Che’s last days in Bolivia

Americas Now

Without the Argentine Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, the Cuban Revolution may have ended differently. He was the counter-balance to Fidel Castro’s leadership, a guerrilla commander in the move to overthrow Cuba’s dictator. 

Che’s last days in Bolivia

Che’s last days in Bolivia

Without the Argentine Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, the Cuban Revolution may have ended differently. He was the counter-balance to Fidel Castro’s leadership, a guerrilla commander in the move to overthrow Cuba's dictator.

Once the Revolution was established, Che was appointed in different government positions to advance the Caribbean Island but eventually surprised everyone by leaving the island to pursue the internationalization of the revolution to other countries. He was 36 years old.

He began with central Africa, a campaign which, by his own admission, was a failure. His final ill-fated mission was to Bolivia – a place he regarded as the center of South America, a strategic battleground for the expansion of the revolutionary movement to the rest of the continent.

There, he spent his last days putting together and training a guerilla organization. He was shot dead by Bolivian armed forces and died on October 9, 1967. Not even a year had passed since his arrival in the South American nation.

Conflicting reports surrounded the events leading up to his death, adding a layer of mystery to the legend of Che. His body was buried in an unmarked grave for thirty years until his remains were exhumed and sent to Cuba to be reburied in a public ceremony overseen by Fidel Castro, his old companion in arms.

As Dan Collyns reports, nearly 50 years after the events, Bolivias is one of the countries in which Che left the most lasting impressions.