Che's "Motorcycle Diaries" companion dies in Cuba

HAVANA Sat Mar 5, 2011 5:10pm EST

Alberto Granado (C) walks on the red carpet between Argentine actress Mia Maestro (R) and Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal (L) for the presentation of [Brazilian director Walter Salles's] film entry 'Diarios de Motocicleta' (The Motorcycle Diaries) which competes for the Palme d'Or at the 57th Cannes Film Festival, May 19, 2004. REUTERS/file

Alberto Granado (C) walks on the red carpet between Argentine actress Mia Maestro (R) and Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal (L) for the presentation of [Brazilian director Walter Salles's] film entry 'Diarios de Motocicleta' (The Motorcycle Diaries) which competes for the Palme d'Or at the 57th Cannes Film Festival, May 19, 2004.

Credit: Reuters/file

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HAVANA (Reuters) - Alberto Granado, who accompanied fellow Argentine Ernesto "Che" Guevara on a trip immortalized in the film "The Motorcycle Diaries, died in Cuba on Saturday at the age of 88, Cuba's state-run media reported.

The report said his ashes would be spread in Argentina, Cuba and Venezuela.

The famous trip across South America, begun in late 1951 on Granado's old British motorcycle, supposedly awakened in Guevara a sympathy for the poor and desire for social justice that turned him into a leftist revolutionary.

He was one of the leaders of Cuba's revolution that put Fidel Castro in power in 1959 and was in the Cuban government for several years until leaving to fight, less successfully, in other uprisings.

He died in Bolivia in 1967 while trying to start a rebel force there.

"The Motorcycle Diaries" was based on Guevara's diary of the trip and on Granado's book "Traveling with Che Guevara: The Making of a Revolutionary." The 2004 film was directed by Brazilian Walter Salles.

At the invitation of his friend, Granado, who was a biochemist, came to Cuba in 1961 and stayed.

(Reporting by Esteban Israel; Editing by Jeff Franks and Eric Walsh)

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