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Ozzie Guillen Loves Fidel Castro
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.