Sen. Marco Rubio on Wednesday blasted the decision to grant Cuban President Raul Castro’s daughter a U.S. visa as “shameful," “outrageous,” and a slap in the face to democracy activists in Cuba, according to a press release.
The U.S. State Department approved a visa for Mariela Castro, a prominent gay rights activist in Cuba, to visit the United States. She is scheduled to chair a panel on the politics of sexual diversity at a gathering next week in San Francisco organized by the Latin American Studies Association. She will also speak at the New York Public Library on May 29.
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“I think the U.S. government’s decision to grant the daughter of Raul Castro a visa to come to the United States and spread the propaganda of her father’s regime is outrageous and an enormous mistake,” Rubio, R-Fla., said in a video statement posted in both English and Spanish on YouTube.
“It sends a terrible message to the democratic movement in Cuba, to those brave people in Cuba who every single day resist and speak out against the tyranny of the Castro brothers,” said Rubio, whose parents are Cuban immigrants.
He said Mariela Castro, the head of Cuba’s National Center of Sex Education, is “not just his daughter,” but part of Castro’s political machine.
“She is an arm of his regime, an outspoken supporter and is coming to the United States to spread their anti-American propaganda,” he said. ”It is shameful that they would grant that visa.”
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