Tuesday 16 January 2018

Guevara diary sheds light on Castro and Cuba

Fiona Govan in Madrid

A DIARY kept by Che Guevara has come to light that provides fresh insight into his relationship with Fidel Castro and the guerrilla campaign that led to the Cuban revolution.

Extracts from notebooks previously thought lost have been published as 'Diary of a Combatant' in Cuba.

Researchers spent years deciphering the handwritten scrawl of the revolutionary leader.

The diaries chart the three-year guerrilla campaign which resulted in the overthrow of then-president Gen Fulgencio Batista and brought Fidel Castro to power in 1959.

Ernesto Guevara, who was born in Argentina, wrote about his experience from landing on Cuban shores on the yacht Granma on December 2, 1956, to the moment of victory on January 1, 1959. The diary provides a detailed account of skirmishes in Cuba's Sierra Maestra and the march from the southern tip of the island to the capital Havana.

It also gives fresh insight into the complex relationship between Guevara and Castro, the two heroes of the revolution.


Guevara, who trained as a doctor, met Fidel when the latter was exiled to Mexico. Together with Castro's younger brother, Raul, the group of 82 rebels landed in Cuba and began their armed struggle to overthrow Baptista's regime.

Guevara was the first member of the band to be promoted to the top rank of 'comandante' by Castro, and after their victory he held the positions of minister of industries and president of the central bank.

In 1965, he left Cuba to foment a revolution in what was then the Belgian Congo, but it failed and he returned to Cuba to prepare for an ill-fated campaign in Bolivia.

He was captured by the Bolivian military and executed on October 9, 1967, at the age of 39.

His remains were recovered in Bolivia in 1997 and transferred to Cuba, where they are buried in a war memorial in Santa Clara, 175 miles south east of Havana. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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