This post is based on an email that was sent and in no way reflects the views and opinions of ''Met'' or To send in a story send your email to [email protected]



Trip to Cuba by Beyoncé and Jay-Z Is Investigated
Published: April 8, 2013

MEXICO CITY — The United States Treasury Department has begun investigating whether Jay-Z and Beyoncé — music’s royal couple — violated the trade embargo against Cuba by traveling to the island two weeks ago during their wedding anniversary, according to officials and a person who helped arrange their visit.

Connect With Us on Twitter
Follow @nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines.
Twitter List: Reporters and Editors
In a sudden predictable controversy that proves the embers of conflict between Miami and Havana are never far from becoming flames, Treasury officials on Monday said they were working on a response to demands for more information about the trip from two Cuban-American lawmakers from South Florida — Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, both Republicans, who appear to be using the highly photographed visit to rekindle outrage about Americans going to Cuba for fun.

“Cuba’s tourism industry is wholly state-controlled,” Ms. Ros-Lehtinen and Mr. Diaz-Balart wrote in a letter to the Treasury Department on Friday, “therefore, U.S. dollars spent on Cuban tourism directly fund the machinery of oppression that brutally represses the Cuban people.”

Questions about the megastars’ trip have been swirling for days, with some Cuban exile bloggers describing the trip as a propaganda mission “carefully planned and controlled by the Castro dictatorship.” But witnesses in Cuba and a person affiliated with the company that arranged the trip, Academic Arrangements Abroad, contend that the visit was a surprise to Cuban leaders, who struggled to provide adequate security with just a day’s notice.

The three-night sojourn, according to the person who helped plan it, came together without input from the Cuban government like other visits for Americans under a “people to people” license — granted by the Treasury Department for trips that focus on “educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction” between Americans and Cubans.

About 10,000 Americans go to Cuba each year with such tours, and the Treasury Department tightened the rules for trip agendas last year after Senator Marco Rubio, another Cuban-American Republican from Florida, criticized the tours for allowing tourism, which is banned by the embargo.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé visited the children’s theater group La Colmenita, where Beyoncé danced with little girls dressed as bumblebees, and met with students and teachers at the Superior Art Institute. Photographs also showed Jay-Z enjoying a Cuban cigar on the balcony of their government-owned hotel, the Saratoga, but the trip also included personal and intimate exchanges. The restaurants where Cubans saw the stars eating were privately owned “paladars.” Their public cultural outings occurred with an emphasis on interaction with everyday Cubans, not officials.

Miguel Iglesias, the director of the Cuban Contemporary Dance Company, said Beyoncé also went to the company on Friday morning to watch an informal performance. She arrived with her family (her mother was part of the tour group), and half-danced during the show before jumping up at the end with applause, saying the performance was “amazing.” He said she then talked to the choreographer and to him about the score and the choreography, because it is a piece that was written and choreographed by the company.

Asked if he thought it was an interesting exchange, Mr. Iglesias said it was. “If to come here and share ideas and emotions isn’t a legitimate exchange between peoples, I don’t what is,” he said.

He added: “There are those who think that any connection between Cuba and the United States is illegitimate because they disagree with the system. I don’t see it like that at all.”

Karla Zabludovsky contributed reporting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

[+] kaskus emoticons nartzco

Current day month [email protected] *

DISCLAIMER The views or opinions appearing on this blog are solely those of their respective authors. In no way do such posts represent the views, opinions or beliefs of “Met,” or “Met” and will not assume liability for the opinions or statements, nor the accuracy of such statements, posted by users utilizing this blog to express themselves. Users are advised that false statements which are defamatory in nature may be subject to legal action, for which the user posting such statements will be personally liable for any damages or other liability, of any nature, arising out of the posting of such statements. Comments submitted to this blog may be edited to meet our format and space requirements. We also reserve the right to edit vulgar language and/or comments involving topics we may deem inappropriate for this web site.

****RULES**** 1. Debates and rebuttals are allowed but disrespectful curse-outs will prompt immediate BAN 2. Children are never to be discussed in a negative way 3. Personal information  eg. workplace, status, home address are never to be posted in comments. 4. All are welcome but please exercise discretion when posting your comments , do not say anything about someone you wouldnt like to be said about  you. 5. Do not deliberately LIE on someone here or send in any information based on your own personal vendetta. 6. If your picture was taken from a prio site eg. fimiyaad etc and posted on JMG, you cannot request its removal. 7. If you dont like this forum, please do not whine and wear us out, do yourself the favor of closing the screen- Thanks! . To send in a story send your email to :- [email protected]