Jay-Z’s controversial trip to Cuba did not violate the embargo

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Pop diva Beyonce and hip-hop star Jay-Z’s controversial trip to Cuba was part of a cultural exchange and did not violate the economic embargo imposed on the island by the United States, a senior U.S. Treasury official said Tuesday.

Alastair Fitzpayne, the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, said in a letter to Republican lawmakers who had questioned the trip that the couple’s high-profile visit had not broken any laws.

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“It is our understanding that the travelers in question traveled to Cuba pursuant to an educational exchange trip organized by a group authorized by OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) to sponsor and organize programs to promote people-to people contact in Cuba,” Fitzpayne said in the letter seen by Agence France Presse.

Jay-Z, Beyonce Cuba trip irks lawmakers

Fitzpayne, however, also seemed to put a little distance between OFAC and the globetrotting couple, who gave vast sums to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. He noted that “organizations holding people-to-people licenses must certify in writing to OFAC that any travel that they conduct will consist of a full-time schedule of educational activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba.”

source yahoo/ Treasury Dept and cnn

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