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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 26, 1964

FROM THE DIARY OF YU. P. CHESTNOY, RECORD OF A CONVERSATION WITH THE GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF BOLIVIA, MARIO MONJE, 3 AUGUST 1964

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Bolivia, Mario Monje, informs Chestnoy about a recent meeting with Che Guevara, in which they discuss the differences in Chinese Communist leadership policies. Guevara states that if forced to choose between the two sides, Cuban leadership would be on the side of the Soviet Union.
    "From the Diary of Yu. P. Chestnoy, Record of a Conversation with the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Bolivia, Mario Monje, 3 August 1964," August 26, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, f. 5, op. 49, d. 758, l. 176, r. 9126. Translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117105
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[Stamp]: Declassified

from the diary of Secret Copy No 2

Chestnoy, Yu. P. 26 August 1964

No 289

RECORD OF A CONVERSATION

with the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Bolivia

MARIO MONJE

3 August 1964

Today in the Embassy building I accidentally encountered M. Monje, who came to inquire about the possibility of flying to Moscow. Monje said that he had met with several members of the Cuban leadership, in particular with Che Guevara, and was awaiting a promised meeting with Fidel. In Monje’s words, his conversation with Guevara was very open. In particular, Guevara touched on the issue of the differences with the Chinese leadership. In Guevara’s words, he does not completely agree either with the position of the CC CPSU or the Chinese leadership. As regards the position of the CC CPSU, he said to Monje directly that, “It is not easy to believe in sins which you were taught to respect for such a long time”. As regards the position of the Chinese leadership, Guevara said that he is indignant at their high-handedness, rudeness, and lack of argument in their declarations and generally considers that the position of the Chinese leadership does not withstand serious criticism, although outwardly it still deceives many people. As regards him, Guevara, and a number of other Cuban leaders, they have many friends on both sides and it is very difficult to make a choice at this moment. He added that, as Monje understands, we’re not just talking about sympathies. However, if the matter comes to the necessity of making a choice then he, Guevara, and in his opinion, the other members of the Cuban leadership, would be on the side of the Soviet Union.

Second Secretary of the USSR Embassy in Cuba

[signature]

Yu. Chestnoy