Politicians decry Beyonce and Jay-Z's visit to Cuba
MIAMI (AP) — Beyonce and Jay-Z's trip to Cuba has angered two Cuban-American politicians who are demanding information on whether the couple's visit to the communist island was licensed.
U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida have written to the U.S. Department of Treasury expressing concern about the trip. In the letter, both said they represent a community that has been "deeply and personally harmed by the Castro regime's atrocities."
"The restrictions on tourism travel are commonsense measures meant to prevent U.S. dollars from supporting a murderous regime that opposes U.S. security interests at every turn and which ruthlessly suppresses the most basic liberties of speech, assembly and belief," the GOP lawmakers wrote.
John Sullivan, a Treasury spokesman in Washington, said he could not comment on specific licenses. He said the agency was working on a response to the letter from Ros-Lehtinen and Diaz-Balart.
Beyonce and Jay-Z marked their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana last week. The state-run website CubaSi called it a tourist trip. The artists declined to speak with reporters.
U.S. citizens are not allowed to travel to Cuba for mere tourism, though they can obtain licenses for academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange trips. The so-called people-to-people licenses were reinstated under the Obama administration and are designed to help promote civil society and independence from Cuban authorities.
The U.S. government tightened requirements to obtain the licenses last year after Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., criticized the programs as cover-ups for tourism. Rubio derided groups that were granted licenses for activities such as salsa dancing and a trip to the Cuban Ministry of Culture.
The U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control issued new requirements last May that required travel operators to provide detailed information on every aspect of their trip.
On Monday, Rubio tweeted that if Jay-Z really wanted to know what Cuban life is like, he should have visited dissident rapper Angel Yunier Remon. Rubio closed his tweet with the hashtag "99problems&dictatorsareone," a reference to Jay-Z's song "99 Problems."
During the R&B power couple's trip to Cuba, they ate at the renowned, privately run La Guarida restaurant and toured colonial Old Havana. They were followed by bodyguards and fans. Beyonce posed for photos with schoolchildren while Jay-Z puffed on a Cuban cigar.
Not all of the Cuban-American community lambasted their trip. Arturo Lopez-Levy, a Cuban economist and analyst who lectures at the University of Denver, said the trip and subsequent fallout were "a call to take a fresh look at the U.S. policy toward Cuba with the candidness of an adolescent."
"It is difficult to defend a policy that stomps on the same rights it preaches," he wrote in a column published in The Huffington Post. "Since the migratory reforms made by Cuba in January, that eliminated most of the restrictions on travel from the totalitarian period, Cubans, under a communist regime have fewer legal impediments to visiting the U.S. than U.S. citizens have to visiting Cuba."
Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
Let Streaming Genie help you.