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Works of Radical Imagination

Book cover for Pasajes de la Guerra: Congo
Book cover for Pasajes de la Guerra: Congo

En abril de 1965, el Che Guevara se marcha de La Habana al Congo para dirigir a 200 veteranos cubanos que asisten al movimiento de liberación africana contra los colonialistas belgas, cuatro años después del asesinato del presidente socialista democráticamente electo, Patrice Lumumba.

Porque el diario trata el admitido "fracaso" del Che, examina cada detalle doloroso de lo sucedido para poder extraer enseñanzas constructivas para futuros movimientos guerrilleros.

Único entre sus libros, Pasajes de la Guerra Revolucionaria: Congo es un retrato del Che brutalmente honesto que ilustra su capacidad como cuentista; en sus relatos de los fascinantes episodios de conflicto armado de la guerrilla no hay hesitación, endulzamiento o jerga. Algunos lo consideran el mejor libro del Che, también es uno de los pocos que editó para la publicación luego de escribirlo.

Book cover for Pasajes de la Guerra: Congo
Book cover for Pasajes de la Guerra: Congo

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Ernesto Che Guevara

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 8, 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