Che Guevara, 4 decades later, gets a hometown statue

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ROSARIO , Argentina - While Ernesto "Che" Guevara remains the most famous export of this sleepy city, his legacy here has long been a low-key one.

Except for a handful of businesses named in his honor, few markers alert visitors that the revolutionary leader was born here exactly 80 years ago before becoming one of the most mythic figures of the 20th century.

That changed Saturday when civic leaders inaugurated the first official monument honoring the revolutionary leader in Argentina , ending decades of government silence about the controversial figure.

A 13-foot-high bronze statue unveiled before hundreds of cheering admirers depicts the beret-wearing Guevara standing defiantly while facing toward Santa Clara , Cuba , where another statue of Guevara faces toward Argentina .

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Randll Reese Besch - 6/18/2008

Don't they even research whom they honor? By all indications Guevara was a killer and petty man. Mercy wasn't in his ethos but torture was. When he was caught he was a sniveling coward as all bullies ultimately are. He begged not to die when he was on the receiving end unlike when he was dishing out summary executions and was arrogant and proud.

But then Cuba and Argentina are hardly pillars of freedom are they?