Beyoncé, Jay-Z vacation seemingly stirs Cuba anti-travel bill in US House

WASHINGTON — Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s April anniversary jaunt to the Communist isle of Cuba will be their last if Capital Hill Republicans get their way.

The celebrity supercouple’s trip reignited debate over the half-century-old tourism embargo of the Caribbean nation.

Tourists soak in the sun at the famed Playa Giron beach in Havana, Cuba. Some House Republicans are seeking to limit American travel to the island.

RAFAEL PEREZ/Reuters

Tourists soak in the sun at the famed Playa Giron beach in Havana, Cuba. Some House Republicans are seeking to limit American travel to the island.

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Americans can travel to Cuba only with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s okay, and trips are generally limited to academic, cultural, religious or journalistic pursuits.

An artisans' fair in Havana features paintings of Che Guevara, Michael Jackson, John Lennon and others.

DESMOND BOYLAN/Reuters

An artisans’ fair in Havana features paintings of Che Guevara, Michael Jackson, John Lennon and others.

But the U.S. House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee on Tuesday passed what some are calling the “Jay-Z and Beyoncé” bill, which would restrict travel to academic visits.

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Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro waves his country's flag.

Jose Goitia/AP

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro waves his country’s flag.

Bronx Rep. Jose Serrano, the panel’s top Democrat and a proponent of opening up Cuba to U.S. tourism, said the provision was an explicit “response to the trip by Beyoncé and Jay-Z.”

“It’s intended to play to an audience — a diminishing audience — who think there should be no contact with Cuba,” he said.

Serrano said he doubted the language could pass the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate.