By Shannon Carlin
Remember when Beyoncé and Jay Z were just a happy billion dollar couple celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary in Cuba? You know, way back when Jay still had the hyphen in his name and there had been no elevator incident, back before the rumors of their impending divorce started cropping up.
Back then we questioned, “What’s so wrong with Bey and Jay celebrating their anniversary in Cuba?” And it seems the government has come to the conclusion that actually nothing was wrong with them celebrating in the Communist-ruled country.
According to CNN, a nine-page report released on Wednesday (Aug. 21) by the Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General states that the couple, whose legal names are Beyonce Knowles-Carter and Shawn Carter, did not violate any U.S. sanctions laws specifically the 51-year embargo that prohibits American citizens from visiting the country for purely tourist reasons.
As was reported then, this report states that the couple’s trip to Cuba was properly licensed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control under the “people-to-people” educational exchange program, a program that President Obama enacted in 2011 to make it easier for Americans to visit the country legally. The couple’s license was issued to a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote education in the fields of art, architecture and the decorative arts.
Though they were concerns that Bey and Jay may have abused the terms of the license by taking part in too many “tourist” activities including visiting with Cuban musicians and artists including young artists from Cuba’s top art school and walking through the Old City of Havana accompanied by Miguel Coyula, one of the city’s leading architects. It was confirmed that Bey and Jay’s trip did not include “meetings with Cuban officials or typical tourist activity such as trips to the beach.”
The report states, “We believe OFAC’s determination that there was no apparent violation of U.S. sanctions with respect to Jay Z and Beyonce’s trip to Cuba.”
Last year, criticism of the trip led to Jay Z writing “Open Letter,” a song that leaned in to politicos in Florida like Senators Marco Rubio, Mario Diaz Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and offered some insight into his odd couple relationship with President Obama.
“Obama said ‘Chill, you gonna get me impeached,'” he raps. “You don’t need this s*** anyway/ Chill with me on the beach…”
It also led President Obama to publicly respond to the song, saying, “I got 99 problems and now Jay-Z is one.”