What’s on Our Nightstands: “Who Killed Che?”

I am reading the compelling book Who Killed Che?: How the CIA Got Away with Murder (2011) by Michael Ratner and Michael Steven Smith. As Ricardo Alarcon (President of Cuban National Assembly) writes in his foreword, “This book presents a perceptive and coherent explanation of the death of Ernesto Che Guevara, on October 9th 1967, after he had been captured, injured, and disarmed two days previously.” Ratner and Smith demonstrate that “the U.S. Government, particularly its Central Intelligence Agency, had Che murdered, having secured the participation of its Bolivian client state.”

Editorial Description: In compelling detail two leading U.S. civil rights attorneys recount the extraordinary life and deliberate killing of the world’s most storied revolutionary: Ernesto Che Guevara. Michael Ratner and Michael Steven Smith survey the extraordinary trajectory of Che’s career, from an early politicization recounted in the Motorcycle Diaries, through meetings with his compañero Fidel Castro in Mexico, his vital role in the Cuban revolution, and his expeditions abroad to Africa and Latin America. But their focus is on Che’s final days in Bolivia where, after months of struggle to spread the revolution begun in Havana, Che is wounded, captured and, soon after, executed. Bound and helpless, Che’s last words to his killer, a soldier in the Bolivian Army, are “Remember, you are killing a man.”

Referencing internal U.S. government documentation, much of it never before published, Ratner and Smith bring their forensic skills as attorneys to analyze the evidence and present an irrefutable case that the CIA not only knew of and approved the execution, but was instrumental in making it happen. Cables from the agency disavowing any U.S. role in the murder were merely attempts to provide plausible deniability for the Johnson administration. The spirit of Che Guevara, as an icon and an inspiration, is as vibrant today as it ever was. News photographs of democracy protestors in the Middle East carrying his image have circulated the world in recent months. For anyone drawn to his remarkable life and its violent, unlawful end, Who Killed Che? will engage, anger and educate.

Michael Ratner is the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and author of Guantanamo: What the World Should Know. He has worked for decades, as a crusader for human rights both at home and abroad litigating many cases against international human rights violators. He acted as a principal counsel in the successful suit to close the camp for HIV-positive Haitian refugees on Guantanamo Base, Cuba.

Michael Steven Smith is the author, editor, and co-editor of six books, mostly recently “The Emerging Police State,” by William M. Kunstler. He has testified before committees of the United States Congress and the United Nations on human rights issues.

For more information, see http://www.orbooks.com/2012/02/who-killed-che-authors-michael-ratner-and-michael-smith-talk-to-amy-goodman-about-their-new-book-on-democracy-now/ and http://www.democracynow.org/2012/2/7/who_killed_che_how_the_cia

For more information on the authors, see http://lawanddisorder.org/hosts/

See book review at http://palgrave.typepad.com/yaffe/2012/03/review-who-killed-che-how-the-cia-got-away-with-murder.html

2 thoughts on “What’s on Our Nightstands: “Who Killed Che?”

  1. Wherever there is a struggle for human rights ( and that is everywhere), the name of Che Guevara will be in the tabloid of the revolutionary.

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