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Fidel Castro and Baseball

  1. profile image0
    Sooner28posted 5 years ago

    Conservatives love to talk about how much they favor free speech, even so much that they want corporations to take over the political system with campaign contributions.  In any event, the far right's actual support for free speech is extremely selective, and Ozzie Guillen, the manager of the Marlins, is an example of selective outrage when free speech is violated.

    Apparently, the man has made homophobic remarks in the past, along with calling many Americans lazy.  There was no professional disciplinary action taken against him for these comments, even though it would've been more understandable if there had been.

    However, recently Mr. Guillen said, "I love Fidel Castro."  He was subsequently suspended for five games.

    Where is the conservative outrage over political correctness gone amuck?  Being a bigot towards homosexuals is apparently okay, but expressing support for a country the U.S. does not like is enough to get one in trouble.  That scares me. 

    I'm asking for conservatives who claim to be in favor of expansive free speech rights to come out and condemn the Marlin's actions to suspend Ozzie Guillen.  I only ask for consistency.  He didn't call for the overthrow of the U.S. government, nor did he say he agreed with every action Castro has taken.

    Rush Limbaugh was defended ad nausem here at Hub Pages, and on Fixed News.  Defend another controversial figure if you, as a conservative, do truly believe in the free speech you claim the constitution you so love guarantees.  Limbaugh said vile things about Sandra Fluke, whereas Guillen was simply expressing his opinion about Fidel Castro.

    1. Greekgeek profile image96
      Greekgeekposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      As a liberal, I think the Marlins organization was wrong to suspend Guillen.

      Guillen is lucky to live in a country where, generally, we have freedom to speak our minds. I strongly disagree with he said, but I defend his right to say what he said, even if I disagree.

      That said -- I understand two things.

      First, Ozzie's constitutional rights were not violated. The first amendment says the U.S. government may not pass a law abridging someone's speech. It says nothing about private companies being obligated to let employees shoot their mouths off however they like. That is a HUGE distinction, one that far too many Americans don't understand.

      A newspaper isn't obligated to print every article submitted to them. A website is not obligated to host content that violates the website's terms of use. And it's legal for a company to have rules about how employees conduct themselves. Some baseball teams require their players to shave, for example. Many stadiums have rules about whether fans can bring signs into the stadium.

      Freedom of speech allows Guillen to say that Fidel Castro is the coolest thing since Coors field got the humidor, but if the Marlins say "you can't praise Fidel Castro and work for us," that's legal. It's his choice whether he wants to start  a Fidel Castro Fan Club or work for an organization that is largely funded by customers who hate Fidel Castro.

      Second, the fact is, the Marlins are struggling financially. They just scraped by a new stadium after years of funding. They just hired Guillen as a new manager. They are absolutely dependent on the fan base that Ozzie Guillen's comment just outraged. If they had not repudiated his comments, they'd have a boycott on their hands, and they might go bankrupt.


      Personally, I think the Marlins should have released a strong statement condemning Guillen's remarks and stating that it's lucky he lives in a country with the freedom of speech to say what he likes, whereas people don't have that freedom in Cuba. It could've been a teachable moment. But as difficult as their financial situation is, I can understand why they had to do damage control.


      But of course, as a liberal, I'm really, really glad he's not managing MY team, because I don't want to support a team managed by a homophobic git. (I have enough trouble with Tommy LaSorda.)

    2. Ramsa1 profile image59
      Ramsa1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      America is not as free as Americans like to think. In America, as in every other country in the world, citizens and others have to be very careful what they say and do. If the authorities and the powerful don't like what you say or do, watch out. That's the truth, and the truth can be very inconvenient.

      1. profile image0
        Sooner28posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        It's possible to be really far out of the mainstream and be fine.  The problem occurs when the person who wants to change the status quo begins to attract a following, and threatening the power elite. 

        It happened to MLK and JFK.  Albert Einstein and many others were spied on due to having "communist" sympathies.  It's a historical relationship really; the government doesn't want people to know the hard truths, and the people who want to tell them are shunned.

      2. profile image0
        klarawieckposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        This is true. We are never completely free to do whatever we want and say whatever we want. If we did, we'd have total chaos and anarchy. But here in the US we have as much freedom of speech as any government would/should tolerate.

  2. John Holden profile image61
    John Holdenposted 5 years ago

    Truth is Sooner, they only like free speech when they are in agreement with what is said.

    The rest of the time they hate it!

    1. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Seems to be so.

  3. knolyourself profile image61
    knolyourselfposted 5 years ago

    Is this a first. Might be indicative of what is coming down the tube. Free speech is for those who endlessly defend capitalism, and not for anyone who in any way admires socialism. I tend to ignore the
    jingoistic patriotism as pushed by the sports networks. In any case it is nothing but about money.

    1. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Maybe the owner's don't like anyone who questions capitalism!  It would make sense though, from their perspective anyway.  If I was living high off of the fruits of others labor, I may not want to change the situation either!

  4. John Holden profile image61
    John Holdenposted 5 years ago

    As an interesting side line Sooner, I'm having an argument on another forum with folk who insist that George Soros is not a capitalist!

    1. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Ha.  He's played the game well.  Play the stock market, get rich off of other people's work, and you can be a millionaire too!   It's the normal capitalist way to get rich.

      He donates to media matters though,  so I can partially forgive him tongue.

      1. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Ah, that's the other thing, they insist that conservatives give far more to charity than the left and then cite his charitable giving as proof that he is a socialist!

        1. profile image0
          Sooner28posted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Haha.  It is true that conservatives give more to charity than liberals.

          However, conservatives do this because they believe the government will not spend the money in the most effective way, whereas a charity will, according to them anyway; or they may have just a high distrust of government, that any major project the government does is immediately dismissed.

          They forget that millions rely on food stamps, SS, Medicare, and Medicaid, all of which are funded by other taxpayers, aka the government.  Conservatives also fall into the trap of failing to see the big picture.  I've used this MLK quote many times, and I also have come up with a great example to illustrate it.

          Martin Luther King Jr. claimed, "Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary."  The left like me wants a basic restructuring of society, where the workers own the businesses, the environment is protected, and universal health care finally comes to the United States.

          Democratic lawmakers are guilty of not pushing harder for stronger unions and environmental regulations.  Funding welfare while ignoring the causes of poverty is like giving a diabetic a cake and then ensuring they have insulin shots.  Instead, why not take away the cake?  With society, why keep going with a system that puts profits over people and continually has crashes and poverty?

          Conservatives often believe that the system is fundamentally fine.  CEOs can make billions, while others live in poverty, because of the questionable assumption that the CEO is "earning" their money in some sense.   Poverty is blamed on bad choices people make.  The right forgets some people are failed by our educational system (or they call for even more privatization, as if introducing the profit motive into education is a wise choice), or that they are born into bad families, or that there may not be good jobs around the area the poor live in. 

          I wrote a hub attacking this idea of self-sufficiency, and I think if people would just reflect more on the fact that everything is more interconnected, they would become more empathetic towards their fellow man.

  5. Eric Newland profile image60
    Eric Newlandposted 5 years ago

    No. Assuming that there isn't some other shady context surrounding the quote, it was probably dumb of them to suspend him. That having been said, backlash is protected speech too, so unless the suspension violated some legal contract it was within their own right to suspend him. As is anyone's right to agree or disagree with what was said or done. I would say the same goes for Rush.

    1. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years ago in reply to this
      1. Comrade Joe profile image85
        Comrade Joeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I didn't know this, thanks for bringing this to peoples attention, will circulate the story.

      2. Josak profile image61
        Josakposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        My reaction was the same as yours Sooner, I found it hilarious that the Cuban exiles were calling for him to be fired for exersizing his free speech when they complain endlessly that Cuba does not have that freedom of speech. It seems just to be the Cuban exile community trying to throw their weight around.

        1. profile image0
          klarawieckposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I think getting him fired would be a bit over-the-top. The people protesting do not represent the entire Cuban exile community.

  6. profile image0
    klarawieckposted 5 years ago

    Well, as a Cuban living in Miami, I'll tell you this...
    I understand where you come from. My first reaction when I heard he got suspended was that he was exercising his right to speak his mind, which is okay. But then, you also have to take into consideration that he is a controversial figure living in a city filled with immigrants that have fled from the Castro and Chavez regime - many of us involuntarily. We are the ones paying for the new Marlins stadiums and we've all supported his work. He should have been careful. If you are a sports figure, you just don't go into a black neighborhood and start talking in favor of the KKK. If it doesn't get you killed, it will at least get you penalized.

    1. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      That's true.  I understand the community was sensitive; however, he wasn't saying anything derogatory about Cubans in general.  He was just talking about his admiration for Castro. 

      If he would've come out and said, "Hey all Cubans are stupid," then I would be more sympathetic to him facing some sort of disciplinary action.

      1. profile image0
        klarawieckposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Still, being a figure you don't go into a jewish neighborhood and start saying how much you love Hitler, knowing that those are residents supporting your work. He should have known better.

        1. John Holden profile image61
          John Holdenposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I'd hardly liken Castro to Hitler!

          1. profile image0
            klarawieckposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            John, again... you've never lived in Cuba...

            1. Comrade Joe profile image85
              Comrade Joeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              And you never lived in Nazi Germany, but you are still able to pass comment on Hitler.

              1. profile image0
                klarawieckposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                That's true... but enough information has been passed down to be able to make a comparison. But I'm not here to talk about Cuba. I dislike politics. I was trying to make a point. Guillen was wrong in making that comment. I think suspension was the right thing to do. Losing his job over such a thing would have been a bit too much. But I didn't know that in the past he had made offensive comments against homosexuals. That right there goes to show that there is no consistency. He should have been suspended when that happened as well. If you are a public figure, you'd better learn how to represent yourself in public.

            2. John Holden profile image61
              John Holdenposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I don't think you have to live in a place to recognise a comparison as odious.

              1. profile image0
                klarawieckposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                John, you seem like a pretty smart guy. How can you be so sure that such comparison can't be made? I wouldn't dare to comment on the history you've experienced throughout your life. I wasn't there. What do I know?

                1. John Holden profile image61
                  John Holdenposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  What Comrade Joe said.

                2. Josak profile image61
                  Josakposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Well for my two cents, I lived in Cuba for several years and I think the comparison is aberrant, I agree there is proof that in the initial years of his rule in Cuba Castro was overzealous in protecting his position and what he had won during the civil war, he cracked down hard on people who opposed him and some innocents were killed but nowhere as many as people seem to believe, according to the US government figures and backed by Cuban figures only four thousand people have been executed in Cuba since the revolution and the vast majority of those were for crimes like murder and serial rape (Cuba has capital punishment for these crimes) the figures of people  executed for resisting the regime may be as low as a couple of hundred, many more were executed for crimes committed during the Batista regime (for example several people involved with the operation to suppress the peasant population by murdering thousands of peasants and hanging their limbs from trees and lamp posts were executed by firing squad) furthermore Cuba has not executed anyone for almost a decade and no one for political reasons for decades.

                  On the other hand Hitler set out to exterminate several racial and cultural groups, jews, gypsies, blacks etc. his slaughter was not driven by a need to defend his position but by a will to commit genocide on a massive scale and the scale of that genocide only grew as the years went on also hitler created an empire intent on expanding his territory and bringing his genocide to new places, Castro has jsut moved to defend his homeland.

                  Furthermore according to polling of Cubans by independent sources the vast majority are still very supportive of Castro the reverse is true in Germany of Hitler.

                  In summary I think there is no comparison to be made at all, Castro was violent and iron fisted in the first few years to defend his position but the numbers involved in this over-zealousness were tiny and that behavior almost entirely stopped as his position became secure. Hitler on the other hand intentionally set out to murder tens of millions of people, the comparison is ridiculous.

                  1. profile image0
                    klarawieckposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    You are so oblivious to what's happening and what has happened in Cuba over the years. Your facts and numbers are truly remarkable, considering that just among the people I know, there are about 60 people who have been encarcerated and killed without a crime.
                    My uncle got encarcerated and tortured in the 70's for being gay and the only choice he was given was leave the country. Because Castro didn't tolerate anyone who stained his idealistic vision of "his Cuba". My cousin got kicked out of school for wearing shoes that had a tiny little US flag as a logo - free education! That's a laugh! Consider that if you were living from contraband you'd be making more than a doctor. My sister was a university teacher (Maritime Engineering) except all they taught her was about the Soviet ships and parts, and so on... something that would have been useless anywhere else in the world. She had to pass as a prostitute in order to leave during the Mariel exodus. The guard that was granting access, locked her in a room and asked her to do "her thing" and she got so nervous when he started harassing her that he cut her a break and told her she should have passed as a lesbian. And ten years later she was the one who claimed for the rest of us to leave Cuba. I was fifteen and I had spent a year hiding in my house because I was a finalist in a piano competition that would have gotten me a scholarship to study in the Soviet Union. It was my principal who told my mother to lie, to tell everyone we were leaving the country the following day so they couldn't do a protest in front of your house. Because schools and work locations were expected to carry protests against anyone who was leaving the country. And a year later, they gave us a false tourist visa to Panama and as they stamped the brand new passport they told us that we were never to come back. But at least my mother got to see her oldest daughter after ten years.
                    So, yes... a lot of good Castro has done to the world and to his people. But I'll stop right there, because anything that happened to me personally is irrelevant to your conversation.

  7. Comrade Joe profile image85
    Comrade Joeposted 5 years ago

    The comparison can't be made because Fidel Castro didn't try to take over the world or wipe out a race.  Rather than wipe races out, Fidel Castro sent the Cuban army to fight the racist apartheid South Africa in order to free black Africans, when the west were doing business with the white racists. No, Fidel Castro introduced free health care to all, slashed infant mortality, raised life expectancy to first world levels, made an illiterate nation one of the best educated on the earth, opened up Cuban Universities (built because of him) to third world citizens who can't afford an education in their own country and sends Cuban doctors and teachers to the poorest parts of the poorest countries on the globe.  Yet you want to compare him to a far right racist.  i find that reprehensible and an insult to the victims of Nazism as well as the beneficiaries of the Cuban revolution.

    1. Josak profile image61
      Josakposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Good to have you in the forums brother.

      1. Comrade Joe profile image85
        Comrade Joeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks for the welcome comrade.

    2. profile image0
      klarawieckposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, he did all of that for other countries, while his people were being killed, being starved, prostituting themselves to be able to feed their families. He's got blood on his hands, but of course, with a flag like that... I wouldn't expect anything else from you.
      If you love Castro so much, why don't you move to Cuba?

      1. Josak profile image61
        Josakposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Ah this response is saddening, I can provide you with a million statistics if you wish (just say the word) that the conditions in Cuba have improved enormously since the revolution as for killings I covered that in my last comment.
        A similarly foolish statement is to ask if you hate Castro so much why don't you assassinate him, because it's a massive life decision right? Because it isn't practical right? Well there is your answer, I am not speaking for Joe but some of us have families and friends lives etc. that make it impractical to just up and move, not to mention the language barrier. All of which is just a deflection from the fact that the comparison between Castro and Hitler is completely invalid.

      2. Comrade Joe profile image85
        Comrade Joeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Did you read what I said "No, Fidel Castro introduced free health care to all, slashed infant mortality, raised life expectancy to first world levels, made an illiterate nation one of the best educated on the earth, opened up Cuban Universities (built because of him)".   This happened in Cuba, not other countries.

        But with regards to internationalism, it is a damn good thing what Cuba does for the poor of the world.  Compare what Cuba does to for the developing world compared to American invasions, coups and enforced poverty on the developing world through its domination of international institutions.

        "while his people were being killed, being starved, prostituting themselves to be able to feed their families."

        This really just makes you sound silly and hard to take seriously.  Repeating subjective unsubstantiated cliches in the face of fact is intellectual impotence.


        Why don't I move to Cuba? I'm a Marxist-Leninist, a member and activist of the Communist Party of Britain.  Cuba has socialism, it doesn't need any more Marxist revolutionaries, Britain does.

        1. profile image0
          klarawieckposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          it's called gaining allies. You should know this strategy. It's very old.


          Well, at least one of us sees the humor in the decadence of the Cuban people. As far as me being silly, yes... I'm a very silly woman, but I would never put Cuban women's reputation at stake unless there was a real problem with prostitution in the island. Do you have any idea how terrible it feels that whenever a Cuban woman travels abroad she finds that most people think she's easy... because she's Cuban? And then they start telling you that when they went to Cuba they had sex with a minor and all they had to give her in return was a pair of panties and a toothbrush. It sickens me! And if you don't believe me, go online, on yahoo and type the words "Mujer Cubana" if you have that setting where it automatically looks for words that are usually searched, you'll find that the next word that pops up is "soltera" which means "single". These are women that are trying desperately to marry a foreigner and leave the country. Now THAT is saddening.





          I think most of us would agree that the Marxism-Leninism is a beautiful concept. Unfortunately, it has never worked. It didn't work in the Soviet Union, it didn't work in China, and it's not working in Cuba. So, yeah... there are a lot of people like you, that read the book, fall in love, never experience what its like to live in a country that has "implemented" the regime, and think they know all the answers. Trust me, it would be a life-changing experience for you, but if you believe so deeply in the ideal you should definitely experience it yourself by moving to a place like Cuba. Because it's really easy to believe in Communism when you live a life filled with the comforts of a capitalist world.
          I'd just love to see how long you could last, living in a house shared with another six families, waking up at 4am (covered in sweat because there is no AC and it's 93 degrees outside) because your roof caved in and there is water filling your place. And you go out to look for breakfast for your child and you hear someone say they "brought milk" and there you are, standing in the back of a line three blocks long to see if you're one of the fortunate people who will receive milk for your child that day, because even though the "food ration booklet" says you're supposed to be getting milk for your child, it's never available at stores. And then you go home to take a shower and realize that there is no running water in the bathroom you have to share with another six families, so you go fill a bucket and clean yourself the best way you can. And then you go to the doctor, because you're very sick of your stomach, and you don't have to pay a dime but then he tells you that you have a parasite from the contaminated water you've been drinking, and he's sorry but he has nothing to give you to get rid of it.

          What? You don't believe me? That's my story growing up. Now, go ahead and tell me I'm silly and ridiculous. Wave your flag, buddy! It only shows how blind you are.

          1. Josak profile image61
            Josakposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Have you only lived in Cuba and America... Do you realize that you just described massive wealth and prosperity for most people in the world? It's really chilling to me how you dismiss things that most people would never dream of having like a visit to the doctor, in many countries the diagnosis alone would be a full years wages... Yes people in Cuba aren't wealthy but their economy has been growing fast and consistently slowly improving on the terrible situation they started out in. Show me a single country that has gone from where Cuba was before the revolution to a where they are now in the same time frame except for Cuba, Joe is right, you may disagree with the social policies of Castro, I disagree with some of them too but according to every international agency Cuba has been a massive economic success and has the best poverty reduction success in the world so to say look people still have some poverty is beyond pointless.

          2. Comrade Joe profile image85
            Comrade Joeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Have you heard of a little thing called bias?  it's a key concept in the study of history.  It is why we listen to statistical evidence verified by impartial third parties, and why we don't listen to people like you who we know stand to gain from spreading malicious lies and propaganda.  Unverifiable personal stories are notoriously unreliable, whether because of biased lies or even bad memory - verified statistical evidence on the other hand is largely reliable. 

            "Marxism-Leninism is a beautiful concept. Unfortunately, it has never worked."  -  It is working just fine in Cuba.  It worked stunningly in the Soviet Union which was destroyed by the social fascist careerists like Gorbachev.  The Soviet Union failed when it introduced capitalist reform, because it left Marxism-Leninism.  Always remember the fastest growth of any economy in all of history happened because of Marxism-Leninism, because it had a leader in Stalin who understood Marxism-Leninism and all it's nuances and thus never strayed from the correct path.

            And none of this gets away from the fact that you Hitler comparison was a grave insult to all victims of Nazism, conflating the murder of millions with the liquidation of an exploiting reactionary class (the people who actually were involved in brothels and casinos) is an attempt to re-write history so as to be kind to fascism and overturn social progress.

  8. Dr Billy Kidd profile image90
    Dr Billy Kiddposted 5 years ago

    Creo que lo que ha dicho es la verdad, Klara.

    1. Josak profile image61
      Josakposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Creo que nos podemos meter en problemas por escribir en otra lengua, pero estoy en desacuerdo.

 
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