Vatican official pronounces on the Nicaraguan regime: “It is neopopulism”

The secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, Rodrigo Guerrabriefly referred to the religious persecution experienced by the Nicaraguan Church under the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.

“Yes, in Nicaragua there are many very particular details, typical of the situation, practically of the last few days,” Guerra said in an interview with Colombian journalist Miguel Estupiñán for the Spanish news agency Religión Digital.

Guerra offered these statements from Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia, where he participated in the extraordinary assembly of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), in which the Archbishop of Managua, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, also participated, being vice president of said ecclesial body.

For the Vatican authority, regimes like Ortega’s have fallen into neopopulism, present both on the right and on the left; where people arrive who resort to totalitarianism to perpetuate themselves in power.

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“However, it is happening that some of the governments that have emerged under this history, under this logic, fall into the temptation of neopopulism. Neopopulism is not typical of the left, today we also see populist right-wing versions. Basically what is the problem? It is not left or right. The problem is to use democracy to install people who, due to lack of training and understanding, I dare to say, of the destiny of Latin America in the global context, incur again in the age-old authoritarian temptation that suppresses freedoms, that does not respect the diversity of opinions and that ends up hurting, among other sectors, the Catholic Church that seeks to be able to live and believe freely,” said the Mexican theologian Guerra a Religión Digital.

For the co-responsible -along with the theologian Emilce Duda- of the Secretariat of the department of the Holy See that is in charge of issues related to Latin America, Pope Francis has made a difference between popular movements and neopopulism within which he framed the Ortega regime.

“Pope Francis has said that what is truly popular, that is, what belongs to the people, should not be confused with neo-populism. Neopopulism is the use and abuse of the people in moments of fragility, of popular uncertainty, to come to power and stay in it. While what is authentically popular is what respects the history and idiosyncrasy of the people. One discovers when the authoritarian temptation begins again when a ruler who was born, perhaps, from a just struggle from society and the people, begins to live like a bourgeois”, Guerra pointed out.

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