Beyonce and Jay-Z Cuba visit under scrutiny

A VISIT to Cuba by US pop singer Beyonce and her rap star husband Jay-Z has come under scrutiny in connection with the US economic embargo.

Two Republican members of Congress have now requested official information on whether the couple had US government permission to travel there.

The music stars caused a local sensation when they celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana this week, where they were greeted by thousands of fans.

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There was no immediate comment on the situation from Beyonce yesterday.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, members of Congress from Florida, asked the US treasury department to clarify what licence the two stars had obtained to travel to Cuba.

They wrote: “Cuba’s tourism industry is wholly state-controlled; therefore, US dollars spent on Cuban tourism directly fund the machinery of oppression that brutally represses the Cuban people.”

Americans are not allowed to visit Cuba and spend money there unless they have special permission, according to guidance on the US treasury website.

US president Barack Obama has eased restrictions on the country’s citizens travelling to Cuba and many travel to the country on academic, religious, or cultural exchanges.

Beyonce and Jay-Z turned heads in the Cuban capital on Thursday when they toured the streets of Old Havana, visiting historical landmarks and chatting to local residents.

Beyonce, a household name in her home country, sang the US national anthem at Mr Obama’s presidential inauguration in January.