Monday, August 9, 2010

Ernesto "Bete Noire" Guevara: The Yugoslav View of Che

Ernesto Guevara, better known as "Che", is an iconic figure. His face adorns everything from beer bottles to t-shirts and his books, decades later, still enjoy brisk sales. Even his honest opponents will admit that he was a skilled political theorist and guerrilla warrior.

However, as reported by the American State Department, Che Guevara had few friends in the Yugoslav government. In a 10/22/1965 Airgram, the Belgrade embassy reported that Che's decision to take leave of the Cubans started an attack on Che by the Yugoslav newspaper Borba, the most important Yugoslav print media of the time. The Borba's Latin American correspondent accused Che of, among other things, having personality defects and of damaging the Cuban economy, and that his dissapearance would like spawn a wave of repression. You can see a summary of the Borba's attack on the second page of the PDF below. The first page is the Airgram's cover sheet.

10/22/1965 Airgram from the US Embassy in Belgrade

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