Beyoncé and her hubby Jay-Z did, in fact, have approval from the U.S. Treasury Department to visit Cuba last week on a “people-to-people” cultural trip, said a source “familiar with their itinerary” to Reuters.
An embargo with Cuba prevents Americans from visiting for tourism purposes, and the U.S. government must grant a license for travel. The legitimacy of the duo’s visit to Havana was questioned by a few Republican, Cuban-American representatives from Florida, as Queen Bee was celebrating her fifth wedding anniversary at the time.
The cultural exchange trips, or “people-to-people licenses” are designed to help promote civil society and independence from Cuban authorities. The stars’ visit involved “no meetings with Cuban officials,” or typical tourist activities “such as trips to the beach,” the source said. Reuters reports a walk around the Old City of Havana (mobbed by crowds of excited Cuban spectators) was even led by one of the city’s top architects.
Beyonce and Jay-Z also visited a children’s theater and several clubs to listen to live music and dance. They toured Cuba’s top art school and met young students there during their four day trip as well. Without government approval, they could have faced a fine for entering the country.
Kelsey Fowler is currently studying nothing music-related at Ithaca College. Help keep her in the loop on Twitter.