Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen apologized Saturday for a Time Magazine article in which he said he loved Fidel Castro.
"I am sure I'm against (the way) he thinks, the way he treats people and way he treats his country for a long time," Guillen said. "I'm against that 100 percent. I'm not crazy or stupid or ignorant to say I love somebody. He not just hurt Cuban people he hurt a lot of people counting Venezuelans.
"Whoever got hurt or misunderstood or (took it) the way he wants to take it, I will apologize. I will apologize if I hurt somebodies feelings. I am against everything, 100 percent, why this man has been treating people for the last 60 years."
Guillen, who is from Venezuela, is quoted in the article as saying: "I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that (expletive) is still here."
Guillen clarified today that he said he respects him as a man but not because of his politics.
"I said I respect this man because. … I respect (President) Obama, I respect (Venezuelan president Hugo) Chavez because I always respect people," he said. "Meanwhile I disagree 100 percent what he is doing to the country."
Guillen said he works for the people in Venezuela who are in opposition of Chavez.
Guillen, who is described in the article as "the most unfiltered figure in baseball" and is known for being outspoken and truthful, said he did not sleep last night for the first time because of something he said.
He appeared via telephone on Univision television today to apologize.
"If you read the article it sounds ugly because the first time I read it I was, ‘wow, that's going to get me in trouble,''' Guillen said. "I understand that and I'm not hiding from anybody, especially the people in Miami.
"From the bottom of my heart they (they should) believe me. If they are disappointed and they are upset with what I say I don't blame them but I'm with them. I live in Miami for 12 years, I know exactly what this man means to the town."
The Marlins released a statement Friday in response to the article.
"We are aware of the article," it said. "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."
Reported by: Tom D'Angelo, Palm Beach Post