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Marco Rubio is demanding an explanation from the Obama Administration on Beyonce and Jay-Z‘s controversial trip to Cuba.
In a statement Monday (via Politico), the Florida Senator said: “According to recent news reports, Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s Cuba trip, which the regime seized on for propaganda purposes, was fully licensed by the Treasury Department. 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.”
The duo celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in the communist country, where they toured Havana and attended a concert featuring local musicians.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the decision to authorize the travel was made by the Treasury Department. The Obama administration has loosened up travel restrictions to Cuba, but that hasn’t stopped complaints by Rubio and two Republican congressional representatives from the Sunshine state serving communities with large Cuban populations.
Reuters reports that the four-day trip was greenlit as a cultural exchange involving no visits with Cuban authorities nor touristy excursions to the beach.
As previously reported, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart issued a letter to the Treasury Department requesting an investigation into the power couple’s vacation. “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,” they wrote.
Echoing that sentiment, Rubio added: “U.S. law clearly bans tourism to Cuba by American citizens because it provides money to a cruel, repressive and murderous regime. Since their inception, the Obama Administration’s ‘people to people’ cultural exchange programs have been abused by tourists who have no interest in the Cuban people’s freedom and either don’t realize or don’t care that they’re essentially funding the regime’s systematic trampling of people’s human rights.”
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