Oppressed, Communist Cuba The Hot New Destination For US Celebrities

JP Carroll | National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter

Tom Brady’s supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen brought her good looks to a Chanel fashion show Tuesday in poor, communist Cuba.

The supermodel is the face of Chanel’s signature product, Chanel N. 5 Perfume.

Models present creations by German designer Karl Lagerfeld as part of his latest inter-seasonal Cruise collection for fashion house Chanel at the Paseo del Prado street in Havana, Cuba

Fashion house Chanel at the Paseo del Prado street in Havana, Cuba, May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

Bundchen is the wealthiest and highest paid models in the world, making approximately $128,000 a day. The cheapest bottle of the perfume the supermodel touts costs $76, and a typical Cuban only earns $25 a month, according to BBC News. On its website, Chanel sells a limited edition version of the perfume for $2,100.

Chanel’s fashion show is the first of its kind in the communist dictatorship in over 50 years. The runway for the fashion show was the old streets of Havana, but “Havana residents could only watch from behind the security cordon lines as VIP guests arrived at the show in specially rented antique American sedans.”

Actor Vin Diesel poses before a fashion show by German designer Karl Lagerfeld as part of his latest inter-seasonal Cruise collection for fashion house Chanel at the Paseo del Prado street in Havana, Cuba

Fashion house Chanel at the Paseo del Prado street in Havana, Cuba, May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

It is unclear if the Cuban government provided any funding for the show. It’s also unclear if Bundchen was compensated for being in Cuba separately from her contract as a spokeswoman. Chanel did not reply to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Other famous faces included actress Tilda Swinton and actor Vin Diesel. Diesel is working on “Fast and the Furious 8” in the country.

Chanel's head designer and creative director Karl Lagerfeld walks with a model after a fashion show of his latest inter-seasonal Cruise collection, at the Paseo del Prado street in Havana, Cuba

German photographer Karl Lagerfeld (C), head designer and creative director of fashion house Chanel, walks with a model after a fashion show of his latest inter-seasonal Cruise collection, at the Paseo del Prado street in Havana, Cuba, May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

Cuba has lived in the darkness of Communism since 1959 when revolutionary leader Fidel Castro came to power. Castro’s brother, Raul Castro, is now the president of Cuba.

The Cuban government has long been known for the violent way it handles dissent. American United States Agency for International Development contractor Alan Gross was accused of spying and spent almost five years in a Cuban prison from 2009 to 2014.

Gross told “60 Minutes” upon his release that while he was incarcerated, “They threatened to hang me. They threatened to pull out my fingernails. They said I’d never see the light of day. I had to do three things in order to survive, three things every day. I thought about my family that survived the Holocaust. I exercised religiously every day. And I found something every day to laugh at.”

In October, 2015, Cuban Pastor Mario Félix Lleonart Barroso testified before the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs about how he has been hounded by communist thugs. The pastor told the subcommittee, “they restrict my pastoral activities in rural communities where they are also trying to slow down and stop any religious activity.”

Lleonart Barroso went on to state, “Numerous members of my church have been the targets of threats, coercion, blackmail, and warnings simply because they form part of our congregation. Some of them have had to seek political asylum in order to avoid this kind of persecution. Many of them can now be found living in various cities in the United States.” Press freedom is also under attack in the country.

The New York based non-governmental organization the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has ranked the island dictatorship as the tenth worst country in the world for journalism. According to CPJ, “The government continues to target critical journalists through harassment, surveillance, and short-term detentions.”

People who attempt to leave the island often end up dead. In June, 2014, four Cubans were found murdered. It is not known how they died, even though “six suspects have been arrested in connection with the discovery of the bodies,” according to BBC News.

When President Barack Obama visited Cuba in March, thuggish Cuban authorities went after a peaceful protest group known as The Ladies In White. Several women were violently arrested for expressing outrage at their family members being imprisoned for political dissent.

Obama normalized relations with Cuba in December, 2014, which has led to several U.S. firms looking to invest in Cuba and many celebrities wanting to go to the island nation. On Sunday, the first U.S. cruise since the late 1970s left for Cuba from Miami.

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Tags : cuba fidel castro gisele bundchen ileana ros lehtinen keeping up with the kardashians kendall jenner new england patriots raul castro tom brady vin diesel
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