Press Esc to close
Sunday 21 September 2014
News updated at 8:24 AM IST
Weather
Max: 27.1°C
Min : 20.1°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

Obama had nothing to do with Jay-Z's Cuba trip: White House

Washington, April 12, 2013, (IANS/EFE) :

US President Barack Obama had nothing to do with rapper Jay-Z and pop diva Beyonce's trip to Cuba, the White House said Thursday after the hip hop icon released a song about the controversy.

"I am absolutely saying that the White House, from the president on down, had nothing to do with anybody's personal - anybody's travel to Cuba. That is something that Treasury handles," press secretary Jay Carney said at the daily briefing.

Tourism to Cuba is banned under Washington's 50-year-old economic embargo against the island, but it is possible to obtain a license from the Treasury Department for religious, academic, educational and cultural journeys.


Responding to a query from two Cuban-American members of Congress, the Treasury Department said Tuesday that Jay-Z, Beyonce and members of their family were authorized to travel to Cuba for educational purposes.

At Thursday's press briefing, Politico reporter Donovan Slack recited some lyrics from Jay-Z's song about the incident, "Open Letter", and challenged Carney to provide an explanation.

"I turned Havana to Atlanta... Boy from the hood I got White House clearance...," Jay-Z says in the song.

"I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury," the press secretary quipped.

"It's a song, Donovan. The president did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip," Carney insisted.

Jay-Z and Beyonce, whose Cuba trip coincided with their fifth wedding anniversary, campaigned for Obama's re-election in 2012.

"Cuba's tourism industry is wholly state-controlled, therefore, US dollars spent on Cuban tourism directly fund the machinery of oppression that brutally represses the Cuban people," Florida Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, both Republicans, said in a letter to the Treasury Department after the couple's visit became public.

Some members of the Cuban exile community said the visit was used for propaganda purposes by the regime in Havana.

The New York Times, however, said Cuban authorities did not know about the pair's arrival until the last minute and noted that Beyonce visited a children's theater group and watched dance-company rehearsals during their three-day stay.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Amitabh Bachchan attends a “Kaun Banega Crorepati” event in Mumbai ...

Amitabh Bachchan attends a “Kaun Banega Crorepati” event in Mumbai ...

Gold medal winner India's Jitu Rai poses at the medal ceremony of Men's 50M Pistol shooting ...

Gold medal winner India's Jitu Rai poses at the medal ceremony of Men's 50M Pistol shooting ...

India's Heena Sindhu  during 10M Air Pistol Women's team qualification shooting ...

India's Heena Sindhu during 10M Air Pistol Women's team qualification shooting ...

Dalai Lama during inaugural speech at two-day meeting of Diverse Spiritual Traditions of India ...

Dalai Lama during inaugural speech at two-day meeting of Diverse Spiritual Traditions of India ...

John Abraham along with Spanish football player Joan Capdevila during a press conference in ...

John Abraham along with Spanish football player Joan Capdevila during a press conference in ...

India's badminton player P V Sindhu play a shot against Thailand's Buranaprasertsuk ...

India's badminton player P V Sindhu play a shot against Thailand's Buranaprasertsuk ...

ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hand over a cheque for  ...

ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hand over a cheque for ...

India's P C Thulasi plays a shot during the Quaterfinal match of women's singles badminton ...

India's P C Thulasi plays a shot during the Quaterfinal match of women's singles badminton ...

Two stray dogs on a pipe in a flooded locality on the outskirts of Srinagar ...

Two stray dogs on a pipe in a flooded locality on the outskirts of Srinagar ...

Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar at the launch of Coca Cola Zero in New Delhi ...

Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar at the launch of Coca Cola Zero in New Delhi ...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523