Protesters gather outside Ozzie Guillen’s press conference
While Ozzie Guillen was inside the interview room of Marlins Park on Tuesday apologizing for his comments about Fidel Castro, protesters waved Cuban flags and held signs calling for the resignation of the Miami Marlins manager outside the stadium.
Things seem to have quieted down now, but the protests reportedly became pretty intense during Guillen’s press conference and afterward. “It’s getting ugly. Protesters pushing against stadium front door demanding
#gujllen leave #marlins,” the Miami Herald reported via its Twitter feed.
Guillen’s explanation that he didn’t mean it when he told Time magazine that he loved the Cuban dictator -- “I was thinking in Spanish and I said it wrong in English,” he said during the press conference -- only seemed to anger many of the protesters, according to tweets from the Herald. Some people chanted “Liar! Liar!” while other individuals yelled comments such as, “Guillen, you are a communist rat!”
A protest had already been planned by a Cuban American group for Tuesday morning before Guillen scheduled his press conference. Moments before Guillen spoke, the Marlins announced they were suspending him for five games for his comments.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Guillen’s remarks about Castro weren’t received well in the Miami-Dade community that helped finance the team’s new $515-million ballpark. The Sun Sentinel also calls the incident a blow to the Marlins’ marketing efforts in Miami-Dade’s Latin community and in Latin American countries.
“The Marlins acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen,” the team said in a statement. “The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized, especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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