Beyoncé and Jay Z visited Havana last week on a cultural trip that was fully licensed by the United States Treasury Department, according sources familiar with the trip.
The pop stars’ visit to Cuba made national headlines over the weekend after three Cuban-American members of Congress asked the Treasury Department to look into the licensing of the trip.
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.”
The New York Times reported on Monday that the Treasury Department is investigating the trip, but they also quoted a source who helped plan the trip that said the pop stars broke no laws:
The three-night sojourn, according to the person who helped plan it, came together without input from the Cuban government like other visits for Americans under a “people to people” license – granted by the Treasury Department for trips that focus on “educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction” between Americans and Cubans.
About 10,000 Americans go to Cuba each year with such tours, and the Treasury Department tightened the rules for trip agendas last year after Senator Marco Rubio, another Cuban-American Republican from Florida, criticized the tours for allowing tourism, which is banned by the embargo.
Senator Marco Rubio is also calling for answers.
“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,” Rubio said in a statement on released on Monday. “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.”