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Latino Daily News

Monday March 7, 2011

Alberto Granado of ‘Motorcycle Diaries’ Fame and Travel Companion of Che Guevara Dies at 88 in Cuba

Alberto Granado of ‘Motorcycle Diaries’ Fame and Travel Companion of Che Guevara Dies at 88 in Cuba

Photo: Alberto Granado, Travel Companion of Ché Guevara died.

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At the end of December 1951, Che Guevara and Granado, six years older than “Fuser” as Guevara was known before “Che” set in, left their homeland, Argentina for a long-planned motorcycle adventure to see more of their continent.

Six decades and three months later, “In today’s morning hours in the capital, comrade Alberto Granado, the close friend of Comandante Ernest Guevara, died at age 88,” announced a Cuban TV station.

Alberto Granado Jimenez was born in Hernando, Argentina, on August 8 1922. His father was a clerk for the railways and was a part of trade unions. When the military took power in 1930, Granado Sr.  was advised to leave Cordoba, where he and his three sons had been living, and resettled in Villa Constitucion. Young Alberto stayed in Cordoba and was raised by his grandparents. In 1940 he went up to the city’s university and studied Chemistry and Biochemistry. It was around that time when he met Guevara, who had moved to Cordoba with his family, in the hope that the mountain air would help his asthma.

ImageAsked in an interview a few years back about his friendship and time on the road with “Che,” Granado said: “We hit it off well.”  “When there was talk about politics, disease and what not, we almost always shared a similar view.”

In 1978 Granado published “Con el Che por Sudameric”, his version of the diary he had kept of his journey with Guevara, whose own account of it had already become a posthumous bestseller.

Granado’s diary was translated into English in 2003 as Traveling with Che Guevara, and on that same year he was and advisor for the film The Motorcycle Diaries, which based on both books.

Cuban media said Granado’s body was taken to a funeral home in Havana and, “according to his wishes,” his remains will be cremated and the ashes spread across parts of Argentina, Cuba and Venezuela.