Regis Debray

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Regis Debray

Jules Régis Debray (Paris, France, September 2, 1940) is a French philosopher and writer.

Hailing from a wealthy bourgeois family. He studied at the Lycée Janson de Sailly in Paris and received his doctorate at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris, where he later taught. He was a faithful follower of the Marxist Louis Althusser, as well as a friend of Fidel Castro and Ernesto Guevara. In 1967 he wrote his first work, called Revolution in the Revolution. He was a member of the French Socialist Party, from which he left after ideological differences with the former president François Mitterrand.

Regis_Debray’s Biography

After being a teacher at the school where he studied, he was greatly influenced by Marxist thinkers, especially by his compatriot Louis Althusser. In 1960, after the Cuban Revolution, he traveled to that country and met with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, who continued on his way to extend the revolution to Bolivia, to accompany him in the guerrilla movement that would try to overthrow René Barrientos. However, as soon as the guerrilla campaign began, he began to show signs of fear, which is why Guevara decided to take him out of his fighting force by taking a wide detour to get him away and that he could reach some town saying that he was a journalist. By order of Che, Ciro Roberto Bustos should accompany him.


Régis Debray in a photo published for a note denouncing his 30-year sentence in Bolivia.

By then I was married to the Venezuelan writer Elizabeth Burgos. Captured by the Bolivian army in Muyupampa, he was tried and sentenced to 30 years in prison along with the Argentine Ciro Bustos. Although some versions blame Debray and others Bustos, surely the statements made by both under pressure (as Bustos said in countless reports, they were never tortured because the international pressure was very great), along with those of other people and additional evidence, they gave to the Bolivian military and CIA agents Félix Ismael Rodríguez and Andrés Villoldo who interrogated them the necessary information to capture Che. After an international campaign in which participated Jean-Paul Sartre, André Malraux, Charles de Gaulle and Paul VI and after the death of Barrientos, on June 27, 1969, he was amnestied by the new president Juan José Torres and released in 1970 .

His first three works were in defense of the guerrilla groups, which he advised to be integrated into the peasant class, since he thought it would be them who would put an end to imperialism in Latin America. This thought was a model for the Marxists and leftists of the time.

In 1971 he traveled to Chile, where he met Salvador Allende. The death of the Chilean president during the 1973 coup d’état meant a change of direction in his thinking about the limits of revolutionary theory, which led him to write works such as Critique of Political Reason in 1981.

At that time he began his political career in the French Socialist Party and was appointed advisor on foreign policies for the Third World of President François Mitterrand. Then he was part of the Council of State, but resigned shortly after. In 1988 Mitterrand was reelected, but the ideological differences between the two were increasingly pronounced, so Debray decided to move away from politics permanently.

From that moment his work focused on the development of a general theory about cultural transmission and the media (media).

In 1991 he brought this method of analysis to science with books such as Mediology Course and the very famous Life and Death of Images. He has also written autobiographical accounts of his experience in love and his political heritage. In 2001, God published an itinerary asking what we know about God.

More Facts about Regis Debray

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