HAVANA TIMES — The other day, I was going to visit my mother and by chance I decided to get off the bus that was going to drop me at Fraternity Park.
From there I could see an agglomeration of people on the ground floor of the Saratoga Hotel, and since I’m curious, I decided to go over there. The first thing that struck me was seeing the flags of the United States and of England waving alongside our own.
What immediately came to mind was that there must have been some important visitor, and given that most of the young people were wearing school uniforms, I assumed it was someone contemporary.
I immediately thought of Madonna, who’s my favorite star, but as I approached I learned from the comments that it was Beyonce, who was accompanied by her husband Jay-Z, who’s also a singer.
I stayed there for a while at the hotel entrance, where people with cameras and cell phones anxiously awaited the appearance of the diva.
During my long wait, I looked around and noted that there weren’t any journalists there. Apparently our press wan’t interested in such a visit, nor had I heard anything about it on the morning news.
I then thought that this might not even have been real…that it might have been someone other than Beyonce…that everyone had been confused. But after a while, just when I was getting tired of waiting and was considering leaving, I heard people shouting her name euphorically in the distance.
I immediately went back to check with my own eyes, and there she was – Beyonce. Though I expected a more slender woman, it was her. Seeing her leaving, accompanied by her bodyguards, I got on a bus that stopped right outside the hotel. From there I looked at all the curious people and I said goodbye to her.
There’s something I don’t understand in all this. Why is it that the Cuban people didn’t get any news about the visit of two major personalities from the world of music who we had the privilege of hosting in our land?
There remains the possibility of their having requested privacy, but I guess if that had been the case they would have stayed somewhere less centrally located.
Concerning the supposed three days that Beyonce stayed on the island, the issue was only discussed on Monday, April 8 (when she wasn’t in Cuba) in a round table.
On this show, one of the commentators talked about the singer and her husband, but only to inform us that Beyonce now has serious problems in the United States for having visited the island.
The commentator himself said it was a cultural tour in which she visited the Superior Art Institute (ISA), shared with some Cuban musicians and went to some other important institutions. He understood that the couple had been here as tourists celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary.
Confused, I don’t know whether it was for the anniversary or for a cultural exchange. However, if what the commentator had said was correct I think the Cuban media should have reported on the visit.
In any case, as I imagine this visit was known about in advance, and since I didn’t hear anything about it, this makes me believe that it was decided that our people had no right to be informed.
Attitudes like this show me, once again, the lack of journalism that’s practiced here, mainly the deprivation of information to which we Cubans are subjected.