The furor over Beyonce and Jay Z’s trip to communist Cuba continues to rage. The hip hop couple, who celebrated their 5th anniversary in Cuba, apparently made the trip without the U.S. State Department’s approval, according to Theweek.com.
A State Department official said it had “no prior knowledge of the trip,” and “the U.S. Interest Section in Havana says it doesn’t know if they got permits, and neither the Carters nor their representatives have explained how they traveled to Cuba.”
Outraged Cuban Americans in Miami plan to protest Beyonce’s concert there in July and Jay Z’s show in August. The Grammy winning couple will soon learn that the Cubans are not the ones to mess with.
Tourism trips to Cuba is prohibited under the 50-year embargo against communist Cuba. President Obama eased restrictions to Cuba in 2012, but travelers still need permission, and they must travel there for for cultural, religious, and educational reasons.
The couple face stiff fines when they return to the mainland. Cuban-Americans in Miami called the trip “propaganda” for the Cuban government.
“The Castro dictatorship is overjoyed by the trip,” says anti-Castro activist Mauricio Claver-Carone at Capitol Hill Cubans. “Castro’s state media was the first to post pictures of the trip and to tip off foreign news bureaus on the island about the star’s presence and whereabouts,” because — as even Cuban diplomats implicitly admit — Beyoncé is better “propaganda” for Cuba’s image…”
On Friday, two Florida lawmakers, Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R) wrote to Adam Szubin, the director of the Treasury Department office in charge of enforcing the Cuba embargo. “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.”
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