Bolivia's president participated in a tribute Thursday to the guerrilla leader Ernesto "Che" Guevara, who was captured and killed by Bolivian soldiers 42 years ago while trying to foment revolution in this Andean nation.
President Evo Morales, a close ally of the leftist governments in Venezuela and Cuba, has often expressed admiration for Guevara, an Argentine who joined in Fidel Castro's successful revolution in Cuba and has become an icon for many on the left.
Guevara is "invincible in his ideals," Morales said at a ceremony in Vallegrande, the town in central Bolivia where the slain rebel's body was displayed after he was killed Oct. 8, 1967.
"And in all this history, after so many years, he inspires us to continue fighting, changing not only Bolivia, but all of Latin America and, better, the world," Morales said.
The tribute concluded the Social Alternative conference that began Tuesday, organized by social and union leaders from around the globe. The state Bolivian Information Agency said the ceremony was attended by 2,000 people from Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe.
At the same time, veterans of Bolivia's army paid homage to comrades who died in the long-ago fight with insurgents and others they considered subversives. They gathered at the monument for "The Countersubversive Soldier" in the small city of Camiri in the country's south.
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