I am always reading some form of publication. Whether it be by force via the Metro newspaper or the Evening Standard newspaper (both distributed for free throughout the London Underground network). There are also the all-too-familiar billboard adverts which often provide me with those necessary ‘side-eye’ moments. Sometimes the reading occurs out of my own free will; voir Twitter and Facebook timelines à la smartphone or better yet, whilst discretely over-looking someone else’s magazine on a fully packed train. To put simply, not reading as a Londoner is not an option.
Although former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s passing has gripped the UK headlines today, I could not fight the urge to ‘side-eye’ the Jayoncé (Shawn “Jay–Z” Carter and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter) Havana mayhem (see here). The Hip-Pop royalty couple made a recent trip to Cuba in celebration of their fifth wedding anniversary touring the city’s historic landmarks.
What I find most interesting in this story besides Beyonce’s style picks, is the probe of their travel diaries (or purpose of their trip) by two Republican representatives for South Florida who are strongly implying that they – Jayoncé – may have broken US law since it prohibits American tourism to Cuba “unless authorized by a general or specific license”. The reason being that US citizens are not to help fund the oppressive, totalitarian Cuban government through their spending of US Dollars whilst vacationing. To add to the heat of what has been dubbed as Jayoncé’s ‘insensitivity’ towards the victims of the regime, the musicians may face fines of $250,000 including a 10-year prison sentence. Let’s be honest for a moment; the latter jail sentence? Nay! With Jay-Z’s newest venture Roc Nation Sports and Beyonce’s upcoming ‘The Mrs Carter Show World Tour’, the $250,000 fine would be as onerous as an extremely unwell individual required to laugh in hysterics for no particular reason! Ha!
Being as inquisitive as I am, I decided to carry out minor enquiries on the matter of US-Cuba relations and came across the Department of the Treasury’ s Office of Foreign Assets Control document entitled “CUBA: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT U.S. SANCTIONS AGAINST CUBA“. Interestingly, the Cuban Assets Control Regulations have been in motion since July 8, 1963, under the ‘Trading With the Enemy Act’ implemented ‘in response to certain hostile actions by the Cuban Government‘. It is an informative resource about the various regulations and licenses required by American citizens wishing to travel to Cuba. Although the Obama Administration revised parts of the sanctions under the trade embargo in recent years, there is still a long way to go until major changes between US-Cuban relations occur.
Now where does that leave Jayoncé? I doubt that they will be losing any sleep over this issue. I must stress that although I consider myself to be a part-time “BeyHive-r”, there is only so much Jayoncé one can muster – cue in the Super Bowl performance, PEPSI ad, World tour [insert relevant campaigns, shows and magazine covers here ]; it does feel like the entire ”BeyHive” is being shoved down our throats at this point!
I’ll wait to hear what Wendy Williams will have to say about this! I am definitely going to sleep less stoopid today as far as the US sanctions on Cuba are concerned!
How you doin? (Wendy Williams voice)