- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Jay-Z raps: White House cleared Cuba trip with Beyonce
Although the White House said it wasn't involved, rapper Jay-Z boasts in a new song Thursday that he got "White House clearance" for his recent trip to Cuba with wife Beyonce.
"I done turned Havana into Atlanta," Jay-Z raps in the song. "Boy from the hood, I got White House clearance... Politicians never did [expletive] for me except lie to me, distort history. ... They wanna give me jail time and a fine. Fine, let me commit a real crime."
Later in the song titled "Open Letter," he raps, "Hear the freedom in my speech. ... Obama said, 'Chill you gonna get me impeached. You don't need this [expletive] anyway, chill with me on the beach.' "
White House press secretary Jay Carney reiterated Thursday that no one in the White House, including the president, was involved in the decision to allow the couple to travel to Cuba. U.S. policy restricts travel to Cuba unless it's approved by the government for academic, cultural, religious or journalistic purposes.
"I am absolutely saying that the White House, from the president on down, had nothing to do with anybody's personal travel to Cuba," Mr. Carney said. "That is something that Treasury handles. The president did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip."
Florida Republican lawmakers Sen. Marco Rubio and Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen have criticized them for traveling to the communist nation. U.S. policy restricts travel to the island unless approved by the government.
The Treasury Department said Thursday it gave approval to the trip's organizers for the group to travel to Cuba, but department policy does not require the organizers to provide the names of all the travelers.
"It is our understanding that the travelers in question traveled to Cuba pursuant to an educational exchange trip organized by a group authorized by (the Office of Foreign Assets Control) to sponsor and organize programs to promote people-to-people contact in Cuba," Alastair M. Fitzpayne, the Treasury's assistant secretary for legislative affairs, wrote in a letter to Reps. Ros-Lehtinen and Diaz-Balart.
The letter said that "OFAC's regulations and guidelines require that such trips involve a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that result in meaningful interaction between the U.S. travelers and individuals of Cuba." Visitors are allowed to "engage in non-educational activities off-hours."
Sang Jay-Z, "I'm in Cuba, I love Cubans. This communist talk is so confusing."
He and Beyonce visited Cuba for their fifth wedding anniversary. They toured Old Havana, and Jay-Z was photographed smoking a Cuban cigar. They also dined at an upscale restaurant.
U.S. citizens may not travel to Cuba simply for tourism.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at email@example.com.
- Obamas, Bidens jetting off to warm resorts for mini-vacations
- Obama, first lady to promote access to student loans
- CPAC 2014: McConnell works to reassure conservatives
- R-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means for Obama
- Obama urges Putin in phone call: De-escalate crisis in Ukraine
Latest Blog Entries
- Obama and Boehner congratulate U.S. men's hockey on win over Russia
- Americans say income gap will shrink if government butts out, poll shows
- WH spokesman Jay Carney recognizes beard's 'insufficiency,' shaves it off
- Obama misses deadline again on budget
- Biden burns rubber in driveway, laments road restrictions
TWT Video Picks
Extra charge on the bill reminds everyone who's paying
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- Two liberals say Sarah Palin is right: Obama lacks substance
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- 'Holy grail of guitars' among those in N.Y. auction
- IRS to turn over Lerner emails in tea party targeting probe
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again