April 7, 2013


Lawmakers Question Jay-Z & Beyonce's Trip to Cuba


Last week Jay-Z and Beyonce celebrated their five-year anniversary by strolling the streets of Old Havana, Cuba. It looked like they had a blast, but lawmakers want to know whether it was legal.

Because of a 51-year embargo, which bans U.S. citizens from traveling to Cuba solely for the purpose of tourism, two Congress members have submitted a request asking the U.S. Treasury Department to clarify if the power couple had a license to be in Cuba, CNN reports. (U.S. travelers are allowed to visit the land of Castro if they obtain a special cultural exchange license.)

In their request, Congress members Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart—both Republicans from Florida—wrote: "Cuba's tourism industry is wholly state-controlled; therefore, U.S. dollars spent on Cuban tourism directly fund the machinery of oppression that brutally represses the Cuban people.”

The reason these particular lawmakers are incensed over the Carter anniversary getaway is because both represent congressional districts with a high concentration of Cuban immigrants. In their letter, they also state: "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. We support the Cuban people by refusing to sustain their jailers."

Neither the Carters nor the U.S. Treasury Department have addressed the probe.