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Questions asked about Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Cuban adventure

By | Published on Monday 8 April 2013

Beyonce

Jay-Z and Beyonce’s decision to mark their fifth wedding anniversary with a short trip to Cuba last week has grabbed headlines both in the Caribbean country and back at home in the US. The former because the pop power couple were mobbed by fans wherever they want on the island, the latter because of claims the Carters may have broken the US embargo against Cuba by being there.

After pictures of the two stars being followed by excited fans as they walked around the Cuban capital of Havana circulated last week, in Washington both congressmen and lobbying groups opposed to the Castro family’s five decades of political rule in the country hit out, some questioning whether the couple had the required ‘cultural exchange licence’ that allows Americans to travel to the country without violating the widespread trade embargo that still exists between the two nations.

And two Republican politicians, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, but that question into a letter to the US Treasury Department, which oversees America’s Cuban embargo, noting: “The restrictions on tourism travel are common-sense measures meant to prevent US dollars from supporting a murderous regime that opposes US security interests at every turn and which ruthlessly suppresses the most basic liberties of speech, assembly and belief”.

The Carters haven’t yet commented on the status of their trip to Cuba. While Republicans in Washington may genuinely believe in the need to uphold their country’s embargo against the Cuban regime, there would also, of course, be political mileage to be gained if it turned out the music stars were in the country illegally, given the couple’s close links with Democrat President Obama.



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