Cuba: Beyoncé Trip to Havana Makes Waves in Washington

April 7, 2013 | Print Print |

By Circles Robinson

Beyonce con danza contemporanea

Beyonce visits the Danza Contemporanea Troupe in Havana. Foto: cubadebate.cu

HAVANA TIMES — The private visit of R & B singer Beyoncé and her rapper husband Jay-Z to Cuba last week continues to make headlines on Sunday as two US congress persons accuse them of possible violating the US travel ban on its citizens.

The celebrity couple traveled to Havana to spend their fifth wedding anniversary and Florida representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart have asked the government whether the artists had a special US Treasury Dept. license needed to visit Cuba.

“Cuba’s tourism industry is wholly state-controlled; therefore, US dollars spent on Cuban tourism directly fund the machinery of oppression that brutally represses the Cuban people,” wrote the representatives.

Beyonce was greeted by scores of fans during the couple’s tour of the city, which included a dinner at the famous La Guarida private restaurant, a walk through Old Havana and visits with the Danza Contemporanea Troupe, singer Haila, the La Colmenita children’s theater group and with students and teachers at the Superior Art Institute.

The Obama administration maintains Cuba on Washington’s annual list of countries that promote terrorism and for a half century has imposed an economic embargo on the island in a failed effort to bring down the Castro government.

The travel ban prohibits US citizens from visiting Cuba without a special license. Only Cuban-Americans are freely allowed to visit the island. Each year thousands of US citizens violate the travel ban going to Cuba through third countries, and the Cuban immigration authorities do not stamp US passports.

 


What's your opinion?

  • Diana

    GREATLY DISAPPOINTED AT THESE TWO….. HAVING FUN THERE WHILE HUNDREDS ARE IMPRISONED FOR WANTING TO LIVE IN FREEDOM MAKES ME PUKE. IF IT WAS A PRIVATE VISIT, WHY ALL THE PUBLICITY? SHAME ON THEM.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Faraone/100000185676545 Elizabeth Faraone

      Diana, are you for real? Do you see the smiles on the faces who surround her? She’s having a wonderful time with the Cubans and the Cubans are having a wonderful time with her. You are insane thinking it is OK for the US to have the power it has. In fact, it is criminal. As far as I’m concerned, Diana, you are a criminal, because you support these US policies. I have been begging the Obama Administration, from its inception, to lift the embargo against Cuba. Stop supporting the crimes being committed by the US government and those who chose to leave Cuba against the Cuban people who now live there.

      • Griffin

        Have you also been begging the Cuba government to lift the internal embargo they place against the Cuban people? Have you been begging the Cuban government to respect human rights in Cuba?

  • Mark G

    The only reason Beyonce’s visit has propaganda value for the Castro regime is because of the continued existence of the counter-productive travel ban. Anyone with a brain larger than a pea can see the hypocrisy of the Cuban government allowing Yoani Sanchez to travel to the US, while the US government (at least on paper) prohibits Beyonce from travelling to Cuba.

    As a Canadian, it continues to be a source of fascination as to why the self-described “land of the free” has a law interfering with the right of US citizens to travel freely.

  • Griffin

    Useful Idiots: Beyoncé And Jay-Z Ignore Cuba’s Racism With Havana Trip

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/useful-idiots-beyonce-and-jay-z-ignore-cubas-racism-with-havana-trip/

  • Michael N. Landis

    It will be interesting to see the consequences of their trip? Since Beyonce is supposed to be a personal friend of the Obamas, will this signal the beginning of the end of the embargo/blockade? Or, like the minister of the church the Obamas formerly attended in Chicago, will he throw Beyonce and Jay-Z undr the bus? Since Obama is utterly opportunistic, I expect the latter, especially since this example is getting much more mileage than expected in the press.

    • Moses Patterson

      On the contrary, the US also permits artistic and cultural exchanges. Beyonce traveled to Cuba for a ‘cultural’ visit. OK, I can’t keep a straight face and write this but the bottom line is nothing will come of it. Hey guys, keep in mind we have N. Korea threatening nuclear war right now. Obama is likely not to lose much sleep on this problem. What’s the difference between Oliver Stone going to Cuba to kiss Fidel’s ring and Beyonce and Jay-Z going to eat? Not much. Some will disagree with her trip and others, who believe as I do, write this off as ‘useful idiots’ doing what useful idiots do. No big deal.

  • Friedrich Joestl

    Great what they did. All my respect. Never had expected this from her. And those screaming that it helped the “cruel” regime, maybe should look first in own country being controlled all the way down to their underwear. Helping a regime? First of all she did`nt come to visit Fidel nor was she received by him, second of all it`s her good right to visit which country soever ansnd whom soever and third of all, being an afroamerican artist, she might be interested whats happening in the neighbouring country with a lot of afro-origined culture. I wonder who are the idiots.

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