Treasury: Beyonce, Jay-Z Cuba Trip Licensed

April 9, 2013 - 11:27 PM

Cuba-Beyonce-Politicians Upset

FILE - In this April 4, 2013 file photo, U.S. singer Beyonce and her husband, rapper Jay-Z, are surrounded by bodyguards as they tour Old Havana, Cuba. U.S. Treasury officials on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 said the trip by Beyonce and Jay-Z to Cuba was licensed as an educational exchange. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)

MIAMI (AP) — U.S. Treasury officials say the trip by Beyonce (bee-AHN'-say) and Jay-Z to Cuba was licensed as an educational exchange.

Assistant Treasury Secretary Alastair Fitzpayne wrote in a letter Tuesday to congressional representatives that the famous hip-hop couple traveled to Cuba with a group authorized by the Office of Foreign Assets Control to promote people-to-people contact in Cuba.

The letter was released Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (ih-lay-AH'-nah rahs LAY'-tih-nehn).

Ros-Lehtinen and U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (dee-AZ' bah-LART'), both Florida Republicans, had expressed concerns to the Treasury Department about the trip and wanted to know if it was licensed.

Beyonce and Jay-Z marked their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana last week. 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.