Rapper and Cigar smoker Shawn Carter aka Jay-Z has been spotted soaking up the sights of Havana with his R&B wife Beyoncé
They toured Old Havana on Thursday after celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary and it seems the cigars were flowing.
“People outside were desperate to see them and we had to call security, we had to call the police,” said La Guarida restaurant waitress Vivian Aimerich, who helped serve the superstars during their anniversary dinner Wednesday night.
The took in the city with Beyoncé wearing a short summer dress and big sunglasses and Jay-Z smoking a cigar (naturally) and wearing a straw hat, shorts, and sneakers.
They visited the Havana Cathedral, built between 1748 and 1777, and walked around the cobblestoned streets of the colonial-era neighbourhood, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z spoke with several Cubans during their walk but declined to answer journalists’ questions on their visit to the communist-ruled island.
It does raise a few questions as they are US citizens and would need special privileges to enter Cuba.
The government-run CubaSí website reported the couple is on a tourist visit, although that would be illegal under the half-century old U.S. embargo. Washington does issue special licenses, however, for cultural, religious, academic, and other types of visits. I guess ti pays to have Obama on speed dial.
The superstar couple was first spotted in Cuba on Wednesday night as they entered La Guarida, “The Hideout,” a restaurant on an upper floor of a crumbling early 1900s palace where the hit Cuban film Strawberry and Chocolate was filmed.
“They were recognized downstairs and the whole street filled up with people shouting her name until she went out on the balcony and waved to them,” Aimerich told El Nuevo Herald by phone from the restaurant.
“We knew that someone important was coming, but we had no idea,” she added. The restaurant, which has become an almost obligatory stop for tourists in Havana, is known as a “paladar” because it is privately owned. Most restaurants in Cuba are state-run.
They drank daiquiris, rum, and wine, snacked on shrimp and shared a big plate of white rice and black beans, the waitress reported. Beyoncé had the chicken roasted in honey and lemon, and Jay-Z finished off a fish filet with tomato-based sauce.. just in case you wanted to know what they ate!
La Guarida, in the Havana Centro neighbourhood, flourished when it opened in 1996, when a bankrupt Cuba was allowing some private enterprise and Western tourism to make up for the loss of the Soviet Union’s massive subsidies.
Is Jay-Z the new Hyman Roth? Or is he the new Che Guevara? More likely he is just trying to have a nice wedding anniversary.
Jay-Z if you are reading this, pick me up a box of Montecristo Double Edmundos and I’ll transfer you the money.