A welcome highlight of the controversy over BeyJay’s trip to Cuba has been watching media conservatives rail against the US embargo on Cuba like never before.
Geraldo Rivera of FOX News wrote an op-ed calling out the absurdity the travel ban:
Cuba is not Iran. It is 90 miles away, and its 11 million are related to our million and more. I’m sure most were as pleased to see Beyoncé and Jay-Z go to Cuba as they were to see the Cuban people. Tourism is not terrorism. It is the beginning of freedom.
Rivera later schooled the gang over at Fox & Friends on how to make friends and influence the Cuban people:
“We’ve made friends with communist China. We do business with them,” [Rivera] added. “Vietnam – we lost 50,000 soldiers and we have normal relations.”
“What if you had a relative rotting in prison there because they spoke up?” asked Brian Kilmeade.
“But the way to loosen them up is to expose them to freedom,” Rivera shot back.
“With Hollywood stars?” asked Gretchen Carlson incredulously.
“Jay-Z and Beyoncé showed the good life to millions of Cubans who will envy America as a result,” asserted Rivera. “It was a harmless trip and the reaction was way over the top.”
Judge Jeanine Pirro, also of FOX News, dedicated the entire opening of her show to questioning the travel ban and embargo, ultimately calling it a “charade”:
Fifty years later this embargo has accomplished nothing. Wouldn’t American influence and American dollars put us in a more positive light as opposed to the image that Castro has created of Americans? In the end it isn’t so much about that celebrity couple who chose to vacation on that pristine island as it is about trying to make new friends in a world where we could certainly use a few more.
Finally, conservative kingmaker George Will declared on ABC’s This Week that the embargo no longer makes sense (watch at 39:00 mark):
The Cuban embargo may have made a lot of sense during the Cold War. The Cold War is over, and it is hard to think of a policy more firmly refuted by events than the policy of the embargo that was supposed to weaken one of the, it turns out, most durable dictators in the world.
All further proof that calling for the lifting of travel and trade restrictions against Cuba is a bi-partisan issue, and that the Cuba Lobby, which likes to slander anti-embargo advocates as liberal useful idiots and Castro apologists, only represents itself, not conservative values nor the Cuban-American community.