For the last fifty years, Cuba and US relations have been static. They remain stuck in the past largely because of a small group of influential Miami Cubans. Today, the United States’ embargo on Cuba is one of our most antiquated foreign policies.
While the Castro dictatorship remains, in the form of Fidel’s brother Raul, it is not the Cuba of old.
In a 2010 interview, Fidel was asked if the Cuban model was still something worth exporting, to which he replied, “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.”(http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/09/fidel-cuban-model-doesnt-even-work-for-us-anymore/62602/)
One of the last three Communist states, Cuba recently began permitting its citizens to buy and sell property. Businesses other than restaurants and dance halls are now able to make and keep profits. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck, Cuba offered to send 1,100 doctors to New Orleans. (http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_2547.shtml)
Recently, anti-Castro sentiment has become a trending topic because of comments made by Miami Marlins manager, Ozzie Guillen. In a recent Time Magazine interview, Guillen “blurts” that he “loves Fidel Castro.” After a moment of reflection, he rephrases. “I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that mother—— is still here.”(http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2110450-1,000.html)
The Cuban community of Little Havana, where the new Marlins stadium resides, was predictably outraged. Some demanded the firing of the new manager. Others said they would boycott the team. The media firestorm swelled until Ozzie stood in front of a podium and expressed his deepest sympathies for offending his new neighbors. He claimed that his words were taken out of context, misinterpreted, or more aptly, lost in translation.
Guillen was then suspended for five games by the Marlins brass. Commissioner Selig’s office supported the decision, saying Guillen’s words, “…were offensive to an important part of the Miami community and others throughout the world, [and] have no place in our game.”(http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7795152/ozzie-guillen-miami-marlins-suspended-five-games)
Note: this is the same Bud Selig who sat next to Fidel Castro in 1999 when the Baltimore Orioles played an exhibition game in Cuba.
Guillen has a long and documented history of saying what he thinks rather than thinking about what he says. Yet in this country that is allowed. It is a right. He should not have been suspended for expressing his opinions.
After all, this isn’t Cuba.