In the wake of a recent trip to Cuba by Jay-Z and Beyonce, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Monday said the Obama administration should explain why it licensed the trip to the island and reveal how many trips have been approved.
Rubio said in a written statement:
“U.S. law clearly bans tourism to Cuba by American citizens because it provides money to a cruel, repressive and murderous regime. Since their inception, the Obama Administration’s ‘people to people’ cultural exchange programs have been abused by tourists who have no interest in the Cuban people’s freedom and either don’t realize or don’t care that they’re essentially funding the regime’s systematic trampling of people’s human rights.
“According to recent news reports, Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Cuba trip, which the regime seized on for propaganda purposes, was fully licensed by the Treasury Department. If true, the Obama Administration should explain exactly how trips like these comply with U.S. law and regulations governing travel to Cuba and it should disclose how many more of these trips they have licensed.”
TPM has not been able to confirm whether the two musicians were granted a license, but Reuters reported Monday that the trip was approved by the Treasury Department.
Rubio also posted this tweet about Jay-Z's trip, mocking one of the rapper's songs.
Rubio has been working on immigration reform as part of the Senate's "Gang of 8," though he has cautioned that lawmakers shouldn't move too hastily on legislation.
TPM's Hunter Walker has more on the Cuba trip and its fallout on U.S. soil here.