News

US Treasury Department Says Jay-Z, Beyonce Cuba Trip Was Authorized

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - April 10, 2013

Above: Beyonce

By Alexander Britell

Music stars Jay-Z and Beyonce’s recent trip to Cuba was authorized by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, according to a letter received by Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

The letter was sent by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the government agency that approves travel licences to Cuba.

According to the letter, the pair’s trip was authorized as an “educational exchange,” one of the few criteria available for legal travel to the Caribbean island.

“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,” the office wrote.

The two had ostensibly traveled to Cuba to mark their fifth wedding anniversary.

Ros-Lehtinen, whose statement questioning the legality of the trip Friday sparked a national controversy, criticized the government’s approval in a statement.

“If the tourist activities undertaken by Beyonce and Jay-Z in Cuba are classified as an educational exchange trip, then it is clear that the Obama Administration is not serious about denying the Castro regime an economic lifeline that US tourism will extend to it,” the Florida Representative said. “That was a wedding anniversary vacation that was not even disguised as a cultural program.”

The White House chimed in on the controversy earlier this week at a press briefing, saying it did not have an insight into the particular trip and that such matters were for the Treasury Department.

“As more human rights activists engage in hunger strikes, I don’t think they will see any evidence of how this scam endeavour will help them become independent of the regime,” Ros-Lehtinen said.

Popular Posts cape santa maria

From Anguilla to Aruba, the Best Caribbean Beaches to Visit This Summer

Forget the Hamptons, forget Santorini. And Florida? There’s a reason snowbirds go home in the summer. If you’re looking for a summertime beach getaway, the Caribbean is it. The water is deliciously warm, the trade winds keep you cool and […]


From Belize to Grenada, 10 Little Caribbean Beach Resorts to Visit Right Now 

karibuni

There are different resorts for different vacations, different tastes, different moods. For some, there’s something delicious about a pint-sized, tiny Caribbean resort, where the emphasis is on the intimate, the serene. Where the soundtrack isn’t a piped-in DJ set, but […]


Southwest Airlines Is Starting New Flights to Turks and Caicos, Cayman and The Bahamas 

beach at palms resort with umbrellas

Orlando has become an increasingly important source market for Caribbean travel in recent years, with carriers like Spirit and JetBlue adding new routes to the region to destinations like Cancun, Punta Cana and Puerto Rico.  Now, another carrier has is […]


Related Posts Cancun Punta Cana Vacations

Sunwing Is Adding More Flights to Cuba, Cancun

Sunwing is making its return to the city of Thunder Bay in Ontario this winter.  The Canadian travel giant will be relaunching flights from Thunder Bay to both Cancun, Mexico and Varadero, Cuba this winter.  That will include weekly flights […]


Four Cuba All-Inclusive Resorts Just Reopened

cuba all-inclusive resorts

A group of four all-inclusive resorts have reopened on the island of Cayo Largo del Sur in Cuba.  The resorts reopened Nov. 4 under the Blue Diamond Resorts umbrella.  They include the Memories Cayo Largo, Starfish Cayo Largo and a […]


Sunwing Relaunching More Flights to Cancun, Cuba 

cancun flights

Canadian travel giant Sunwing is relaunching more service to Caribbean hotspots including Cuba and Cancun this winter.  In November, the carrier is resuming a wave of flights from Ottawa to destinations like Mexico, Jamaica, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.  That […]


SUBSCRIBE!

Sign up for Caribbean Journal's free newsletter for a daily dose of beaches, hotels, rum and the best Caribbean travel information on the net.


No. Thank You