Jay-Z and Cuba: A vacation trip gone political

Jay-Z and Beyonce's trip to Cuba has become more than just a vacation. Photo: AP

OKLAHOMA CITY, July 14, 2013 ― Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z, built a successful music career, an entrepreneurial empire with his clothing label, nightclubs, real estate development, ownership in the Brooklyn Nets and most recently becoming a sports agent representative.

But Jay-Z’s political skills aren’t up to the level of his business skills.

SEE RELATED: Jay-Z and Beyoncé in the limelight, embargo forgotten

Most recently, Jay-Z remains in hot water for taking a vacation to Cuba with his wife Beyonce to celebrate their fifth anniversary. According to government officials it was cleared by the U.S. Treasury office as a cultural trip.

Yet many in the Florida Cuban community, Republican Party and even some in the Democratic Party did not take Jay-Z’s Cuba trip lightly.

Jay-Z was put on the spot when he was asked why he was given special permission to vacation in Cuba. There was no apparent justification for the trip other than to smoke Cuban cigars and enjoy the weather with his wife Beyonce.

Even President Obama was asked whether he had anything to do with the special trip, in which the president denied any involvement. There is no hiding that Jay Z does not favor the tea party, nor does he deny his friendship and support for Obama. Jay-Z has begun to realize that stepping into the political arena is no easy rap battle to avoid.

SEE RELATED: Cuba: American tourism is slowly making a comeback

Now public officials in Washington are in the process of drafting an anti-Cuba-travel plan better known as the “Jay-Z and Beyonce Bill” which would restrict travel to academic visits. Before the drafting of the bill, U.S. citizens seeking travel to Cuba could do so with the permission of the U.S. Treasury, which Jay-Z and Beyonce did, for journalistic, academic or cultural reasons.

Whether Jay-Z and Beyonce went for either of the reasons just mentioned is debatable. In the best-case scenario, a concert should have been performed or an African-American music cultural tour should have been arranged, where Jay-Z and Beyonce educated Cubans on the music genres that African-Americans have evolved over the decades in the U.S.

Jay-Z is a talented music artist and savvy entrepreneur with a clear business mind. Yet when it comes to politics, he falls short of demonstrating political consciousness. Instead of giving a short statement about the intentions of the trip, Jay-Z produced a rap song. It seems that rap is what passes with Jay-Z for politics. 

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Jose L. Fulgencio

 Jose L. Fulgencio is a writer for the Washington Times Communities, LLC. Jose is a dedicated writer to political and business issues affecting the Hispanic community.     


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