The Miami Marlins announced on Tuesday that manager Ozzie Guillen has been suspended for five games due to controversial comments about Fidel Castro.
Guillen apologized for his remarks during a press conference in Miami, answering several questions from the media after his opening remarks. During the media session, Guillen also discussed his feelings about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, another polarizing political figure in Latin America.
"I'd rather be dead than vote for Chavez," he said in Spanish.
This remark is not the first time that Chavez has been discussed by Guillen, who was born in Venezuela in 1964. After managing the Chicago White Sox to a World Series title in 2005, Guillen took photographs holding the Venezuelan flag while appearing to yell, "Viva Chavez."
During a 2006 interview with Playboy (via Palm Beach Post), a few months after he became a U.S. citizen, Guillen defended his take on Chavez.
"I like Chavez the man," he said. "I don't say I like him politically, because I don't agree with a lot of the stuff he does and says. But I have a right to like somebody, and I like the man. When I read about how hard he worked since he was 6-years-old to be president of Venezuela, I felt proud."
Known for speaking his mind throughout his managerial career, Guillen's comments about Castro have landed him in far more trouble than any of his previous verbal exploits.
"I respect Fidel Castro." Guillen said during a recent interview with Time magazine. "You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that son of a bitch is still there."
Already facing a five-game suspension, it remains to be seen if Guillen will still be in Miami when this controversy concludes.
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