As you can read in this dispatch, Penn interviewed Raul Castro during his stay in Cuba for an article to be published in the December edition of the US magazine, The Nation.
In the article, the actor quotes Castro II as saying that he is ready and willing to meet with president-elect Barack Obama at any time and in just about any place, “to begin to solve our problems”.
"Personally, I think it would not be fair that I be the first to visit, because it is always the Latin American presidents who go to the United States first,” the mini-dictator said. “But it would also be unfair to expect the president of the United States to come to Cuba. We should meet in a neutral place ... Perhaps we could meet at Guantanamo."
Of course, there is nothing remotely accidental about the Penn scoop - just as there is nothing remotely accidental about the Cubans suggesting Guantanamo as a possible meeting place.
In fact, this is nothing but an old (and still effective) Havana ploy designed to corner a new and untested incoming president as early as possible, even before he is sworn in.
And it’s worked, judging by the breathless coverage of the interview in much of the US media thus far, which has already forced the Obama transition team on to the defensive, as you can read here.