Ozzie and Fidel: not a match made for Miami

Español: Fidel Castro en Brasilia
Español: Fidel Castro en Brasilia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ozzie Guillen, the new manager of the newly renamed Miami Marlins, is currently serving  a five game suspension handed down by the team for…speaking his mind. If you  were watching the Internet recently you probably  heard that Guillen, an outspoken native of Venezuela, had praised Fidel Castro for being able to survive so many years in power in Cuba. The anti-Castro Cubans in Miami, who are loud, howled in disbelief.

They called for a boycott of Marlins games as long as Guillen remained the manager. The politically astute Marlins management released  a statement denouncing Castro and suspended Guillen for five games. Guillen has apologized and hopes to be able return to his job.

I don’t intend to change anyone’s mind by posting my opinion but I believe Guillen was right in saying there are things to admire about Fidel Castro. He inspired a lot of people in the late 50’s and early 60’s who loved his audacity in being able to resist the US and the CIA inspired attempts to subvert the Cuban revolution. There are American medical students enrolled in Cuban medical schools who had not been born when Fidel came to power in the 1959 revolution.

Since the United States became a world power, we have always treated Cuba like a tasty little morsel that should have slipped into our orbit from the time we began seizing land and power from Spain. The United States is sold bold, we just wrote our permanent occupation of Cuba into their constitution through the so-called Platt Amendment.

There is the often repeated narrative that by resisting continuing American control Castro first inspired but then alienated many people. There were many things that happened, including Cuba fighting South Africans in the struggle against colonialism in Angola. The last ten years of increasing South American political independence from the US can be attributed in part to the Cuban revolution.

Even after the fall of the Soviet Union and the passage of ever increasing measures intended to make the Cuban economy scream for mercy, Cuba remains firmly in the control of the revolutionaries. It is that long history of survival and change that Ozzie Guillen admired. And I believe he was correct in admiring Fidel. Having saving that I probably would not have done so in his position.

The Cuban government has been implementing changes in their economic system but they are not willing to allow American political control.Which is probably what the rich Cuban-Americans want. They want to own land, plantations, and labor in Cuba.  It is a struggle for the destiny of Cuba and the verdict is out on who will win.

I said that even though I understood why there are things to admire about Fidel Castro , I might night have done so as the Marlins’ manager. It’s a presitigious position and it pays a boatload of money. In a way, Ozzie Guillen, who previously managed the Chicago White Sox to their first World Series championship since the Bronze Age, is like one of the people portrayed in the This American Life episode You Have the Right to remain Silent. People for whatever reason refuse to shut up no matter what the consequences.

There was a police man who exposed crooked police practices in New York City and was put in a psychiatric ward and there was a loud mouth on facebook who made a comment that got him in trouble. There are people like that. Ozzie spoke up, so I guess he’s the latest one.

Ozzie Guillen - Chicago AL - 1991 Road
Ozzie Guillen - Chicago AL - 1991 Road (Photo credit: BaseballBacks)



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