U.S. Bars Raúl Castro’s Daughter From a Forum

News from Cuba | Friday, 26 April 2013

The State Department denied the daughter of President Raúl Castro of Cuba permission to attend a gay rights conference in Philadelphia, where she was to receive an award next week.

The president’s daughter, Mariela Castro, director of Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education, is currently attending United Nations meetings in New York on a diplomatic visa.

Cuban diplomats are prohibited from traveling farther than 25 miles from New York without permission from the State Department. American diplomats in Havana face a similar restriction.

Ms. Castro had applied for travel documents to attend the Equality Forum 2013 Summit next week. The State Department denied the request without explanation, said Malcolm Lazin, the forum’s executive director.

“We were shocked,” he said. “Ms. Castro is recognized internationally as a remarkable advocate” for the rights of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered in Cuba.

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