Last week, Mr. and Mrs. Shawn Carter celebrated their fifth anniversary by visiting Cuba, along with their mothers and a small entourage of bodyguards. The power couple better known as Beyoncé and Jay-Z did what you’d expect of tourists to the historic capital of a tropical island: Walked around Old Havana in summer clothes, taking pictures (her) and smoking cigars (him); dined out in restaurants (even though, less typically, police had to be called to keep crowds of fans at bay) and on rooftop terraces; and danced to some of Cuba’s famous music.
But tourism, of course, is prohibited under America’s 50-year-old trade embargo against communist Cuba. And living it up on “Cuba or, as the informed refer to it, ‘the island prison,’” makes Beyoncé and Jay-Z “useful idiots extraordinaire,” says A.J. Delgado at Mediaite. “While dining, partying, and enjoying the best Havana has to offer, Beyoncé and Jay-Z not only legitimize and support the repressive regime, with both their presence and their cash, but turn a blind eye, cruelly, to the perils and languishing of the Cuban people.” This is especially galling because they are “proud African-Americans,” and Cuba is “notorious for relegating its black population to second-class status, or worse.”
How were Beyoncé and Jay-Z able to visit Cuba?