, the Berlin crisis and the building of the infamous wall, and the Cuban missile crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, Pacepa said.
Liberation theology “was born in the KGB, and it had a KGB-invented name,” the former general said. During those years, the KGB had a penchant for “liberation” movements, he noted, citing as examples the “National Liberation Army of Columbia created by the KGB with help from Fidel Castro; the National Liberation Army of Bolivia, created by the KGB with help from ‘Che’ Guevara; and the Palestine Liberation Organization created by the KGB with help from Yasser Arafat.”
FK – Oh, but communism is dead. Dan Rather said so.