Saturday, July 11, 2015

Pope Francis in Equador

Pope Francis in Ecuador

by Stephen Lendman

Since early June, disruptive/at times violent US-orchestrated protests on the pretext of announced higher inheritance and capital gains taxes largely affecting Ecuador's wealthy (about 2% of its population) aim to replace President Rafael Correa with fascist leadership exclusively serving monied interests.

They paused during Pope Francis' visit - now resumed on Saturday following his departure. The Pontiff rhetorically expressed support for Ecuadorean social progress, saying:

"(M)y best wishes for the achievement of your mission, that you achieve what you want for the good of your people…(Y)ou may always count on the commitment and collaboration of the church. For serving Ecuador's people, who have risen with dignity."

The Gospels hold "the keys that allow us to face the current challenges" - to value differences and promote dialogue "without exclusion (so) achievements in progress and development…guarantee a better future for all."

Before becoming Archbishop of Buenos  Aires in 1998 and a cardinal in 2001, Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) fully supported Argentina's CIA/Henry Kissinger backed coup followed by military dictatorship (March 1976 - December 1983) - a brutal period of dirty war (la guerra sucia), much like under Pinochet in Chile for nearly 17 years.

Thousands were disappeared (los desaparecidos), held in detention centers, tortured and killed. Anyone expressing dissent or considered an ideological or political threat was vulnerable.

Communists, socialists, independent journalists, human rights supporters, trade unionists, priests endorsing social justice, and students were targeted. Junta power ended months after Britain defeated Argentina in the 1982 Falklands War.

Pope Francis in his earlier capacity was complicit in Argentina's dirty war - waged to benefit wealth and power interests at the expense of social and political justice.

Vatican history isn't pretty. Author John Cornwell called Pope Pius  XII "Hitler's pope." He collaborated with the Nazi leader during WW II while ignoring millions of holocaust victims - exterminating Jews, Slavs, communists, trade unionists, Gypsies and political opponents.

Pope Benedict XVI, his predecessor Jean Paul II and earlier pontiffs opposed reform. Biographer John Allen wrote about Pope Benedict when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, saying:

He believed "the best antidote to political totalitarianism is ecclesial totalitarian-ism. In other words, he believes the Catholic Church serves the cause of human freedom by restricting freedom in its internal life, thereby remaining clear about what it teaches and believes."

Progressive liberation theology supporting social justice is verboten in Vatican City. Pope Francis' lofty rhetoric belies papal tradition - supporting wealth and power interests, paying lip service to what ordinary people deserve.

Anyone thinking organized religions are above reproach should read Michael Parenti's "God and His Demons." He discusses both Old and New Testaments, saying:

"The god of the Holy Bible - so much adored in the United States and elsewhere - is ferociously vindictive, neurotically jealous, intolerant, vainglorious, punitive, wrathful, sexist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, sadistic and homicidal." 

"As they say, it's all in the Bible. Beware of those who act in the name of such a god. Were we to encounter these vicious traits in an ordinary man, we would judge him to be in need of lifelong incarceration at a maximum-security facility." 

"At the very least, we would not prattle on about how he works his wonders in mysterious ways. In fact, 'biblical Jesus' qualifies quite well as founder and forerunner of an intolerant Christianity."

Pope Francis visited Ecuador at a time of US-orchestrated instability and polarization. It was the first stop on his multi-nation Latin American tour - when new poll numbers show Correa's support at 65%.

Opposition elements comprise a tiny fraction of the population - so far at least excluding active duty military support.

It's a crucial factor in a part of the world known for earlier military and political coups - in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela, not a pretty picture.

A previous article discussed Washington's orchestrated coup attempt in Ecuador. US dark forces want Correa replaced by fascist leadership it controls for the usual reasons - so far without success.

Days earlier, Ecuador's Defense Minister Fernando Cordero and army chief General Luis Garzon denied rumors about military withdrawing support for Correa.

An anonymous recording circulating on social media warned of imminent bank closures - an orchestrated right-wing plot to arouse public anger and anti-government support.

Codera responded saying "(i)t is a crime to spread false rumors of bank closures, and I hope that we can identify the (perpetrators) to hold them accountable to the highest level of the law."

Garzon denied the false rumor, saying "(i)t is a totally irresponsible statement. It isn't true. The armed forces are responsible, professional and we are fulfilling the laws of our constitution."

"We believe that we are here to honor democracy as well as support, protect, and guarantee the freedoms and rights of the Ecuadorean people."

During Pope Francis' visit, Correa expressed support for dialogue, not "bourgeois democracy…The doors are open to everyone to have dialogue based on truth and the common goal, which is the homeland," he said.

"We have to confront, but confront with ideas, not…in the streets with stones, breaking the legs of the police."

Things remain in flux. Protesters are back following Pope Francis' visit - so far just a few hundred peacefully, perhaps a brief calm before another US-orchestrated storm.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.