Florida Republican Marco Rubio demanded the Obama Administration explain why musical pair Beyonce Knowles and Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter were give licenses to visit Cuba, the communist tropical isle with which the United States has cut ties.
“U.S. law clearly bans tourism to Cuba by American citizens because it provides money to a cruel, repressive and murderous regime." Rubio said in a statement released Monday.
White House Secretary Jay Carney said the U.S. Treasury Department permitted the celebrity couple to travel to the country. They are reportedly celebrating their 4th wedding anniversary there. However the trip was billed as a cultural exchange to fit the cultural and academic allowances which are the only exceptions to the Cuba tourism ban.
Rubio said the star's cultural trip is a farce and an abuse of power. "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," he said.
Rather the Florida Senator said that power couple's presence is being "seized on for propaganda purposes."
He is demanding that the Obama Administration "explain exactly how trips like these comply with U.S. law and regulations governing travel to Cuba and it should disclose how many more of these trips they have licensed.”
Beyonce and Jay-Z are major supporters of Barack Obama. They had an exclusive fundraiser for the president during the 2012 election. Beyonce published an open letter to First Lady Michelle Obama praising her for being a strong woman. Beyonce also sang at President Obama's second inaugration.