CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

{"content":["ozzieguillen" ] }

Ozzie clarifies comments about Fidel Castro

Ozzie clarifies comments about Fidel Castro

Ozzie clarifies comments about Fidel Castro
CINCINNATI -- Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen spoke with reporters on Saturday, clarifying and apologizing for comments he made about Fidel Castro in a Time Magazine article posted on Friday.

"I'm against the way [Castro] thinks, the way he treats people and the way he treats his country for a long time," Guillen said on Saturday.

The Time Magazine article begins by quoting Guillen as saying, "I love Fidel Castro," and then continues with further explanation.

"I respect Fidel Castro," Guillen said in the article. "You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that [expletive] is still here."

Guillen wanted to clear the air speaking directly to reporters, because he didn't want to appear to hide behind a statement.

"Whoever got hurt or misunderstood, I want to apologize for the things that hurt somebody's feelings," the outspoken Marlins manager said. "I want them to know, I'm against everything the way he's treated people the last 60 years. I've read a lot about him."

The Miami Marlins released a statement Friday in response to the article.

"We are aware of the article," the team said. "There is nothing to respect about Fidel Casto. He is a brutal dictator who has caused unthinkable pain for more than 50 years. We live in a community filled with victims of this dictatorship, and the people in Cuba continue to suffer today."

Also on Saturday afternoon, Guillen went on Spanish-language radio in Miami to clarify his comments.

He also expressed regret.

"I shouldn't be talking about that, especially in the town I'm in right now," the manager said. "I regret that."

Basically, Guillen notes that he respects how Castro was able to stay in power so long with so many people against him. But the Marlins manager repeated that he doesn't respect Castro's politics.

"The reason I said I admired him is a lot of people want to get rid of him, and they couldn't," Guillen said. "That was a personal [thought], not politics. If you don't read the article, it sounds ugly. The first time I read it, I was like, 'Wow! That's going to get me in trouble.' I'm not hiding from anybody, especially the people of Miami.

"From the bottom of my heart, if they're disappointed or kind of upset at what I said, I don't blame them. I'm with [the people of Miami]. I've lived in Miami for 12 years. I know exactly what this man means to the town."

Guillen spoke with Marlins president David Samson about the matter.

"This is not the Marlins' problem, this is Ozzie Guillen's problem," Guillen said.

In the past, Guillen has addressed controversial political leaders. The Marlins manager writes a column that appears in a Venezuelan newspaper, and he regularly lashes out against the policies of his country's leader, Hugo Chavez.

"When you talk politics in Miami, especially that man [Castro], you've got a chance to put yourself in [this] position," Guillen said. "Everybody is upset and kind of sad at what I said. I'm a grown man. I can take it. I want to let them know, I apologize, but in the meanwhile, I was not talking about politics.

"I couldn't even sleep last night. That's the first time ever I couldn't sleep, thinking about what the day was going to be like."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["ozzieguillen" ] }
{"content":["ozzieguillen" ] }