170. Editorial Note

A significant counterinsurgency program was a key element of U.S. foreign policy toward Bolivia. The United States undertook in 1967 to help train and equip a Bolivian Ranger battalion as part of Bolivia’s counterinsurgency program aimed at Cuban-led guerrilla forces. In addition to military training and advice provided by a Green Beret team, the interagency Regional Group for Inter-American Affairs, which viewed the Bolivian program as a pilot program for other Latin American countries faced by guerrilla insurrections, approved in July 1967 the assignment of a team to provide intelligence and technical support to the battalion. The Bolivian Ranger battalion tracked down the guerrillas in October 1967. CIA contract personnel assigned to the Bolivian battalion as advisors unsuccessfully attempted to prevent the execution of Cuban leader Ernesto “CheGuevara by the Bolivian military. These advisors provided on-scene reports of the execution to Washington. After Guevara’s death and the end of the danger from Cuban-led insurgency, U.S. officials responsible for coordinating covert activities took note of these actions in Bolivia as evidence of the excellent U.S.-Bolivian cooperation which supported efforts to acquire detailed intelligence on Cuban-sponsored insurgency throughout Latin America.