Ozzie Guillen should have stayed in Chicago. He can say whatever he wants about Fidel Castro here.
Guillen told Time magazine that he “loves” and respects Castro for staying in power for over 50 years. Unfortunately for Guillen, he is now the manager of the Miami Marlins. Miami -- especially the part of Miami from which the Marlins are trying to attract fans -- is as much a part of Cuba as it is of the United States. As a newcomer to the community, Guillen may not have understood that. Guillen is also a citizen of Venezuela, where Castro is embraced by President Hugo Chavez, a man Guillen has referred to as a friend.
One thing you need to understand about the Miami Cubans: they do not believe in freedom and democracy. They’re fascists, still sore about losing their country to a communist. Before Castro’s revolution, Cuba was overseen by a horribly corrupt, violent military dictator named Fulgencio Batista, who took power in a coup that prevented an election he was about to lose. If you’ve seen The Godfather II, you have a good picture of Batista’s Havana: he was in the pocket of Yankee mobsters who operated casinos and brothels, and used the capital as a drug-smuggling port. Batista ruled by terror, executing 20,000 of his enemies.
It was a good place to be an aristocrat, though. Miami’s Cubans are descended from the island’s Spanish elite, whose sugar and tobacco plantations were appropriated by Castro’s regime.
The fact that Miami’s Cuban community is demanding Guillen’s head proves they don’t believe in free speech, or any other traditions of American democracy. Unfortunately, because they are swing voters in a swing state, the Miami Cubans have a disproportionate influence on American foreign policy. They’re the reason the U.S. government bans imports of rum and cigars and restricts travel to Cuba, more than two decades after the Cold War ended.
Can you think of any other baseball market where the manager would be suspended for making admiring remarks about a foreign leader? I can’t. Miami, it’s time to leave the Old Country behind, and join the United States.