Last updated: April 11, 2012 - 8:13am
The Miami Marlins suspended team manager Ozzie Guillen for five games following his comments praising Fidel Castro, the former president of Cuba.
"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 uproar was triggered by a Time magazine article that was posted online last week. "I respect Fidel Castro," Mr. Guillen was quoted as saying. "You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that mother f— is still here."
The remarks provoked a sharp response in Miami, where the population is heavily Cuban-American and where anti-Castro sentiment, especially among the older generation of political exiles, is widespread and passionate. The city's Spanish-language radio stations were flooded with callers voicing disgust with Guillen, who was born in Venezuela. Joe Martinez, chairman of the Miami-Dade County Commission, demanded that Mr. Guillen resign. Later, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued a statement condemning the remarks, though he stopped short of calling for Guillen's resignation.
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