Mr. Rubio added that if the trip was indeed licensed by the Treasury Department, the White House must clarify its Cuba travel policy and reveal how many more trips have been allowed.
Two House Republicans from Florida, Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, expressed similar sentiments in a letter to the Treasury Department.
But human rights abuses in Cuba, just as in Venezuela or North Korea, may not be as apparent to Hollywood figures as one might think, Ms. Phalen said.
“A lot of these celebrities do have very real and heartfelt concern for the poor. If you get someone like Hugo Chavez, who says that he’s all for the poor, maybe [the stars] aren’t looking behind that,” she said.
And just as in Washington, Ms. Phalen added, one must be seen as knowledgeable and credible to be taken seriously in Hollywood.
“It’s pretty clear that the politics of Hollywood is very liberal, very left wing,” Ms. Phalen said. “If you’re part of that culture, you’re probably going to get more political cred by going to see Hugo Chavez than by going to visit some right-wing person.”