What do Jay-Z, Beyonce and Tampa U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor have in common?
All went to Cuba last week.
And all have shown relatively little concern for human-rights violations on the island controlled by the Castro dictatorship, said Miami U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who serves with Castor in Congress.
Castor’s office disputed the criticism, pointing to press statements where the Democrat has met with Cuban dissident Yoani Sanchez and called for independent investigations into the deaths of others.
But it’s not enough for Diaz-Balart, a Republican leader in Miami’s exile community who raised questions last week about the legality of Jay-Z and Beyonce’s trip to Cuba. That visit overshadowed one made by Castor, who travelled on an unrelated mission to increase business opportunities between Tampa and Cuba.
“She [Castor] has been consistent in trying to help business groups and big-business interests do business with the dictatorship,” said Diaz-Balart. “Unfortunately, she has not been very concerned about human-rights violations, about demanding freedom of the press... about free elections."
Diaz-Balart noted that Beyonce performed for the family of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2009 at a private concert attended by Jay-Z and others in the Caribbean.
“She [Beyonce] has a history of not being too concerned about human rights,” Diaz-Balart said.