Rep. Chaka Fattah Endorses Beyonce and Jay-Z’s Cuba Vacation on Twitter
Your average couple celebrates a fifth wedding anniversary with a white-tablecloth dinner, drunken sex and a thoughtful gift. But when you’re Jay-Z and Beyonce, you go to Cuba and smile for the cameras. When I saw the vacation photos of Beyonce and Jay-Z in Cuba, I didn’t think much of it. But over the weekend, questions came up about the legality of their sojourn, given that travel to Cuba remains a questionable affair.
They may soon be explaining the trip to members of Congress, or facing a prison sentence and a fine. Treasury Department regulations prohibit Americans from traveling to Cuba “unless authorized by a general or specific license.” [New York Times]
Two Republican members of Congress from Florida have sent a letter to the United States Treasury Department asking for “information regarding the type of license that Beyonce and Jay-Z received, for what purpose, and who approved such travel.”
The letter continues: “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. 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.”
But Philadelphia Congressman Chaka Fattah, a Democrat, doesn’t see what all the fuss is about:
— Chaka Fattah (@chakafattah) April 8, 2013
I responded to his tweet, asking if we were all suddenly free to travel to Cuba at our leisure, and then he tweeted this 2011 article from the New York Times, which describes how it had become easier to travel to Cuba thanks to changes to the law.
But there are still significant restrictions and punishments for ignoring them, and it’s unclear at this point whether Blue Ivy’s parents followed the law or just sailed the old yacht to Havana.
It’s not the first time Fattah has come to Beyonce’s defense. Here he is weighing in on Beyonce’s lip-synced performance of the National Anthem at Obama’s second inauguration:
Beyonce performed the Star Spangled Banner a million times better than any of her detractors.Alicia Keys,Beyonce.Kelly & Katy Perry,Thanks.
— Chaka Fattah (@chakafattah) January 23, 2013