Jay-Z and Beyonce

Mr. and Mrs. Carter celebrated their fifth anniversary this week, but it’s their vacation to Havana, Cuba that has rubbed some the wrong way.

While the pair dined at one of Cuba’s famed tourists spots, La Guarida, which has been visited by several American celebs including Jack Nicholson, Jodie Foster, Danny Glover, and Will Smith, a vocal group of Cuban-Americans have begun to voice their displeasure with the power couple’s choice to visit Castro’s Cuba.

Popular Spanish-language radio personality Ninoska Perez Castellon remarked:

“It’s sad to see the callous side of these individuals who vacation in a country where there is no respect for human rights and huge discrimination against blacks,” Perez added, “Current U.S. law bans U.S. tourism to Cuba; I hope Beyoncè and Jay-Z are not above the law.”

Despite declaring the end to the age of racism and discrimination when he ascended to power in the now-infamous 1959 coup, Fidel Castro has since acknowledged there is more work to be done.  And as Roberto Zurbano recently pointed out in his New York Times piece, black Cubans are still forced to live on the margins and are unable to fully participate in Cuba’s most lucrative sector—tourism.

Zurbano writes:

That type of blatant racism has become less socially acceptable, but blacks are still woefully underrepresented in tourism — probably the economy’s most lucrative sector — and are far less likely than whites to own their own businesses. Raúl Castro has recognized the persistence of racism and has been successful in some areas (there are more black teachers and representatives in the National Assembly), but much remains to be done to address the structural inequality and racial prejudice that continue to exclude Afro-Cubans from the benefits of liberalization.

Racism in Cuba has been concealed and reinforced in part because it isn’t talked about. The government hasn’t allowed racial prejudice to be debated or confronted politically or culturally, often pretending instead as though it didn’t exist. Before 1990, black Cubans suffered a paralysis of economic mobility while, paradoxically, the government decreed the end of racism in speeches and publications. To question the extent of racial progress was tantamount to a counterrevolutionary act. This made it almost impossible to point out the obvious: racism is alive and well.

In spite of its challenges, Cuba has long since opened its doors to outspoken black political figures like Assata Shakur, Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver, and several others.

But never mind all that. Should the Carter’s be held to a higher standard than any other visitor to Cuba simply because they are famous or American or black?

Some Cuban-Americans feel like the couple’s visit to the nation is merely the distraction the government needs in light of the reaming it has been getting by outspoken, dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez’s current multi-national tour.  Sanchez, who still lives in Cuba and was granted permission to travel, has been extremely candid about the oppressiveness of the Castro regime and has managed put a face to the criticisms Cubans have about their government.

Jose Cabanas, a top Cuban diplomat in the U.S., told participants at a meeting:

“Too much attention has been devoted to this lady, taking a lot of attention from the most important … news that has been happening these days in regards to Cuba,” he added, “Including the presence of Beyoncé, the singer, who is today in Havana, enjoying a lot of attention from the public, but it’s not covered by the media – incredible.”

America’s relationship to Cuba is complex, but according to some, needs updating. We are largely alone in restricting access to Cuba (European, Canadian, and Caribbean residents, for example, can travel to the island freely), and many are calling for the government to lift the embargo on Cuba all together.

Despite the reaction of some Cuban-Americans to Jay and Bey’s visit to the island, I can’t help but wonder if they’d hold the same sentiment had the couple chosen to vacation in China—another Communist nation with a horrible track record of human rights violations.

Probably not.

What do you think of Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s decision to visit Cuba? 

  • Amber

    The US doesn’t totally ban travel to Cuba. There are many legal ways to get there. Or you can fly there from a gateway country like Mexico. That’s not illegal. It’s a loophole and its super common. America has its fair share of human rights and discrimination issues but that doesn’t stop tourism. And I hope that radio personality is saying that that is what defines Cuba and its people (but I’m no expert at all). And if the media is consumed with her while she is there on vacation, how is that Beyonce’s fault?

  • gmarie

    LMAO!!!….these critics say this as if there is not huge discrimination against blacks in Jay and Bey’s own home country. There is much more to this faux outrage than what is on the surface.

  • http://www.urbanexpressive.com J. Nicole

    Does anyone really expect them (and countless other celebrities) to really grasp the political/racial issues going on in Cuba? To some in that industry, their knowledge of Cuba extends to Tony Montana & cigars.

    Many others will understand why visiting Cuba as if it’s a walk in the park shows a disregard to the plight of Afro-Cubans but they’ve never been outspoken on social issuea before, so why now?

  • Apple

    So I guess it’s their fault that Cuba has these problems.. If only they had stayed away Cuba would be utopia #sarcasm

  • Naffy

    A LOT of the Cubans who live here in the states (especially Florida) are conservative descendants of white upper class Cubans who took their money and left poor black Cubans to fend for themselves. Under Castro many of those black Cubans were able to obtain university educations and employment positions that would have been impossible to reach before the revolution. But of course that doesn’t fit the narrative they like to promote about Cuba.

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com Tonton Michel

    The United States policy on Cuba is outdated and out right spiteful. With all the crooked regimes the US has backed, including the Duvalier era in Haiti right next to Cuba, you have to give the government the side eye with its treatment of Cuba.

  • http://gobrook.wordpress.com gobrooklyn

    I guess Beyonce & Jay-Z should just lock themselves in a hole in the ground then. And why are we putting these expectations on them? They are not the First Couple. They are not ambassadors. Why do people care where they go on vacation? THIS IS TOO MUCH!!

  • donnadara

    So when white entertainers were in Cuba, where was the outrage then? This reminds me of right-wing politicians and pundits complaining about the Obamas living in luxury and taking expensive vacations when George W. Bush spent more and vacationed more. Are these people even fans of Beyonce and Jay-Z? They need to STFU because the U.S. has plenty of human rights violations and racism.

  • Marisa

    Looks like Mama Carter to me as well

  • Marisa

    I going to need these people to STFU because if that’s the case of the Cuban government doing bad to blacks I guess Bey and Hov shouldn’t come back to America as this country treats blacks the same. Also a lot of these other people of color don’t give a crap about blacks no other time why start talking now, of course when they got an agenda to push. Let the Carter’s live their life already.

  • Starla

    But if Jay-Z and Beyonce can’t fix racism in their own country, how are they supposed to worry about racism? Let the people live for heaven’s sake!

  • LemonNLime

    During the Bush administration, going to Cuba would get you jailed! I’ve wanted to go to Cuba for years, but because Beyonce and Jay Z are famous they can go? F*** them and the system that allows for this kind of unjust interpretation of the law.

  • http://gravatar.com/mrhymes10 DBG

    Jay and Bey aren’t Marco Rubio… they have nothing to prove to Cuban-Americans….

  • Rue

    ” where there is no respect for human rights and huge discrimination against blacks”
    So… they spent their vacay in New York?

    Cuban Americans whine so damn much about Cuba. its a wonder they get anything done. Christ. So you don’t agree with their politics? Isn’t that why you moved?

  • Rue

    Also, Beyonce is ROCKING those braids with the lipstick and that dashiki!

  • shoSTOPPER

    you know what as much as beyonce gets on my nerves- if she and jay want to go on vacation that is business- i always wanted to visit cuba myself- it’s a beautiful place- heck dizzie gillispe made great music just by visiting that place

  • KGA25

    You can go to Cuba. ABC Nightly News did a piece about Americans visiting/traveling to Cuba in 2007. That was during the Bush administration so, maybe you should do some research!!

  • Kenzy

    i said part of this exact same thing when i found this out, it was weird b/c literally the day before i was browsing travel sites as I often do and came across a forum for how to get into cuba because this womans 84 year old father wanted to visit before he died, well they were saying all kinds of tricks, for example, flying in through tijuana if you are in california or from some caribbean nation and that if you ask the Cuban officials not to stamp your US passport they will happily oblige, because also apparently if your passport is stamped with a cuban visa citizen or not they wont let you back in the US (that seems far fetched to me but idk) anyway so this peaked my curiosity and i looked up the actual details of the embargo etc. point is literally a few days later i see headlines everywhere stating beyonce and jay z are in cuba with their mothers. i shrugged it off, its still how i feel a shrug but i did say on twitter TL boy money can buy you any damn thing you want and the ability to break laws..must be nice…us regular non rich US citizens can never visit cuba but you have money sure go ahead and visit and not only that you dont even have to hide the visit!!! it will be all over the news and no one will get in “trouble”

  • Mademoiselle

    I’m very surprised to read comments that basically say because blacks are equally (or more) discriminated against in this country, it’s ok to give black American dollars to a country that spits in the face of [black] human rights. I’m even more surprised at the comments that basically say because white people are the ones bringing up black issues, the discussion is unwarranted. And then there are the “they aren’t political figures, so it’s ok for them to support governments that keep their foot on the necks of their black residents” responses. I’m beside myself with this logic. Something in me wants to make a snide remark about the power of money, but the shock of what I’m reading is stunting my analysis. Just, wow.

  • Kay

    I don’t really expect Beyonce and her husband to really get what’s going on in Cuba. The U.S. on the whole is so insular in its philosophies that I can see how she wouldn’t be up on current issues there. Besides that, I’ve known several individuals who have traveled there, and it’s a regular pit stop for lots of people, including regular American citizens.

  • Raya

    I’ve been to Cuba. My son studied Spanish at the University of Havana the summer after his sophomore year in high school. Of all the travel we have done, we both agreed Cuba by far was the most compelling.

    There are many organizations in the US that have licenses from the State Department to sponsor trips there. Do your research.

  • G

    Yep..and you can kinda see see Tina Knowles right next to her.

  • LemonNLime

    I DO do research. I set up a program in Cuba because I work for a study abroad provider.

    You can go to Cuba on a US passport if you 1. sneak in through another country or 2. enter the country through through an organization or university that has the general license that allows you to pursue certain academic, medical, or educational research.

    Americans, unless granted special permission, cannot legally go to Cuba for tourism. Maybe YOU should do some research.

  • KGA25

    Americans can visit Cuba with certain travel/money restrictions because of the embargo. Also, there are ways around everything!!

  • http://theprbrownreport.blogspot.com PR Brown

    I don’t think that it is realistic to expect anyone as rich and famous as they are to understand, or have any interest in anything outside of their bubble. They should, but that is not the nature of today’s African-American celebrity. Most don’t feel a responsibility to anyone except themselves.

  • aaliyah10

    1. Beyoncé and Jay look great. I wish Beyoncé would stay with dark hair cause that’s when she looks her best.

    2. People will find any reason to be mad about something. Let Bey and Jay live their damn lives.

  • Rue.

    Yup on the dark hair. I’ve never realized it till now. With the blond hair she looks pretty (though sometimes it gets just a wee bit drag queenish) but with the dark locs she looks beautiful.

  • Kostas

    Kenzy, my husband is American (I am not) and we live in Canada. We visited Cuba (Varadero, Jibacoa and Havana) last year. We are regular people…and him a regular US citizen.

    The Cuban border officials do not stamp ANY passports. 4 of us went, of 4 different nationalities, and none of our passports were stamped.

    So there you have it. If you really want to go to Cuba, you can. Take a flight to Canada or Mexico, and hop on a connecting flight to Cuba.

  • Kostas

    Mademoiselle, I am black. I went to Cuba last year.

    I bought from blacks. I ate at black-owned restaurants. I rode in black-owned taxis. Certainly black Cubans face discrimination, but that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate tourists – especially black ones – coming in and supporting their business endeavors.

    Granted, I was only there for 1.5 weeks, but I was super pleased to legally support he blacks I encountered by patronizing their businesses and they were more than happy to accept my money.

    So for me, on a micro-individual level, my visit there benefited them more than not. I’m a-okay with that and encourage more people to do the same if able.

  • Nnaattaayy

    I’m not from or have lived in Cuba so I can’t say much about race there. But I can say Castro has made some great progress and developments for blacks, particularly Haitians. Many Haitians can go to Cuba and get medical training there, some of my relatives became doctors that way. Brilliant.

  • The Other Jess

    The Cubans who immigrated to the United States in Florida are the dregs of the rich, upper class elites that Castro kicked out and forced to flee during the revolution. They are still angry at Castro for his victory, and now they bad mouth Cuba every chance they get, accusing it of racism and poverty when , in reality, it was them keeping Cuba at its most racist and most impoverished for years – a very anti AfroCuban crowd, they are.

    I don’t think these Cuban-Americans have the right to talk against Cuba now since they are descended from the oppressing and racist classes of Cuba, and if it wasn’t for Castro an apartheid-like state would still exist in Cuba much more extreme than anything currently.

    Glad that Beyonce took her hair back to its natural color for her trip to cuba. Many Afro-Cubans are very proud of their African-descent, and Beyonce represented well there.

  • The Other Jess

    As an American citizen, you can legally secure a visa to go to Cuba with groups taking part in research, educational or religious programs. There are many such programs that Americans can take advantage of to go to Cuba. Two friends of mine went to Cuba on separate occasions – one with a community health program through her U.S. college and one with a private dance program.

    And although parts of the country are poorer, both absolutely LOVED it, loved the afro-culture, and said the men were fine! :-)

    You can research programs to Cuba on the internet. for example, Plaza Cuba has 1 week cultural and dance programs to Cuba.

  • The Other Jess

    Yup, and you can go thru Jamaica too!

  • http://[email protected] Lola Wants

    “It’s sad to see the callous side of these individuals who vacation in a country where there is no respect for human rights and huge discrimination against blacks,” Perez added,”

    What country is he living in because the last time I checked America has no respect for human rights and discriminates against Blacks. Need a history book much?

  • emme

    I think that because they have so much visibility people simply expect that they will use it to benefit others in a humanitarian way. They are entertainers and a married couple on vacation. I think we put folks on pedestals and then get angry when they mess up. Beyonce calls herself a modern day feminist yet makes her money using her sexuality as a vehicle. Jay-Z is a reformed drug dealer who not long ago tried to capitalize off of a movement (Occupy Wall Street) using a flip of their name (Occupy All Streets) and had no intention to support the movement and really had no idea what they represented in the first place. When people stop standing in line to kiss these folks behinds then I think folks will realize that they are human and will screw up. I mean honestly…Beyonce performed for a dictator in a country that is well known for crimes against humanity and women specifically….do we really expect anything else from these folks? The most I expect out of this is to hear a song with Jay-Z chanting about how he smoked Cubans with Castro and Beyonce to all of a sudden becoming “inspired” by Cuba and to begin producing a slew of videos and songs using Cuban culture oh and I am sure we will see a picture of her with some ambiguous thought on a tee shirt shes wearing and a post it note with some type of statement regarding Cuba. You cant expect people to be humanitarians when they simply are not.

  • howsthatworkingforya?

    Know your history please.

  • Bosslady

    Yes, it’s Jay Z’s mother and Tina Knowles.

  • Plantsmantx

    The treatment of black Cubans by those who fled to America was one of the facilitators of the Cuban Revolution in the first place.

    Isn’t it ironic that two descendants of that lily-white class- whose parents/grandparents were immediately accepted as Americans when Beyonce’s grandparents couldn’t vote, go to any movie theater they wanted, or eat at any restaurant they wanted- are complaining about her traveling to Cuba? To hell with Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart .

  • Shay

    its amazing the expectations we put on celebrities. so if they didn’t go would all the blacks and whites in cuba be holding hands and singing kumbaya? Are they supposed to magically fix all their race relations while theyre there? Well if thats the case get bey and hov back here asap so they can fix our own damn country. discrimination and under-representation. hm sounds familiar.

  • MochaFlower

    of course, just because they are celebrities now they’re “supporting the government” They can’t visit Cuba just because its a beautiful country? Tourism helps a lot of people stay afloat financially. You don’t think black cubans benefit from tourist dollars too?
    they were 2 people on vacation. plenty of Americans visit cuba every year, i see no reason why they shouldn’t be able to.

  • Lily

    maybe they don’t understand, or know. a lot of Americans don’t and that has nothing to do with them being rich and famous. a lot of AMERICANS in general don’t know anything about cuba from a political standpoint. we live in a country where young middle class faux rebels wear che guevara shirts while having no idea who that is, what he believed or what he did.
    You act like everyone in america knows except all the selfish rich people sitting on their piles of money and baby seal fur throwing pennies at homeless children.
    selfishness is not reserved for the rich

  • Miss T

    well there are many different types of feminism, firstly. there are plenty of feminists who will argue that a woman has every right to be proud of her body and she can do whatever she wants with it because it is HERS and no one elses. those feminists would argue that societies obsession with “slut-shaming” and forcing women to cover up is just sending a message to our young girls that their bodies are scandalous and they should be ashamed of it. And when usher and chris brown make the bulk of their money by taking their shirts of for a crowd of screaming girls, don’t nobody say shit about it.
    so saying she isn’t a feminist because of what she chooses to wear on stage or in videos actually goes against the movement.

    but i agree that we can’t expect everyone to be a humanitarian. even though this comment makes it seem like bey and jay never do any humanitarian efforts which is also not true.

  • SheWolf

    Sooo we might ast well start criticizing people for travelling to america then too

  • Mademoiselle

    Any time you spend your money, you’re showing support for the product as well as all of its stakeholders, which includes the government that taxes the sale and manufacture of that product.

    My comment had nothing to do with their celebrity, it was about people unwilling to discuss whether it’s right or wrong to condone the practices of a nation that is known for inhumane practices towards black people. Also, if I may use Haiti as an example, many tourists take cruises to Haiti every year — an island replete with poverty. Just about all of the money from those tourists dollars go straight to the pockets of the elite, and oft times white, controllers of the country’s money. I’ve heard plenty of people say to me “well the hotel we stayed at had black employees,” and other such patronizing justifications, but take that a step further. How many black people in America work for pittance in the tourism industry? How many black-owned businesses in America live under an IRS chokehold (unfair taxing)? Now, how much benefit do you really think black residents of countries like Cuba take home from American patronization? So many nuances could’ve been discussed about the Carters’ vacation, but everyone chose instead to shut it down because “they’re entitled to go anywhere they want just like everyone else,” or “white Cubans don’t really mean any of their concern,” or “it’s just as bad here, so why not.”

    To end, I’ll note that I never said they can’t do whatever they please. I don’t spend a whole lot of time auditing the Carters’ whereabouts or choices (especially since I don’t consider them to be the pinnacles of any moral/ethical expectations), but I was definitely disappointed at how one-sided and narrow this comment section was.

  • Mademoiselle

    MochaFlower,
    Any time you spend your money, you’re showing support for the product as well as all of its stakeholders, which includes the government that taxes the sale and manufacture of that product.

    My comment had nothing to do with their celebrity, it was about people unwilling to discuss whether it’s right or wrong to condone the practices of a nation that is known for inhumane practices towards black people. Also, if I may use Haiti as an example, many tourists take cruises to Haiti every year — an island replete with poverty. Just about all of the money from those tourists dollars go straight to the pockets of the elite, and oft times white, controllers of the country’s money. I’ve heard plenty of people say to me “well the hotel we stayed at had black employees,” and other such patronizing justifications, but take that a step further. How many black people in America work for pittance in the tourism industry? How many black-owned businesses in America live under an IRS chokehold (unfair taxing)? Now, how much benefit do you really think black residents of countries like Cuba take home from American patronization? So many nuances could’ve been discussed about the Carters’ vacation, but everyone chose instead to shut it down because “they’re entitled to go anywhere they want just like everyone else,” or “white Cubans don’t really mean any of their concern,” or “it’s just as bad here, so why not.”

    To end, I’ll note that I never said they can’t do whatever they please. I don’t spend a whole lot of time auditing the Carters’ whereabouts or choices (especially since I don’t consider them to be the pinnacles of any moral/ethical expectations), but I was definitely disappointed at how one-sided and narrow this comment section was.

  • Anthony

    After all of the racial issues between African Americans and Cuban Americans in South Florida going back to the 1980 riots, I am very doubtful of any concern that Anti-Castro Cubans claim to have about racism against black Cubans.

  • kelly

    And besides the majority of cubans in America now are white cubans and 90% of cuba is black and FYI Castro mother is black so dont believe a word they say.

  • But Really Tho

    Can they live?!

  • Joy

    J and B can go anywhere on this earth that they want to. It’s their life. They don’t need our (the public’s) approval. Do we check in with the world before we go on vacation to see if everyone approves? H to the nah

  • kelly

    you do know 90% of cuba is black and fidel castro mother was a black women. Dont believe that public education lies, Im glad Bey and J are supporting black economy systems.

  • ivrop

    Preach! It seems 2013 may prove to mark the beginning of ‘The Carters’ proverbial fall from grace.

  • Shanna

    plenty of americans have been to cuba. its not like they’re the first or the last. they probably got there the same way everyone else does, by flying in from another country. if you wanna go then go. beyonce and jay z are not impeding your travel plans.

  • Cocochanel31

    I went to Cuba in undergrad for a study abroad program and words cannot describe the beauty and just essence of the island and it’s people. Such a rich culture. So sick of people talking ish about the island when places like China are much worse human rights wise.

    The United States still has issues with racism so not sure how that is a valid point in describing why Bey and Jay should not visit. The embargo is stupid and childish and has more to do with the US being kicked off the island during the 1950′s than actual concern for human rights there.

    I’t’s disgusting.

  • marston45

    What about the plight of Afro-Americans here? Lets stop with the fake outrage. Black all over the world have been getting shitted on for years, now all a sudden Jay-z is suppose to be a diplomat? The real underlying issues is theyre afraid that if jay z and beyonce go to cuba, it will open the floodgates for more blacks to figure out how to get to cuba, thus possible bridging cultural alliances that blacks can use in their favor. Remember, every other group of people have cultural ties to their homeland. Which means they have a support base. Mexicans, Greeks, Indians, russian etc. Black are the only ones with no homebase. If someone were to make laws sending every single black person to jail in america tonight, theres nothing we can do about it. Because we have no support base outside of america. Cuba an independent nation is 90% black. It is not controlled by america in any shape form or fashion. Thats why there are laws prohibiting travel there. Black americans spend 1 trillion dollars annual. Now imagine if blacks were actually able to go to and fro to cuba, spending those dollars in an all black nation/economy. That would spark an economic boom over night AND give us a homebase to use in support of blacks. This has nothing to do with the rights of black in cuba and everything to do with not letting two powerful people such as jay z and beyonce start a trend that could potentially mean black dollars leaving this nation.

  • marston45

    Cuba is black. Its the republican cubans that were forced out by the new regime. Cuba is poppin right now. Theres wealth theres community theres culture. But to deter blacks from finding out about it, theyre make you go through all these loopholes to visit AND they tell you its impoverished. And if it is impoverished, one summer of black tourism (dollars) will change that around. Youve seen what are money does during an all star/ superbowl/memorial day weekend.

  • marston45

    Mademosielle. America has no right to speak on black discrimination when slavery in Mississippi was legal abolished last month. Thats first.

    Secondly, you have never been to Cuba. I have. The majority of the country is black. And doing a whole lot better than most blacks here. Is there poverty? Of course, but its not worse than the poverty in eastern Europe or middle america (that nobody talks about). Stop getting your news from cnn from the same people who tell you your children are criminals and inferior and go find out what a country is really like from the people who actually live there.

    “white people are the ones bringing up black issues, the discussion is unwarranted”

    When have white people ever put the interest of black people in the forefront when it hasnt directly or indirectly resulted in more money in their pockets? I . Shall . Wait.

    “And then there are the “they aren’t political figures, so it’s ok for them to support governments that keep their foot on the necks of their black residents”

    No one said that either. Go do your research on Cuba, it has and still is one of the only safe havens for political prisoners and resistance fighters while providing thousands of doctors, technicians and soldiers throughout Africa and Latin America. Not to mention the free education it gives to its people up to the doctorate level.

    You dont know what youre talking about. Youre clearly trolling. Racism is a social construct created and sustained by elitests. Stop with all of the oppression talk. You cant talk oppression when whites in america are 400 times more likely to commit crimes or use drugs but the majority of people who are in are black. Speak on that first, then we’ll delve into oppression internationally.

  • marston45

    “Any time you spend your money, you’re showing support for the product as well as all of its stakeholders, which includes the government that taxes the sale and manufacture of that product.”

    Every major bank in america was founded on slave money. Every major consumer company has borrowed money from these banks. You have a bank account. So you clearly support slavery correct? John Rockerfellers family were major slave owners and supported many eugenics programs, they also own a considerable amount of the wealth in this country. But you support this country correct?

  • marston45

    Why would you want black people who are doing well in life to fall?
    ^^^^
    Comment section, look at your people.

  • NOitAll

    I’m no apologist for Jayonce, but Cuban American criticism of their trip particularly smacks of hypocrisy. Why are they singling out these two? Where were the Miami noisemakers when Jack Nicholson and the others were down there in Cuba? Silent! They know better than to question a white man’s motives. This is all a symbol of the very racism and prejudice that the Miami Cuban community is itself well-known for.

  • ivrop

    This comment in no way promotes the down fall of black people, successful or otherwise. Fall from grace speaks to “Celebrity”,Celebrity Culture…the way in which that culture builds you up, only to break you down, et al. I stand by my original comment regardless of miopic interpretation.vvvv

  • http://gravatar.com/sealinewuman sealinewumanwuman

    For real, try being a Cuban with my skin colour trying to speak in Spanish to store or restaurant staff in Miami, they act like they don’t understand you! And I know my Spanish is flawless, cause even tho I was born and raised in Jamaica, my grandmother who was my primary caretaker spoke absolutely no English, not to mention we still have family in Cienfuegos and Santiago De Cuba that I used to visit regularly growing up in Jamaica, not so much over the last couple years. It was funny as hell watching them scramble to understand my Puerto Rican friend (read, light, bright, real possibility of being white) when we went into a salon and she asked for a certain kind of shampoo for her pello. Blank stares. Until I told them cabello, Purto Ricans use pello for hair, in Cuba, pello is specifically horse hair or what they call bad hair.

  • http://gravatar.com/sealinewuman sealinewumanwuman

    It’s not a lie and while I do agree that a fair amount of propaganda abounds about Cuba in this country, not everything is a lie. Having spent a lot of time there I can tell you that blacks are not hired for the hotel industry, for the most part, when they are, they’re mostly relegated to kitchens or places where they won’t be seen by patrons, you will never see a black receptionist, bellhop, maid and especially not a busboy cause everything they touch gets thrown out, sounds crazy? Yeah, but it’s true. I remember once when I was probably about 11, I was in Cuba for two weeks I think as a celebration after I passed my common entrance and just before I entered high school in Jamaica, my uncle Raul took me to the clinic where he worked as a doctor and I remember an older man there giving me some really weird looks as I was waiting for my uncle in the office. Years later, after he had managed to leave Cuba for Mexico where he continued to practice medicine and eventually died, he told me that that man was his boss, and had basically told him point blank, not to bring me back there.

  • http://MSN Imani

    I don’t see anything wrong with what they did, need to move on from the old, there is so much cultural stuff going on in Cuba that would enrich the minds of young and old here in the united states. They are not talking about a revolution, cultural exchange is a good thing

  • anewvoice

    Wow! It is mind boggling to me how ignorant people are in today’s climate. I found some of the comments to be comical until I realized they weren’t trying to be funny. It’s almost as if people worship celebrities.

  • Cercei B.

    They do.”Kang Bey” could rob a bank and kill four children and people would say it is okay because it’s Beyaki and she can do what she wants. I weep for society…

  • shelle

    Uh, Joh Rockfeller grew up a poor christian preacher and didn’t garner his wealth until after the Civil War.

  • shell

    Also, John Rockfeller was born in New York and never lived in the south.

  • Shell

    Reading these comments show me how far African Americans have fallen behind in cultural and civil human rights. Don’t be fooled, they did this for publicity. In their own selfish and shallow way, this couple wanted to stir up some controversy. It’s Obama fault for stroking both their fragile egos. He must’ve known J and B would milk their association with him to the tit ran dry. I miss the old days when all singers and rappers stuck to their occupation and stopped trying to show their better than the ‘regular folks’. Cuba and other communist countries are still committing human atrocities.

  • Billy Paul

    Billy has a message for said non-melanite Cubanos, “hold that thought, maybe I’ll ask you for it later”

    #GTFOHWTBS

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