by Jeannie DeAngelis
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
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.