One was profound, poignant and tearful.
Guess which one involved Miami Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen?
On Tuesday, author Carlos Eire was in downtown Orlando, sharing his profound pain with other Cuban-American exiles like myself and former U.S. Senator Mel Martinez.
He spoke of his personal experience as one of 14,000 children airlifted out of Cuba — exiled from his family, his country, and his own childhood after Castro's revolution. He was only 11 years old when his parents cast him away to the United States in the most heartbreaking proof of unconditional love you will ever find.
The project was called Pedro Pan. Peter Pan. He flies. A metaphor for dreams, miracles and faith.
Eire would never see his father again.
The parents of those 14,000 children would rather not see their children for the rest of their lives, as long as they were certain those children were safe from the tentacles of Fidel Castro.
Guillen must have missed all the talking points, since in an upcoming article in Time magazine, he is quoted as saying, "I love Fidel Castro…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 there."
Maybe it was Ozzie just being flip. But the fact that he is the manager in a city that has the largest population of Cuban-Americans anywhere in the world underscores what surely must be suicidal thoughts.
The comments hit the Internet this weekend, and the predictable backlash had begun. A group of Cuban-American demonstrators are planning a boycott Tuesday, bringing a caravan of cars to the front of Marlins Park.
If the voices of dissent grow louder, Guillen might be out of a job the second week of the season.
Guillen doesn't deserve that. The beauty of this country is you can say what you want to, unlike Castro's tropical purgatory, where there are official snitches on every block. It's one of the ways to stay in power for over 50 years.
Free speech in the U.S.A. means that the racist cowards can dress up in their silly white robes, and Guillen can dress up like a major league manager even though he is a universal dolt.
Let him squirm. Let him suffer. And let him learn.
Yes, that Castro sure is an [expletive]. He made over a million people flee to find freedom — not better jobs, better burgers and faster cars. He has presided over the execution of thousands and thousands of "political prisoners" whose only crime might have been speaking out against his iron-fisted reign. He has kept his people under his thumb with piddly wages, forcing doctors and lawyers to take restaurant service jobs as waitresses and bartenders at tourist hotels because they can make more money that way.
That Castro sure is an [expletive]. Look up Cuba's record on human rights. The Cuba Archive Project recently documented more than 90,000 non-combat deaths that include executions, death in political prisons, extrajudicial assassinations and disappearances.
That Castro sure is an [expletive]. There is compulsory military service for teenagers, two years minimum.
Guillen's hastily-called apology Saturday night reeks of someone who knew the heat was coming big-time, and figured that spin mode was his only way out. And I'm not entirely sure he was being flip, since he is from Venezuela, home to another [expletive] dictator and one of Castro's BFFs, Hugo Chavez.
I don't know if it will be enough. It won't be enough because people like me will never forget the courage it took for my parents to leave all of their possessions behind, except for a couple of suitcases, and catch a flight out of Cuba with their three children in 1961.
Both of them died here. Although they became citizens and loved this country, they were never able to return to their home and the land they loved.
So no, I don't 'love' Fidel Castro, Ozzie.
I hate that [expletive].
As a famous Cuban-American once said, "you got a lot of 'esplaining' to do."
firstname.lastname@example.org Read George Diaz's blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/enfuego