The fact that Jay Z and Beyonce went to Cuba on vacation apparently means that the celebrity couple endorse communism, dictatorship and all the abuses committed by the Castro government over the years. Republican lawmakers Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart sent a joint letter to the Treasury Department demanding to be told who approved the couple's travel why they were allowed to go. They wrote:
"Despite the clear prohibition against tourism in Cuba, numerous press reports described the couple's trip as tourism, and the Castro regime touted it as such in its propaganda....
The restrictions on tourism travel are common-sense measures meant to prevent US dollars from supporting a murderous regime that opposes US security interests at every turn and which ruthlessly suppresses the most basic liberties of speech, assembly and belief....We support the Cuban people by refusing to sustain their jailers."
The Right is gleefully latching on to this as they get to inadvertently accuse President Obama of giving the couple permission to go because, er, Jay Z has donated to Obama's Presidential campaigns, and Beyonce sang the national anthem at the President's second inauguration (and because they are a black power couple). Yes, seriously.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Cuban born U.S. Representative for Florida's 27th congressional district, is apparently so concerned about human rights that when she met one of the worst abusers, Former President of Colombia Alvaro Uribe, who according to Human Rights Watch was responsible for widespread illegal surveillance and wiretapping, "systematic" extrajudicial killings of civilians, anti-union violence (Colombia has the highest rate of killings of trade union members and leaders in the world), paramilitary targeted killings, and the forced displacement of civilians, she tweeted out the following statement and photo:
Fmr Prez of Colombia Alvaro Uribe remains a strong partner 4 freedom in Latin America http://t.co/a9DBAxSN
What is the lesson here? If you are a human rights abuser but friendly to the United States, you are called 'a strong partner 4 freedom', and if you're not an ally to the United States, you get called a 'murderous regime'. Or translated from Republican speak: Moral consistency.
Also, the notion that because you go on holiday somewhere, you are explicitly endorsing that country's government is also quite a stretch. I live and work in America, but I don't agree with many of the US government's policies. I have visited China (Hong Kong), but wasn't doing it to support the communist dictatorship there. I have friends who have been to Iran, Burma, and Saudi Arabia, and I'm sure none of them agree with their respective government's atrocious human rights records.
Maybe Jay Z and Beyonce were visiting Cuba because of the island's cultural vibrancy, its music, food, history and nightlife. Perhaps they wanted to go somewhere sunny and sit on the beach without the paparazzi following their every footstep. Maybe they don't know too much about the Castro regime and simply wanted a nice vacation. Or maybe they do, and have sensibly moved on from the Cold War mentality that still permeates Washington and much of America.
After all, the Berlin wall fell almost 25 years ago and the rest of the Western world normalized relations with the island shortly after. Then again, Europeans are a bunch of Commie loving pinkos...