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Republicans call for restrictions following controversial Beyonce and Jay-Z trip to Cuba

After visiting the Caribbean island of Cuba, earlier this year, international pop star Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z could trigger tougher government regulations on travel to the country if the Republicans' new bill gets approval. The bill would limit the use of funding from the Department of Treasury that approves "travel-related or other transactions incident to non-academic educational exchanges".

Republicans call for restrictions following controversial Beyonce and Jay-Z trip to Cuba

Pop star Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z's visit to Cuba could trigger tougher restrictions on travel to the Caribbean island if a new bill issued by the Republicans' gets approval by Obama's administration.

The celebrity pair visited Havana in April this year to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary but their trip came under scrutiny after it was announced that the Treasury Department had authorised the trip.

Cuba travel for American residents has been prohibited for more than 50 years under the ongoing embargo, but in 2011, U.S President Obama eased restrictions for travellers who visit the island for religious, academic, educational and cultural purposes, or "people to people exchanges".

The new bill has already been approved by a House Appropriations subcommittee which would limit the use of Department of Treasury funds to approve "travel-related or other transactions incident to non-academic educational exchanges"

Labelled as the "Jay-Z and Beyonce bill", the subcommittee's chair, Rep. Ander Crenshaw, stated that Jay-Z and Beyonce's trip was an "example" of how Americans could use legal loopholes to travel to Cuba, despite the strict United States trade embargo.

"I think that if we're going to say that we have this policy in place that relates to travel in Cuba, that it ought to be enforced, and that becomes a grey area where they're probably not really following the guidelines," Crenshaw commented.

Beyonce and her husband stayed at the Saratoga Hotel in the capital city, Havana, and during their visit they posed for pictures on the balcony in front of crowds of fans, and dined at local restaurants.

Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea, situated south of the Bahamas and east of Mexico. It is rich in culture, heritage and history and is home to breathtaking landscapes such as white and golden sand beaches, thriving national parks, and the world's second largest barrier reef.

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