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|Alberto Granado, pictured at home in Havana in 2007, was invited to Cuba by Guevara in the early 1960s [EPA]|
Alberto Granado, the motorcycling companion of iconic revolutionary Che Guevara, has died in Havana at the age of 88, according to Cuban state media.
Granado had lived in Cuba since the early 1960s after being invited to the Caribbean island by Guevara following the country’s revolution.
His body is to be cremated and his ashes scattered in Argentina, Cuba and Venezuela as Granado requested, state media said.
Granado, a biochemist, and Guevara, then a young medical student, embarked together in 1951 on an epic road trip which took them the length of South America from their native Argentina.
The adventure, in which the pair worked at a colony for leprosy patients and met impoverished miners and indigenous South Americans, is credited with fuelling the sense of injustice that led Guevara to join Fidel Castro’s uprising against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959.
The pair started their journey on a spluttering Norton motorcycle but they were soon reduced to travelling on foot, by bus or boat, and hitchhiking when the bike – nicknamed “La Poderosa” or “the powerful one” – broke down irreparably.
Granado’s account of the trip, Traveling with Che Guevara: The Making of a Revolutionary, as well as Guevara’s diaries, formed the basis for a 2004 film, The Motorcycle Diaries, directed by Walter Salles and starring Gael García Bernal as Che and Rodrigo de la Serna as Alberto.
Guevara was killed in Bolivia in 1967 while attempting to foment a revolution in the Andean country.