U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica Releases Awful “USA Visa Style” Gangnam Parody Video

May 16, 2013
10:59 PM

File this one under the following category: Some Ideas Are Best Left As Ideas. Who thought that doing a “USA Visa Style” video for the United States Embassy in Costa Rica was a great idea?


Here’s the scoop: it’s not. Not now, not yesterday, not tomorrow.

You can see the original video here, at the embassy’s official YouTube channel (18K+ views so far), but being the troublemakers that we are, we had to create our own version of the video with a running commentary:

The embassy’s official YouTube posting offers the following explanation in Spanish about why it produced the video (our translation to English is included right after):

Lo invitamos a que vea este corto video y lo comparta con su familia y amigos. Sabemos que el Gangnam Style es una canción del año pasado, pero nos divertimos mucho haciendo nuestra propia versión y lleva un mensaje importante: no queremos que ningún costarricense caiga en las trampas de estafadores que prometen “ayudar” para obtener ilegalmente una visa, un trabajo o una residencia en Estados Unidos. Estas personas lo tratarán de engañar para tomar su dinero. Queremos que muchos costarricenses visiten Estados Unidos y que ninguno de ellos sea estafado. El cantante costarricense Daniel Castillo nos ayudó con el proyecto, si se fijan bien, también verán algunos pasos de la Embajadora Andrew. Esperamos que les guste.

We invite you to watch this short video and share it with your family and friends. We know that the Gangnam Style is a song from last year, but we had fun making our own version and it carries an important message: we do not want any Costa Rican falling into the traps of scammers who promise to “help” to illegally obtain a visa, work or residence in the United States. They try to deceive people to take your money. We want many Costa Ricans visiting the United States and that none of them will be scammed. The Costa Rican singer Daniel Castillo helped with the project, and if you look carefully, you will also see some moved by Ambassador Andrew. Hope you like it.

The video is so wrong on so many levels. Here are just a few observations:

  • We weren’t aware that obtain a visa was like taking a vacation.
  • This is how we want the U.S. government representing itself abroad?
  • Really? Some person actually dressed up as a coyote? An actual coyote.
  • Lecturing people about getting deported and not lying to “la Migra” to the tune of “Gangnam Style” is bizarre. Toss in offensive as well.
  • Did we just see an real U.S. ambassador shaking it?
  • Is it us or did the video come across as paternalistic?
  • Did the U.S. State Department allowed for this video to be published?

And so on and so on.

Tonight we did email the State Department about the video and whether it was approved, reviewed, and given a blessing. For some reason, we doubt it, but if was approved, why?

America, we can do so much better.

(H/T to our friends at Gozamos for letting us know about the video.)