Guillen stated that he respected the retired Castro for being able to stay in power for so long. His comments touched off a wave of public backlash, including Rene Garcia the Florida state senator and chairman of the Florida Hispanic Legislative Caucus who called for “punitive measures” be taken against Ozzie. Multiple Miami civic leaders have called for swift and real action to be taken against Guillen. Francis Suarez, chairman of the Miami city commission, also called for Guillen to be let go because of his comments.
“Mr.Guillen’s admiration for a dictator who has destroyed the lives of so many and who has violated the basic human rights of millions is shameful,” Suarez said is prepared statement that was given to the media.
The new Marlins Park, which is located in Miami’s Little Havana section, has seen groups of fans protesting and calling for Guillen’s removal. Ozzie, who handed a five-game suspension by the Marlins, returned from Philadelphia on April 10 to apologize. To his credit Guillen owned up and apologized for the hurt his words caused people. “I know I hurt a lot of people,” Guillen said.”I want to get the thing over with.” He even made a point to apologize to Felo Ramirez, who has been the Marlins Spanish-speaking announcer since 1993. Born in 1921, Ramirez fled his homeland of Cuba in 1962.
This isn’t the first time Guillen has enraged fans with his take on politics. In October 2005 Ozzie twice appeared on the radio show hosted by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and has been outspoken in his support of Chavez.
Guillen has become more critical of Chavez since becoming a U.S. citizen in 2006. While Ozzie stood up in public and did his best to mend fences and hurt feelings you wonder if now he finally gets it. Ozzie, you are one of the games most colorful people and I love the fact you say what’s on your mind. But
let’s keep the rants within the game.