Jorge Capelán*, Managua con Amor, March 13th 2023
La iglesia católica no es la más indicada para hablar del nazismo ni de dictaduras
(la imagen es solo una ilustración).
On Friday, a scandal took place that is still going around the world. In an interview with the right-wing and anti-popular media par excellence, Infobae, sworn enemy of everything that smells of Patria Grande, Mr. Jorge Bergoglio, who for the last 10 years has been bearing the religious name of Francis, committed an outburst of, if not biblical, at least moral, geopolitical and historical proportions.
Asked, as if he did not know any better, by the crafty journalist Daniel Hadad, about his opinion of the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, Bergoglio said:
"With much respect, I have no choice but to think of an imbalance in the person who leads [Comandante Daniel Ortega]. There we have a bishop in prison, a very serious, very capable man [terrorist Rolando Alvarez]. He wanted to give his testimony and did not accept exile. It is something that is out of what we are living, it is as if it were bringing the communist dictatorship of 1917 or the Hitler dictatorship of 1935, bringing here the same ones... They are a type of gross dictatorships. Or, to use a nice distinction from Argentina, guarangas. Guarangas."
There is a lot of reed to grind in those unfortunate statements. First of all, it must be explained that the interview lasted about an hour and covered all kinds of topics regarding the Pope's personal life, the Catholic Church and Vatican affairs. He only spoke about Nicaragua for about 30 seconds. However, Infobae titled the interview "Pope Francis opined on Nicaragua: "It is like communist or Hitler dictatorships, rude."
Another thing to clarify is the meaning of the adjective "guarango" in the Southern Cone, which Bergoglio seems to like so much. It means "fool", "stupid" or "immature."
It is surprising how, in order to qualify the government led by President Daniel Ortega, Bergoglio thinks of bringing up "the communist dictatorship of 1917 or the Hitlerian dictatorship of 1935," having at hand much closer examples in which he himself played an important role.
However, his recent declarations on Nicaragua, allow us to question where in history he put himself when, as provincial superior of the Jesuits in Argentina, the Argentine dictatorship murdered 30,000 of his compatriots and even sent soldiers to faraway Central America to advise the Contras on the best way to assassinate Nicaraguans.
If Bergoglio blithely ignores real dictatorships like the one in his own country and prefers to take examples from the History Channel about Germany and the Soviet Union and calls them "guarangas", perhaps there is some truth in the very well documented journalistic versions that indicate that in the 70s he collaborated with the Argentinian dictatorship and that his indiscretions caused the arrest of the Jesuit priests Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics at the hands of the military regime.
Since his election in 2013 by a group of prospective cardinals and behind the backs of the faithful, Bergoglio has taken on the task of selling himself as a progressive pope, concerned about the environment (everyone remembers his encyclical Laudato Si), concerned about indigenous people and inclusion in the church, although the latter has not yet taken hold.
There are still those who, from an anti-imperialist perspective, claim him as "the apostle of the unity of the Patria Grande." How deluded they are, bent on seeing progress in "progressive" governments that since returning to power have done nothing but administer the decrepit neoliberal model!
And that is what Bergoglio is at the global level as pope of the Catholic Church: the simple administrator of a church that struggles to maintain its share of privileges within the Western order of neocolonial exploitation. Let no one expect pears from the elm tree, because he will never give them.
It is said that Bergoglio was a close friend of Methol Ferré, a very important Uruguayan geopolitician, with leftist nationalist ideas, and close to the intellectual current of another very important geopolitician, the Argentine Jorge Abelardo Ramos.
For Bergoglio, who has identified himself with Peronism, it should always have been very clear what is meant in Latin America when people speak of "dictatorship" and "democracy". When the powerful chant "dictatorship," in reality they are seeking to attack political projects with a genuine popular base and which question the neocolonial status quo in our region.
This is clearly demonstrated by Ramos in his book Historia de la Nación Latinoamericana (see chapter X and following). The accusations of "dictatorships" on the part of the port-cities built in the heat of the Spanish colony and later of the English and French neo-colonization of the continent, were directed against any political alternative that sought to unite the Patria Grande under an endogenous project of material and cultural development. "Dictators" were Belgrano, San Martin, Bolivar, Artigas up to our days with Sandino, Fidel, Chavez or Comandante Daniel.
Jorge Abelardo Ramos, who was truly lucid in these matters, wrote about Argentina: "We are a country because we could not integrate a Nation and we were Argentineans because we failed to be Latin Americans. Here lies our whole drama and the key to the revolution to come." Bergoglio's "guarango" does not seem to be aware of that. His was a typical Argentine "guarangada," from a country that unfortunately is incapable of entering the Patria Grande nuestroamericana that many of us prefer to call Abya Yala.
* Translation: Nan McCurdy