Originally posted at Clash Daily
Evidently, Beyoncé’s $50 million deal with Pepsi didn’t upset anti-soda pop Michelle enough to stand in the way of the hip-hop/pop star lovebirds obtaining a government okay to travel to Cuba to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. Heck, the Carters’ $4 million Obama 2012 campaign donation might even be worth granting the Duke and Duchess of Hublot a romantic jaunt to Tehran or Pyongyang.
Although America enforces sanctions against Castro’s regime and Cuba is guilty of racial discrimination, violating human rights, and holding approximately 11 million people in perpetual poverty, Mr. and Mrs. Carter apparently couldn’t imagine a dreamier locale to exchange traditional fifth wedding anniversary gifts of silver and (I’m not even gonna go there) wood.
Cuban-born representatives Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) disagree. The representatives are concerned, not so much that chanteuse Beyoncé’s hairdo might cause a neck sprain, but that the trip “fell a foul of Cold War-era restrictions on Americans’ travel to Cuba.”
The apprehension was that American billionaires throwing around wads of cash with special permission by government muckety-mucks would set a bad precedent and impart the foreign currency the oppressive communist regime sorely needs. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which administers and enforces trade and US economic sanctions against targeted foreign countries like Cuba, reassured Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen that the Jay and Bey“ green light” was government-granted.
Unimpressed, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s response was “I wish that they would have a little more common sense and understanding and solidarity with the suffering of the Cuban people” who, the congress woman stressed,“ want freedom, and Beyoncé and Jay-Z are there to have a good time.”
However, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, for one to use “common sense,” one must possess” common sense.” Moreover, in case it’s eluded you, recently the “good time” Carters’ BFFs shuttered the White House to commoners, while inside they behaved like Tudor monarchs being amused by “Memphis Soul Night” jesters.
Yet the idealistic Ros-Lehtinen still maintains that“[n]o one is above the law, even if you are the diva Beyoncé … famous and rich, and Jay-Z, everybody loves him, too. Terrific. But no one’s above the law.” Ileana! Again, where’ve you been for the last four years?
Clearly, Ros-Lehtinen feels that “There are a lot of better places” the couple could have celebrated and not fed what she calls” a monstrous regime.” Agreed! If “Che-obsessed” Jay and bodacious bride Bey were only interested in “feeding a monstrous regime,” they could have stayed home.
Florida senator Marco Rubio, another vocal critic of Cuba tourism, has said that “Cuba is not a zoo where you pay an admission ticket and you go in and you get to watch people living in cages to see how they are suffering.” In response to the “Carter Anniversary Sightseeing Tour”, Rubio is calling on Cuban guayabera-wearing Obama for answers. Sorry Marco, but getting answers is about as likely as accessing you-know-who’s college transcripts.
Although originally it was reported that the vacation was licensed by the Treasury Department and that the couple traveled as “cultural ambassadors,” that story changed.
Obama’s Assistant Treasury Secretary for Legislative Affairs, Alastair Fitzpayne, wrote to Ros-Lehtinen and Diaz-Balbart, saying, “It is our understanding that the travelers in question traveled to Cuba pursuant to an educational exchange trip organized by a group authorized by OFAC to sponsor and organize programs to promote people-to-people contact in Cuba.”
“People-to-people contact?” To shield herself from fans and paparazzi, Beyoncé had taxpayer-funded Secret Service protect her while emerging from a Japanese restaurant.
Fitzpayne, who served as a senior policy advisor to Chicago’s bastion of honesty, Rahm Emanuel, mentioned that the OFAC “does not request the identities of the travelers on each trip.” Then Fitzpayne noted that“ organizations holding people-to-people licenses must certify in writing to OFAC that any travel that they conduct will consist of a full-time schedule of educational activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba.”
Beyoncé Knowles an educational diplomat? Talk show host Wendy Williams once said that when she talks, “Beyoncé sounds like she has a fifth grade education.” In England, Beyoncé remarked, “Y’all are so cute and y’all talk so proper over here. I love England.” So now salsa dancing in a Cuban nightclub has officially been renamed “educational activity?”
On behalf of Michelle, Beyoncé may be teaching los Cubanos how to use locally grown organic produce in their diet, and reminding them that paddling an “Esperanza” from Cuba to Florida, although great exercise, is not a substitute for “Move Your Body.”
To usher in the birth of Blue Ivy, Beyoncé spent $1,700 a night on a round-the-clock, one-on-one nursing care executive maternity suite at Manhattan’s Lenox Hill Hospital. Quality healthcare experiences like that are fertile topics of discussion for Beyoncé and Castrocare mommies.
Thankfully, high school dropout and “people-to-people” person Jay-Z is not communist-averse, Cuban or otherwise. After all, he did contemplate rapping with communist co-majority owner of the New Jersey Nets, Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov, at the Barclay Center. Prokhorov could have taught Shawn how 350 bottles of $300-a-bottle Armand de Brignac Brut Gold can be stacked to create an impressive tower, a perfect educational lesson for Cuban “island prisoners.”
Ros-Lehtinen continues to maintain that if the “king and queen of Cuba’s” vacation is “classified as an educational exchange trip, then … the Obama Administration is not serious about denying the Castro regime an economic lifeline that US tourism will extend to it.” Ya’ think? Ros-Lehtinen also observed that she didn’t see “any evidence of how this scam endeavor will help… human rights activists [who] engage in hunger strikes …to become independent of the regime.”
That’s because human rights and independence from oppressive regimes is not what this trip was about. The purpose of the “educational exchange trip” was to have Beyoncé teach Cuban women how “Sasha Fierce” they can look in designer sunglasses, and for Fedora-wearing Shawn Carter to prove to Cuban men that it’s possible to smoke a Cuban cigar and walk at the same time.