Beyonce, Jay-Z Cuba Trip: US Treasury Speaks Out, Silences Marco Rubio And Florida Republicans With News That Anniversary Trip Was Legal [NEWS UPDATE]

By Alex Galbraith, Mstarz Reporter | Apr 10, 2013 03:13 PM EDT
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Marco Rubio and other Florida Republicans are probably figuring out how their own shoes taste right about now. After a bashing on Twitter by Rubio and an open letter demanding more information from South Florida politicians, the US Treasury decided it was time to speak out on the issue of Jay-Z and Beyonce's trip to Cuba.

"It is our understanding that the travelers in question traveled to Cuba pursuant to an educational exchange trip organized by a group authorized by OFAC to sponsor and organize programs to promote people-to-people contact in Cuba," Alastair M. Fitzpayne, assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the Treasury Department, wrote in a response to Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who had helped pen the original letter questioning the legality of Beyonce and Jay-Z's Cuba trip.

According to NPR, the letter went on to say that trips are allowed to the island nation if they focus on "educational exchange activities that result in meaningful interaction between the U.S. travelers and individuals in Cuba."

While inside sources had confirmed to Reuters that the trip was on the up and up, this is the first official word on the subject from the US Treasury.

The United States forbids its citizens from traveling Cuba as part of a trade embargo with the island nation that has stood for more than half a century.  However, citizens can file for a license that allows them to visit Cuba through the Treasury.

 The original letter from Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart had some choice words for the superstar couple.

"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. "US dollars spent on Cuban tourism directly fund the machinery of oppression that brutally represses the Cuban people."

What do you think? Should Rubio and other Florida Republicans apologize for harassing Beyonce and Jay-Z about their trip to Cuba?

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