Michael Ratner and Michael Steven Smith are the co-authors of a new book about the U.S. role in the killing of Cuban revolutionary, Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Born in Argentina in 1928, Che rose to international prominence as one of the key leaders of the 1959 Cuban Revolution that overthrew U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista. After a period in the new Cuban government leadership, Che aimed to spark revolutionary activity internationally. On October 8, 1967, he was captured by Bolivian troops working with the CIA. He was executed one day later. In their book, “Who Killed Che?” Ratner and Smith draw on previously unpublished government documents to argue the CIA played a critical role in the killing. “The line of the [U.S.] government was that, ‘The Bolivians did it, we couldn’t do anything about it.’ That’s not true,” Smith said. “This whole operation was organized out of the White House by Walt Whitman Rostow and the CIA.” On Che’s significance, Ratner said, “Che became a symbol for revolutionary change. … He still remains that today. If you go to Tahrir Square or Occupy Wall Street, people are wearing Che T-shirts because they understand their obligation, their necessity is to take on the 1 percent. That is what Che was about. I think that is why he is such a hero for people in the streets today.”
Michael Steven Smith: Articles, reviews, audio and video from New York attorney and activist Michael Steven Smith.
The story of how Che Guevara died, and how the US government felt it had to lie about it, is a reminder of how the war on terror is also a war on the rule of law.