Sunday, July 1, 2012

Book Review: Bolivian Diaries

What happens when you penetrate a Cult of Personality and actually read the intimate thoughts of the one in encompasses?

You discover just another person.

This is the final diary of the infamous Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, hero of many an American college student for his escapades of riding around South America wronging rights and depressing the oppressed. There are several movies made about him, countless books (along w/ his own writings) and even a college in Cuba dedicated to his 'teachings'.

Now to be honest, Che was a very intelligent individual.  He was a trained medical doctor. His political writings and speeches were excellent (as far as 1960's Communist propaganda can be) and he excelled at small unit tactics.

Outside of that, he was just an average person, and kind of a jerk at that. Reading the Congo Diaries and this one, it becomes clear why he was always a #2 man in the Cuban Revolution and why the Congo and Bolivian revolutions failed. He had little skill at dealing w/ people and was one of those leaders who micro managed everything. By the time he finally started getting the feel of the Congolese and Bolivian people, his 'wars' were effectively over. He couldn't grasp that even most self-proclaimed Communists were out for their own personal gain and couldn't care less about doctrine or equality.

It also included several 'Communique's to the Bolivian People' ironically titled Revolutionary Truth against Reactionary Lies. I say ironic because in them, he is just as dishonest as he proclaims the Bolivian Gov't and 'Yankees' are, using hair splitting to deny that there were guerrillas from multiple countries present and claiming that the 'vast majority' of his 'army' was made up of Bolivians when in fact it was mostly made up of Cubans.

From a historical, social and political view this is a must read.I will ruin the ending for everyone though:

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