The Miami Marlins suspended manager Ozzie Guillen on Tuesday (April 10) for five games, this after his recent remarks in which he praised Fidel Castro.
“The Marlins acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen,” the team says in a statement. “The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship.”
Guillen, speaking in Spanish (translated by ESPN), tells the assembled media, “I feel like I betrayed my Latin community. I am here to say I am sorry with my heart in my hands and I want to say I’m sorry to all those people who are hurt indirectly or directly.”
Guillen’s woes began following a Time magazine interview in which he says, “I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that son of a b**** is still there.”
These comments would likely go over poorly anywhere. But in Miami, with its sizable Cuban community, they were seen as especially hurtful.
This is not the first time Guillen has praised the Cuban dictator. In a 2008 interview with Men’s Journal, Guillen says, “He’s a b******* dictator and everybody’s against him, and he still survives, has power. Still has a country behind him. Everywhere he goes they roll out the red carpet. I don’t admire his philosophy. I admire him.”