Diary of a Combatant: The Diary of the Revolution that Made Che Guevara a Legend

Diary of a Combatant: The Diary of the Revolution that Made Che Guevara a Legend

Ernesto Che Guevara

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 0987077945

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The publication of this title by Ocean Sur in Spanish in July 2011 provoked considerable international attention (including CNN). This never-before-published diary (comprising a dozen small notebooks) Ernesto Che Guevara kept during the guerrilla war in Cuba when he joined the struggle to overthrow the Batista dictatorship that led to the 1959 revolution has now been meticulously transcribed by his widow, Aleida March.

Why did it take over fifty years for this diary to be published? Maybe because of some caustic comments Che makes in his usual brutally frank style. Maybe it was felt appropriate to wait until Fidel Castro had produced his own memoirs (now published by Ocean Press as The Strategic Victory).

In launching the book in Havana in July 2011, editor María del Carmen Ariet marked that it was "never clear whether or not Che wanted these diaries published" as he had reworked several pieces into his famous Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War, on which Steven Soderbergh based part one of his epic movie Che, starring Benicio Del Toro.

Nevertheless, all Che's diaries—from his early Motorcycle Diaries and its sequel, Latin America Diaries, through to his last diary from Bolivia—are extraordinary examples of his literary gift and his political incisiveness, in terms of his personal reflections, his criticisms and self-criticism, and his observations about others and events.

Other features of this new book are fifty-eight unpublished photos from Che's personal archive and unpublished letters (including correspondence between Che and Fidel), an index, and extensive glossary.

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left on the pretext about his sick mother. After hearing that the [air] attack had failed, he searched for us again until he found us at the house of Florentino [Enamorado]. He sent word that we would be at a place known as El Burro. But since our plans changed, he had to leave again, on another pretext, and orchestrated the attack that would have wiped us out, but which failed due to our timely withdrawal on Fidel’s orders. In addition, it was said that Julio [Zenón] Acosta9 had died and a

remembers Zenón as the first student he taught to read and write in the Sierra Maestra, and added that he considered Zenón to have been “one of the great compañeros of that time.” 10. A reference to the brothers Dionisio and Juan Oliva. 11. Translator’s note: Selecciones is a Spanish language version of Readers’ Digest. 12. Translator’s note: chilindrón is a dish made from goat meat. 13. This was the first face to face contact between Fidel and Celia Sánchez.. 14. This was the first time

came to bring us a new person, this time from the Contramaestre region, whose name is Antonio Candel; he’s a sharp guy. Just when we had everything ready to leave the following day, well into the night, another note came from David, saying that the boat had arrived without any problems and that he would send some things tomorrow. We had already formed the squads for the march, giving Vilo responsibility for the vanguard and five men under his command; next would come my squadron, which included

Minas where the people were voting in the street by cheering us on. A black guy, who is one of our people there, made an impromptu speech asking us to free the two prisoners. I replied that they had been taken so that their presence would prevent repression against the townspeople, but if this was their will I had nothing to add. We continued traveling in the trucks, watching the sky to see if any planes appeared; after two long hours, when we reached California, we saw the first one, but it

coming to a large cave.3 We decided to spend the day there. We had one can of milk and approximately one liter of water. We heard the sounds of combat nearby. Planes were strafing. We left at night, guiding ourselves by the moon and the North Star until we lost sight of them, and then we slept. 7 We went into the forest heading east. We drank water from depressions in coral reefs. Benítez had accidentally spilled the milk the previous day. We did not eat anything. 8 We continued heading east,

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