Ozzie Guillen & 5 Latinos who have felt the wrath of Miami Cubans
Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is really feeling the pain over his recent comments about "loving Fidel Castro." Though he's apologized (twice!) he was still suspended for five games. But he might never actually recover from his latest stupid statement. The Cuban community in Miami is angry over his words and FOX Sports writer Greg Couch doesn't think that an apology will ever be enough.
I'm a Cuban myself, so I understand where the community is coming from. I'm angry at his comments, too. But the question remains whether he will be able to live it down with the apology or if he'll be run out of town. Miami Cubans don't easily forgive and forget and I doubt they will ever look kindly at Ozzie Guillen so long as he remains with the Marlins. Why am I so pessimistic? Well, because there have been so many other instances of famous Latinos being subjected to the unrelenting wrath of Miami Cubans. Here's proof...
Read more ¿Qué más? Ozzie Guillen's "love" for Fidel Castro gets him suspended for 5 MLB games.
1. Elian Gonzalez becomes symbol of strained relations between U.S. and Cuba. It was an epic custody battle if there ever was one: Elian was found off the coast of Florida after his mother illegally left the island on a boat carrying her son and boyfriend. The boat capsized and Elian was the only survivor. He was deposited with relatives in Miami, until his father in Cuba tried to reclaim his son and said he was taken without permission. Elian's U.S. family (on his mother's side) and the entire Miami Cuban community fought to keep him in the U.S. but courts ultimately ruled that Elian had to be returned to his dad.
2. Colombian rocker Juanes plays a "peace concert" with Olga Tañon in Havana. He popular musician played an open-air peace concert to hundreds of thousands of Cubans at Revolution Plana, but Miami Cubans weren't too happy about his performance—and not because they were critical of his music. They were angry that he even showed up at all, saying that the simple act of throwing the concert is lending support to the island's communist government.
3. Former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza says she had "fun" in Guantanamo Bay. Okay, so it wasn't the smartest thing she could have said but then-Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza blogged about her "fun" visit to the U.S. Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba, adding that she didn't want to leave because it was such a calm and relaxing place—inciting anger and distress from the Cuban community over the positive feedback of the country and the naval base.
4. Cuban salsa band Los Van Van slammed for being "chummy" with the Castro brothers. Miami Cubans don't only get mad at other Latinos for saying something nice or doing something positive in Cuba. When this Cuban band performed in Miami in 1999, more than 4,000 people demonstrated and tossed garbage at concertgoers for the alleged friendship with Fidel Castro and Raul, the current president of Cuba. As with Elian, it seems that even people from their own country can face their anger.
5. Puerto Rican artists blacklisted from performing at Miami's Calle Ocho Music Festival. There's a long list of artists hailing from neighboring island Puerto Rico who have all angered the Cuban community in Miami. From Calle 13, Andy Montanez, Danny Rivera and Lucesita Benitez, each of these performers have been put on a giant blacklist and barred from Miami radio stations, from performing in Miami's Calle Ocho Music festival and from Miami dance clubs—all because they either performed in Cuba, visited Cuba or said something positive about the country.
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The problem is that they need to forgive and forget, in particular because of his stupid comments. Ozzie needs to be forgiven precisely because Fidel Castro is a vicious dictator and the best way to deal with Ozzie's comments isn't through viciousness, but with kindness. There is a lot that Ozzie can now do to repair the relationship between himself and the Cuban community in Miami (donate money, volunteer, talk to locals about why exactly they hate Castro, etc) but, really? We should all move on. I agree with Cuban-born Royals player Brayan Pena (who defected in 2000) when he told the MLB website:
This is America, everybody deserves a second chance. That's why I'm proud to be an American, that's why I became an American citizen. This is what a real democracy is, because I lived on the other side -- where you can't explain yourself, where you have to very careful what you say.
But with their history of not forgiving and not forgetting, can we ever really move on?
How did you react to the news of Ozzie Guillen apologizing after his "I love Fidel Castro" comment? Do you think that the Cuban community in Miami needs to forgive and forget?
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