Marlins Manager's Comments Heat Up Baseball Season

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The baseball season is just warming up, but Miami Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen has wasted no time getting himself into hot water. Just five games into his career with the team, Guillen started a political row when he told Time Magazine that he loves and respects Cuba’s military dictator for staying in power as long as he has. The Sunshine State’s large Cuban community has been up in arms calling for the manager’s ouster. 

For more on the story we speak with our friend Phil Latzman, reporter for WLRN and The Miami Herald, and Laura Vianello, a national delegate for Vigilia Mambisa, an organization dedicated to advancing the cause of Cuban Democracy.


Phil Latzman and Laura Vianello

Produced by:

Hsi-Chang Lin

Comments [13]

Juan de los Palotes from Miami, FL

Thanks for publishing my previous comment.

I wasn't very clear in my comment and I would to be more specific:

Please check the following link to read the reaction of the Anti-Defamation League at pro Nazi comments from Marge Schott owner of the Cincinnati Reds franchise.

Thus Cuban-Americans are as humans as everybody else.

Please stop the intolerance. The audience of this show is supposed to be composed of tolerant people.

Apr. 11 2012 12:42 PM
Mike from Miami, FL

Vigilia Mambisa is by all logical standard a far-right political-oriented organization, which by the way is also specialized in crashing music CDs with a steamroller to make their point where's the balance&check in this report!? Where are the opinions of progressive, moderate and even left-wing Cuban-american Miamians in this story?, why they don't have a say in this report?
Cuban-Americans needs once for all to start be perceived for the mainstream media as heterogeneous community with different approach, opinions and interests, not the opposite.

The Takeaway should do better on this issue.

Apr. 11 2012 12:37 PM

Clearly, this comments thread is every bit as interesting as the original story!

Cuban exiles in south Florida, pointing out that Castro's Cuba has been a brutal communist dictatorship. Left-wingers in northern cities (Brooklyn, Detroit, etc.) proclaiming Guillen's right to free speech and the glory of the Cuban revolution.

Obviously, Ozzie Guillen enjoys an infinitely greater freedom to speak in the U.S. than he might if he were residing in Cuba. Personally, I like freedom and liberty, and I'd like to give Guillen more of it, not less. I think that the next step in this story ought to be more discussion with Guillen, not less. I don't want Guillen silenced, or fired. What I want is to find out why Guillen had the instinct to proclaim any sympathy for Castro. I'd like to hear Guillen (try to) explain himself. That discussion, including hard questioning of Guillen about the reality of life in communist Cuba (or in Chavez's Venezuela), would be good for Cuba, for Cuban Americans, for U.S. sympathizers of Castro and for the future of the Americas.

Apr. 11 2012 12:34 PM
Carlos padron from Miami, Florida

When a cituation like this happens the true color of people come out.We have gone across the world to protect freedom and our children have died for it. 90 miles from the US is a man that took over Cuba by force and is a comunist country today. He is a murder and a thief and he took from me my home. I came to this great country in 1962. My father would tell me every year dont worry we are going back next year,never happen.Cubans arent better than others ,but others arent better than Cubans.If you want to blame anybdoy you will have to wait until you get to heaven and ask President Kennedy why he let does Cuban Patroits died on the beaches of Cuba we would have won and would not be talking about this today,CUBA was agreat nation that stood on his own two feet.In the Idependence War US had no money to pay the soldiers and no country would help them,but the cuban woman gather gold and silver and gave it to the US Goverment,WOW IM PROUD TO BE A CUBAN AMERICAN,are you? We should never spit up into the air we might get sprayed. Carlos PAdron

Apr. 11 2012 12:11 PM
Juan de los Palotes from Miami, FL

The Jewish community doesn't tolerate this kind of speech. In this case their anger was directed to the actual franchise owner and not to a simple manager.

I would like to add:

The just built Miami Marlins stadium was paid with local taxpayers money.

Cuban American tax payers will pay for the bonds issued to build the ballpark, thus they have a legit right on the operations of this subsidized sports franchise.

Apr. 11 2012 11:09 AM

Mr. Guillen has the right to express his ignorance and the right to stare at empty seats by people who have the right to distribute their wealth elsewhere.
Of course there is only a about millions Cubans in Cuba who would be happy to trade places with him if he gets frustrated with Miami.

Apr. 11 2012 10:34 AM
Bob from Flagler Beach, Fl

I lived in Miami in the 70s. Things have changed. In the 70s any positive reference to Fidel would result in a bombing or shooting. Now the Cuban community just want a firing. The Cuban-American community didn't believe in freedom of speech then and little has changed

Apr. 11 2012 10:08 AM
chris from pittsburgh

For Cuban-Americans, Fidel Castro is the actual person who took their freedom, locked up family and friends, took speech, free religion. That man actually seized their property and stole things they worked for. No American can imagine actually having their home and business seized and having to uproot and go to another country. Those who don't understand the reaction should sit and think about what their reaction might be if they or their parents lived that.

This isn't about free speech, no one's asking for Guillen to be jailed for his comments. It's about business. Cuban-Americans are saying "we won't support a team which employs a guy who admires a criminal" (with "criminal" being much too weak a word). The team realizes that they need their fans, so they suspended Guillen. That's about as free market as it gets, seems to me.

Apr. 11 2012 09:50 AM
Laurie Steckler from Brooklyn

Why has no one stood up for Guillen's right to free speech? Did the woman you just interviewed seriously compare Castro to Hitler??!? How many death camps exist in Cuba and how many people have been exterminated in gas chambers there? Our Cuba policy has failed terribly. 50 years of US embargo has done nothing to weaken Castro and he is dying of old age.

Apr. 11 2012 09:44 AM
Phil Astwood from Newberry, SC

I strongly agree with Mr. Bernstein and am amazed that people who condemn Castro for supression of freedoms in Cuba are more than willing to support such actions here. Mr. Guillen should be free to think and say what he pleases. If we are to be really free in this country we must be willing to support those whose views are differnt from our own.

Apr. 11 2012 09:44 AM
Jennifer from Brooklyn USA

What happened to free speech? This is ridiculous. Since when do people get fired in America for expressing a political opinion? I'm surprised that this story made no real mention of THAT aspect of this incident.

Apr. 11 2012 09:40 AM
Don Jones from Detroit

Cuba was a Brothel for the Mafia and the USA under former dictator Batista. If not for the bungled diplomacy of the USA, we would have relations with Cuba today. Castro is nothing less than a Cuban George Washington. Don't back down, Ozzie.

Apr. 11 2012 09:35 AM
Leslie Hauser

I have lived in S. Florida since 1987. As opposed to other Hispanics in Latin America and in other parts of the country, some Cubans living here seem to have an overinflated view of their own importance.

Apr. 11 2012 09:16 AM

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