Cuban-American reggaeton star Pitbull added his voice on Sunday to an increasingly crowded debate over the ethics of travel to Cuba, with a rap-response to Jay-Z’s “Open Letter.”
If you’re expecting an attack on Jay-Z, though, you won’t find it here. It’s more of an anthem to Cuban-American pride, recapping the history of Cubans in the United States and touching on every major event in U.S.-Cuba relations from the Bay of Pigs to Mariel to the Elián fiasco.
Politics, yeah that’s politics
Let’s not act like half our families ain’t split…
I ain’t here to hold a grudge
I love the freedom that’s been given to us…
C-U-B-A, hope to see you free one day.
At one point, the song calls out Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s critics, saying: “Question of the night -- would they have messed with Mr. Carter if he was white?”
Jay-Z’s given name is Shawn Corey Carter, but the lyric also possibly alludes to ex-President Jimmy Carter, who traveled to the island in 2011 and 2002 to meet with Cuban officials. Carter is the only U.S. President to undo travel restrictions to Cuba since they were first imposed by John F. Kennedy. Reagan reinstated them and they’ve remained in place since then.
Cuban-American politicians blasted the musical power couple this month for spending their fifth anniversary on the Communist island, pointing out that U.S. bars most Americans from visiting Cuba just for tourism.
But the Treasury Department said last week that it had, in fact, approved Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s trip to Cuba as a cultural exchange.
Jay-Z responded angrily with a song entitled “Open Letter,” in which he says “They wanna give me jail time and a fine -- Fine, let me commit a real crime.”
The news that Treasury approved the trip to Cuba didn’t stop Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) from continuing his criticism of Jay-Z, calling him out for wearing Che Guevara t-shirts.
"First of all, I think Jay-Z needs to get informed," Rubio said Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos," according to Yahoo! News. "One of his heroes is Che Guevara. Che Guevara was a racist. Che Guevara was a racist that wrote extensively about the superiority of white Europeans over people of African descent, so he should inform himself on the guy that he’s propping up."
Would the celebrity couple have gotten criticized for visiting these five countries over concerns about their human rights violations? Probably not. Check them out in the slideshow above and let us know what you think in the comments.