Paul  Kengor
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“I love Fidel Castro,” said Florida Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen to Time magazine. “A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that [expletive] is still here.” Guillen “respects” the Cuban despot.

Guillen has since apologized profusely for his comments, which infuriated Florida’s Cuban émigré community—and for good reason.

Fidel Castro is a tyrant. I could go through a litany of the man’s crimes against humanity since he turned a beautiful country into a communist dictatorship over 50 years ago. Castro violated every form of basic human rights, from freedom of speech to press to assembly to religion. He jailed dissidents and never stood for election—a promise he made in 1959. Liberals might take note of Castro’s locking up of homosexuals on the island. And then there was that whole Cuban Missile Crisis thing, where Fidel and his pal Che Guevara—a hero at American universities—actually wanted to launch the nuclear missiles at the United States and unleash nuclear Armageddon. And don’t forget about the 15,000-20,000 Cubans that Castro has executed, or the tens of thousands who have drowned trying to swim 100 miles to the shores of Florida.

Safely ensconced on those shores is Mr. Ozzie Guillen, who became rich playing baseball under America’s free-enterprise system. Guillen currently basks in a four-year contract for $10-million managing the Marlins. He would never be able to make that kind of money in Cuba. In fact, to consider just how bad Cuba is under Castro, let’s stick to baseball:

Fidel’s favorite sport is baseball. He turned it into a national past-time in Cuba. Unfortunately, Cuban players are not permitted to score some badly needed dollars, or personal freedom. I recall a telling incident in the spring of 1999. The Cuban national team came to America; specifically, to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, where they played the Baltimore Orioles. They blew out the Orioles 12 to 6, giving Castro something to crow about. He framed the win as a victory for communism over capitalism.

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