Latin America & Caribbean

New Che Guevara diary published in Cuba

People queue to buy Diary of a Combatant
Image caption The launch was scheduled to coincide with what would have been Che Guevara's 83rd birthday

A previously unpublished diary by the Argentine-born revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara has been unveiled in Cuba.

His widow, Aleida March, said she had decided to publish the writings unedited.

She said she wanted readers to get to know Che Guevara just as he was.

Diary of a Combatant covers his three-year guerrilla campaign which resulted in the overthrow of then-president Gen Fulgencio Batista and brought Fidel Castro to power.

The publishers said Che Guevara, a doctor by training, had terrible handwriting and it had taken them unusually long to decipher it.

The diary covers the period from the landing on Cuban shores of the revolutionaries on board the yacht Granma on 2 December 1956 to 1 January 1959, when they ousted Gen Batista.

The diary shed light on "Che Guevara's impressions of Cuba, its culture, identity and political context", according to the publishers.

Che Guevara's other writings have done well in the past.

The diary of his guerrilla campaign in Bolivia, where he was captured and executed in 1967, sold extremely well when it was released in 1968. It has been re-printed many times.

The Motorcycle Diaries, his memoir of a road trip through Latin America when he was 23 years old, also did well commercially and was turned into a successful film.

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