ABC News' Eduardo Sunol reports: One of Hollywood’s most liberal voices, actor Sean Penn, is in Cuba to report on measures recently taken by the Obama administration toward greater engagement with Havana, Penn’s publicist Mara Bauxman said – not, as had been rumored, to conduct a rare interview with Fidel Castro.
Penn, who interviewed Cuba’s current President, and brother to the longtime leader, Raul Castro last December, is there on a reporting assignment for Vanity Fair magazine, Bauxman said.
“He doesn’t have any intention of seating down with Fidel Castro,” Bauxman said about rumors. “It’s a very short trip,” she added.
Calls to Vanity Fair magazine to confirm Penn’s assignment in Cuba have not been returned.
The Oscar winning actor has played journalist before, interviewing Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, one of Cuba’s primary allies in 2008. Penn arrived in Havana in a private plane from Las Vegas with a “number of people” including two movie producers. Bauxman could not confirm if the two movie producers were carrying cameras or any filming equipment.
The US Treasury Department, which has the power to grant licenses for journalistic or cultural events to Cuba, did not provide any information about what kind of permission Mr. Penn received for the trip.
“It’s not the Treasury’s policy to comment on specific licenses,” Marti Adams, spokesperson from the Treasury Department said.
Shortly after his arrival in Cuba Penn visited the Island of Youth, a special municipality 90 miles to the south of Havana that was damaged badly by Hurricane Gustav in 2008.
It’s not known how many days he will stay in Cuba.