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Obama Visiting Tomb of Leftist Oscar Romero

In El Salvador tonight, President Obama is visiting the tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was murdered almost exactly 31 years ago – the anniversary is March 24 – because of his opposition to the Salvadoran government that at the time was battling leftist rebels.

Romero is widely celebrated today as a hero of democracy, an irony given that the leftists he sympathized with would likely have entombed El Salvador in a Communist style dictatorship along the lines of Nicaragua and Cuba.

Romero himself does not appear to have been a Marxist, and his drift to the left and the “Liberation Theology” that was opposed by Rome at the time was likely due to his outrage at the killing perpetrated by the government and the right wing “death squads” who were fighting the insurgency.

Nevertheless, while his murder was an outrage, it was the direct result of his decision to become a part of the political struggle. In this contest, he chose the side hostile to the United States. Even Jimmy Carter knew enough to ignore a direct plea for Romero to cut off U.S. military aid to the Salvadoran government.

I’m not exactly sure what to make of Obama’s visit to the gravesite. Romero is currently in the process of being canonized, and it’s possible that given the Archbishop’s posthumous popularity – which avoids his complex history – it would have been impossible for Obama not to go.

But Obama by his own admission associated himself with a Lefty crowd and Marxist professors while at Occidental College at the time Romero was assassinated. Romero’s killing was a major rallying cry for the left and on campuses at the time, where affection was strong for left-wing Central American revolutionaries.

It’s impossible to think Obama did not get caught up in the liberal outrage at Carter’s and then Ronald Reagan’s efforts to defeat The Revolution, and it’s almost as hard to believe that tonight’s visit isn’t personally gratifying for the president.

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19 Responses to Obama Visiting Tomb of Leftist Oscar Romero

  1. Good post. I was of the understanding that there isn’t much of a difference between liberation theology and marxism.

    Obama won’t be visiting the Mayan ruins because he’s cutting the visit short….by 3 hours. He suddenly remembered we are fighting a war or two.

  2. From what Im told…this Barry dude is the president and he likes revolutions and junk like that…since he’s “the man” now, it would be a revolution against him! now…OMG…he doesnt have total control of everybody yet…he may not suceed this coming November 2012!, OMG!

  3. NOT suprised at all.

    As a *closet Communist*, Obama makes room (when possible) to visit the gravesides of fellow (dead) Communists. Romero was no Marxist, Leninist or Socialist or ‘Catholic Worker.’ He was a died in the wool Commie, whose connections to Latin American Communists, CPUSA and left-wing gun runners (translation: left-wing killing squads) is well documented; the Vatican knew it (and did nothing) as did the Reagan Administration. Romero should have been defrocked and run out on a rail.

    Mr. Obama is simply paying his respects to a fellow Comrade. Nothing to see here – move along…

    • I guess Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) who investigated liberation theology and whose agency investigated Archbishop Romero, does not know what he’s talking about, when he concluded: “That Romero as a person merits beatification, I have no doubt” and stated that Romero, “was certainly a great witness to the faith. He was a man of great Christian virtue, who was committed to peace and against the dictatorship.” Stop politicizing and attacking Archbishop Romero and the Church, just to score political points!

  4. Romero wasn’t a leftist, although you’ll never allow yourself to believe that. Romero was a conservative whose best friend was murdered by the death squads, the same death squads that killed some 80,000 civilians. Almost all of the people murdered were people who simply wanted a better deal, and wanted democracy. The real organized left was already in the countryside building one of the best irregular fighting forces Latin America had ever seen. Thus peace was negotiated under extremely favorable circumstances for the rebels. .

    Yes, Romero believed in liberation theology. But it wasn’t socialist, but rather a theological alternative to socialist or communism. It was an attempt to change the sadism and exploitation of that time by changing the heart of man through a conscious appeal to God. If you had any cultural literacy at all, or any knowledge of Latin America whatsoever, you would know that.

    Yes, President Reagan did a lot to support Latin American dictatorships, which were based on murder, incarceration of dissenters, torture and systematic sexual abuse of females. That is one reason why Latin America has turned away from North America as a model and leader and is finding its own way, which will be center-left social democracy. Its disgust and horror for American imperialism under Reagan was one reason why it turned away from Tio Sam as a model. They saw that the US political class has few values, but instead worships the Almighty Dollar.

    Ironically, the leftist rebels in Salvador helped bring about democracy. They dumped Stalinism at the earliest opportunity to participate in multi-party democracy. And they won. Today the nightmare of the civil war still permeates Salvadorean society, but they are slowly moving away from it. It is to the eternal honor of the Salvadoreans that they had the guts to fight the death squads and the Reagan imperialists. Here’s hoping democracy in Salvador matures, and that the forces that created right-wing totalitarianism in Salvador will be decisively defeated if they ever return.

    In the meantime, here’s hoping we can defeat the same kind of right-wing totalitarianism you people would so gladly bring to the US, with your worship of multi-billionaires and their disgusting attempts to kill democracy and sell American society to the highest bidder. Americans must fight the treacherous CITIZENS UNITED decision, union busting and power grabs by the Tea Party fascists, or we may lose our democracy for generations. In our struggle, we are encouraged by the bravery of the Salvadoreans.

    Victory in Salvador, and victory in the US! Democracy and social justice forever! Venceramos!

  5. You are sorely misinformed, my friend, and worse, you are perpetuating this misinformation here in the post. Archbishop Oscar Romero was a man who, as a religious leader of the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country of El Salvador, struggled with the tenuous balance between politics and religion. As he grew in his understanding of the root cause of the injustices and human rights violations there, he realized he had no choice but to speak out against the actions of the government/aristocracy and to advocate for the Salvadoran campesinos who had long suffered under the yoke of repression imposed by the oligarchy. The Liberation Theology he espoused was a theology that sprang forth from the fundamental Judaeo-Christian doctrine that we are all of us created with dignity, both in freedom and to for freedom. The aristocracy/government mitigated that dignity and freedom by using the National Guard to terrorize and kill those who spoke out against rigged elections and who tried to unionize and call for land reform….yes, with weapons and, in several cases, even training that the USA provided. Why, even the assassin of Romero was, himself, a graduate of the School of the Americas. It was only right that the US President visited the grave of Archbishop Oscar Romero to pay homage to such a man of courage and integrity who even today continues to call us to “…be a voice for the voiceless.”

  6. There is no irony in the fact that Archbishop Romero is widely celebrated today as a hero of democracy because he favored democracy and only became involved in politics when he saw the results of brutal repression that was the product of a military dictatorship in El Salvador. You are wrong that “the leftists he sympathized with would likely have entombed El Salvador in a Communist style dictatorship along the lines of Nicaragua and Cuba,” because Romero repeatedly and clearly rejected the Marxist currents among the reformers. In my blog about the beatification process for Archbishop Romero, I have recently reviewed the last seven sermons Romero gave before his assassination. Here, as in all his preaching, Romero made it clear that he was against Marxism. In the sermon that is viewed as the cause of Romero’s assassination–because he called on the Army to stop killing civilians–Romero also criticized Marxism. “Marxist ideologies,” said Romero, “view the person as simply a cog in the wheel,” and forget that “the state exists for the human person not the human person for the state.” The Sunday before that, Romero had made an appeal to the armed insurgents to put down their weapons: “Finally a call to the guerrilla groups … to those who advocate violent solutions, I appeal to you and ask you to understand that nothing violent can be lasting,” he said. “There are still prospects, even human ones, for reasonable solutions. Above all else there is God’s Word, which has cried out to us today: reconciliation! God desires that we be reconciled…” Unfortutantely, Romero’s message was rejected by the Right, who have maligned Romero’s true message; and by the Left, which preferred to ignore Romero’s critiques of the Left and latch on to the rejection by the Right to appropriate Romero’s image. Unfortunately, your post appears to perpetuate the misinformation for the sake of scoring points that may be politically expedient.

  7. Romero is most likely burning in hell, where he and all his fellow atheists both belong and want to be. El Salvador is a communist country, and the catholic church faces a great chastisement from God for it’s involvement with communism. Maybe it’s not too late if we pray hard enough and repent but I admit my pessimism gets the better of me, I think wer’e headed for hell on earth, and soon.