In an opinion piece this week, Heritage’s Mike Gonzalez called for a “Dennis Rodman Rule” for celebrities who travel to repressive countries for enjoyment.
Rodman, the former basketball player, recently visited North Korea and claimed “it’s pretty much like any other country.” Music moguls Beyonce and Jay-Z were granted permission to visit Cuba for their fifth wedding anniversary.
Gonzalez says that “celebrities who disregard the lives of millions by celebrating those who torment them deserve only our contempt upon their return home.”
“If they knew the racism that is practiced on a daily basis against Cuba’s blacks…the couple would have perhaps thought twice about going to the island nation,” he said of Beyonce and Jay-Z.
In contrast, dissidents like Rosa Maria Paya and Berta Soler are speaking out against the regime, hoping to raise awareness and demand answers about horrors of communist Cuba. Paya hopes to pressure Cuba for answers about her father’s murder, dissident Oswaldo Paya, while Ladies in White leader Berta Soler is depicted as subhuman for her work defending political prisoners.
Instead of focusing on celebrity spectacles, “Our reverence and support should be saved for the Rosa Maria Payas and Berta Solers of this world. The long-suffering dissidents in Cuba—and elsewhere—deserve nothing less.”