Memorandum on Conversation between Richard Goodwin and Che Guevara



Memorandum on Conversation between Richard Goodwin and Che Guevara


Bay of Pigs


In August, 1961, just 4 months after the Bay of Pigs invasion, presidential aide Richard Goodwin traveled to Uruguay for the Punta del Este Conference. Here, a meeting between him and Che Guevara was set up. As Guevara was wholeheartedly opposed to US foreign policy and one of Castro's best friends (he was instrumental in the 1959 revolution), the conversation went much better than expected. Both were at ease, spoke freely, and even humored one another. Guevara promised no attack upon Guantanamo, that free elections would be held after the revolution was complete, and that they could pay for expropriated US properties.
Guevara explained the Cuban revolution to Goodwin in terms he was unaware of, namely, that Cuba is now irreversibly out of the US sphere of influence, and that the revolution, too, is irreversible. They have the support of the masses, and that support will grow even more as time passes, Guevara asserted. Above all, Guevara sought a modus vivendi with the United States. This conversation was extremely important for the top of Kennedy’s administration to understand the “new” Cuba, and to deal with it more effectively in the future (a year later during the Cuban Missile Crisis).


Richard Goodwin



The White House


August 1961


Tyler Gabrielson

Original Format

Paper Memorandum