Beyonce and Jay-Z had a standard federal waiver to make their much-scrutinized anniversary trip to Cuba, according to documents released by lawmakers.
In a letter to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinin, Treasury Department officials wrote that the superstars got around the longstanding U.S. embargo on tourism to Cuba “pursuant to an educational exchange trip organized by a group authorized. . . to sponsor and organize programs to promote people-to-people contact.”
The revelation that their journey was lawful, though, might not do much to dampen its controversy. In a statement, Ros-Lehtinen maintained that the couple’s closely-chronicled Havana visit — which involved fine dining, historic sites and meetings with school children — was clearly “a wedding annivesary vacation that was not even disguised as a cultural program.” She argued that “it is clear that the Obama administration is not serious about denying the Castro regime that U.S. tourism will extend to it.” Earlier this week, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) argued that cultural-exchange programs are too often a loophole “abused by tourists” who want to vacation in the sunny communist nation.