A New Look at Che Guevara’s Death

A New Look at Che Guevara’s Death

BBC Interview Includes New Details From an Eyewitness

Che spent his last years fighting in Bolivia, and was eventually captured and killed by a CIA unit there. These last few incidents in Che’s life are not known well, and they’re highly politicized in the many biographies, films, and other media that now surrounds the revolutionary leader. But the last chapter in Che’s life is getting a new gloss thanks to an interview that was published in BBC News.

The piece is CIA Man Recounts Che Guevara’s Death and even though it’s a few years old now, I think it’s worth pointing out to anyone interested in Che. The interviewee is Felix Rodriguez, a former CIA agent who was also involved in the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs operation in Cuba. Working with other CIA personnel and the Bolivian army, he was on site for the capture and death of Che.

Mr. Rodriguez is a member of the Miami-based Cuban expat community that associates Che with the abuses and excesses of Castro’s regime. It’s interesting to get a perspective on how he feels about the part he played in history more than forty years later. Rodriguez was actually one of the men to interrogate Che, and tells us that the atmosphere in the camp where Che was held was friendly.

Rodriguez received the coded message from the Bolivian Army ordering Che’s death. The execution was set up carefully, “to remain consistent with the Bolivian government's story that Che had been killed in action during a clash with the Bolivian army.” As for Che, Rodriguez quotes him as saying, “It's better this way, I should have died in combat.”

Rodriguez’s final thoughts on Che?

“Most people don't know the real Che Guevara - the Che Guevara who wrote that he was thirsty for blood, the Che who assassinated thousands of people without any regard for any real legal process."

If you haven’t read it, check out the BBC interview now. It’s fascinating.