Claim: bones in Cuban mausoleum are not Che Guevara's

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WASHINGTON -- Four decades after he was executed by Bolivian troops and 10 years after scientists claimed to have discovered his remains, doubts have been raised over whether the bones and skeleton interned in the mausoleum in Cuba are really those of Che Guevara.

An investigation carried out by a Spanish-Mexican magazine claims that Cuban specialists were not telling the truth when in, 1997, they said that they had discovered the revolutionary's remains, along with those of six of his fighters, buried alongside an airstrip in the remote jungle village of Villagrande, Bolivia.

The magazine, Letras Libres, argues that the specialists were under pressure from Fidel Castro, Cuba's leader, who wanted his comrade's remains identified for political reasons and to "relaunch the country's revolutionary fervour"...

For many years it was believed that the corpse of "El Che" - his hands having been cut off - was burned and his ashes scattered. But in the mid-1990s a number of retired Bolivian military officers said they had buried the remains alongside a nearby airstrip; the authorities had kept it secret to avoid the location becoming a site of pilgrimage.

Following those claims, a team of Cuban, Bolivian and Argentine experts launched a search that located the remains in Villagrande. The remains were flown to Cuba and, in October 1997, President Castro led a ceremony at which the remains were interred in a mausoleum in Santa Clara, a city captured in January 1959 by rebels led by Guevara in a battle that proved decisive for the revolution.

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