Total Pageviews

Monday, 8 April 2013

To Cuba, Beyonce and beyond

Who would have thought that a simple wedding anniversary holiday could cause such uproar? US diva Beyonce's trip to Havana with her husband Jay Z has caused members of the US Congress to call for an investigation into their activities. It seems that the pair might have contravened the travel restrictions placed upon US citizens' visiting the island. The public outcry and subsequent media frenzy has even wiped out coverage of the visit by the alleged blogger dissident Yoai Sánchez to the US, much to the chagrin of the right wing crowd in Miami, some of whom have even accused the Cuban government of having arranged Beyonce's trip deliberately!
It would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic. As if a trip to Cuba could possibly more important than the threat to world peace and ecology posed by a nuclear war over Korea? You would be forgiven for thinking that this is the case given the hysterical tone of some of the coverage. Remarkably, had Beyonce decided to celebrate her fifth wedding anniversary in Pyongyang instead of Havana, then nothing of the sort would have happened.
Believe it or not US citizens are free to travel to North Korea - even at a time when the North Korean government considers itself to be at war with Washington. The matter is worse than ironic, it is absurd and must be embarrassing for the average US citizen. 
As my colleague Arturo Lopez Levy writes in the Huffington Post:
"It is difficult to defend a policy that stomps on the same rights it preaches. Since the migratory reforms made by Cuba in January, that eliminated most of the restrictions on travel from the totalitarian period, Cubans, under a communist regime have fewer legal impediments to visiting the U.S. than U.S. citizens have to visiting Cuba."
If Beyonce's trip results in her being fined for having a holiday in Havana, then I hope she refuses to pay it. So far the diva hasn't said anything about her trip, but I hope she does and says what any US citizen with any sense would say - the right to travel should not be infringed- and that's in the Constitution.

No comments:

Post a Comment