CUBA-US-BEYONCE

Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s recent trip to Cuba has put Florida Republicans in a tizzy. But the US Treasury has confirmed that the couple had the appropriate educational travel license for the trip. France François questions why the nonsensical tourism ban is still in place:

[A]fter spending the appropriate amount of time admiring Beyoncé’s outfit and Jay-Z’s ability to look cooly detached as he undoubtedly crafts a witty punchline in his head about private flights, Brooklyn mornings and Havana nights, all I wondered was why I too couldn’t stroll the streets of Havana as effortlessly as they are. Rather, why is the United States holding on to the embargo against Cuba, a policy that Secretary of State John Kerry said “has manifestly failed” for more than half a century? …

[T]he lessons we’ve learned about conflict resolution between the end of the Cold War and North Korea posturing about nuclear war with Rick Ross-like conviction have yet to be applied to Cuba. These lessons are that: 1. Democracy cannot be imposed from the outside. By its very nature, democracy has to be a grassroots movement; and 2. Isolating a country from the rest of the world–even when you abhor its policies–won’t necessarily force it to change.

(Photo: American singer Beyonce is seen in a balcony of the Saratoga Hotel in Havana next to her husband Jay Z, on April 5, 2013. By STR/AFP/Getty Images)