In Defense of Beyoncé and Jay-Z's Cuba Trip

It's time to end restrictions on Americans' travel to the country, France François argues in a piece for Ebony. 

Posted:
 
beyonceincuba575x4813lc
Beyoncé in Cuba (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

It's time to end restrictions on Americans' travel to the country, France François argues in a piece for Ebony.

I never thought I'd mention Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and geopolitics in the same sentence. But the superstar couple is causing quite a stir by celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana, Cuba -- a country that has been completely off-limits to American vacationers for more than fifty years due to that Cold War relic, the embargo.

Last week, Mauricio Claver-Carone, Director for the US-Cuba Democracy PAC, blasted the couple's trip as "insulting," saying they were “clueless about the tortures happening in Cuba."  And Cuban American U.S. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart have written a letter to the Department of Treasury requesting answers as to how the Carters' trip was authorized. But after spending the appropriate amount of time admiring Beyoncé’s outfit and Jay-Z’s ability to look cooly detached as he undoubtedly crafts a witty punchline in his head about private flights, Brooklyn mornings and Havana nights, all I wondered was why I too couldn’t stroll the streets of Havana as effortlessly as they are.  Rather, why is the United States holding on to the embargo against Cuba, a policy that Secretary of State John Kerry said "has manifestly failed” for more than half a century?

To some extent, President Obama has recognized that a new policy based on reality is needed towards Cuba. He loosened restrictions on travel for Cuban Americans, journalists, select student and religious groups -- and Beyoncé and Jay-Z. But that doesn’t go far enough.

Read France François' entire piece at Ebony.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff. 

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.  

Behind the Scenes with Carol's Daughter founder, Lisa Price
Feb. 19 2015 4:38 PM
Lisa Price speaks on the growth of her company and the family that influenced her journey.