In one corner, a woman who never met a microphone she didn’t love, known for her striking hairstyles and repetition of catchy, simple, often nonsensical phrases. And, in the other, Beyoncé.
It’s not just Republican lawmakers raising their eyebrows at the vacation recording artists Jay-Z and Beyoncé took to Cuba this week. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is head of the Democratic National Committee, but also represents a chunk of Miami and many Cuban-American voters:
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston said Tuesday she’d like to know more about the recent Cuba visit by mega-entertainers Beyoncé and Jay-Z…
“I’m absolutely uncomfortable with the way, and concerned about, how not just Jay-Z and Beyoncé but some of the travel, the ‘people to people’ travel, that has been occurring in Cuba, has resulted,” Wasserman Schultz said in a brief interview Tuesday with the Sun Sentinel.
“I would be interested to know what type of people to people qualifying activity they did during their trip. The travel that exists in Cuba that was allowed by the Obama administration was specifically to make sure that you could have educational opportunities and there is supposed to be interaction at every step of a trip between the participants and the Cuban people. And I hope that that happened with this particular trip. We need to make sure that people to people travel complies with the law,” she said.
The Carters—the couple’s legal, married name—made headlines by spending their fifth anniversary in the lovely communist regime to the south. This trip would have had to have been approved by the United States government as what they call “people-to-people” contact— an allegedly educational exception the Obama administration has carved out of the U.S.’s ban on tourism to the country. These visits, however, are anything but educational unless you’re looking to learn how super-fantastic the communist propaganda machine is at using fabulously clueless celebrities to distract from the suffering of its people and the repression it imposes upon them. Alberto de la Cruz of Babalu Blog explains what the two stars saw, and what was hidden from them.
The only Cuban people Beyonce and Jay-Z had contact with were officials and puppets of the Castro dictatorship. They dined at the famous La Guarida restaurant, a supposedly “private” establishment that is in reality owned by Castro regime officials. They attended a performance of the children’s show La Colmenita, a government-run Castro propaganda extravaganza that is borderline child abuse for its blatant exploitation of children. They visited an art college where the only artists allowed to attend must be revolutionary artists and any attempts at free artistic expression are punished by at best, expulsion, and at worst, imprisonment. Beyonce and Jay-Z toured the streets of Old Havana escorted by agents of the regime’s East German Stasi-trained State Security, who pretended to control the crowds the government most likely bussed in for a photo opportunity as they have done so often in the past. A video showed Beyonce dancing salsa to a Celia Cruz song in a trendy apartheid establishment prohibited to typical Cubans, utterly oblivious to the fact that Celia Cruz, a Grammy winning fellow artist, had years ago been denied permission to enter Cuba to bury her deceased mother. And most telling and incriminating of all, neither of these two prominent black Americans were allowed by the regime to visit with or utter a single public word of support for Cuba’s imprisoned and repressed black dissidents.
With so much photographic and video evidence, one can almost say that Beyonce and Jay-Z’s Cuba vacation fiasco has done an incredibly effective job of exposing the absurdity of Obama’s Cuba travel policy. Over the years, few Americans have been able to comprehend the fatal flaws in this policy, but when you see two of America’s most prominent music industry titans being played like fiddles by the Castro regime, it becomes a lot easier to realize.
At the same time Beyonce and Jay-Z were being generously shuttled between Cuba’s few destinations sanitized of squalor or dissent for them, just miles away, activists the Ladies in White were holding a regular march and prayer for political prisoners. Sixty of them were arrested for this peaceful protest. Now, meeting them would have been an educational person-to-person contact, enlightening the Carters to the plight of so many in Cuba, who are oppressed for their beliefs, their art, and their skin color.
Celebrities are often silly. They’re also often professing their deep concern for the plight of those less fortunate. But my how they have a blind spot when it comes to dictators of liberal-approved experiments in collectivism. Sometimes sticking up for those less fortunate requires a modicum of Googling before venturing to a fairly notoriously repressive society, for Beysus’ sake. This isn’t the first time Beyonce’s been fooled, either. She reportedly took at least $1 million to perform for Muammar Qaddafi several years ago, later repenting by giving the money to Haiti earthquake relief. Perhaps this time she can fork over the cost of her trip to freedom activists trying to right this beautiful island’s ugly system.
For more on the Cuban-American perspective on this trip, and why even DWS is asking questions, listen to this short radio interview with de la Cruz. For more on Beyonce’s ignorance of the scourge of zombie Communists and insult-to-injury sartorial choices while abroad, read our friend E.M. Zanotti.