Pope John Paul II

Oct, 27th, 1978
“John Paul II: A shadow over the Kremlin”
Folha da Tarde

The article starts claiming that Stalin would have lost the war to Hitler if it weren’t for the support he received from the US, and for the aerial attacks carried out by the allies. When the war was over, the allies could have followed Churchill’s idea and marched over Moscow in order to prevent the spread of Communism, but the world underestimated Stalin, who became the war’s biggest winner. All countries where the boots of the Red Army had stepped were either annexed by Russia or became satellite states to the USSR with the exception of Yugoslavia, according to Ben Abraham.

Two other opportunities to stop Communism were missed by the Western countries. The first one was in 1947 when Stalin ordered the terrestrial blockade of Berlin. President Truman did not demonstrate firmness and simply organized an aerial route to reach Germany’s ancient capital. The second mistake was in 1956, when Eisenhower did nothing to stop the massacre of the Hungarian people by Russian tanks. Besides, he yielded to the Soviet demands to retreat invading forces from the Suez Canal, thus allowing the Russians to penetrate further into the Arab countries. A third factor, according to Ben Abraham, was the fact that the USA allowed the Communist regime to be installed in Cuba, which had influence over other countries in Latin America.

The first US president that set a red sign to the Communist expansion was John Kennedy, who ordered the blockade of Cuba and demanded that the ballistic missiles placed in Cuba were dismantled and returned to the USSR.

But the biggest turning point against the red expansion, according to the author, was when Israel shot down Tupolef jets that aided Syria and sunk two Russian ships in Syrian ports in the wars of 1967 and 1973. After these incidents, the Russians abandoned their Arab allies and compromised their own image before them. As a consequence, Anwar Sadat expelled thousands of Russian assessors from Egypt in 1973, cutted economic ties with the Soviet Union and gave up Russian military aid. The new front for the Communist expansion had become the African countries, with Cuba as an intermediary.

However, this expansion had two main obstacles. The first one was China, itself a Communist country following an independent policy, while demanding the return of territories annexed in past centuries by Russian czars. The recent rapprochement between China and Japan was also seen as contrary to Russian interests.

The second obstacle, the most important one for the author, is the nomination of a Polish pope. According to Ben Abraham, this fact revived the religious sentiment among the Polish people, despite decades of Soviet education denying the value of religion. He says this sentiment would become stronger in the country, in a demonstration of Polish nationalism.

May, 21st, 1981
“Assassination attempt against the Pope may have been planned”
Folha da Tarde

In this article, Ben Abraham tries to analyze the motives that could be behind the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II. He starts by summarizing the declarations made by Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish in his mid-20s, who had been caught by the Italian police right after shooting the pope. He told the police he had belong to a extreme right group until 1979, but after received training in Palestinian camps in Syria he had changed his ideological stance to the left.

Ben Abraham says it is probable Agca was saying the truth, mentioning a terrorist attack against the Egyptian embassy in Ankara in July 1979. The perpetrators of the attack were members of a pro-Syria Palestinian organization – the Saika – which had trained many Turkish terrorists in camps in the Arab countries.

By that time Agca belonged to the fascist group Grey Wolves. He had been sentenced to death for killing the director of a liberal newspaper, but managed to escape to Europe counting on many accomplices who gave him coverage, money and false documents. Ben Abraham argues all this support could not be provided him by a small militant group such as the Grey Wolves only. He adds that, during the time Agca spent in Europe, he would spent 100 dollars a day, in another proof that he had the support of a terrorist organization with international ramification.

Ben Abraham closes the article by pointing out the danger that the pope represented to the Soviet Union, by his strong appeal to Polish nationalism and his support to the movement led by Lech Walesa. Therefore he implies that perhaps it was the USSR that masterminded the assassination attempt against the pope, although he does not state this theory directly.

Dec, 20th, 1982
Whom did the pope bother?”
Folha da Tarde

In this article Ben Abraham reminds his readers of the article written one week after the assassination attempt against the pope. Now, he argues, it has already been proved that the Bulgarian secret service, which serves as a subsidiary of KGB in Bulgaria, was involved in the plot. He points out the fact that Bulgaria was the most obedient of all the Soviet satellites, therefore indicating the USSR was the real mastermind of the crime.

He adds that, by the time of the previous article, it had not yet been disclosed that the pope had sent a letter to Leonid Brejnev threatening to step down from the Vatican in order to join the Polish people in their fight for freedom.