Why, it was part of a cultural exchange:
A visit by American pop star Beyonce and rapper husband Jay-Z to Havana last week was a cultural trip that was fully licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department, a source familiar with the itinerary said on Monday.
The longstanding U.S. trade embargo against Cuba prevents most Americans from traveling to the communist-led island without a license granted by the U.S. government.
Some lawmakers are not happy:
In a letter dated on Friday, reports Reuters, U.S. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, asked Adam Szubin, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, for “information regarding the type of license that Beyoncé and Jay-Z received, for what purpose, and who approved such travel.”
. . . .
“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 its propaganda,” the letter said. “We represent a community of many who have been deeply and personally harmed by the Castro regime’s atrocities, including former political prisoners and the families of murdered innocents.”
. . . .
Sen. Marco Rubio also had strong words about the trip and issued a statement Monday accusing the Obama administration of not properly enforcing the law that bans tourism:
“U.S. law clearly bans tourism to Cuba by American citizens because it provides money to a cruel, repressive and murderous regime. Since their inception, the Obama Administration’s ‘people to people’ cultural exchange programs have been abused by tourists who have no interest in the Cuban people’s freedom and either don’t realize or don’t care that they’re essentially funding the regime’s systematic trampling of people’s human rights,” said Rubio.
I am not a fan of the policy of prohibiting people from traveling to Cuba. I understand the purpose of the ban, but I am generally for freedom. My default position is that we should be able to travel where we want to travel.
But if the ban should be lifted, it should be lifted for all — not just those who are friends with Obama.