Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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9781644210758

Introduction by Fidel Castro and Camilo Guevara

The last diary of revolutionary Che Guevara with entries up until two days before his murder.

"Here is Ernesto Che Guevara's account of the 1966-67 guerrilla struggle in Bolivia. A day-by-day chronicle of the campaign led by one of the central leaders of the Cuban revolution to forge a revolutionary movement of workers and peasants capable of contending for power in Bolivia and providing an example for all Latin America." —Midwest Book Review

"Thanks to Che's invariable habit of noting the main events of each day, we have rigorously exact, priceless and detailed information on the heroic final months of his life in Bolivia." —Fidel Castro

"I turned 39 today and am inevitably approaching the age when I need to consider my future as a guerrilla. But for now, I am still in one piece." —Che Guevara, June 14, 1967

This new edition of Che Guevara's diary of the last year of his life describes Che's efforts to launch a guerrilla insurrection against the military government of Bolivia. It was found in his backpack when he was captured by the Bolivian Army in October 1967. Newly revised, it includes Fidel Castro's "A Necessary Introduction," exposing the lies of an earlier, pre-emptive edition prepared by the C.I.A. to discredit Che and the Bolivian expedition, as well as the Cuban Revolution itself.

The Bolivian Diary reveals an older, more time-tested, and health-compromised Che than either the exuberant The Motorcycle Diaries or the mature and implacable Congo Diary. There is rich irony here as he recounts the daily challenges faced by his small guerrilla band, the pronouncements of the military government, and the actions of the large military force attacking them. The last entry describes the day before Che's capture, two days before his murder.

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ERNESTO CHE GUEVARA is profoundly radicalized when, as a young doctor traversing Latin America for the second time, a journey he later describes in Latin America Diaries/Otra Vez, he witnesses first the Bolivian Revolution, and then, in Guatemala, the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Jacobo Árbenz by U.S.-backed forces. After escaping to Mexico, Guevara meets up with a group of Cuban revolutionaries exiled in Mexico City led by Fidel Castro and immediately enlists in their planned expedition to overthrow Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. The Cubans nickname him "Che," a popular form of address in his native Argentina. The group sets sail for Cuba on November 25, 1956, aboard the yacht Granma, with Che as the group's doctor. Within several months, Fidel appoints him a commander of the Rebel Army, though he also continues to minister to wounded guerrilla fighters and captured Batista soldiers.

After General Batista flees Cuba on January 1st, 1959, Che becomes one of the key leaders of the new revolutionary government. He is also the most important representative of the Cuban Revolution internationally, heading numerous delegations and earning a reputation as a passionate and articulate spokesperson for Third World peoples. In April 1965, Che leaves Cuba to lead a guerrilla mission of some 200 Cuban soldiers to support the revolutionary struggle in Congo, a mission he recounts in Congo Diary. The book is characterized by Che's brutal, disciplined honesty, as he recounts the succession of failures and dead ends that characterized the mission, analyzing each one, and never losing sight of his innate optimism and clarity of mission. After returning to Cuba in December 1965, Che prepares another guerrilla force, this time to Bolivia, where he arrives in November 1966 with a small guerrilla force, intending to challenge the country's military dictatorship. He is captured there by U.S.-trained counterinsurgency forces on October 1967, and murdered in cold blood the next day. His Bolivian diaries were later edited and published as The Bolivian Diary/El Diario de Che en Bolivia. Che's other works include Reminisces of the Cuban Revolutionary War/Pasajes de la Guerra Revolucionaria, I embrace you with all my revolutionary fervor/Te abraza con todo fervor revolucionario, and The Motorcycle Diaries/Diarios de Motocicleta. More of his political writings are collected in the Che Guevara Reader/Che Guevara Presente.

Other books by Ernesto Che Guevara