This is the story of Felix Rodriguez, one of the CIA's most extraordinary agents. A member of the anti-Castro movement from the age of 17, Rodriguez was infiltrated into Cuba six weeks before the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, and was one of only 15 of the original group of 35 infiltrators who escaped after the invasion failed. In 1967, as CIA advisor to the Bolivian Army, he helped to capture Che Guevara and was the last person to interrogate him. In Vietnam Rodriguez led and advised an elite anti-guerilla force until injuries caused his premature retirement. He was also a major figure in the American support of the Nicaraguan Contras and his claims that they were being poorly equipped, claims which Oliver North failed to heed, were ultimately proved correct during the Congressional Iran/Contra hearings
I found this book interesting reading from start to finish. For someone without any knowledge of Cuba (such as myself), Felix Rodriguez offers a fascinating glimpse at Fidel Castro, the anti-Castro movemement and to what motivated and still motivates much of the opposition to Castro. Rodriguez' assessment of the whole Bay of Pigs fiasco and the CIA's approach to Latin and South America is insightful and worth reading the book for on it's own. His account of the tracking down and execution of Che Guevara in Bolivia covers another very interesting couple of chapters. Rodriguez certainly offered Guevara a lot more respect that Guevara ever offered any of his political opponents.
I also found the later chapters on Vietnam and the Contra operations in Nicaragua well-written and interesting as well as all the smaller side-missions, such as time spent in Argentina and arms deliveries to the Maronites in Lebanon. There's also quite a good collection of B&W photos in the book. Rodriguez is fairly critical of the CIA, and makes a couple of comments early in the book on the general insularity of most Americans, with their lack of knowledge / awareness of the world outside of the United States. All fair criticism, and not out of place or context. Rodriguez comes across as an idealist throughout the book, very strongly motivated by his anti-Castro beliefs, which he has always maintained. All in all, a shrewed and honorable man who deserves a lot of respect.