U.S. lawmakers want facts of celebrities visiting Cuba

Two Republican lawmakers have asked the U.S. government to examine whether American pop star Beyonce and her rapper husband, Jay-Z, had obtained official permission for a high-profile trip to Cuba to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

The celebrity couple celebrated their fifth anniversary this week in Havana, where huge crowds greeted them as they strolled hand in hand through the Cuban capital.

The superstars ate at some of the city’s best restaurants, danced to Cuban music, visited historical landmarks in the heart of old Havana and posed for pictures with dozens of autograph-seeking fans during their trip.

A long-standing trade embargo prohibits Americans from visiting Cuba for tourism without U.S. government permission, but President Barack Obama has eased restrictions on travel to the island nation for academic, religious or cultural exchanges.

Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida sent a letter Friday to the director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the U.S. Treasury Department, requesting information on the type of license Beyonce and Jay-Z received before traveling to Cuba.

The two members of Congress represent districts in south Florida with a high Cuban-American population.

Thousands of Americans visit Cuba every year without U.S. government permission, but are rarely prosecuted unless they flaunt their defiance of the rules.

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