The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Shut Him Up!

Apr 16, 2012

In an interview with Time magazine, Ozzie Guillen, the manager of the Florida Marlins baseball team, said, “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 bitch is still here.”

This off-hand comment set off a firestorm in Miami-Dade, which is controlled by the reactionary Cuban exile Mafia and is where the Marlins play. The city commission chair released a statement calling on the team owners to fire Guillen. Mayor Carlos Giminez urged the Marlins to take “decisive steps to bring this community back together.” And 100 demonstrators picketed Marlins Park toting signs like “NO APOLOGIES FIRE HIM NOW.”

Finally, Guillen was given a five game suspension and had to go through a long, humiliating press conference. “I’m here on my knees to apologize,” Guillen told the packed room. And for what?

Telling the truth. After all, Castro has defied the mighty U.S. efforts to oust or kill him since the 1950s! The U.S. has sponsored an invasion (Bay of Pigs), carried out crackpot schemes to assassinate him (poison, hidden explosives), and imposed straightforward economic blackmail and embargoes.

But the last thing the rich exiles at the top of the heap in Miami want anyone to do is tell the truth. So, under the guise of defending “basic human rights,” they tell Guillen he can’t say what he thinks!