Beyonce in Cuba, Why the Silence?

Warhol P.

The Saratoga Hotel in Havana.
The Saratoga Hotel in Havana.

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?

Beyoncé.  Photo:
Beyoncé. Photo:

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.

Nonardo Perea

Nonardo Perea: I see myself as an observant person and I like to write with sincerity what I think and live first hand. I’m shy and of few words; thus it’s difficult for me to engage in conversation. For that reason, my best tool for communicating is writing. I live in Marianao, Havana and am 40 years old.

8 thoughts on “Beyonce in Cuba, Why the Silence?

  • I f the citizens of U.S. don’t think there is any trade allowed between the two countries, they should go to the Miami Airport . Our customs is letting folks load tons of things on to the airplanes, food , T.V. electronics and such. For resale and use in Cuba!!
    Coming back I was not checked for carry on rum, or cigars. Nobody official cared!
    If Venezuala stops supporting Cuba, how are they going to function?? Guess we will see next week, major problem coming up!!

  • I’m from the caribbean and my emphasis is certainly not on material things, instead moral values is everything for me. Beyonce is exposed twice this year for deception and devil worshiping and my kids who live in the caribbean don’t purchase her music or listen to them anymore. People in the caribbean are raised with moral values and could not careless about her and her money. As a matter of fact the white man knows that some blacks like beyonce will do anything for a dollar and she is caught in the trap of the white man who pays her to be a whore all over the world and she is bribed with millions by him. She is wealthy with money but she is hated by the world and her reputation is ruined forever. The white man sends her daughter to Harvard while he bribes beyonce to be a famous whore. What is that to be proud of? In USA she is considered SUCCESSFUL. In the caribbean she is a huge DISGRACE! We still value moral values in the caribbean!

  • When the Minister of Sweet Potatoes from Tuvalu visits Cuba, it is front page news in Granma. But the Castros have a love/hate thing about celebrities, especially from the US, who choose to visit Cuba. It is difficult for them to admit that someone could be as rich and talented as Beyonce and yet seem to be so regular a person. The Castros have spent 54 demonizing individual wealth and material success. Beyonce and Jay-Z could have been any mulatto Cuban couple except by chance of birth. Cubans on the street commented on how ‘regular’ Beyonce seemed in flat shoes, a cotton dress, and no make-up. Jay-Z looked like every other tourist in town with his standard-issue short-brim hat and cigar. Yet between them nearly $100 million in earnings last year. That’s almost as much as every working Cuban in Havana earned last year. Publicizing their arrival in Havana was likely a mixed bag for Cuban propagandists.

  • You’re right, Beyonce only earned $40 million last year, in sixth place according to Forbes list of top-selling female singers in the world. Except for that Super Bowl gig and the Obama inauguration, she is a virtual unknown.

  • I’m not a fan of her music, but for the past decade Beyonce Knowles has been the top selling pop musician in the US. She has a net worth of $350 million.

    Her husband is also filthy rich (net worth of $500 million), which makes his praise and admiration of Che and Cuba all the more idiotic. He actually thinks Che Guevara was black, which would have been news to the Argentine.

  • “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.”

    First of all, Beyonce & Jay-Z thrive on publicity. They don’t do anything if they don’t get noticed. Perhaps the Cuban people were not notified in advance to make sure no troublesome dissidents protested or, worse yet, tried to speak to the American musicians.

    Now that he’s back in the USA, Jay-Z, the Che t-shirt wearing multi-millionaire, has released a new rap song. As you might expect, it’s chock-full of deep insights into all things Cuba:

    “I done turned Havana into Atlanta,
    I’m in Cuba, I love Cubans.
    This communist talk is so confusing”

  • who the hell is beyonce? can you name a song of hers? why is it news that she goes somewhere?

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