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Beyonce and Jay-Z trip to Cuba under congressional scrutiny

UPDATE: Why Beyonce and Jay-Z’s trip got more attention than Sean Penn, Danny Glover’s visits, 4/8/13

Beyonce and Jay-Z’s paparazzi-trailed trip to Havana has prompted questions from two members of Congress. Thousands of Americans every year get around the U.S. embargo on tourism to Cuba with waivers for academic, religious or research work — or by sneaking in through a third country. (Jack Nicholson, Jodie Foster and Will Smith are among the VIPs who’ve traveled there, according to photos spotted on the wall of one Havana restaurant, reports AP). In a letter to the Treasury Department, which issues such licenses, south Florida Republicans Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart demanded to know what purpose Jay and Bey cited to make their trip, noting that “the Castro regime touted it as [tourism] in its propaganda,” and that “the restrictions on tourism travel are common-sense 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.” No word yet from Treasury, which earlier told AP it doesn’t comment on individual cases; nor from the stars’ camp. Best of luck in your investigation, congressfolk, but whether it’s weathering a lip-sync scandal or trademarking her baby’s name, Beyonce always seems to win.

UPDATE, 4/8/13: Beyonce, Jay-Z reportedly had cultural license for visit

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