Jay-Z's Open Letter: A call to open travel and trade with Cuba


"We must send a strong message to Beyonce and Jay-Z that the United States of America will not tolerate this kind of provocation," declared Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., responding to their recent trip to Havana, Cuba. The couple were in Cuba as part of a cultural exchange.

The Florida lawmaker accused President Obama of "permitting the crisis to escalate dangerously." He continued, "While the president has allowed himself to be distracted by North Korea, Beyonce and Jay-Z were engaged in threatening activities right in our own hemisphere." If this was not absurd enough Diaz-Balart went on the say President Obama was "soft on Beyonce."

This is "a ridiculous but all too common outdated and irrational U.S. policy to Cuba." responded Gail Walker director of Pastors for Peace, an organization that leads the annual US/Cuba Friendshipment Caravan.

Walker continued, "There are real life impacts to these delusions, more serious than cigars and rum," referring to Cuba's cutting-edge diabetes treatments denied to U.S. citizens because of the embargo.

Because of the tea party's attack, the Carters' (Jay-Z's given name is Shawn Carter) recent trip has turned into a source of discussion, with people from all walks of life offering opinions.

Indeed, the fact that the two African-American cultural icons found their way to socialist Cuba is striking a nerve that Sean Penn and Oliver Stones' excursions never did.

Jay-Z and Beyonce's strong support of President Obama may also be a reason. In "Open Letter," a lyrical response to the controversy, Jay-Z jokes "Obama said 'chill you gonna get me impeached. But you don't need this shit anyway chill with me on the beach." The rapper was just getting started,


"I'm in Cuba, I love Cuba.

This Communist talk

it's so confusing

when it's from China

the very Mic I'm using..."


The response to "Open Letter" has been electric. He "went in on the Republicans" according to one of thousands of Americans who have written messages supporting the couple. Social media sites were flooded with comments like "somebody pissed my boy jay off" and "the old jay's back yall in trouble now!"

The controversy has led many to question the imposed restrictions and by all accounts interest in licensed travel is going up. State Senator Bill Perkins. D-N.Y., captured this sentiment, "We should be sending letters of support and congratulations to Beyonce and Jay-Z. They are showing us how cultural exchanges should be done".

Perkins went on to say, "I will be applying for the appropriate license and visiting Cuba myself".

Indeed, a growing number of Americans do not share Diaz-Balart's views. Even fellow Arizona Republican, Sen. Jeff Flake sees the writing on the wall declaring on Twitter, "Fine by me. Every American should have the right to travel there."

Indeed, now is the time to get past the rhetoric and have a real discussion, about the right to travel and beyond that, the real social benefits socialism has provided the people of Cuba.

Photo: In this April 4, photo, U.S. singer Beyonce and her husband, rapper Jay-meet street performers on stilts as they tour Old Havana, Cuba. On April 9, U.S. Treasury officials said the trip by Beyonce and Jay-Z to Cuba was licensed as an educational exchange. Ramon Espinosa/AP


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  • Lift the embargo

    Posted by Rick DRew, 08/26/2014 9:52pm (8 months ago)

  • how much longer can this punishment shall exist?

    This Cuba blockade began over 50 years ago...
    surely the USA cannot see any advantage in continuing
    this! The USSR came in and saved the day for Cuba....now they are gone !
    How about some common sense from Washington D.C or is that asking too much?

    Posted by jules, 04/22/2013 6:56pm (2 years ago)

  • Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla, is a cartoon caricature of a bygone era.

    Threatening activities? Is he out of his friggin mind?

    Posted by revolution123, 04/19/2013 12:31pm (2 years ago)

  • If hypocrites like Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen were not so serious, their statements would actually be funny. The real danger comes from those politicians that hide the fact that they harbor known terrorists like Luis Posada Carriles responsible for the in-flight bombing of a commercial Cuban airliner with 73 innocent passengers aboard in October 1976. Talk about contempt and disdain by people in the business of bashing Cuba, then, blaming celebrities who only wish to witness the Cuban reality; their shame has no end.

    Posted by Richard Grassl, 04/17/2013 7:03pm (2 years ago)

  • Ridiculous how many counties we trade with who have human rights infractions. Open trade with Cuba so that they can open their trade to this country and help include the quality of life for their people.

    Posted by Jane Kurinsky, 04/17/2013 12:50pm (2 years ago)

  • Ridiculous how many counties we trade with who have human rights infractions. Open trade with Cuba so that they can open their trade to this country and help include the quality of life for their people.

    Posted by Jane Kurinsky, 04/17/2013 12:49pm (2 years ago)

  • It is high time that the millions who support travel equality for Cuba, and especially the millions who are uninformed or misinformed on Cuba, demand the end to this base-less, insane anti-communism, while we are surrounded with a flood of tools, electronics, economic activity(and promise of more activity)as Jay-Z says-"the very Mic he's using is communist.
    What's the right, bigot ridden cabal in Washington and around the country so afraid of anyway?
    Could it be more advanced technical and medical know-how in the health areas of diabetes, cancer treatment and prevention, health care deliver, mass health disaster health care deliver, ecological health and enviromental care sustainability, under "communism or socialism", in which areas Cuba is leading the community of nations of our planet today(as this excellent article suggests)?
    It certainly could be.
    What do capitalist and imperialist pundits want with peace and healthful well being for the world's community of nations and the planet?
    They only want to continue to lie, plunder, confuse and kill, steal, and destroy-Cuba and China two of their biggest problems.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 04/17/2013 10:57am (2 years ago)

  • Please sign our petition!

    Posted by I support JayZ, 04/17/2013 9:42am (2 years ago)

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