Dirty dancing in Havana with the Queen of Pop
Madonna celebrated her 58th birthday on August 16 in Havana, dancing to Cuban beats during a night on the town and drawing crowds as she toured the city.
The Material Girl’s visit got a write-up in the Cuban Communist party’s official newspaper, which reported that she “toured different city squares to start the first day of her visit, which will last until Wednesday [yesterday]”.
It said the US pop superstar was in Cuba with her eldest daughter, Lourdes, a 19-year-old model whose father is Cuban dancer and fitness trainer Carlos Leon.
American photographer Steven Klein and stylists B Akerlund and Andy Lecompte are travelling with them, it said.
Madonna posted a picture of herself to her Twitter account with the caption “Cuba Libre”.
It shows her wearing a revealing black dress with yellow flowers and smiling as she tips a black hat.
Videos posted online by fans show her dressed in the same outfit strolling through the streets of Old Havana and dancing to Cuban beats at a restaurant in the historic city center as onlookers cheer.
The news site Cubadebate said Madonna was planning a “big party” with the “rhythms and flavors” of Cuba.
Madonna is the latest in a string of US celebrities to visit Cuba since its historic rapprochement with long-time enemy the United States was announced in December 2014.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Katy Perry, Kanye West, Usher, Paris Hilton, and Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian have all toured the Caribbean island recently.
US citizens are still officially banned from travelling to Cuba as tourists under the embargo Washington has maintained on Havana since the 1960s.
But President Barack Obama’s administration has loosened travel restrictions, enabling more Americans to make the trip under permitted categories such as “cultural exchanges”.