Republican rep. on Cuba trip probe: ‘The diva of Beyonce’ is not ‘above the law’

By David Edwards
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 10:01 EDT
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Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen speaks to CNN
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A Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives vowed on Tuesday to press forward with an investigation into a trip to Cuba taken by singers Beyonce and Jay-Z last week even after sources at the Treasury Department suggested that the trip had been authorized.

During an interview with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) on Tuesday, CNN host John Berman pointed out that “all indications” were that the trip was legal because it had been licensed by the U.S. government as a cultural visit.

“I know that Reuters has been reporting it, but [the Office of Foreign Assets Control] OFAC said it will take them a few days to respond to our congressional inquiry, which is kind of a farce in itself,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “It’s very easy to check what kind of license.”

“But what this trip is about is that we’re saying that no one is above the law, even if you’re the diva of Beyonce. And that’s wonderful that she’s famous and rich. And Jay-Z, everybody loves him too. Terrific. But no one’s above the law.”

“But the law does let you travel to Cuba under some circumstances,” Berman noted.

“Yes, but if you saw the footage and the photographs from their visit to Cuba, it looked just like what the Cuban government said it was,” Ros-Lehtinen insisted. “It was a tourist trip, where they were celebrating their wedding anniversary. And there are a lot of better places they could go where they’re not feeding a monstrous regime, because every dollar that is spent there goes to the Castro regime so they can further repress the Cuban people.”

“So, I wish they would have a little more common sense and understanding and solidarity with the suffering of the Cuban people.”

Watch this video from CNN’s Starting Point, broadcast April 9, 2013.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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