Vigilia Mambisa frente al restaurant Versailles
en protesta por las ofensas del manager de los Marlins
Fotos/Blog Gaspar, El Lugareño
(Marlins website) "I don't blame those people to think what they think right now because I hurt a lot of people and I'm aware of that," Guillen said. "When I came from Chicago here, my thought was to be in Miami for the rest of my life. No matter if I leave the Marlins or they leave me, I'm going to be a Miami guy for the rest of my life. I'm going to meet the community every day because I live here."
Guillen, less than a week into his first season managing the Marlins, said he has felt terrible about what he said. Prior to his news conference, the Marlins manager met with several Damas de Blanco, a group of women who have family members jailed in Cuba for being dissidents toward the Castro regime. Guillen said he was in tears as he apologized to the group.
"I am a strong person and when I cry, I really cry," Guillen said. "They understood me and I spoke to them honestly. When a person speaks to another person, they look in their eyes to know if they are being sincere. I was unable to look at their faces. It wasn't because I was lying but because I was so embarrassed about what I had done that I could not look them in the eyes."
The Marlins released a statement shortly after Guillen's comments were published, saying, "There is nothing to respect about Fidel Castro. 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."
Beyond asking for forgiveness, Guillen also asked the public to focus their disdain toward him and not the Marlins organization.
"Because I made a mistake, a big one, don't take it out on the ballclub," Guillen said. "Mr. Loria, Mr. Samson, the Marlins, Larry Beinfest, the players, they have nothing to do with this. I will take full responsibility for it. Continue to support the Marlins, the players; they have nothing to do with this."
Guillen said he will try to mend his relationship with the community. He also said he learned to keep his comments focused on things he knows about, like baseball.
"Today is Tuesday, April 10. Today is the last time in my life that I will speak about politics," Guillen said. "I know there are plenty of people who have tried to get me to talk about politics in the past. Hopefully this horrible situation has taught me to not speak about things that I don't know about." (read full text)