I Can’t Go to Cuba

It’s my own fault, really.

You see, I am neither a recording artist nor a donor to a president’s reelection campaign. I have never performed in any concerts to benefit a politician. I am not a household name who is known for supporting one elected official over another.

In a free society, the movement of every person is restricted only by encroaching on another’s rights (e.g., you may not walk through my living room at will); this is not what exists between the USA and Cuba today. The people of the USA—with very few exceptions—are restricted from visiting the island nation because of historical disagreements between the nations’ politicians.

This restriction was highlighted recently when Beyoncé and Jay-Z celebrated their wedding anniversary by vacationing in Cuba, a trip sanctioned by the Treasury Department of the USA government. They were afforded special privilege (i.e., to exercise their natural rights to travel), while at the same time the rest of us continue to be denied our natural rights to vacation in Cuba.

Travel restrictions make both sides poorer. In this scenario the citizens of the USA are deprived of the experience of visiting this foreign land, smoking Cuban cigars where Ernest Hemingway smoked his, and all other benefits that may accrue from visiting or trading with the people of this country. Likewise, the citizens of Cuba are denied tourist money from the USA, opportunities to serve vacationers, cultural exchanges, and other such benefits. Perhaps the only winners in this situation are the politicians who puff up their chests in front of their constituents and the guards they hire to enforce the travel and trade restrictions.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) wants to know why these politically connected entertainers were allowed to travel to Cuba. I want to know why the rest of us are not.

It is past time to reclaim the natural right to free movement. Let us not allow governments to suppress these rights. Ecrasez l’etat!