Cuban rum, cigars and spicy cuisine are just a few things that many Americans would like to experience first-hand in Cuba. Unfortunately, it's illegal for them to travel there "unless authorized by a general or specific license."
That's what Florida Republican U.S. representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart want to know. And the next time the entertainment super couple travels to Washington, it may be to explain the trip to members of Congress instead of a visit to the White House.
The two lawmakers, whose constituents include a large population of Cuban refugees, have written to the director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the Treasury Department asking what license the couple received.
"Despite the clear prohibition against tourism in Cuba, numerous press reports described the couple’s trip as tourism, and the Castro regime touted it as such in its propaganda," they wrote. "The restrictions on tourism travel are common-sense measures meant to prevent U.S. dollars from supporting a murderous regime that opposes U.S. security interests at every turn and which ruthlessly suppresses the most basic liberties of speech, assembly, and belief. We support the Cuban people by refusing to sustain their jailers."
Penalties for violating the travel ban can result in a 10-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.
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(Photo: REUTERS /ENRIQUE DE LA OSA /LANDOV)