Havana : Cuba has confirmed that the body found at a grave in Bolivia’s Vallegrande town was that of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, thus ending a controversy over the authenticity of the body of the socialist revolutionary who was slain by Bolivian army in 1967.
Jorge Gonzalez Perez, who led the team that recovered Che’s body, said Thursday that the evidence found at the burial site was sufficient to prove that the remains were those of Guevara, Spanish news agency EFE said Friday quoting official Juventud Rebelde newspaper.
Cuba, nevertheless, conducted DNA tests on the body to confirm the findings, Perez was quoted as saying.
Guevara, born June 14, 1928, met Fidel Castro in Mexico in 1956 and joined the armed uprising in the Sierra Maestra mountains that eventually led to the overthrow of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.
During the first few years of the revolution, Che, who was granted Cuban citizenship, was named head of the country’s central bank and, later, of the industry ministry.
His plans to spread socialist revolution throughout Latin America took him in 1966 to Bolivia, where he was captured by the Bolivian army on Oct 8, 1967, taken to a school in the town of La Higuera and was executed the following day.
Che’s body was mutilated and buried at a site that remained secret until retired Bolivian General Mario Vargas Salinas revealed in November 1995 that the remains had been buried in a mass grave in Vallegrande.
In 1997, to mark the 30th anniversary of his death, the Cuban government inaugurated a memorial to Che and his comrades in Santa Clara, some 270 km east of Havana.