8:35am

Mon March 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Alberto Granado, Who Rode With Che Across South America, Has Died

If you saw the 2004 movie The Motorcycle Diaries (review here), or read the book of the same name that's based on Marxist revolutionary Ernest "Che" Guevara's diaries, this news may be of interest:

"HAVANA — Alberto Granado Jiménez, the Argentine biochemist who accompanied the young Che Guevara on his formative odyssey across South America, died here on Saturday. He was 88." (The New York Times)

As The Guardian says, "their (early '50s) road trip awoke in Guevara a social consciousness and political convictions that would turn him into one of the iconic revolutionaries of the 20th century."

It was Granado's motorcycle that carried the young men on their trip "over the Andes and up the coast of Chile to Peru and Colombia before they parted company in Venezuela seven months later," The Telegraph writes. It adds that:

"Their encounters for the first time with the great mass of South America's downtrodden and exploited — migrant sheep shearers, copper miners, Indian peasantry — were a key influence on the future direction of both their lives. For Granado, it confirmed his intuition that there was a wider world to see and help than the middle classes of his home town, while in Guevara it ignited a burning zeal to tackle the cause of such misery, which he came to see as capitalism."

Granado moved to Cuba in 1961. Guevara was killed in Bolivia in 1967. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.