Dear old folks:

Once again I feel beneath my heels the ribs of Rocinante*. Once more, I’m on the road with my shield on my arm. Almost ten years ago I wrote you another farewell letter. As I recall, I lamented not being a better soilder and a better doctor. The latter no longer interests me; I am not such a bad soilder. Nothing has changed in essence, except that I am much more consious.

My Marxism has taken root and become purified. I believe in armed struggle as the only solution for those peoples who fight to free themselves, and I am consistent with my beliefs. Many will call me an adventurer, and that I am….only one of a different sort: one who risks his skin to prove his truths. It is possible that this may be the end. I don’t seek it, but it’s within the logical relms of probailities. If it should be so, I send you a final embrace. I have loved you very much, only I have not known how to express my affection. I am extremly rigid in my actions, and I think that sometimes you did not understand me. Nevertheless, please believe me today.

Now a willpower that I have polished with an artist’s delight will sustain some shaky legs and some weary lungs. I will do it. Give a thought once in awhile to this little soilder of fortune of the twentieth century.

A kiss to Celia, to Roberto, Juán Martín and Patotín, to Beatriz, to everybody. For you, a big hug from your obstinate and prodigal son,


*Rocinante was Don Quixote’s horse.

Early in January 1967 Guevara’s family got a letter from Tete which had been posted in Argentina. The letter was addressed to Don Ernesto, but congratulated his sister Beatriz, Che’s favourite aunt, on the occasion of her birthday.

Don Ernesto: Through the dust kicked up by the hooves of Rocinante, with my spear poised to hurl at the enemy giants who are pursuing me,

I hurry to send you this almost telepathic message and pass on a ritual New Year greeting and a hug for you all. May the senorita, your sister, greet her fifteenth year surrounded by the love of her relatives and may she recall for a moment her absent and sentimental cavalier, who would like to see you all around sooner than was the case the last time.

Such are my specific wishes which I entrusted to a passing star that met me during my travels according to the wishes of the Magic King! See you soon. And if I see you no more…. Your son. D. Tuijo ” The two concluding lines were written in Italian: “Arrivederchi, Si non te vedo piu…”

Carta de despedida del Che a sus padres

1 de abril de 1965

Queridos viejos:

Otra vez siento bajo mis talones el costillar de Rocinante, vuelvo al camino con mi adarga al brazo.

Hace de esto casi diez años, les escribí otra carta de despedida. Según recuerdo, me lamentaba de no ser mejor soldado y mejor médico; lo segundo ya no me interesa, soldado no soy tan malo.

Nada ha cambiado en esencia, salvo que soy mucho más conciente, mi marxismo está enraizado y depurado. Creo en la lucha armada como única solución para los pueblos que luchan por liberarse y soy consecuente con mis creencias. Muchos me dirán aventurero, y lo soy, sólo que de un tipo diferente y de los que ponen el pellejo para demostrar sus verdades.

Puede ser que ésta sea la definitiva. No lo busco pero está dentro del cálculo lógico de probabilidades. Si es así, va un último abrazo.

Los he querido mucho, sólo que no he sabido expresar mi cariño, soy extremadamente rígido en mis acciones y creo que a veces no me entendieron. No era fácil entenderme, por otra parte, créanme, solamente, hoy. Ahora, una voluntad que he pulido con delectación de artista, sostendrá unas piernas fláccidas y unos pulmones cansados. Lo haré.

Acuérdense de vez en cuando de este pequeño condotieri del siglo XX. Un beso a Celia, a Roberto, Juan Martín y Patotín, a Beatriz, a todos. Un gran abrazo de hijo pródigo y recalcitrante para ustedes.