Publication Date

Spring 2016


Helms School of Government


International Relations


liberation theology, Marxism, pacepa, disinformation, latin america, south america, soviet union, gustavo gutierrez


Defense and Security Studies | Economic Policy | International and Area Studies | Latin American History | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latin American Studies | Military and Veterans Studies | Policy History, Theory, and Methods | Political History | Public Affairs | Public Policy | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social Policy | Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies


Liberation theology emerged as a prominent feature of religion and politics in the 1960s. Since the beginning, detractors have noted the overtly Marxist tendencies within this ideology. This thesis introduces the core concepts and presuppositions of liberation theology itself, and then focuses on specific and varied allegations concerning any influence the Soviet Union may have had on its formation and propagation. Particular weight is lent to the testimony of Lieutenant General Ion Mihai Pacepa, formerly the head of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu’s national intelligence service and the highest-ranking defector ever received from the Soviet Bloc. Pacepa has shared his insider knowledge at a variety of times and through a variety of mediums, and this thesis aims to collect and systematize all his allegations concerning liberation theology and the Soviet Union.