Che buried at scene of his best battle

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The Independent Online
Thirty years and eight days after his death, Ernesto "Che" Guevara was buried yesterday on the island where he made his revolutionary name. The remains of "Che," an Argentinian doctor whose life was changed by a chance 1955 meeting with Fidel Castro in Mexico City, were finally laid to rest in a mausoleum in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara, site of his best-known battle.

His remains had lain in the Bolivian jungle since he was executed by Bolivian troops on 9 October 1967. He had gone there in the hope of spreading Marxist revolution throughout South America. The location of his body remained a mystery until two years ago when a retired Bolivian officer revealed the area to an American journalist.

Hundreds of thousands of Cubans filed past his casket in Havana for three days last week, before it was moved to Santa Clara. It was there Guevara's revolutionary unit defeated Fulgencio Batista's troops in the last few days of 1958, forcing the dictator to flee the country on New Year's day 1959.

Guevara, who was 39 when he died, has several children and grandchildren living in Cuba. His widow, Aleida March, was among the mourners. Even as he was being buried, Cuba and the US continued their war of words. A US State Department spokesman accused Cuba of playing "the same old movies", while the Washington Post said the revolutionary was "not a mythical Marxist Robin Hood but someone who did much damage." - Phil Davison