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Miami lawmakers question Beyoncé, Jay-Z trip to Cuba

@PatriciaMazzei

U.S. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, both Cuban-American Republicans from Miami, sent a letter late Friday to the Treasury Department asking for details about R&B stars Beyoncé and Jay-Z's trip this week to Cuba.

In the letter to the office of foreign assets control, the members of Congress say they want to find out which type of license the couple received to travel to the island, what the purpose of their trip is and who approved it.

"As you know, U.S. law expressly prohibits the licensing of financial transactions for 'tourist activities' in Cuba," the letter says. It also notes that so-called "people-to-people" licenses require that travelers have "a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities" in Cuba.

"Despite the clear prohibition against tourism in Cuba, numerous press reports described the couple's trip as tourism, and the Castro regime touted it as such in its propaganda," the letter says. "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."

Comments

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Rick Scott Sucks

It's almost a moot point. Tourism in Cuba will flourish, it's just a matter of time. People are looking at real estate and ways of investing now before it becomes the next gold rush in the Caribbean.

Canadian Guy

The congressmen should be working tirelessly on normalizing relations with the Cuban govt and striving to make its society open and its people free instead of complaining about where a couple vacations. The US government Should be working towards building back these relationships with Cuba abs also to stop making all the misconceptions about how the country work. All aside, Cuba is a beautiful place and the people there are happy and live a normal life. Communism there is normal and they survive. It should be no countries business in how they run their country. If anyone else was curious b and j went there on a business trip, ironically, probably not a coincidence, on their anniversary. J is working on a sugar deal.

Canadian Guy

Cigar deal*

DC1945

Do US readers realize how stupid this makes Americans look to rest of the world? Not even America's closest allies at the UN are buying into their silliness.

gabriel

Ros-Lehtinen y Diaz-Balart aren’t US Representatives, representing the people of South Florida in Congress? What is their right to interfere in the travels of private US citizens overseas? Have they consulted with the people they represent about this particular event?

Is it possible that both represent private interests related to the ancient Cuban exiled minority?

They have to be defeated in the next election and replaced by young forward looking “real” representatives.

John McAuliff

Hard to imagine looking at the press accounts that Beyonce and Jay-Z could avoid almost constant people to people engagement.

The two Congress people would have greater moral standing if they joined Rep. Sam Farr's Dear Colleague letter calling for a general license for all purposeful travel. That way Americans could travel on their own and inject money into the private bed and breakfast and restaurant sector.

The real issue is that the hard liners are terrified too many Americans will discover Cuba is a complicated, friendly and fast evolving place and that both countries will benefit from normalization of relations.

A good example is the Celtic Festival in Havana April 13 - 20. http://www.celtfestcuba.org

John McAuliff
Fund for Reconciliation and Development

steve

and if any of you even went through half of what most Cuban americans did and saw, you would shut your mouth.

steve

and JOHN MCAULIFF - if you ever go to Cuba and you "tour" the country. Everything you spend will go to the communist government there. The food, the cooks, the waiters. they work FOR FREE. There is dark and painful history in Cuba. and that same government responsible for it all is still there.

mike arsuaga

Dear Ileana and Mario: why is it then that "your community" of cubans in Miami, where u live, and elsewhere, make their way here running away from, as you say, the "Castro regime" and oppression, and in fear of their life, and then ONE DAY after they've been here the required 365 to obtain full resident status those same "scared and fearful of the Castro regime" are on a plane headed for Havana to "visit relatives"? THAT is TOURISM in disguise!! So, instead of putting up such a political "re-elect-me-again" show, why then don't the two of you just get to work on prohibiting ALL travel to Cuba, specially by the Cubans who had so desperately escaped one yr earlier and are now returning with pockets full of dollars for the regime.

mike arsuaga

By reading the other comments it looks and sounds like Ileana's and Mario's "hubba palooza re-elect me again" show has blown up in their faces. Why should only Cubans have the right to travel there from MY country when I can't?

alex

Dear Ileana and Mario: why is it then that "your community" of cubans in Miami, where u live, and elsewhere, make their way here running away from, as you say, the "Castro regime" and oppression, and in fear of their life, and then ONE DAY after they've been here the required 365 to obtain full resident status those same "scared and fearful of the Castro regime" are on a plane headed for Havana to "visit relatives"? THAT is TOURISM in disguise!! So, instead of putting up such a political "re-elect-me-again" show, why then don't the two of you just get to work on prohibiting ALL travel to Cuba, specially by the Cubans who had so desperately escaped one yr earlier and are now returning with pockets full of dollars for the regime.

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2013/04/miami-lawmakers-question-beyonc%C3%A9-jay-z-trip-to-cuba.html#storylink=cpy

Can't take anymore

Ileana and Diaz-Blowhard are just cranking up the aging Falangists who are still mad about losing a civil war over 50 years ago. No one can think that the Castro Brothers are but just a very short time from passing into history. Any chance of modernizing and democratizing Cuba quickly will need US involvement. These two Congressional ninnies should be encouraging more American celebraties going to Cuba. It's the Castro's that fear American "cultural imperialism" that is really the worst enemy of their repressive regime.

Ray May

May the two US members of congress please explain the reason for the "Cuban Revolution".
If they were to then Americans would reject them due to the racist attitudes that exist towards the negro that are still the most oppress in their FAIR homeland of Cuba. Just take a look at how they behave in South Florida.

Beyonce Tour 2013

Hello. I agree. Looking forward to going to her next concert.

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