MIAMI Aug 21 American music industry power
couple Beyonce and Jay-Z did not violate U.S. sanctions on Cuba
by traveling to the communist-ruled island last year, a U.S.
government review has found.
"We found no indication that U.S. sanctions were violated,
and we concluded that the ... decision not to pursue a formal
investigation was reasonable," said the review by the Treasury
Department's Office of Inspector General dated on Wednesday.
The four-day visit in April 2013 was a cultural trip that
was fully licensed by the Treasury Department, organizers said
at the time.
The long-standing U.S. trade embargo against Cuba prevents
most Americans from traveling to the island without a license
granted by the U.S. government.
Two Cuban-American members of Congress, both Republicans
representing south Florida and supporters of a firm stance on
Cuba, had asked the Treasury Department for information on what
type of license the couple obtained for their trip.
Beyonce and Jay-Z celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary
in Havana and were greeted by big crowds as they strolled
through the Cuban capital. They were instantly recognized
despite the past half-century of ideological conflict that
separates the two countries.
The visit was planned as a "people-to-people" cultural visit
and involved no meetings with Cuban officials, or typical
tourist activity such as trips to the beach, organizers said at
The trip included visits with Cuban artists and musicians,
as well as several nightclubs where live music was performed,
and some of the city's best privately run restaurants, known as
Beyonce and Jay-Z were among a bevy of American stars to
visit the island in recent years, joining actors Bill Murray,
Sean Penn and James Caan. But the pair were the first to cause
such a stir everywhere they went.
While it has kept the embargo in place, the Obama
administration has eased restrictions on travel to Cuba for
academic, religious or cultural programs.
(Reporting by David Adams; Editing by Eric Beech)