For decades a global symbol of rebellion, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara is to be honoured on Monday with ceremonies in Cuba, where his myth was forged, and Bolivia, where he was executed 40 years ago spreading the gospel of Marxist revolution.
The main ceremony in Cuba will begin at 1730 IST in Santa Clara, a town 300 kilometres east of Havana, where the Argentine-born doctor-turned-guerrilla leader fought a battle during the Cuban revolution in 1958 and his remains are buried.
Che's Argentine widow Aleida March will be at the event, along with his children Aleida, Camilo, Celia and Ernesto. Guevara had a daughter with his first wife, a Peruvian revolutionary, both of whom are dead.
The ceremony will be headed by "a leader of the revolution," the daily Juventud Rebelde reported yesterday, without specifying if it will be convalescing leader Fidel Castro, 81, or his brother Raul, the country's interim president since Fidel underwent stomach surgery in July 2006.
Guevara met the Castro brothers in Mexico in 1955, and quickly joined their uprising against then Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.
By the time the revolution triumphed in January 1959 Guevara was a key player.
In Bolivia, President Evo Morales, a fervent admirer of both Che and Fidel Castro, will lead a ceremony in the southeastern town of Vallegrande, where Guevara's bones were found in a mass grave in 1997.
In Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez will hold a ceremony at Pico del Aguila, in western Venezuela, which Guevara visited 55 years ago.