Obama's Celebrity Circus Goes to Havana, Provides Castro Cover

Thursday, October 22, 2015
For the past year, Havana has become a playground for Obama's celebrity friends and supporters.

We've seen Jay-Z and Beyonce lounging at the Cuban military’s (twice-confiscated) Hotel Saratoga.

Paris Hilton taking selfies with former dictator Fidel Castro's son.

And Katy Perry partying at a club with current dictator Raul Castro's daughter.

Under the guise of “supporting the Cuban people” -- and completely aloof to the island's brutal realities -- these celebrities are enjoying the hospitality of the Castro dictatorship and supporting its repressive apparatus.

Meanwhile, innocent Cuban men, women and children are being beaten on the streets for their peaceful democracy activism, and artists imprisoned for their attempts at critical expression.

Supporters of the Obama Administration's policy will surely argue that such trips -- no matter how shallow and insensitive -- actually hurt Castro's regime by "exposing" the Cuban people to American pop-culture.

That's proven nonsense. 

Here's why: The above-mentioned celebrity boondoggles share another important characteristic -- they were all first revealed and featured by Castro's state media.

That's right -- it was the Castro regime itself, through its tightly-controlled state media outlets, that originally leaked how Jay-Z, Beyonce, Paris Hilton and Katy Perry were in Havana.

If these American celebrities are such a threat to Castro, then why is the regime so eager to highlight and exploit them?

Because they don't hurt the regime. To the contrary -- these celebrity tools serve as a perfect distraction for dictatorships.

They are free tourism marketing tools. (Again, tourism doesn't undermine the Castro regime, it enriches it, which is why it spends such badly-needed hard currency advertising for tourists in cities such as Madrid, Mexico and Toronto.)

These celebrities also help desensitize public opinion about the brutal reality of Castro's regime, while serving as a guise for repression.

Think of the propaganda boon to have Beyonce prancing around Old Havana's tourist traps [channeling a Joanne Chesimard fashion vibe], Paris Hilton posing at the stolen property that bore her family's name and Katy Perry discussing LGBT rights with a dictatorship that doesn't respect any rights.

The sad reality is that -- last Sunday -- more Americans were concerned about Katy Perry's outfits in Havana, than the injuries suffered by The Ladies in White who were beaten for peacefully marching for freedom.

It's akin to Obama's overall Cuba policy -- focus on business, tourism, sharks and celebrities -- relegate fundamental freedoms, rights and democracy.

It's part and parcel of the new circus.