Florida Marlins have suspended Manager Ozzie Guillen for 5 games due to comments regarding his affection toward Cuba's dictator, Fidel Castro. The often blunt and candid manager has been known to stir the pot, occasionally overstating his opinion... and he wasted no time doing so with his new squad. In a recent interview for Time Magazine, Guillen made the following remark:
“I love Fidel Castro…I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that (expletive) is still here."
This comment may have flown under the radar in many places... but not Miami. Miami is a haven for the very outspoken Cuban-American community, many of whom endured dire and life-threatening conditions in order to escape the Cuban dictatorship. As Cuban-American sports-writer Dan Le Batard puts it: "For Cuban-Americans, Fidel Castro our Hitler."
For those few who are unfamiliar, Fidel Castro has been leader of Cuba since overthrowing the government in 1959. During his reign, he has established a communist dictatorship aligned with Marxist-Leninist tenets, nationalizing all industry, attempting to form a self-sustaining economy. Those who actively oppose Castro's rule are eliminated, as Castro's party is attributed with more than 30,000 genocidal murders during his dominion. The number of Cubans who have fled to Florida during this, often by unsafe watercraft, is in the hundreds of thousands.
Now before anybody rhetorically asks "What about the First Amendment?" Please keep in mind, the First Amendment prohibits the making of any law abridging the freedom of speech, but does not guarantee any protection from the consequences of using free speech. As I like to put it...your speech is protected from prosecution, but not persecution.
Good thing Ozzie Guillen is not actually in Cuba, where his comments would have likely led to his own government sponsored assassination.
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