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Ozzie Guillen Loves Fidel Castro

Updated on April 11, 2012

Recently, Ozzie Guillen has made some controversial comments. For those of you who don’t know who Guillen is, he is the manager for the Miami Marlins, the team formally known as the Florida Marlins. While the MLB manager is no stranger to controversy, this comment might have even topped his list of extreme. Guillen’s comment has brought more attention to the Marlins than they have seen for a while, which is sad considering they had a name change, uniform change, and opened a new ballpark this year.

So what did Guillen do that is being considered so outrageous? In an interview with Time Magazine, Guillen is quoted as saying, “I love Fidel Castro.” He also went on to say how he admires Castro for staying in power so long when so many people have been out to kill him. While it may not seem so bad for Guillen to say who he admires and respects, you have to consider who he is talking about.

He isn’t talking about Martin Luther King Jr. or some other iconic leader who did positive things; he is speaking about a communist dictator who has been an enemy of the United States for the past five decades. Castro’s reign over Cuba has caused the United States to have a trade embargo with them, and most US citizens are barred from visiting Cuba. And if that isn’t enough to upset people, Guillen said all of this in Miami. Yes, the same Miami that has the highest Cuban population of any US city. Most Cubans have left and come to America in order to escape the oppression of Castro and gain their freedoms, so Guillen’s comments were especially distasteful to them.

This has caused a major uproar around the US and especially in Miami. People have been protesting outside of the Marlins’ stadium. Leaders in Miami have called for Guillen to either be fired or resign. They have not taken his comments lightly at all. In a response to everything, the Marlins have suspended him five games, which some do not consider to be an adequate punishment. However, Guillen did have a tear-filled press conference to express his apology and how he was misinterpreted.

While the Marlins can punish Guillen in any way they see fit, he truly has not broken any laws. He may have violated team policies, but that is it. The irony of this situation lies in the fact that he was exercising his right to free speech. He was simply saying what he believes is true. While we might not agree with it, he is entitled to his opinion. People are outraged by the fact that he exercised his freedom of speech by saying positive things about a dictator who has restricted such rights and freedoms. It is definitely ironic that people want him to be so severely punished for this.

Likely, this will all be forgotten soon after Guillen serves his entire suspension. His apology will be accepted and life goes on. This is simply another time of controversy caused by something Guillen has said. It’s not the first, and it surely won’t be the last. He has a history of speaking without thinking, and that likely won’t change anytime soon. I may not agree with what he said, but it was his prerogative.


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    • Joelipoo profile image

      Joel 6 years ago from Ohio

      @Blackandgold - That's an interesting proposition you have. I'm not sure they can legally do that with the way the United States' relation is with Cuba. The funny thing is, there are pictures of Bud Selig sitting next to Castro back from 1999 when the Orioles played down there. I just think it's ironic that Selig can sit next to him, but Ozzie can't make comments about him.

    • BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

      Jack Hazen 6 years ago from Blitzburgh area

      Major league baseball is missing a golden opportunity here. They keep talking about expansion. So put a team in Cuba and make Ozzie the manager. Fidel would be a better owner than Frank McCourt.

    • Joelipoo profile image

      Joel 6 years ago from Ohio

      @billy - Thanks. I definitely agree he is interesting and you never have to guess what he is thinking. There are times when I appreciate how candid he is, even though I have never really liked him. Common sense is definitely the key though.

    • Joelipoo profile image

      Joel 6 years ago from Ohio

      @teaches - I agree with you. People in positions of power need to watch what they say. Sometimes they have to self-censor.

    • Joelipoo profile image

      Joel 6 years ago from Ohio

      @detroit - It is sad that there seems to be more sports news related to stuff outside the actual game than there is about how they played. I feel your pain on that one.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      If nothing else Guillen is interesting. :) He most certainly is not a boring person but one has to wonder what would happen if he ever thought before he spoke! There is no doubt that he has freedom of speech but at some point common sense has got to enter the picture. Great hub!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      The news just keeps getting better and better! People just keep making choices that makes you wonder what they were thinking. If you have some higher position in life, then you need to be careful of what you say. People are watching you.

    • profile image

      detroitmare 6 years ago

      It'd be nice to turn on ESPN in the morning and for all the news to be about sports instead of the circus side show orchestrated by managers and players. Just in the last week, we've had to hear about Petrino, Sapp, and Guillen. I'm not saying these stories don't deserve attention, but that these guys need to just keep their heads down and play ball!