Last week, Jay-Z and Beyonce celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary with a four day trip to Cuba, and now have congress asking questions due to the prohibition of tourism in the country.
Yesterday, reports, via ABCNews, came in revealing that two Republican congressman from Florida, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, who represent heavily Cuban districts in South Florida sent a letter out, this past Friday, to the federal office responsible for regulating American’s travel to Cuba asking what kind of special permission Jay-Z and Beyonce had to allow them to vacation in Cuba.
The letter read:
We write to express concern and to request information regarding the highly publicized trip by U.S. musicians Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (Beyoncé) and Shawn Carter (Jay-Z) to Cuba. We would like to respectfully request, within all applicable rules and guidelines, information regarding the type of license that Beyoncé and Jay-Z received, for what purpose, and who approved such travel.
The letter added:
Despite the clear prohibition against tourism in Cuba, numerous press reports described the couple’s trip as tourism, and the Castro regime touted it as such in its propaganda. … The restrictions on tourism travel are common-sense measures meant to prevent U.S. dollars from supporting a murderous regime that opposes U.S. security interests at every turn and which ruthlessly suppresses the most basic liberties of speech, assembly, and belief.
Following the initial report, addition details have come to light and it has been revealed that Jay and Bey’s trip was licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department, which oversees US citizens’ trips to Cuba, and has Florida Senator Marco Rubio criticizing the vacation. Along with the criticism, Rubio has demanded that President Obama explain the trip, and special permission given to Jay and Beyonce.
Senator Rubio gave a statement demanding explanation:
U.S. law clearly bans tourism to Cuba by American citizens because it provides money to a cruel, repressive and murderous regime. Since their inception, the Obama Administration’s ‘people to people’ cultural exchange programs have been abused by tourists who have no interest in the Cuban people’s freedom and either don’t realize or don’t care that they’re essentially funding the regime’s systematic trampling of people’s human rights.
According to recent news reports, Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Cuba trip, which the regime seized on for propaganda purposes, was fully licensed by the Treasury Department. If true, the Obama Administration should explain exactly how trips like these comply with U.S. law and regulations governing travel to Cuba and it should disclose how many more of these trips they have licensed.
While celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary, Jay-Z and Beyonce visited the La Guarida restaurant in Havana while also visiting singer Haila Mompie, a children’s theatre company, students and teachers at Havana’s Superior Art Institute, and the country’s national contemporary dance troupe.
As of press time, President Obama nor Jay-Z and Beyonce have spoke out on the matter.