Jay-Z, Beyonce's 'restricted' Havana holiday comes under fire by US Republicans

London, Apr. 8 : Star couple Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z, and his wife Beyonce have come under scrutiny after they landed for a holiday in Havana, which happens to be subject to a trade embargo imposed by the US government 53 years ago.

The embargo technically prohibits all US tourism to the island.

Beyonce and Jay-Z selected had chosen the destination for a short break to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary.

Two Republican representatives for south Florida, whose constituents include many enduringly embittered Cuban exiles, have raised the issue of the Carters' visit with the Obama administration, denouncing it as having provided sustenance to the "murderous" Castro regime, reports the Guardian.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart have sent a joint letter to the Treasury Department official responsible for policing the embargo to demand to be told who approved the Carters' travel and for what purpose.

The letter points out that "tourist activities" are covered by the ban and complains that the trip was used by the Castro regime for propaganda purposes.

The anti-Castro lobby group Cuba Democracy Advocates, based in Washington, accused the couple of being "extremely insensitive".

In the recent years, Obama has revised the terms of the trade embargo, making it possible for Americans to visit the island, although trips are still restricted to academic, religious or cultural exchanges.

The first restrictions were imposed in October 1960 in retaliation to the decision of the revolutionary Cuban government to nationalize the property of American citizens and companies.

Now in its 53rd year, the law is frequently flouted, with Americans travelling to the island via third-party countries such as Canada or Mexico.

--ANI (Posted on 08-04-2013)

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