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Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z leave their hotel in Havana. Their visit to Cuba last week was a cultural trip that was fully licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department, a source familiar with the trip said. Reuters
Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z leave their hotel in Havana. Their visit to Cuba last week was a cultural trip that was fully licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department, a source familiar with the trip said. Reuters

Beyoncé and Jay-Z's Cuba visit sparks controversy

Beyonce and Jay-Z's recent cultural trip to Havana is being investigated by US Congress.

A visit by Beyoncé and Jay-Z to Havana last week was licensed by the US Treasury Department, a source familiar with the itinerary said on Monday.

The long-standing US trade embargo against Cuba prevents most Americans from travelling to the communist-led island without a licence from the US government. Three Cuban-American members of congress, Miami Republicans and supporters of a firm stance on Cuba, have asked the Treasury Department to look into the licensing of the trip.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana. The source said that the trip included visits to nightclubs and restaurants. The trip was planned as a cultural visit and involved no meetings with Cuban officials or tourist activity, the source said.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z arrived in Havana from Miami unannounced for a four-day visit last Wednesday. But word of their presence spread and a large crowd surrounded them in Old Havana during a walkabout.

The US Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart said the trip was being used for Cuban government propaganda. Ros-Lehtinen said it was “disconcerting that megastars would go down to Cuba and vacation and not say a word about the brutality their hosts display against pro-democracy activists”.

The Florida senator Marco Rubio said if the Treasury Department had licensed the trip, “the Obama administration should explain how trips like these comply with US law and regulations governing travel to Cuba”. – Reuters

 

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