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Published: Apr 29, 2012
Ozzie Guillen suspended for five games (VIDEO) after offending Cubans
by staff

Ozzie Guillen suspended for five games (VIDEO) after offending Cubans. Miami Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen has been suspended for five games for comments he made in support of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Guillen, a 48-year-old native of Venezuela, expressed respect for Castro in an interview with Time magazine. The outspoken Guillen returned to Miami Tuesday from Philadelphia to make public comments about the situation.

The team announced the suspension before Guillen made his appearance Tuesday. Guillen will miss five games -- two in Philadelphia and a three-game weekend series in Miami versus Houston. He would be back with the team next Tuesday when the Marlins open a three-game series at home against the Chicago Cubs.

"The Marlins acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen," team officials said in a statement. "The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship."

No team officials appeared with Guillen at his news conference.

Guillen started his statement Tuesday in Spanish, saying, "I feel like I betrayed my Latin community. I'm here to say I'm sorry with my heart in my hands."

He said he "hurt the community" but hadn't intended to do so.

"I will do everything to try to make it better," he said later in English. "I will help the Cuban community."

"I'm very embarrassed. I'm very sad," he added.

Guillen also apologized over the weekend for the comments in which the Marlins' manager expressed respect for Castro for having been able to stay in power for so long. "I love Fidel Castro," he told Time.

The comments set off protests in Miami, where Castro is generally looked on with disdain by the Cuban-American community.

In his apology (VIDEO) last weekend, Guillen said, "I'm against everything 100 percent -- I want to repeat it again -- the way this man [has been] treating people for the last 60 years."

Guillen was hired as manager of the Marlins last September, two days after he left the Chicago White Sox. Guillen managed the White Sox for eight seasons, with the team going 678-617. Chicago won the World Series in 2005, Guillen's second season as manager. (c) UPI

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