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04/08/2013

Republicans target Beyonce and Jay-Z's Cuba visit

Jay-Z and Beyonce
Beyonce and Jay-Z leave their hotel in Havana on April 4. (REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa)

Musical power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z are in the Republican crosshairs today after celebrating their fifth wedding annivesary with a trip last week to embargoed Cuba.

Two Republican members of Congress are demanding that the U.S. treasury department investigate whether the couple broke U.S. law in making the journey. 

"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 it's propaganda," South Florida Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart wrote in an open letter to the U.S. Treasury Department.

Beyonce and Jay-Z, famously, support President Barack Obama with money and not just mouths. Last September, you may remember, the couple hosted a $40,000-a-head reception/fundraiser for Obama at Manhattan's 40/40 Club, steering an estimated $4 million into the president's 2012 re-election campaign.

Penalties for U.S. citizens visiting Cuba without permission include fines of up to $250,000 and jail time. But it is rarely, if ever, enforced, despite the thousands of Americans who visit Cuba via Canada and other countries in defiance of the decades-old ban.

Mitch Potter is the Star's Washington Bureau Chief, his third foreign posting after previous assignments to London and Jerusalem. Potter led the Toronto Star’s coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he won a 2006 National Newspaper Award for his reportage. His dispatches include datelines from 33 countries since 2000. Follow him on Twitter: @MPwrites 


Comments

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can republicans give it a rest already :/

The US would not dare complaining about any US citizen visiting China. When you depend on China for financing your everyday affairs, you really can't criticize too much! Beyonce should have picked China for her travel choice. No, you are not free in the US.

Anyone who has ever been to Cuba before knows that it is full of Americans who travel through Mexico or Canada. The Republicans know this. Just another silly attempt to avoid doing the peoples' business.

Someone has a lot of time on their hands if they are wasting time going after this.

Just another idiotic response from the "party of no". Just shows how much time they have on their hands.

The US has to get over it's hatred of Cuba, they are trading with every other Communist country, they need to grow up

It was suggested a couple of months ago that if the Republicans want to win, they will have to engage others than their main demographic of middle aged and older white males. Going after these two shows how deaf the Republicans are to this advice.

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