As baseball manager Ozzie Guillen serves out his five day suspension for saying nice things about Fidel Castro, I took a look today at what college history textbooks have to say about the Cuban dictator. One thing they don’t say about him is the word “dictator.” That word is reserved for the many Castro overthrew, Fulgencio Batista.
I’ve just been looking through the college freshman history textbooks that I critique in the Columns section of this website, and not one of them uses the “D” word in regard to Castro, while all of them use that word, often proceeded by “corrupt,” to describe Batista.
On Tuesday Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen apologized for saying that he loves and respects Fidel Castro. His team has suspended him for five games, but Cuban immigrants in Florida are not satisfied. Anger at Guillen is so widespread and so passionate that the team is under pressure to fire him.
Poor Guillen has a rhetorical tightrope to walk now. If he tries to placate Cuban-Americans by saying anything negative about Castro, he’ll probably face just as much rage from liberals in Massachusetts and California (and just about every college faculty in the nation) as he currently faces in Florida.