The Defeat of Che Guevara: Military Response to Guerrilla Challenge in Bolivia

The Defeat of Che Guevara: Military Response to Guerrilla Challenge in Bolivia

The Defeat of Che Guevara: Military Response to Guerrilla Challenge in Bolivia

The Defeat of Che Guevara: Military Response to Guerrilla Challenge in Bolivia

Synopsis

This volume documents the events leading up to, during, and after the defeat of the 1967 guerrilla insurgency in Bolivia. Against the background of the 1960s attempt to extend Cuban influence throughout Latin America, the book offers an analysis of trends in Bolivian politics from 1952 to 1967. General Prado evaluates the insurgency's geographical setting, guerrilla preparations, and the Bolivian response. Prado identifies key errors, including Che Guevara's failure to capture peasant support and anayzes Che's own theories. Previously unknown details provide a concise reconstruction of The Defeat of Che Guevara.

Excerpt

As soon as the operations against the guerrilla force commanded by Ernesto “Che” Guevara in Bolivia in 1967 were completed, many friends suggested that I should write about these events, which were to become an important part of the contemporary history of our country.

I always replied that I would do so in due time. I was not interested in joining the “mercenaries of the pen” who sought to profit by exploiting the guerrilla chief's image. I told my friends that I was preparing a serious, well-documented essay that would be, so to speak, “the other side of the coin, ” since the flood of publications, both well- and ill-intentioned, that had appeared after the incidents of Ñancahuazú and La Higuera had only sought to relate the events and encounters from the point of view of the guerrilla fighters, and more often than not to denigrate the role of the Bolivian army and of military men in general.

As is always the case, when political fervor clouds one's perspective, one commits errors and draws false conclusions that take on the appearance of truth.

Over these two past decades, I have been patiently accumulating materials and documents, preparing data and charts, reconstructing step by step what happened in those months of 1967 and before, in order to present a serious, objective, and solid work that would display the true nature of those events that put Bolivia and her armed forces in the forefront of the international news.

Now that passions have cooled and new winds are blowing over the continent, when efforts are being made to repair the damage done to Cuban-Bolivian relations on account of the support given by Cuba to the guerrilla operation, when other subjects occupy the attention of Latin Americans, I consider it opportune to bring this work to light so that a different basis for evaluating this chapter of our history may be available.

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