Killing Che Guevara
Posted on Oct 8, 2007
Forty years after his death at the hands of CIA operatives and Bolivian troops, Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara has become a legend and an icon, as evidenced by the familiar image of his face emblazoned on the T-shirts of college students everywhere. To mark the anniversary of his assassination, the BBC interviewed Felix Rodriguez, an ex-CIA agent who received the order to have Guevara shot.
Mr Rodriguez ordered the soldier who pulled the trigger to aim carefully, to remain consistent with the Bolivian government’s story that Che had been killed in action during a clash with the Bolivian army.
But wasn’t Che entitled to a fair trial rather than such an ignominious death in La Higuera?
“I could have tried to falsify the command to the troops, and got Che to Panama as the US government said they had wanted,” said Mr Rodriguez.
But he said it was a decision by the Bolivian presidency, and he had to let history run its course.
By killing Che Guevara the man, didn’t Mr Rodriguez think he had simply helped create something much more powerful - Che Guevara the legend?
AP photo / Javier Galeano
Remembering Che: This now-iconic image of Guevara appears on a mural in Havana, Cuba, where officials and citizens commemorated his death on Monday.