What better way to celebrate your 5th wedding anniversary if you’re a liberal celebrity than bask in the warm sun and soft breezes found on that workers’ paradise Cuba?
Jay-Z and Beyonce evidently couldn’t imagine a better locale and have now ended up riling Cuban rights activists, and two Republican congressmen from Florida for giving their celebrity imprimatur to the repressive regime.
Congressional Republicans Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart have written to the director of the United States’ Office of Foreign Assets Control asking for information on the license the pair of stars were issued that permitted their Cuban travel, including “for what purpose and who approved” the travel.
The letter goes on to point out that license to travel to Cuba should only be issued if they “certify that all participants will have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba.”
“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,” they write. “We represent a community of many who have been deeply and personally harmed by the Castro regime’s atrocities, including former political prisoners and the families of murdered innocents.”
The superstars were spotted and photographed on the streets of Havana this past Thursday, where they were apparently celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary.
According to reports big crowds greeted the couple as they strolled through the streets, posing for pictures with fans, and seen dining on traditional meals in famous Havana restaurants.
While the celebrity duo are not the only stars to visit Cuba in recent years–actors Sean Penn and Bill Murray did as well in 2009–they may be the biggest names in recent history, which could be why their trip has drawn so much attention.
It may be de rigueur for leftists to personally pay homage to the Castro boys, but most of them who visit take supervised trips to factories, hospitals, and other models of socialist efficiency to at least give the appearance they are complying with regulations. But Beyonce and Jay-Z didn’t even bother faking it. They were in Cuba to have fun and apparently didn’t care who knew or what the US government thought about it.
One Cuban rights activist didn’t think much of the trip. Mauricio Claver-Carone, the D.C. director for the US-Cuba Democracy PAC, said “There are women getting beaten on a daily basis, women who are being jailed for no reason … people are fighting for their freedom. It’s extremely insensitive.”
Insensitive? Such mundane considerations must take a back seat to the advancement of the world revolution! In truth, sensitivity must be sacrificed when it comes to establishing one’s leftist bona fides.
So, congratulations to the beautiful couple and here’s hoping for at least 5 more. Given the longevity of most Hollywood marriages, it is likely to be 5 more months, not years, but who’s counting?