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U.S. dismisses fuss over `Che'

Attempts by Cuba to revive memories of the late Argentine revo-lu-tion-ary Ernesto "Che" Guevara demonstrate that Cuba is out of step with the times, the State Department said Friday.

Guevara was slain in Bolivia 30 years ago this week, and the Cuban Communist Party is observing the occasion by holding a party congress in Havana.Guevara's exploits on behalf of the Cuban revolution also were a recurring theme at a world youth festival held in Cuba several weeks ago.

State Department spokesman James Rubin said these exercises are a remnant of a bygone era.

"The world has changed; democracy is on the rise," Rubin said. The Cuban people want democracy and to participate in the world economy, he said.

"And no matter how many times you play the same old movie, it's not going to change the desires and the needs of the people of the modern world," he said.