Roughly a month after comments made by Ozzie Guillen professing his love and admiration for Fidel Castro, the Cuban figurehead has created and awarded the Miami Marlin's manager the Cuban Medal of Courage. Guillen is the first and so far only recipient of the award, and refused to comment on the significance of acquiring the honor from his hero. Sources close to Guillen disclose he's too busy commissioning a marble bust of the Communist leader to meet with the press.
Speaking through an interpreter, Fidel Castro appeared before Cuban state media Monday to announce the creation of the award. "I read somewhere the Israelis give a Medal of Courage to soldiers who have directly risked their lives," said Castro. "When I heard about this Ozzie Guillen thing, I had to steal the idea and play around with it a bit. This man needs this award." The dictator has taken to carrying a full-size cardboard cutout of Guillen wherever he goes, using it to prop up his decaying figure by slinging his arm around the shoulders.
Back in Miami, where Guillen's comments have sparked an uproar in the large Cuban community, protesters marched in front of Marlins Park holding large signs, all expressing sentiments of disappointment and disgust. While Ozzie Guillen has received a five game suspension, Marlins fans are clamoring for harsher punishments, including an indefinite suspension that ends only with Ozzie Guillen viewing Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights one-hundred times under supervision. "He's offended countless Cuban Americans," said one protestor. "It's only appropriate that he be forced to consume the next most offensive thing to us. Seriously, what were those people thinking?" Another protestor, carrying Guillen's thick frame in effigy, chimed in. "Maybe then he'll understand what he's done to us."
Castro himself seems to be enjoying the attention generated by the debacle. "To say he likes me, in MIAMI of all places....I don't have the words for it," said Castro on Monday. "Courage comes closest, but it just doesn't come all that close, you know? It's not like he's a kid walking around Hampshire College with Che's face on his t-shirt. He's in [expletive] Miami, the crazy bastard." A large outdoor amphitheater is currently under construction in Havana, and is scheduled for completion this Friday to accommodate the lavish awards ceremony hosted the following day by the Cuban government. "We'll hold the celebration anyway, whether Ozzie Guillen appears or not," said one government official. "Castro is at this point convinced his cardboard figure is the real Guillen, so he will be happy, and that's what this is really all about. The fact that a prominent pop culture figure in America could cause this much trouble for speaking positively about Fidel...this is what we are really celebrating. To all you doubters, Castro's still got it."