The Cubans in their bermuda shorts, black socks and sandals were aghast that anyone could make such a remark. Loving Fidel Castro? Are you kidding me?
He's only the man who led the revolt that drove the right-wing dictator (and friend of America) Fulgencio Batista out of power in 1959. He liberated the nation's resources from foreign corporations. He kicked the mafiosa who ran Havana's casinos to the curb. He promised a voice to those who were crushed under the thumbs of Batista and the foreign companies.
He was no angel, make no mistake about it. He confiscated property held by wealthy Cubans (thus hastening their move to Florida). He jailed political opponents. His regime repressed freedom of expression.
For this grave transgression, Mr. Guillen was suspended without pay for five games. Let's get this straight, Mr. Guillen made a statement. He didn't insult anyone. He didn't threaten anyone. He merely said something that some folks in Miami found objectionable. More to the point, he said something that some folks who fork over some serious money for tickets and advertising found objectionable.
So fucking what?
And then Bud Selig, that little worm with the bad toupee who has done his best to ruin baseball, acted like a little sycophant and contributed nothing but hot air and expelled carbon dioxide to the debate:
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said he supported the decision to suspend Guillen. He called Guillen's remarks in the magazine ''offensive to an important part of the Miami community and others throughout the world'' and ''have no place in our game.''The remarks have "no place in our game." Really, Bud? This coming from the commissioner of a league in which one of the teams is nicknamed the Indians and has one of the most disgusting racist logos in all of professional sports. This from the commissioner who sat on his hands while the biggest scandal in baseball since 1919 occurred right underneath his nose. This from a commissioner who has introduced warmongering and violence into the national pasttime under the guise of patriotism. This from a commissioner who didn't have the guts to take the All Star Game out of Arizona despite the passage of laws that discriminated against Latinos.
And then, just to demonstrate that he is just as stupid as he looks, Mr. Selig said this:
''All of our 30 clubs play significant roles within their local communities,'' he added. ''And I expect those who represent Major League Baseball to act with the kind of respect and sensitivity that the game's many cultures deserve.''I can only assume that Native Americans aren't one of baseball's many cultures. And apparently neither are free thinkers.
I guess Mr. Selig has no problem with our government listening in on our phone calls and reading our e-mails. I guess he has no problem with our government sanctioning torture in violation of the Geneva Convention. I guess he has no problems with the slaughter of innocents in the Middle East. I guess he has no problem with our government providing arms and military assistance to repressive regimes around the world.
Of course Mr. Guillen didn't make matters better when he tried to apologize for stating his opinion. Instead of standing up for open dialogue and free speech, Mr. Guillen swallowed the company line and tried to distance himself from his remarks.
Mr. Guillen had nothing to apologize for. But don't tell that to the zealots on South Beach and the stooge from Milwaukee.