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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Alberto Granado (1922-2011)

The final scene of The Motorcycle Diaries focuses on an old guy - an old guy who 50 years before had shared an extraordinary journey - a journey with his pal "Che" in Argentinian argot.
Both men took much from their formative experience - Ernesto deciding that the best way to alleviate suffering was to take up arms against it. Alberto decided to follow a career in medicine.
His father was a militant trade unionist and he first met Ernesto Guevara in police cells after he (Alberto) had taken part in a high school revolt. He was jailed in 1943 for a year after protesting against the Peron junta and after earned an MSc in biochemistry and a place at the Instituto Malbran before embarking on his trek on his Norton 500c - La Poderosa II. Granados tour ended in Caracas where he worked at the Cabo Blanca leprosarium in Maiquetia before taking a scholarship to the Istituto Superiore di Sanita in Rome.He married on his return to Argentina.
In 1960 he first visited Cuba on Guevaras invitation. He moved to Cuba the year afterwards and became trhe Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Havana. He founded the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Santiago in 1962 and worked there as senior professor from 1970-74. Between 1975 and 1986 he obtained his doctorate in biological sciences. He later became president of the Cuban Genetics Society and worked in the development of Holstein Tropical cattle breeds. He devoted the rest of his career to validating the methodologyof his previous research.
Che - adorner of t-shirts. Alberto - a lifetime devoted to the welfare of the common man.

1 comment:

  1. I did indeed read of Alberto's passing yesterday, and I totally agree with your last point. After a lifetime of service, the world still only knows him as "Che's friend." But the common man knows better. He knew better.