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Oppressed, Communist Cuba The Hot New Destination For US Celebrities


The Daily Caller, by J P Carroll

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.

Bundchen is the wealthiest and highest paid model 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.”

t 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.

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.

If You Make $30 A Month, What’s The Point Of Chanel?



There was them and there was us: “Them” being the guests of the Chanel Cruise 2017 show and “us” being the crowd of Cubans and camera-toting foreigners pressed against the yellow tape that sliced between us and the blue-uniformed Cuban police officers standing close enough to touch. A long block stretched between their backs and the runway illuminated by street lamps.

For many of those guests, the evening’s events began at 6:15 p.m., when a fleet of mint-condition almendrones — Havana’s iconic American cars from the ’50s — began ferrying guests from the Hotel Nacional, one of Cuba’s oldest luxury hotels and former playground of the mafia, to the show space on El Prado, a long and narrow park that bisects an avenue of the same name. On one side of El Prado lies the tourist hub that is Old Havana; on the other is Central Havana, which has historically been home to lower-income families.

For the three Cuban models who walked the show — Lupe, Johana, and Yessica — tonight’s events were the end of a months-long process involving auditions, training at a Cuban modeling academy, and waiting to see which models the house would ultimately choose. For Cubans who weren’t invited, like jewelry designer Mayelín Guevara, the show was nevertheless emblematic of the sort of attention Havana has long deserved.

“We have a lot of artists here too, people of great worth,” Guevara said. “It was time, no?”

Migue Leyva J., model and blogger behind this is this, put it in more definitive terms: “Chanel is going to mark a before and and an after in the history of Cuba,” he said. “Some time in the future, if everything goes the way it has been, we won’t have just Chanel — we’ll have Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey; we’ll have Hedi Slimane presenting his collections here.”

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