I have to admit, part of me finds the Jay-Z/Beyonce trip to Cuba news story amusing. There they are, walking around Cuba, hanging out, eating, without a care in the world.
Oh, except that U.S. Citizens aren’t allowed to go to Cuba on vacation. Oops.
Why Cuba? Why not go to one of the many other places in the world – or even in the Caribbean general area – where it is perfectly legal for U.S. Citizens to travel? Jay-Z and Beyonce typically don’t put themselves in a position where they are getting bad press. So why do it?
Then the song came out.
Boy from the hood but got White House clearanceAh, he’s bragging now. He’s got his buddy in the White House, and he wants us all to know. He gets special treatment now. So he throws it in our faces by going to Cuba and then rapping about it.
Sorry y'all, I don't agree with y'all appearance
Politicians never did shit for me
Except lie to me, distort history
Wanna give me jail time and a fine
Obama said "chill, you gonna get me impeached"
But you don't need this shit anyway
Chill with me on the beach
I bet President Obama is good and pissed off.
Here is the document that describes how to get a license (general or specific) to travel to Cuba. None of the licenses seem to cover a luxurious anniversary trip. I didn’t see any photographs of any educational activities, humanitarian projects, public performances, or other support for the Cuban people. All I saw was eating and sight seeing. I mean, consider this – Sean Penn has been to Cuba and no one complained – because he was clearly there under one of the legitimate reasons for legal travel. Many other celebrities (including Steven Spielberg and Kevin Costner) have also visited Cuba, again for legitimate reasons.
While the Treasury Department is indeed responsible for deciding who gets to go to Cuba, I find it hard to believe that President Obama – who is buddies with Jay-Z and Beyonce – knew nothing about it. This I particularly true when the Treasury Department has refused to identify under which travel provision they were allowed to go to Cuba. If it’s all perfectly above board, then why hide anything? Just tell us what they were doing there.
Apparently they can’t, because all they were doing was vacationing.
At the end of the day, I could give a crap where Jay-Z and Beyonce go on vacation. (I actually like them and thought her hair looked really cool in the pictures.) The issue is why they get special treatment just because they happen to be good singers and are permitted to go somewhere no one else in the country is allowed to go. Can the rest of us peasants apply to the Treasury Department for the "Jay-Z and Beyonce License" for Cuban travel? Isn’t the celebrity worship from this administration getting a bit out of hand?