As the news of Fidel Castro’s death spread over the weekend, a few of South Florida’s well-known Cuban-American sports figures took to Twitter to share their views.
Mike Lowell, the former Marlins star and Florida International University grad, had this to say:
“How ironic Fidel Castro dies on Black Friday, possibly the most capitalistic day of the year. I promise I won’t shed a tear.”
Cuban-born Jose Canseco, the six-time All-Star baseball player from Coral Park High, had a similar sentiment:
“I was born in Cuba and Fidel Castro was our leader. Came to the USA because of him.
- “Can’t say I feel anything for his death. There is a reason many defected to USA.”
And then there’s former Miami High basketball coach Frank Martin, now at the University of South Carolina, a guy who never minces words. He retweeted Castro-related columns by Miami Herald writers Manny Navarro and Armando Salguero, and then posted a series of Tweets scolding those who praised and romanticized Castro after his death.
“It is sad what some of these people have said. No other person in my lifetime has oppressed & murdered people more than Castro.”
He added: “My grandmother’s ashes have a big smile today,” and “My family and I r proud Americans. This country gave us a chance 2 succeed as we r. However the scars from Castro r in us forever.”
When a high school coach wrote to him saying she would speak to her players about Fidel Castro and oppresion, he replied: “TY. I did with mine. How anyone could applaud anything Castro stood for makes my stomach turn.”
He went on to retweet a New York Post story titled: “Inside Fidel Castro’s life of luxury and ladies while country starved.”
Martin shared that he ate a Cuban sandwich for lunch on Sunday “in the name of my family’s home.”
When someone disputed his view that Castro’s regime did not offer good education for all, and suggested the United States does the same thing, he replied: “Really? My family couldn’t afford giving me an elite education. So USA provided me with a FREE public education. Worked out pretty good.”
He also Tweeted this: “U r believing the facts that Castro’s government releases? The same govt that has been elected with 100 percent votes for 57 years.”
Martin wasn’t done yet.
On Sunday, at the end of the Miami Dolphins game, he shared his jubilation at seeing Miami Dolphin Kiko Alonso, son of Cuban immigrant, making a key tackle to beat the San Francisco 49ers.
He went on to write: “Wonder if ppl unhappy with our country would get on a raft & head 4 Cuba. I also wonder how they would be treated upon their arrival.”
Finally, after some lively debates with a few of his followers, Martin posted this: “BTW, under Castro’s government we would never hv this conversation. Social media is illegal. We would be put in Jail. #massincarceration.”