Florida Marlin's manager, Ozzy Guillen, recently said that he loved Fidel Castro. The comment was made while he was being interviewed for Time magazine. The incident sparked a firestorm which resulted in Mr. Guillen's suspension from baseball for five games. Let me state for the record that I think Fidel Castro is a murdering tyrant and is not worthy of love, except maybe by God, in whom he doesn't believe. But I am also a big supporter of free speech, even when that speech is misguided and offensive to some people. Mr. Guillen's comments can be characterized as misguided and most certainly should be offensive to anyone who believes in justice and liberty. These concepts have been absent from Cuba for the 50 plus years that Fidel Castro has ruled.
I have to wonder why Mr. Guillen's comments are any more offensive than the useful idiots in Hollywood and elsewhere who wear Che Guevara tee-shirts and elevate him to some sort of heroic status. After all, Che Guevara was a murdering coward who ran away from the only battle in which he was ever involved. When the Bolivian military found him hiding like the Coward he was, he begged for his life saying he was the great Che Guevara and was worth more to them alive than dead. He was very brave when he was slaughtering unarmed and innocent men, women and children. It was a different story when he faced armed military personnel.
I also wonder why Mr. Guillen's comments would be any more offensive than Anita Dunn saying that Chairman Mao was one of her heroes. She made the comment while delivering a speech to high school students. At the time Ms. Dunn was President Obama's press secretary. Mao murdered 100 million of his own countrymen and tortured untold millions more. Just the kind of a guy you'd want administration officials to lionize. And while we are on the subject of Mao, I take much more umbrage with the President and first lady hanging a Mao ornament on the White House Christmas tree their first year in office than I do with Ozzy Guillen's remarks. I also find the strict adherence to politically correct speech the left has placed on public discourse to be more offensive than a comment made by a baseball manager. Let's not forget that there are many people on the left in this country, some of whom are in our government, who have expressed admiration for Fidel Castro and the wonderful things he has done for the Cuban people. Some of these people are bound and determined to impose the Cuban-style of healthcare on the U.S. Now that I find that much more offensive than Ozzy Guillen's comments.
Ozzy Guillen's remarks were stupid and misguided, but don't rise to the level of offense that our government officials utter almost on a daily basis. Freedom of speech has no filter that strains out stupidity, people are free to make fools of themselves. I think the reaction by Major League baseball and others to Ozzy Guillen's remarks were somewhat disproportional. I have to think that in some corner of Cuba Fidel Castro is watching the limits we are placing on our own free speech, and Fidel is smiling.