A trip that was meant for celebrating a successful marriage has now turned into quite the scandal. Beyonce and Jay-Z’s presence in Cuba for their fifth wedding anniversary last week was welcomed by many, but questioned by government officials.
Cuban-American lobbyist Mauricio Claver-Carone called the visit “insensitive,” while Republicans in the Congress of Florida, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, went a further route and contacted the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Control to inquire on if the couple had a valid license to visit, for what reason, and if so, what official approved the trip.
The Florida officials represent a part of Florida with a large Cuban-American population. "Cuba's tourism industry is wholly state-controlled; therefore, U.S. dollars spent on Cuban tourism directly fund the machinery of oppression that brutally represses the Cuban people," allegedly reads the letter addressed to the Office of Foreign Control.
They continue, "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.”
Thousands upon thousands of Americans visit Cuba for academic, religious, and journalistic reasons. According to USA Today, in the past when musicians and artists have been questioned by the government regarding their Cuban visit, they usually cite "cultural purposes" as their reason. If it’s found that Beyonce and Jay didn’t have the proper licensing, they could face a fine.