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In the late 1960s, posters of Ernesto “Che” Guevara were in every North American college dorm, mine included. Alberto Korda’s famed 1960 photo of the Cuban revolutionary leader as rock star had a lot to do with it, as did his execution by Bolivian troops in October 1967, making him an instant martyr and legend.

For some of my acquaintances at university, Che was also an activist role model: They went off to harvest sugar cane in Cuba or, as members of radical groups, agitated for the revolution on American soil. For most it did not end well.

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