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Ireland honors Che Guevara with stamp

Some years ago, I was pleased to receive a postage stamp issued by Sweden honoring the great Swedish-born IWW organizer and songwriter Joe Hill.

In the 1960s the late Phil Ochs sang Joe Hill’s story.

As deserving as Joe Hill was of the honor of appearing on a stamp, the Stalinist mass killer Che Guevara is not.

So I was surprised to learn that the Irish postal service believes he is.

The stamp, which features a famous image of Guevara by Dublin artist Jim Fitzpatrick, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the revolutionary’s death on October 9, 1967.

Born in Argentina, Guevara helped Fidel Castro overthrow the US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista.

His father was Ernesto Guevara Lynch, a civil engineer of Irish descent.

If Guevara has helped to overthrow the Batista regime and replace it with a democratic government, he might be worthy of a stamp. Of course if that had happened he wouldn’t have turned into a romantic revolutionary hero of a large part of the International Left.