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The Human Rights Foundation is criticizing Mariah Carey for her recent concert in Angola, calling the nation’s president, José Eduardo dos Santos, a “notoriously corrupt” dictator.
Carey performed a two-hour concert on Sunday at a gala for the Angolan Red Cross that was sponsored by mobile phone company Unitel. Dos Santos’ daughter Isabel owns Unitel and is serves as president of the Angolan Red Cross. Dos Santos has reportedly ordered the deaths of many politicians, journalists and activists who oppose him.
HRF president Thor Halvorssen slammed Carey in a statement.
“Mariah Carey can’t seem to get enough dictator cash, reportedly more than $1 million this time,” Halvorssen said. “Just five years ago she performed for the family of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Now, she goes from private performances to public displays of support and credibility for one of Africa’s chief human rights violators and most corrupt tyrants. It is the sad spectacle of an international artist purchased by a ruthless police state to entertain and whitewash the father-daughter kleptocracy that has amassed billions in ill-gotten wealth while the majority of Angola lives on less than $2 a day.”
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Carey’s rep for comment.
Dos Santos has ruled Angola since 1979. According to the HRF, the Angolan Red Cross gala raised $65,000.
Carey is not the first star to come under fire for getting paid to appear at events involving a controversial ruler: Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West and Hilary Swank also have been criticized for similar appearances.
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