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Democracy, Culture, CatholicismVoices from Four Continents$
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Michael J. Schuck and John Crowley-Buck

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823267309

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823267309.001.0001

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The Catholic Church and the Leftist Populist Regimes of Latin America: Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia

The Catholic Church and the Leftist Populist Regimes of Latin America: Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia

Chapter:
(p.219) The Catholic Church and the Leftist Populist Regimes of Latin America: Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia
Source:
Democracy, Culture, Catholicism
Author(s):

Jeffrey Klaiber

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823267309.003.0016

Klaiber analyzes the relationship between the Catholic Church and the leftist populist regimes of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, and Evo Morales in Bolivia. In each case, the populist leaders have used messianic rhetoric to describe their own leadership and associate themselves with the aspirations of the peasant class. At the same time, they have identified themselves as the voice of their national cultures, a move meant to separate civil society from the influence of the Catholic Church. Yet, the leaders in each country support Christian-inspired social and educational services (e.g., Fe y Alegria schools). Historically, the Catholic Church has served as the moral mediator between national governments and civil society. It remains to be seen whether the Church will continue in that role as the political fortunes of leftist populist movements change over time.

Keywords:   Bolivia, Hugo Chávez, civil society, Rafael Correa, Ecuador, Fe y Alegria leftist populist movements, Evo Morales, Venezuela

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