The Fox News Vacation Police have a new suspect – or pair of suspects, to be exact. Putting aside their ongoing investigations into the Obama and Biden families’ vacations (temporarily, I’m sure), the “fair and balanced” network joined Republican Congressional members in examining the suspicious evidence behind Beyoncé’s and Jay-Z’s trip to Cuba on their fifth wedding anniversary. And, in a neat twofer, they suggested the Obama administration may have had a hand in the nefarious deed of granting the couple an undeserved visa.
Think Progress reported yesterday:
Former House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and her colleague Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart sent a letter to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Friday, calling for an investigation into whether any laws were broken during the celebrities’ trip:
…Travel from the United States to Cuba strictly for tourism purposes is currently illegal under the U.S. embargo, but the ban is frequently flouted. Americans who want to legally travel to Cuba can use “people-to-people licences,” visas that allow for education exchanges between the two countries. In their letter, Ros-Lehtinen and Diaz-Balart question whether the Obama administration provided Mr. and Mrs. Carter with such licences and for what purpose.
While Fox is ever complaining about waste of taxpayer money by the government, the Curvy Couch Crew at Fox & Friends Weekend yesterday had no such qualms about monies spent looking into this “troubling trip,” as the banner on the screen described it. Co-host Alisyn Camerota worded it this way:
So now, some Congresspeople – Senator Marco Rubio, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart are trying to figure out how Jay-Z and Beyoncé got there. What sorts of licenses, visas – whatever – were waived on their behalf since it didn’t appear to be an educational or necessarily a cultural mission, though perhaps they can couch it as that somehow.
Camerota somehow forgot to mention that Beyoncé and Jay-Z are big Obama supporters.
Co-host Tucker Carlson said it’s “pretty easy” to get to Cuba but condemned the couple for being used “as an unwitting stooge in the propaganda machine of the communist government.”
Co-host Clayton Morris jumped in: "And that is the argument that Rubio makes."
And you know that if Rubio makes an argument, it will get uncritically echoed on the Fox News airwaves.
“We will see what happens on Congress with their trip,” Camerota said.
I can hardly wait.
Used to be that all the equipment in Cuba was American made. Now it’s “Made in China”..
Cuba is of special interest to me because I was attending a university in Central Florida when Battista was overturned. Over the past 54 years, I’ve talked with many visitors who used local transport to get away from the tourist hotels where the size of a tip from some Americans is larger if one complains bitterly about the local situation. Spanish-speaking visitors managed to travel even before the restrictions were relaxed.
Their reports agree that – despite the real problems, which nobody denies – the older generations continue to prefer today over yesterday. As one lady put it: "What I’m getting from the government is a lot more than the total nothing my mother got; I never went to school but my son and grandchildren did. Times are hard but the hunger was a lot worse, then. "
While I agree that Castro should have kept his promise to leave after ten years, Cuba’s failure to create a paradise can also be attributed to the embargo slapped on a gnat (Cuba) by one giant (the USA) for fear that another giant (the USSR) would gobble up Florida before heading northwards. You may have missed that history class, but the second giant (the USSR) hasn’t existed for a few decades. And yet the embargo stands.
My account on conditions in pre-Castro Cuba is based on media reports and stories I’d heard directly from both sides during the late 50s early 60s. My circle at university (straight A’s, BTW) included Cubans of both stripes: recent arrivals and born in the USA (first generation at the time).
Hugo Chavez is relevant only to the extent that he proves how wrong the fears of a “domino effect” were at the time. And low-income people seem to like him. It’s the wealthy who hate him and – Venezuela being a democracy – they were outnumbered.
The claim that all Cubans want to leave is pure propaganda. In reality, about 20% of any population is likely to be unhappy with where they were born. Emigration has been around since people lived in caves.
Out of curiosity, what hell-hole did your family escape from, anyway?
Apologies for the length of this post but I was waiting for a research assignment to arrive and it’s here.
Los cubanos ya pueden viajar “sin permiso” al extranjero
La medida entró en vigencia hoy. Por primera vez en 50 años, sólo necesitarán pasaporte y la visa del país al que visiten.
Another genius who is “bemused” writes, “You’re absolutely correct Joseph”
My response to the tow geniuses:
Is this the Cuban equivalent of “It’s all Bush’s fault”? :-))
No, I don’t know what it was like before Castro but I do know that Castro has been running Cuba since 1959. Ummm, that’s 54 years now, since before Mr. West and Mr. Bemused were born I’m guessing.
I wonder how Mr. West KNOWS what it was like before Castro? Bemused was just a knucklehead in school. Did Hugo Chavez tell them before he went to take over the big communist dictatorship in the sky? :-))
Unlike Mr. West and Bemused, I have visited Cuba before coming here. If it was a hell-hole before Castro, it sure didn’t change much, except all the buildings now have peeling paint and some are ready to collapse, and if you are into vintage cars, Cuba is the place.
The geniuses may want to ask themselves why so many Cubans risk their lives to get the hell out of Cuba, and why they choose not to live in that tropical paradise?
“If Ruthless Rupy went to Cuba for a business meeting, the Fox “News” frauds would stay silent.”
And they sure as hell would ZIP THEIR LIPS INSTANTLY if Herr Goebbels II (i.e. Murdoch) purchased a box of Cuban cigars as well!
“…why on earth is that embargo still in place?”
Here’s the answer bemused: FOLLOW THE $$$$ — that is, the $$$$ that exists in the Little Havana section of Miami, FL (i.e. the SW section — “Calle Ocho”, i.e. SW 8th St. is a major street in that section of Miami). The UBER-WEALTHY folks who reside in that section of the city are sometimes called the “Miami Mafia” by most working class Cubans because when Fulgencio Batista ruled Cuba with a VICIOUS RIGHTWING IRON FIST, he gave the Mafia carte blanche. Here is a link that backs this up:
I was still in high school when Battista was overturned and the papers were suddenly full of reports on the appalling living conditions of (mostly farm) workers in Cuba.
At that time, Florida was swamped with refugees who whined endlessly about having lost their fine homes, yachts, Cadillacks and such-like. They were not particularly popular among Cubans who’d fled pre-Castro Cuba to work in the cigar factories.
I was present at the following exchange between two students at a local university:
Castro-fleeing refugee (ain’t it awful tone of voice): “Just imagine, people have the right to only one chicken a week!”
Second generation American of Cuban origin (pissed off): “That’s 52 chickens more per year than my cousins ate when Battista were running the place!”
You see, her parents had grown up in the shacks between the roads and the sugar cane fields that “gave” them a wage for approximately 3 months year. They knew what a hell-hole was: starvation and hunger, lack of human dignity, misery, no health care, no schools, nothing.
I’ve personally met people who went to Cuba only to get corroboration of their prejudices; a sort of confirmation that life in America is not so bad after all. The people who tend to their needs (staff at the tourist hotels and restaurants, tour guides and the ubiquitous friendly hangers-on supposedly representing the local population) are well aware of that orientation and are only too happy to feed it.
I wonder if Immigrant Patriot even tried to find out what the elderly in the rural areas thought about life today as opposed to then. Does he/her realise that Cuba’s main “export” during the embargo was highly qualified personnel to the developing world (physicians, nurses and lab technicians, teachers, engineers, etc.)? A big difference from the illiterates that fled during pre-Castro years (life was too good for the fat cats to want to leave).
I suspect he/she talked only with people who wanted a nice tip. Presenting Cuba as a hell hole is an effective strategy when the visitors aren’t one bit interested in reality.
I am however enheartened by reports that the offspring of the Castro-fleeing refugees are less rabid with regard to today’s Cuba. The country has serious problems – nobody denies that – but they’re not the problems that visitors like Immigrant Patriot actually want to find.
Continuance of the embargo after the collapse of the USSR is incomprehensible to me: the giant slapping at a gnat was perhaps credible when the gnat had another giant standing behind it. That’s not been the case for decades, now, so why on earth is that embargo still in place?
And to answer D.D.‘s question: It’s not, unless you live in the Foxiverse. However, when you enter the Foxiverse, they all want Beyonce tortured because she’s been a close celebrity friend of Michelle Obama for the past few years.
She can’t sneeze without them going off- I have so many attack and threats on her from Fox Nation that she’s her own folder in my personal archives.
Americans who want to legally travel to Cuba can use “people-to-people licences,” visas that allow for education exchanges between the two countries.
Reading is fundamental, Iggy.