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Bolivia's Morales Pays Homage to Che Guevara


Bolivian President Evo Morales has paid homage to revolutionary leader Ernesto "Che" Guevara in the Bolivian village where the legendary leftist was executed in 1967.

Mr. Morales led a ceremony in Guevara's honor Wednesday in the remote eastern village of La Higuera. It is the first time a Bolivian leader has made such a tribute.

Wednesday's event was held to celebrate the 78th anniversary of the birth of Guevara - the leader of the 1959 Cuban revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Morales praised his two closest allies, Cuban President Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, for standing up to the "empire" - a reference to the United States.

The Bolivian president said he would "take up arms" against the "empire" if it attacked either Bolivia, Cuba or Venezuela.

In 1966, Guevara launched another communist insurgency in Bolivia, but he was captured and executed by Bolivian troops a year later. Guevara was 39 when he died.