Saturday, 5 March 2011

Alberto Grenado

Ruben above, Alberto below...

Alberto Grenado, childhood chum of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, has died in Cuba at the age of 88.

He and Che travelled around South America on an old British motorbike as doctors, and inspired the film 'Motorcycle Diaries', based on Che's own transcripts.

How wonderfully inspiring these old men were/are (like dear Ruben Gonzales atop). I've been to Cuba, and it is absolutely amazing how the old school feels about the little island that they fought so hard in, to rid it of the US mafia.

Success and long life to the Cubans.


  1. I have jsut started a book on Che, a person I know virtually nothing about.

    What a lovely photo that last one is of Gonzales.

  2. As a revolting student in the 60's, I tried to know as much as possible about Che, and I am not stupidly romantic about him and Castro. They were ruthless, but the NEEDED to be.

    Ruben Gonzales was the most charming man you could wish to meet, and - on top of that - played piano like a Cuban angel. He suffered poverty, racism and arthritis in later age, but ended up fulfilled and the image of any sane person's grandfather.

    I LOVE the Cubans - they are all like children, and I mean that in the best, positive sense.

  3. There's an interesting story about Che. I can't remember the details, but I heard it related on radio by the officer involved.

    They'd taken a couple of prisoners, and one of Che's officers asked him what he should do with them. Che was eating lunch and just said 'deal with them'. The officer looked at him as if to say 'no'. So Che put down his sandwich, went outside, shot the two prisoners with his pistol, then (as if nothing had happened) returned to his lunch.

    It takes a special type of person to do that!

  4. Children ARE the best people. Dogs are too.
    Why are all Cuban freedom fighters so damned attractive?
    And do we still breed such amazing men and women?

  5. Hear! Hear! to your last line Tom - what wonderful stories that old man could tell.

  6. As the saying goes..
    "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter"

    There is never just two sides to a story but many subtle influences to shape a human spirit, you can clearly see that in his face. The power in the arm may be gone, but the passion in their bones still burns strong!

  7. he looked sexier in the film!

  8. Re the shooting incident, and to put it in perspective, it was the custom for pre-revolutionary Cuban University students to settle philosophical arguments with each other by pulling out a gun and shooting your opponent in the middle of a dispute. Castro did this at least once, so popping off prisoners who you could not afford to have tagging along in the jungle was sort of the norm! They did the same to Guevara, and it's strange to stand next to the bloodstained stretcher in the museum in Havanah.

    Dogs = people? I know what you mean though, Sarah.

    Cro used to look a bit like a cross between the two of them when he was a student, John. Thankfully, we never argued, so I don't know if he would have shot me.

  9. Forget the bloodshed, boys, just listen to that fabulous music! Buena Vista, my favourite dance music!