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Ozzie Guillen


bucknut40

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Ozzie has no filter, and I think that's great. The entertainment value of a guy like him certainly is something I don't want to see out of baseball.

Unless he's managing your team.

I wouldn't mind that, actually.

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People should not praise admirable qualities of despots.

You're right. Far better that we reduce them to cartoonish caricatures.

Even horrible, indefensible men have qualities that we would describe as admirable in others. It is not weakness to suggest that we can learn possibly something from every person, even the monsters.

Guillen is a profoundly stupid man sometimes, but all this practiced and calculated television outrage is way out of line for what he actually said.

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People should not praise admirable qualities of despots.

You're right. Far better that we reduce them to cartoonish caricatures.

Even horrible, indefensible men have qualities that we would describe as admirable in others. It is not weakness to suggest that we can learn possibly something from every person, even the monsters.

Guillen is a profoundly stupid man sometimes, but all this practiced and calculated television outrage is way out of line for what he actually said.

Was the outrage to Dom Imus' stupid comment way out of line? He awkwardly quoted a movie as part of a joke and it was decried as racist. It was something stupid to say, but I don't think Imus' making a dumb joke was nearly as bad as professing love for a murderous dictator.

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People should not praise admirable qualities of despots.

Even horrible, indefensible men have qualities that we would describe as admirable in others.

If you think Fidel Castro is an admirable man, good for you. But if you're an employee of mine and you're espousing his virtues in Miami, you're on your own. You have to use more common sense than that.

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And the Florida-Cuban community would do well to get over its anti Castro paranoia. (Though I understand for, particularly, the older members of said community, that is not such an easy thing to do.)

Unless you're part of a community like this that's suffered at the hands of a man or government you have no right to suggest they "get over it." It's kind of arrogant on your part, as an outsider, to suggest that you know better then the people affected. Any healing is going to take time, on their own time. Maybe it's already begun. If so great, but they'll get there at their own pace.

Meh. Batista was just as brutal as Castro (if not more so) only where Castro on occasion showed interest in things that might have boosted the overall quality of life for the Cuban citizenry, such as health care, Batista would have focused on making things better for large US corporations and businesses. And hiring more death squads. The older members are here primarily because they backed Batista, and therefore I do not have sympathy for what happened to them.

I'm sorry rams, you're a very smart guy, I respect your opinion a ton, but I have to take issue here.

What Batista did or didn't do is irrelevant. It's an old saying, cliched some one would say, but it applies. Two wrongs don't make a right. Batista imprisoning and killing political opponents does not give Castro a free pass for doing the same thing, to Batista's supporters.

You also assume that the Cuban American community in Miami is full of ex-Batista cronies or their descendents. This assumes that Batista's supporters were the only political opponents Castro persecuted. That would be a fallacy. Castro went after anyone who didn't toe the line of the Communist Party of Cuba. Were ex-Batista supporters among those persecuted? Yes. Of course. The Cuban political scene included more then just the followers of Castro and Batista though, and Castro went after anyone who didn't pledge loyalty to his party.

Even in regards to those that did leave because they supported Batista, it's still wrong to pull the "well they deserved it" card. Whenever a group is persecuted based on political leanings, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, what have you, it's wrong to blame the victim. Sorry, it is. You don't get to thumb through the list of history's greatest examples of persecution and say "this group and that group totally had the unjustified imprisonments and executions coming" just because you personally disagree with their politics.

Which brings me back to my final point. Fidel Castro seems to be a sort of martyr (not quite the right word) to a lot of progressive thinkers, and I cannot understand why. Is it because he "showed interest in things that might have boosted the overall quality of life for the Cuban citizenry, such as health care"? I get that's the hot ticket of the American left, but a whole lot of good national health care does when you're executed for disagreeing with el presidente. Did he implement programs that were good for the Cuban people? Sure. He also killed a lot of them for daring to hold an opinion not sanctioned by the Communist Party of Cuba. The suppression of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press kind of cancels out "well he has a nice health care program" in my book.

At best Fidel Castro should be seen as a tragic example of what could have been. A man with the drive to improve the quality of life for his people, but who let his desire for more and more power pervert that drive.

I'm sorry I just don't get the "Castro's not such a bad guy" sentiment people like to bring up now and then.

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What Ozzie Guillen said concerning Castro is not unlike someone working with either the Yankees or Mets saying something to the effect that Hitler was a good speaker. In an area where such tyrants hold an especially terrible place with a given population, it's simply best not to even bring up their names unless making it very clear how bad such figures are.

While I like Guillen and his Say-What-He's-Thinking personality, he should have taken just a split second to think about the context of what he said.

On the other it might have helped that the Marlins talked to him (Ozzie) about it and get everything cleared out there and then; it seems like they didn't do that, letting bad feelings all around fester.

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The other side of Castro's regime lasting so damn long is that it's not an abstraction to Cuban-Americans. If you were to say, like, "say what you will about Stalin, the man could grow a 'stache," you might offend Ukrainian-Americans on basic principle, but how many Ukrainian-Americans are here because they and their families were fleeing the Ukrainian genocide?

Castro's a bad guy. He's not Bugs Bunny outwitting Elmer Fudd.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAfhLWegrZY

I'd say of those from that generation, the Batista contingent is probably 65-35 here in Miami. Overall that number is becoming increasingly smaller and more and more that are here only knew Castro.

The story about Cuba that is not often told is how the Constitution adopted in the 40s empowered labor unions to create two distinct classes of citizens. If you weren't in a union your standard of life was considerably worse than that of union members. This played a large part in starting the economic malaise and internal division that began in the early 1950s. I hear a lot about corporations playing a part in empowering Castro, but you never hear about the other side of crony capitalism. The Cuban Constitution adopted in the 40s makes you wonder how they didn't see what eventually happened coming.

I also read somewhere in this thread to look at Cuba's standard of living compared to the rest of the Caribbean as a minor success of the Revolution. To that I say, look at the SOL compared to where Cuba was pre-Castro. Besides the US and Canada, Cuba was arguably the most advanced country in the western hemisphere. My family was by no means wealthy, lower middle class is the best description, and their standard of living was better than most people in Cuba today.

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In addition to Gonzalo speaking on DLHQ, Orestes Destrade and Mike Lowell spoke on Dan's radio show. The Destrade segment is on the station's site now. Marlins President David Samson was on today in his regular segment and discussed the last five days.

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People should not praise admirable qualities of despots.

You're right. Far better that we reduce them to cartoonish caricatures.

Even horrible, indefensible men have qualities that we would describe as admirable in others. It is not weakness to suggest that we can learn possibly something from every person, even the monsters.

Guillen is a profoundly stupid man sometimes, but all this practiced and calculated television outrage is way out of line for what he actually said.

It's not often that I disagree with you Goth, but I gotta say I think you're wrong on this one. Can we learn from Castro? Sure. Where you and I part ways on this is finding anything about him to be admirable. Do people really "admire" Fidel Castro, or are they simply using the wrong word to describe their thoughts on the matter? For example, Saintsfan said that he "admired" Castro's ability to stay one step ahead of the hanging posse for all these years.

Did our resident contrarian really mean that he admired Castro in a respectful or reverential way? Or did he mean that he found it remarkable, astonishing, astounding, or maybe even impressive that Castro has stayed one step ahead of the hanging posse for all these years? In my opinion, it's a pretty important distinction.

Hopefully, that makes sense.

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And the Florida-Cuban community would do well to get over its anti Castro paranoia. (Though I understand for, particularly, the older members of said community, that is not such an easy thing to do.)

Unless you're part of a community like this that's suffered at the hands of a man or government you have no right to suggest they "get over it." It's kind of arrogant on your part, as an outsider, to suggest that you know better then the people affected. Any healing is going to take time, on their own time. Maybe it's already begun. If so great, but they'll get there at their own pace.

Meh. Batista was just as brutal as Castro (if not more so) only where Castro on occasion showed interest in things that might have boosted the overall quality of life for the Cuban citizenry, such as health care, Batista would have focused on making things better for large US corporations and businesses. And hiring more death squads. The older members are here primarily because they backed Batista, and therefore I do not have sympathy for what happened to them.

I'm sorry rams, you're a very smart guy, I respect your opinion a ton, but I have to take issue here.

What Batista did or didn't do is irrelevant. It's an old saying, cliched some one would say, but it applies. Two wrongs don't make a right. Batista imprisoning and killing political opponents does not give Castro a free pass for doing the same thing, to Batista's supporters.

I'm a firm believer in "you reap what you sow" and in this case the pre-1970 generation of emigres and their descendants sowed one hell of a field. Batista's regime killed 20,000 in 6 years of repression (Castro, under the most expansive of tallies, hasn't come close to that in raw numbers, btw) and continued/expanded a policy of flat out whoring out his country to the United States and their corporate interests. In light of those two things, it doesn't exactly surprise me when your "fellow" citizenry drives you out/tries to kill you and it shouldn't the supporters either. (Although apparently it did judging from the local reaction to the Bay of Pigs fiasco.) And yeah, there is frankly a deserving aspect to it.

You also assume that the Cuban American community in Miami is full of ex-Batista cronies or their descendents. This assumes that Batista's supporters were the only political opponents Castro persecuted. That would be a fallacy. Castro went after anyone who didn't toe the line of the Communist Party of Cuba. Were ex-Batista supporters among those persecuted? Yes. Of course. The Cuban political scene included more then just the followers of Castro and Batista though, and Castro went after anyone who didn't pledge loyalty to his party.

True, hence my general pre/post 1970 line of demarcation. That said, you can consistently count on Batista's supporters and the descendants thereof to be right at the head of the line when it comes to drumming up anti-Castro sentiment; they and the US companies that lost their nice Cuban fiefdoms were a strong driving force in the anti-Castro push prior to his alliance with the Soviet Union (indeed, this push is WHY he sought a Soviet alliance) they pushed for Bay of Pigs to go off, and then they got pissed off when it failed. And so on. Furthermore, I suspect that if they were to return to Cuba on their terms, there would have been plenty of reprisals and I rather suspect that the re-establishment of a true liberal democracy was rather low on their list of priorities.

Even in regards to those that did leave because they supported Batista, it's still wrong to pull the "well they deserved it" card. Whenever a group is persecuted based on political leanings, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, what have you, it's wrong to blame the victim. Sorry, it is. You don't get to thumb through the list of history's greatest examples of persecution and say "this group and that group totally had the unjustified imprisonments and executions coming" just because you personally disagree with their politics.

I'm not going to Godwin this thread right here, but there is one example right there that kind of stands as a rebuttal. But this is probably something you and I are going to fundamentally differ on. If you were in power, lost power, and then suffer punishment because you were fundamentally unjust and profited greatly from said injustice while in power, in my book, shut up you earned it.

Which brings me back to my final point. Fidel Castro seems to be a sort of martyr (not quite the right word) to a lot of progressive thinkers, and I cannot understand why. Is it because he "showed interest in things that might have boosted the overall quality of life for the Cuban citizenry, such as health care"? I get that's the hot ticket of the American left, but a whole lot of good national health care is when you're executed for disagreeing with el presidente. Did he implement programs that were good for the Cuban people? Sure. He also killed a lot of them for daring to hold an opinion not sanctioned by the Communist Party of Cuba. The suppression of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press kind of cancels out the "well he has a nice health care program" in my book.

I don't see him as a martyr, and he is not a good or just leader by any means. (Canny as hell though; he's been able to play the "I'm the original Anti-American" card to his benefit in Latin America quite well, and his regime DID figure out a way to survive a decade-long economic crisis/fuel absence without mass state-sponsored slaughter or the locals thinking you were a living god.) But at the same time he's done fairly well for his country and indeed is probably in the Top 3 of best Cuban leaders post-1902 with Carlos Prio and Ramon Grau. (Admittedly, this says a lot more about the puppets, murderers, and maniacs we put in charge of our colony-by-proxy from 1902-1959.)

At best Fidel Castro should be seen as a tragic example of what could have been. A man with the drive to improve the quality of life for his people, but who let his desire for more and more power pervert that drive.

I'm sorry I just don't get the "Castro's not such a bad guy" sentiment people like to bring up now and then.

See above sentiment regarding Cuba's leadership since the first US occupation ended in 1902. Compared to his predecessors, he isn't. There is also an open question about how much of Castro's tragedy is of America's making. One of the world's superpowers and foremost naval power is 90 miles of ocean away from you and has been gunning for you by almost any means necessary since Day One of your regime. It's likely that you will develop a tendency to crush dissent for fear that this will be used as an opening to end your entire regime.

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Let's use a hypothetical here.

Say I don't like the policies and opinions of a certain political figure who hosts a campaign rally that over a million people attend. I can't say that it's "admirable" that this political figure can drum up this kind of support? I don't actually think the man as a whole is admirable, but this one certain quality of him is.

Just like with Castro. I don't think the man as a whole is admirable AT ALL, but his ability to stay in power for 50+ years on a relatively small island nation with the world's largest superpower just 90 miles away, who by the way, hates his guts, not to mention any possible revolutionary attempts by his current citizens, is an admirable task. Just like how the political candidate I don't like's ability to get people riled up is admirable.

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Let's use a hypothetical here.

Say I don't like the policies and opinions of a certain political figure who hosts a campaign rally that over a million people attend. I can't say that it's "admirable" that this political figure can drum up this kind of support? I don't actually think the man as a whole is admirable, but this one certain quality of him is.

Just like with Castro. I don't think the man as a whole is admirable AT ALL, but his ability to stay in power for 50+ years on a relatively small island nation with the world's largest superpower just 90 miles away, who by the way, hates his guts, not to mention any possible revolutionary attempts by his current citizens, is an admirable task. Just like how the political candidate I don't like's ability to get people riled up is admirable.

Again, this "admirable task" is accomplished by oppression, torture and murder of those who at all disagree with him. That is the only way he has managed to stay in power. Therefore that is the admirable thing, according to you and others, about him. And no, that's not putting words in your mouths. That is the only way it can be translated. I know it's not your intention, I just don't think anyone who feels this way is looking beyond "staying in power" to see HOW he stays in power.

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In fairness to Guillen the word he is quoted as using is 'respectable' not admirable. (Fair enough that may not make a lot of difference to some people, but its a different word, with a different sense. And many people may not respect Castro for remaining in power, and alive.)

My difficulty is still that he has was suspended for those comments. I appreciate that the Marlins have acted within their rights, but even still in my view this is the statement the Miami Marlins should have put out

The Miami Marlins make it clear that the comments of their manager, Ozzie Guillen, with respect to his respect for the former Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro in no way represent the views of the Miami Marlins organisation. We recognise the offense that those comments will have caused many in the state of Florida and further afield, and are dealing with the incident internally. We resepct Mr Guillen's right to air his views publically, and note that if he had made similar comments in Cuba about an enemy of the state he would not be dealt with as justly.

If you hire Guillen you know you are going to have to deal with this kind of thing every once in a while. Are you going to suspend him every time he embarrasses your organisation? Might as well not have employed him in the first place if you are.

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In fairness to Guillen the word he is quoted as using is 'respectable' not admirable. (Fair enough that may not make a lot of difference to some people, but its a different word, with a different sense. And many people may not respect Castro for remaining in power, and alive.)

My difficulty is still that he has was suspended for those comments. I appreciate that the Marlins have acted within their rights, but even still in my view this is the statement the Miami Marlins should have put out

The Miami Marlins make it clear that the comments of their manager, Ozzie Guillen, with respect to his respect for the former Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro in no way represent the views of the Miami Marlins organisation. We recognise the offense that those comments will have caused many in the state of Florida and further afield, and are dealing with the incident internally. We resepct Mr Guillen's right to air his views publically, and note that if he had made similar comments in Cuba about an enemy of the state he would not be dealt with as justly.

If you hire Guillen you know you are going to have to deal with this kind of thing every once in a while. Are you going to suspend him every time he embarrasses your organisation? Might as well not have employed him in the first place if you are.

Again, not a freedom of speech issue.

He can say what he wants about baseball-specific matters, but when he goes into political matters that offend and alienate your very own fanbase, then yes he should be reprimanded.

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I'm a firm believer in "you reap what you sow" and in this case the pre-1970 generation of emigres and their descendants sowed one hell of a field. Batista's regime killed 20,000 in 6 years of repression (Castro, under the most expansive of tallies, hasn't come close to that in raw numbers, btw) and continued/expanded a policy of flat out whoring out his country to the United States and their corporate interests. In light of those two things, it doesn't exactly surprise me when your "fellow" citizenry drives you out/tries to kill you and it shouldn't the supporters either. (Although apparently it did judging from the local reaction to the Bay of Pigs fiasco.) And yeah, there is frankly a deserving aspect to it.
But this is probably something you and I are going to fundamentally differ on. If you were in power, lost power, and then suffer punishment because you were fundamentally unjust and profited greatly from said injustice while in power, in my book, shut up you earned it.

I guess my issue with this is when does it end? If Batista was an unjust ruler who got what he deserved along with his supporters, then what about Castro and his supporters? You claim that if the pro-Batista camp returned to Cuba on their own terms there would reprisals. Well by your own logic those reprisals would be deserved because...

I don't see him as a martyr, and he [Castro] is not a good or just leader by any means.

You admit that Castro's rule hasn't been just. So if Batista and his followers deserved what they got because they was unjust and benefited from that injustice then the same can be said about Castro and his followers. So then the hypothetical returning Batista group (or whatever the makeup of a returning victorious anti-Castro contingent would be) would be justified in a little payback right? Castro reaped what he sowed, right? Then that would turn the new group into unjust rulers who would be deserving of reprisals themselves. It just creates a potential cycle of violence. You could say "well then ideally just let Castro's regime survive" but I don't see letting a regime that imprisons or executes you for disagreeing with the ruling party as an ideal situation.

What's the best way to improve things? Once Castro dies (of old age because really, what else is it going to be at this point?) have the Communist Party of Cuba state that they've achieved the aims of the Revolution, those being a better standard of living and economic independence. Now that the Revolution's goals have been fulfilled the dictatorship of the proletariat can end and democracy can be be eased in. The Communist Party of Cuba doesn't necessarily disband, so much as give up political its political monopoly and becomes one party in a new multi-party system that's gradually introduced.

Kind of like what happened in Nicaragua, where the Sandinistas used to rule as the lone Communist party, but are now simply one of the larger parties in a multi-party system. Hopefully things go a bit more smoothly then in Nicaragua, but it was the closest example that sprung to mind.

There is also an open question about how much of Castro's tragedy is of America's making. One of the world's superpowers and foremost naval power is 90 miles of ocean away from you and has been gunning for you by almost any means necessary since Day One of your regime. It's likely that you will develop a tendency to crush dissent for fear that this will be used as an opening to end your entire regime.

Eh, I don't buy it. Castro's regime is a Communist regime. Communist regimes the world over have a pretty consistent track record. They all outlaw freedom of assembly, the press, and speech. They all jail or execute those who don't confirm to the dogma of the ruling Communist party. They're all pretty horrific, all things considered. Castro's oppression isn't something unique to him that can be pinned on his proximity to a hostile United States. Men like him have done pretty much the same thing in the name of the Glorious Proletarian Revolution the world over since 1917.

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