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Jules Régis Debray

Debray, Jules Régis (zhül rāzhēsˈ dəbrāˈ) [key], 1940–, French journalist and government official. He went to Cuba, taught philosophy at the Univ. of Havana, and, after lengthy conversations with Fidel Castro, wrote Revolution in the Revolution? (1967), a handbook on guerrilla warfare that offered a philosophical justification for the use of violence. In Apr., 1967, Debray was captured in Bolivia while accompanying a guerrilla force under Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Tried by a military tribunal, he first insisted that he had accompanied the guerrillas only as a journalist, but then abandoned his defense after learning of the capture and death of Guevara. He was sentenced (1967) to 30 years in prison. Such notables as Charles de Gaulle, Pope Paul VI, André Malraux, and Jean-Paul Sartre petitioned for his release, and he was pardoned in Dec., 1970. He sought refuge in Chile, where he wrote The Chilean Revolution (1972) after interviews with Salvador Allende. Later he became an adviser on foreign affairs to François Mitterrand and from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s held a number of official posts in the French president's office.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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