Two Florida lawmakers have expressed deep concern with hip hop stars Jay-Z and Beyonce’s recently publicized trip to Cuba, worried that their tourism dollars might be “supporting a murderous regime.”
Congressional Republicans Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart have written to the director of the United States’ Office of Foreign Assets Control, concerned the trip may not fall within the guidelines of acceptable travel purposes and asking for information on the license the pair of stars were issued that permitted their Cuban travel, including “for what purpose and who approved” the travel.
The letter goes on to point out that license to travel to Cuba should only be issued if they “certify that all participants will have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba.”
“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,” they write. “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.”
The superstars were spotted and photographed on the streets of Havana this past Thursday, where they were apparently celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary.
According to reports big crowds greeted the couple as they strolled through the streets, posing for pictures with fans, and seen dining on traditional meals in famous Havana restaurants.
While the celebrity duo are not the only stars to visit Cuba in recent years–actors Sean Penn and Bill Murray did as well in 2009–they may be the biggest names in recent history, which could be why their trip has drawn so much attention.