Marlins Suspend Guillen 5 Games for Fidel Castro Comments
With threats to boycott the team by not only the fans but sponsors alike, Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen took a team off-day to travel to Little Havana and hold a press conference this morning at Marlins Park. In front of a room full of reporters and protesters outside the stadium, Guillen did his best to try and clean up what has become a monumental mess in his part.
“This is the biggest mistake I’ve made so far in my life,” Guillen said. “When you make a mistake like this, you can’t sleep… When you’re a sportsman, you shouldn’t be involved with politics.”
Fidel Castro, the man many Cubans in exile consider as their Adolf Hitler, respected and loved by the manager of the Miami Marlins? Let’s be honest folks, this sounds like a tragic comedy or some sort of spoof. But today, it was Guillen’s reality as he was greeted by an angry mob of Cubans and reporters.
Treated like a human piñata, Guillen tried to get out his “I love Fidel Castro!” comments, claiming it was somehow lost in translation. Giving a very shaky explanation for uttering those words, this is basically what he repeated over and over again like a broken record:
“I was saying I cannot believe somebody who hurt so many people over the years is still alive. I’m very sorry about the problem, what happened. I will do everything in my power to make it better. … I know it’s going to be a very bumpy ride.”
But not everyone was feeling his apology. Let’s face it, the excuse left a lot to be desired and was far from convincing in most people’s eyes. What Guillen is saying happened simply just doesn’t add up. He wasn’t able to escape the fact that he did in fact say those words. When asked if the reporter had misquoted him, he danced around the question like it was the cha-cha-cha.
Guillen even went on to deny the fact that in 2005, while celebrating his World Series title with the Chicago White Sox, he yelled “Viva [Huge] Chavez!” Well, here’s the video, you can decide for yourself if the words Viva Chavez do or do not come out of his mouth immediately after someone on the background screams it out.
Things are this simple: Ozzie Guillen is, or at some point, has been a public communist supporter, period. Don’t believe me? Look it up! His brothers in Venezuela are prominent supporters of Chavez’s regime, there’s videos and interviews of him speaking about Chavez in a flattering manner. And now he says to a Time Magazine, not the Miami Herald or some local newspaper, I Love Fidel Castro? Let’s not be naïve people!
If he would have came out and said that in 2005 he did scream out Viva Chavez because he was a commie and has changed his views since then, he would have all my respect and we can move on. But the fact that he sat there and denied screaming his support of Castro’s biggest understudy tells me everything I need to know about the man!
And if he’s a communist? So be it! It is his right after all. However, like one of the protesters clearly stated during today’s press conference, the sentiments in South Florida are that, “Given the history of Miami, this is the last place a communist person should be allowed to come and make money while enjoying thee freedoms of a democracy… he can go make his money elsewhere!”
Many of the protesters outside the stadium were not satisfied with Guillen’s explanation, as there was a collective sense that many old Cubans will not support this team until Guillen either resigns or is fired. ”Fire him,” an angry fan wearing a Marlins t-shirt yelled during the presser.