Beyonce and Jay-Z's Trip to Cuba Deemed Legal by U.S. Treasury Department
04/10/2013 - 08:49 ||
Since getting snapped enjoying their 5th wedding anniversary in Cuba, Beyonce and Jay-Z have been in the center of a heated debate about their Caribbean getaway. Travel to Cuba is restricted to U.S. citizens under the embargo, but visas are granted for academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange purposes. Florida Republican lawmakers questioned whether Bey and Jay’s romantic getaway fell under the requirements presented by the U.S. Department of Treasury.
A new report by ABC confirms that the power couple did travel to Cuba legally using a “people to people” license, which welcomes Americans to Cuba for “meaningful interaction with the Cuban people.” The program was stopped under former President George W. Bush, but reinstated in 2011 under President Barack Obama’s administration.
"It is our understanding that the travelers in question traveled to Cuba pursuant to an educational exchange trip organized by a group authorized by OFAC to sponsor and organize programs to promote people-to-people contact in Cuba," says the letter written by Alastair M. Fitzpayne, the Treasury Department's Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs.
Beyonce and Jay-Z were photographed while engaging in cultural activities including, visiting schoolchildren and touring Old Havana last week. However, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen criticized the letter and said in a statement, “That was a wedding anniversary vacation that was not even disguised as a cultural program.”
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