Rebecca Basulto

“What’s Beef???” Beef is no friendship, no business, no politics, no travel, no negotiations, no love, and no recognition–since 1960!!! Beef is guerrilla war, nuclear threats, overnight sneak attacks, and boatloads of the innocent literally caught in the middle. Beef is Al Pacino’s Scarface and beef outlasts 10 presidents, until now. “We can not keep doing the same thing and expect a different result” said current President Obama in yesterday’s groundbreaking announcement to overhaul the old and bitter US-Cuba relationship. Since the announcement, a lot of things have been re-examined historically and politically. But what about culture, business, and this new world that’s ‘so far gone’ from 1960? Here’s our list of the 5 Things We’ll See Now That The US And Cuba Beef Is Over…

(DISCLAIMER: No worries if you missed that day in history class, we got you!)

The 5 Things We’ll See Now That The US And Cuba Beef Is Over

#5. A Major Jay-Z Cigar Deal

If you didn’t already know (A) Jay-Z is way more than just a fan of the leaf and has a preference for Cuban cigars. Go check out the Reasonable Doubt album cover, think back to a few videos since and realize it’s not been a prop, he’s really been about that life from jump! (B) He’s actually already had a cigar deal, last year he partnered to introduce Cohiba Comador–a super exclusive line of handcrafted cigars from the Dominican Republic that are super high end and rare (on purpose). Still, true cigar smokers always have their loyal staples, and true hustlers love what they do, and, “he’s a business, MAN!”

Jay’s been no stranger to Cuba, catching flak when photos surfaced last year of he and wifey Beyonce enjoying an intimate getaway on the island. Seeing as travel to Cuba in the past 50+ years hasn’t even been allowed (had to go through Canada from the US), its been a sensitive topic. On top of his affinity for Cuba’s white sands, Jay’s been racking up his business ventures lately, including the recent possibility of buying the LA Dodgers and bringing them back to Brooklyn. At the rate he’s going, it would only be a natural extension for the mogul’s unstoppable brand.

The 5 Things We’ll See Now That The US And Cuba Beef Is Over

#4. Destination Cuba (For Better or Worse?)

There’s already a little buzz surrounding the idea that Cuba may replace Cancun as the go-to getaway for state side vacationing. The good of it–that it’s cheaper and safer than many places in Mexico right now. The bad of it–that Cuba will begin to lose its authenticity with more influence of the US, capitalism and the influx of tourists. Word, true…valid. But put in a Google or Bing search and there’s already links to flights between Havana and Cancun, (Twitter heads even talking multiple day stays with no passport stamp, for what its worth). Others are reminiscing on the glory of Cuba as a beautiful place to visit in the 40’s and 50’s. Others comment on the “American way” of belittling smaller countries for cheap fun or otherwise. (All this and we’re literally 1 day into this). Whether vacations, films, concerts, interviews or music videos we’ll mos def see a huge spike in travelogues from Cuba.

The 5 Things We’ll See Now That The US And Cuba Beef Is Over

#3. A Clusterf**k of Political News

“I play my enemies like a game of chess” (Lauryn Hill/Fugees) is one way to describe this situation. Whether or not you agree with his decisions and leadership style, President Obama has set a lot of cards to play and chips to fall with the warming of the US-Cuba relationship. For one, the US not only gains a relationship with Cuba but snatches a bestie away from Russia, Iran, Venezuela and the North Korea. It gains a partner in the medical world and particularly fighting the Ebola virus. (Cuba for decades has been known globally for its near superior system of free healthcare and highly trained doctors, in addition it’s stepped up huge in sending doctors to Africa alongside US troops and aid workers). State side, the Republican party is going to be making a lot of moves trying to maximize on the new ground this has created. Young Hispanic Republicans like Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida will try to use the push to win over huge voting pools, Jeb Bush (yes, another member of THAT Bush family) will do the same as he looks forward to a presidential run. Most of the GOP will be blasting Obama and are already harping on how amateur he is for the initial swap of political prisoners that started this whole thing. Its reported that most Cuban Americans vote Democrat, so the Republican Party will be doing THE MOST trying to cash in on this. President Obama will have to keep his hater blockers on and the momentum up through next year.

The 5 Things We’ll See Now That The US And Cuba Beef Is Over

#2. A Huge Reunion Concert Hosted by Pitbull with a Celia Cruz Hologram

Yes, you read that right. One of Pitbull’s favorite artists is Cuban music legend “La Reina de la Salsa” Celia Cruz, (Azzzuuuucaaa!) and he’s commented on numerous occasion that he would have loved to work with her. “Maybe through technology I’ll get a chance.” Hmm…

But speaking of unstoppable, “Mr. Worldwide” has been everywhere this year! So much so that its been easy to forget he’s also been promoting an album. He hosted the American Music Awards (2nd year in a row), was contracted to create the official FIFA World Cup theme song (that’s soccer and a BIG deal), was a feature on CNN’s Spotlight, was on tour with Enrique Inglesias, did the halftime show of this year’s NFL Thanksgiving day game and performed for Fashion Rocks among other high profile gigs. And he *straight snaps* every time…high energy crowd moving, elaborate sets, armies of the hottest dancers around and quality collabos with the likes of Ne-Yo, Christina Aguilera and Jenny “From the Block” Lopez.

In his opening monologue of this year’s AMAs he made sure to comment on Obama’s recent move to open up immigration laws. He’s also been vocal throughout his career about his Miami-Cuban roots and the struggles of the country. He’s also a successful “crossover” artist. Not only having Hip Hop, pop, and EDM records on the global charts but with his power to bring artists together and all his hosting, he’s embraced as a multicultural American icon. From music to TV and Hollywood he’s not far from the network of Ryan Seacrest, and even has humanitarian efforts under his belt. Nothing says America like a musical celebration and he’d definitely perform. But if anyone is going to host the big reunion concert, it’ll probably be him.

And the #1 item on the The 5 Things We’ll See Now That The US And Cuba Beef Is Over…

#1. A Huge Victory or a Huge Blow to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

What does Cuba have to do with #BlackLivesMatter besides the fact that it’s a country with a notable amount of non-white and poor people who’ve been disregarded by the United States? Two words…Assata Shakur. Assata was a member of the legendary Black Panther Party, Black Liberation Army, and Black Power movement in the 60’s and 70’s, before it was cool to be a revolutionary. A 1973 traffic stop and shootout in New Jersey led to Assata’s multiple gun wounds, the death of an officer, and her arrest. She was eventually convicted of killing the New Jersey police officer in a highly questionable and controversial trial, but fled and gained asylum in Cuba thereafter. To this day many bring up the fact that she was a target of the media and government way before this, and that the story, accusations, and trial proceedings were all 100% sus.

With the opening of US-Cuba relations and the hand over of political prisoners by both sides, Cuba may to be pushed to (extradite) send Assata back to the states, for prompt prison time or worse by the US. Hip Hop artist Killer Mike who’s been really vocal this year on today’s politics has said, “I have no opinion of Obama until I see who he pardons on his last day in office.” Obama pardoning Assata Shakur would be a HUGE progression in the #BlackLivesMatter movement (not to mention a cushion for the relationship between him and the black community)…but anything less could start these rallies, riots or worse all over again.

…Phew! That’s that for the 5 Things We’ll See Now That The US And Cuba Beef Is Over! Let that marinate and sound off, we hitting or missing???

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