Damien Cave of The New York Times is reporting that, after particular speculation by two Republican members of Congress in Florida, the Treasury Department issued a letter on Tuesday stating that musical artists Beyoncé and Jay-Z were not in violation of the embargo against Cuba when visiting during their fifth wedding anniversary. The trip took place two weeks ago, and was arranged legally by licensed group Academic Arrangements Abroad.
Signed by Alastair M. Fitzpayne, the assistant secretary for legislative affairs, the letter makes it clear that Shawn Carter (a k a Jay-Z) and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter were not given any special treatment, nor did they go to Cuba illegally, as many travelers do, by flying through a foreign airport.
Rather, they were part of a fully licensed trip, which had been vetted like every other “people to people” tour approved by the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The pair “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 letter said.
This news brief was written by Kaitlin Higgins, editorial assistant for The Burton Wire.