A Florida congresswoman says the Obama administration isn’t serious about limiting U.S. tourism dollars that flow to Cuba after learning the Treasury Department approved Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s recent trip to the country.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control concluded, “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,” according to a spokesman for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who had written to the Office of Foreign Assets Control inquiring about the trip.
The couple’s trip, which fell on their fifth wedding anniversary, was “not even disguised as a cultural program,” Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said.
“If the tourist activities undertaken by Beyoncé 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 U.S. tourism will extend to it,” Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement. “That was a wedding anniversary vacation that was not even disguised as a cultural program. As more human rights activists engage in hunger strikes, I don’t think they will see any evidence of how this scam endeavor will help them become independent of the regime.”
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen wrote to the OFAC April 5 inquiring who approved Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s trip, because U.S. law prohibits “the licensing of financial transactions for tourist activities in Cuba,” according to the letter.