Rubio Joins Brouhaha Over Beyonce, Jay-Z Cuba Trip

US Treasury authorized 'people-to-people' visit: report

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 9, 2013 8:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – Now Marco Rubio is questioning Beyonce and Jay-Z's recent anniversary trip to Havana, a trip which an insider tells Reuters was licensed by the US Treasury department. Traveling to Cuba is normally forbidden for US citizens, with a potential punishment of 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines, ABC News notes. Though tourism is banned, the department individually licenses "people-to-people" cultural visits. That's what this trip was, the source says; it focused on culture rather than leisure.

If Treasury did license the trip, it's got some explaining to do, says Rubio after other lawmakers voiced concern. "The Obama Administration should explain exactly how trips like these comply with US law ... and it should disclose how many more of these trips they have licensed," the Florida senator said. "US law clearly bans tourism to Cuba by American citizens because it provides money to a cruel, repressive, and murderous regime." He adds that "people-to-people" visits "have been abused by tourists who have no interest in the Cuban people’s freedom," Politico reports.

Beyonce, center, and her husband Jay-Z, right, walk down the stairs at La Guarida restaurant in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, April 3, 2013.
Beyonce, center, and her husband Jay-Z, right, walk down the stairs at La Guarida restaurant in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, April 3, 2013.   (AP Photo/La Guarida)
Beyonce, right, waves to fans as her husband, rapper Jay-Z, takes photos from Saratoga Hotel in Old Havana, Cuba, Friday, April 5, 2013.
Beyonce, right, waves to fans as her husband, rapper Jay-Z, takes photos from Saratoga Hotel in Old Havana, Cuba, Friday, April 5, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
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