I know what some of you may be thinking, “I can’t wait to get that new Guillen and Castro cd.” Sorry, but this is not the name of a new hip hop act. I am referring to New Marlins skipper Ozzie Guillen and his comments about Fidel Castro.
Guillen said that he “loved” and “respected” Castro because people have been trying to kill the Cuban leader for 60 years and he’s still here. The comments created an uproar in Miami where the largest population of displaced Cubans reside. In response to the angry Cuban citizens of South Florida, the Miami Marlins made the decision to hand out a five game suspension to Guillen.
Apparently, some of the fans threatened to boycott the team over the comments, and many people called for Guillen to be fired. I was under the impression that we lived in the United States of America where the first amendment to the Constitution provides citizens with freedom of speech. (I guess the Little Havana Cubans didn’t get the memo!)
Let me get this straight. The Cubans in Miami hate Fidel Castro because he violated human rights issues and did not allow them to have any freedom of speech. People who spoke out against the regime were arrested as political prisoners. (I’ve seen interviews in which people claim to be arrested for “absolutely no reason,” but if you live in a country with a communist dictator, you will be arrested for speaking out against the government. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying that it is a reason!)
The Cubans hate Fidel because he didn’t allow them any civil rights, but they want Ozzie Guillen to be fired because he has an opinion which is different from the one they hold. Makes perfect sense! I understand that many Cubans were murdered and displaced under Castro’s rule, but people can like the guy if they want to.
I think the team overstepped their boundaries on this one. Guillen should not have been suspended for 5 games because people were upset. The way I see it, Miami fans have never supported the Marlins, anyway. The team won two World Series Championships and never sold out a single game. The fans who claim that they will never go to the game, were probably not going to a game anyway.
I don’t have a problem with Guillen’s comments. Fidel Castro did some bad thiings, but he also did some good things. The guy is not evil, He simply believes that Communism is the best government for his country. He believes that he is acting in the best interest of the Cuban people. Whether you agree with him or not is one thing, but to call the guy evil may be going too far.
Personally, I am a fan of Fidel Castro. He was instrumental in helping the African Freedom Fighters gain independence in countries such as Guinea Bissau, St. Tome and Cape Verde, and Angola. Castro sent his good friend Che Guevara to Africa along with military equipment. For every person who believes that Castro is the devil incarnate, there is a person who thinks that he is a great man.
Obviously there is a lot of personal feelings that surrounds the incident, but the team should have stood behind Guillen and handed out flyers with the Bill of Rights to the Cuban fans who wanted his head on the chopping block.