Burn Your T-Shirt Che Guevara
A True Untold Story…Until Now!
For many years Patrick O’Connor ran a Security company in Washington D.C. Back in the late 80’s his company was hired by the Bolivian Government to consult and launch a campaign to increase their Diplomatic Consuls worldwide, by creating Honorary Consuls. This gave the nearly bankrupt country the representation they needed without going to the expense of setting up Consuls on their own. In addition, the new Honorary Consuls would have to pay for the privilege, thus giving the Bolivian Government added revenue.
While O’Connor was working in La Paz, during a period when Bolivia was changing Presidents rapidly, the current president, an Army General, summoned him to his office and asked him to do him a favor. He said he was the owner of the Che Guevara diaries and wanted O’Connor to take the diaries to London and sell them.
The little black books, taken in 1968 from Che Guevara after he was executed in the Bolivian jungle, changed hands many times between various Bolivian military and Government officials. These officials used the diaries for various nefarious activities, including blackmail or collateral for hidden loans. Up until the early 1980’s, more than fifteen individuals who came in contact with the diaries, were either murdered or died under questionable circumstances. Thus, O’Connor was really taken aback by the General’s request.
After much pressure that became almost a command, O’Connor reluctantly agreed. What ensued during a three-month period, made a James Bond epic look like a Boy Scout picnic. The General had one of his aides hide the diaries in the Army Base
library. The aide had since “disappeared.” The General commanded that he be left out of the picture, so it was O’Connor who had to get into the Army Library, find the diaries and get out undetected. With the help of Julia, his beautiful secretary, he retrieved the diaries, along with the diary of Pambo, Che’s second in command and other incriminating documents.
Word had leaked out to several of the other self-proclaimed owners of the Diaries and Julia and O’Connor were pursued through Bolivia, over the Andes and into several other countries. The danger continued even when they finally got to London. With the Cubans joining in, it resulted in a shoot-out and several attempts at kidnapping.
O’Connor made a deal with the famous London auction house Sotheby’s, to sell the diaries in house, quietly, to some of their clients, not to auction them to the public. Sotheby’s agreed, but later betrayed them and announced a public sale and produced an elaborate brochure. The sale made the headlines in the European newspapers. The Bolivian Government attempted to halt the sale and now Julia and O’Connor find themselves being harassed by the Bolivians, the Bolivian Government, the Cubans and Che Guevara’s relatives in Cuba.
After a three-month court case, the Diaries were ultimately sent back to Bolivia, but O’Connor kept photo copies of the unedited diaries, along with Pambo’s diary and all the other incriminating documents, including the elaborate Sotheby’s brochure.
Che Guevara was one of O’Connor’s heroes during his college days. But after reading all the diaries and documents that he had gathered, O’Connor came to the conclusion that Che Guevara was not the selfless martyr with the love of humanity, or the great revolutionary hero, as some of the worlds media has made him to be.
Instead he was a cold blooded killer, a miserable tactician, an egomaniac out for self-glorification, at the expense of everyone around him. Che Guevara was betrayed by Fidel Castro to the Bolivians, from the very beginning of his so called Bolivian Liberation Campaign. Castro wanted Che Guevara killed because he was getting too popular in Cuba.
Since his time in Bolivia, O’Connor has written books and screenplays, but has never regretted, Burning his Che Guevara T-Shirt!
~ Final script available upon request. Copyright: Patrick O’Connor. All Rights Reserved.