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Ros-Lehtinen: Beyoncé, Jay-Z not ‘above the law’

Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.) on Tuesday vowed to investigate how celebrity stars Beyoncé and Jay-Z, two high-profile Obama supporters, were authorized to travel to Cuba, saying that “no one is above the law.” 

“No one is above the law even if you are the diva Beyoncé. That’s wonderful that she is famous and rich, and Jay-Z -- everybody loves him too, but no one’s above the law,” said Ros-Lehtinen on CNN’s “Starting Point.”

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The two celebrities traveled to the communist country to celebrate their wedding anniversary last month, sparking congressional anger and inquiries into whether they violated U.S. law. Travel to Cuba is banned except under specific visas from the Treasury Department.

Ros-Lehtinen said that she had pressed Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for answers on who approved the trip.

“OFAC said it would take them a few days to respond to our congressional inquiry, which is kind of a farce in itself,” she said. “It’s very easy to check.”

On Monday, the White House sought to distance itself from the controversy, saying that the decision was made by the Treasury Department. 

“That's not a White House matter. That's a Treasury matter,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban-American lawmaker and strong backer of the travel ban and embargo on Cuba, said she feared the trip had sent the wrong message to the Cuban people and opponents of the Castro regime.

“It was a tourist trip where they were celebrating their wedding anniversary and there are a lot of better places they can go where they are not feeding a monstrous regime because every dollar that is spent there goes to the Castro regime where they can further repress the Cuban people,” she said.

Ros-Lehtinen said she wished Jay-Z and Beyoncé had “taken the time to meet with brave Cuban leaders” in the dissident movement.

“I wish they’d had a little more common sense and understanding and solidarity with the suffering of the Cuban people,” she said.

“I don’t think it sends the right message to the Cuban people and Beyoncé and Jay-Z are there to have a good time,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “They should go someplace else.”