x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

The man who accompanied Guevara on his journey of discovery is dead

Alberto Granado, the man who accompanied Ernesto "Che" Guevara on an historic journey across Latin Amerca in 1951, has died at his home in Cuba.

Ernesto "Che" Guevara, is famous the world over. But on Saturday, the headlines were reserved for his old friend, Alberto Granado, who died at his home, in Cuba, aged 88.

Granado accompanied Guevara on the historic eight-month journey across Latin America, about which Guevara wrote The Motorcycle Diaries. That journey, which began in 1951, was important for the influence it would have on Guevara, who was then a 20-something medical student. His outrage at the poverty he saw helped motivate him to abandon medicine and join forces with the Cuban rebels, Fidel and Raúl Castro.

Guevara and Granado would eventually part ways in Venezuela, the former making his way to Miami before continuing with his studies in Buenos Aires; the latter staying behind to continue his work at a leper colony.

Almost a decade later, Granado would emigrate to Cuba, on the invitation of his old friend, where he would spend the rest of his life. Their historic journey was turned into the 2004 Spanish film, The Motorcycle Diaries, with the actor, Rodrigo de la Serna, playing Granado. The movie was based on the book, Traveling with Che Guevara: The Making of a Revolutionary, by Granado, as well as the diaries of Guevara himself.