Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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9781644211007

The journal of a young Argentine's second trip through Latin America, revealing the emergence of a committed revolutionary now known as "Che."

This sequel to The Motorcycle Diaries includes letters, poetry, and journalism that document young Ernesto Che Guevara's second Latin American journey following his graduation from medical school in 1953. It reveals how the young Argentine is transformed into a militant revolutionary, ready to commit himself to the guerrilla struggle Fidel Castro and his compañeros are about to launch in Cuba against the dictatorship of General Fulgencio Batista.

After traveling through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Central America, Ernesto witnesses the 1954 US-inspired coup in Guatemala, which has a profound effect on his political awareness. He flees to Mexico where he encounters Fidel Castro, marking the beginning of a political partnership that profoundly changes the world and Che himself.

The Latin America Diaries includes a foreword by Alberto Granado, Che's companion on his first adventures in Latin America on a vintage Norton motorcycle, and features poems written by young Ernesto inspired by his experiences along with facsimiles of pages from his diary.

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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