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US Politicians Curious as to How and Why Beyonce and Jay-Z Traveled to Cuba

April 8, 2013 at 3:10 PM | by | ()

In late February Dennis Rodman traveled to North Korea, a hellish country so batshit crazy that its President for eternity has been dead for almost 20 years. For providing a propaganda boon to North Korean leaders—who routinely torture and starve their citizens—Rodman was roundly and justifiably criticized [trigger warning]. After Rodman left, North Korea put the region on a path that now risks actual nuclear war.

Evaluating the controversy, Beyonce and Jay-Z apparently said to themselves "inserting himself into a hopelessly complicated, politically tangled geopolitical controversy worked out really well for Rodman; let's celebrate our wedding anniversary in Cuba!"

It goes without saying that Cuban officials—who according to Human Rights Watch systematically torture, imprison, and extrajudicially execution their citizens—loved the visit. Beyonce and Jay-Z wandered around Havana, took pictures with fans, danced into the early hours of the morning, and so on. By all public accounts everything was everything, and everyone had a great time.

Except! Celebrities, it turns out, are not very good at politics.

Forget right or wrong, Cuba is under a trade embargo by the United States. A celebrity trip to Cuba—let alone a spectacle where two top musicians pump hard currency and soft photo ops into the country—is, let's say, in tension with that embargo. So Florida Republicans and U.S. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart want the Treasury Department to explain just what happened. Americans who want to travel to Cuba need to get a special license. When asked about the trip, the State Department punted and said they had no prior knowledge. Oops.

Nothing's really going to happen to Beyonce or Jay-Z. If it turns out they traveled without a license they'll face a fine, if that. So in other words, whatever penalty they face will be orders of magnitude less severe than what Cubans have to suffer for daring to criticize their own government.

[Photo: apvideonews / YouTube]

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