Mariela Castro to Visit New York and San Francisco
Daughter of Cuban president Raúl Castro and Fidel Castro’s niece, Mariela Castro, will visit New York and San Francisco after she was granted a visa to attend events there. The announcement is making waves in the Cuban-American community in which politicians are calling her an enemy of democracy. According to WaPo: The trip, which kicks off next week when Castro is due to chair a panel on sexual diversity at a conference organized by the Latin American Studies Association, is among several to the United States by prominent Cubans, some with close links to the government. Cuban academics, scientists and economists now frequently attend seminars in the United States, and Cuban artists and entertainers are also finding it easier to visit the U.S. due to an easing of travel restrictions by President Barack Obama’s administration.
Castro, 50, is a noted advocate of gay rights and head of Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education. She has pushed for the island to legalize gay marriage for years, so far without success. She recently praised Obama’s stance in support of same-sex marriage, and said her father, President Raul Castro, also favors such a measure, though he has not said so publically.