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    Jay-Z ignores Cuba’s real heroes

    Posted on Friday, 04.12.13

    Jay-Z ignores Cuba's real heroes

    By Fabiola Santiago

    It's not difficult to clear up the confusion the "street cred"

    self-conscious Jay-Z expressed in the rap he quickly penned upon his

    return from Cuba, Open Letter.

    Jay-Z can't understand why it's so wrong to kiss up to the Communist

    Cuban regime if the microphone he's holding is made in China, a

    Communist country too.

    Let me boil it down to one thought:

    The repressed people Jay-Z doesn't mind keeping chained to a white,

    geriatric dictatorship of five decades — the Fidel and Raúl Castro

    dynasty that has already prepped and designated another white heir — are

    his brothers.

    Talking down at them from his rich man's stogie-smoking perch rings of


    What's difficult to understand is not where China fits in, but why

    there's little or no sympathy for Cuba's dissidents among the civic

    black leadership of the United States, among the literati and the

    entertainers, when many of the leaders of the Cuban dissident movement

    are black.

    Want to talk "revolution" and "jail time"?

    Talk to Berta Soler, the black leader of the Ladies in White, who

    marches every Sunday to church — despite the government mobs that accost

    her — with other mothers, daughters and wives of political prisoners

    imprisoned for their beliefs.

    Talk to her. She'll be in Miami soon, traveling here from Europe, where

    pro-Castro mobs have stalked her and disrupted her forums.

    Or Google any of these brave black Cubans who have paid dearly, with

    real jail time, for peacefully standing up to the human-rights abuses of

    the regime that Jay-Z finds so acceptable: Dr. Oscar Biscet, Jorge Luis

    García Pérez "Antúnez," and the man who gave his life to call attention

    to Cubans' plight, Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

    And let's not forget Jay-Z's rapper brothers. Angel Yunier Remón Arzuaga

    is on the 17th day of a hunger strike to protest his jailing over the

    rap lyrics that call for the people of his town to stand up to abuse.

    Do you get it, Jay-Z, that when you take the side of the dictatorship,

    you negate yourself?

    No? Then it's not about truth or ethics, is it?

    It's about merchandising at all costs.

    That cliché of a T-shirt you wear with the iconic image of a racist, a

    homophobe and an executioner — aka Ernesto "Che" Guevara. That rap of

    yours — "I'm like Che Guevara with bling on, I'm complex" — is not

    complex at all.

    It's endorsing a self-obsessed adventurer who penned observations about

    European supremacy over "the Negro," and who sought to marginalize black

    Cubans from the Revolution because he thought they hadn't earned a place

    in the battlefield.

    While clueless millionaire performers traipse through Cuban streets in

    caricature mode, Cuban dissidents take real risks and make real revolution.

    The only reason to care is because Jay-Z and wife Beyoncé gave the

    Castro dictatorship just what it needed — a diversion from the travels

    of the Cuban dissidents circling the world and lifting the veil on

    human-rights abuses.

    But you can't hide from truth forever. Not even when you've got bling.

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