Fidel Castro’s Niece Cleared to Attend U.S. Conference
Will receive Gay Rights Award
Mariela Castro, daughter of acting Cuban President Raul Castro is now allowed to travel to the U.S. to accept an award for her gay rights advocacy. On April 30, 2013, U.S. officials, reversing themselves, said that Mariela may go to Philadelphia where she will receive an award from theEquality Forum, which is hosting an annual conference on gay rights. This year’s conference is featuring Cuba as its spotlight nation. Last year, she was allowed to attend an academic conference in San Francisco at San Francisco’s General Hospital at which she addressed the audience.
Married Mother of Three Ally to LGBT Groups
Cuba’s most prominent gay rights activist, Mariela is the director of Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education. She is noted for training Cuba’s police on LGBT relations and working to legalize same-sex unions. Ms. Castro was elected as a deputy in Cuba’s parliament in February.
The director of the Equality Forum, Malcolm Lazin, was glad to learn of the State Department’s reversal of last week’s decision. Lazin called Mariela “unquestionably, the leader for progressive change for the LGBT community in Cuba.”
Mariela received a U.S. visa to attend several gatherings in May at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan. Because President Obama’s administration has eased travel restrictions, Cuban academics, scientists and entertainers are finding it easier to visit....¨