After days of mounted heat following a publicized vacation in Cuba, Jay-Z and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter can finally kick back as reports claim their criticized trip was fully licensed.
The latest update surfaced online Monday (April 8) evening after buzz about an investigation into their five-year anniversary trip ignited the Internet.
Pop star Jay-Z and Beyonce’s fifth wedding anniversary trip to Cuba was “fully licensed” and therefore was legal, a source told Reuters. But beyond that, it’s unclear just what kind of permission they got. And Miami’s Republican U.S. representatives, Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, say they want to know more about the case. On Friday, they openly called for details of the trip by the R&B stars who happen to also be big-time backers of President Obama. Under federal law, American citizens traveling to Cuba generally need United States Treasury Department permission to spend U.S. currency on the communist island because U.S. money is technically property of the federal government. Licenses are often granted for journalistic, academic, religious, academic or cultural reasons. (Miami Herald)
Details of the reported investigation began spreading online hours prior to the update.
In a letter dated on Friday, U.S. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, asked Adam Szubin, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, for “information regarding the type of license that Beyonce and Jay-Z received, for what purpose, and who approved such travel.” Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart represent districts in south Florida where there is a high Cuban-American population. “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 letter said. “We represent a community of many who have been deeply and personally harmed by the Castro regime’s atrocities, including former political prisoners and the families of murdered innocents.” (Yahoo News)
The music stars could have reportedly faced the wrath of having to pay a fine if things did not go their way.
The AP further reports that the State Department didn’t know about the trip prior. And, if the couple did not obtain the proper licenses to travel to Cuba, they could pay a fine. While the embargo has been in place for over 50 years, President Obama has made concessions for travel there for academic, religious or cultural exchanges. (MTV)
Cuban activist Maurico Claver-Carone publicly spoke out against the mega couple heading into the weekend.
Mauricio Claver-Carone, the D.C. director for the US-Cuba Democracy PAC — a group committed to fighting for democracy in Cuba — tells TMZ the A-listers should’ve educated themselves about what’s really going on there before taking photo ops. Jay and Bey were photographed Thursday in Havana — reportedly to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary — but have since come under fire from some Cuban-American groups. (TMZ)