HAVANA TIMES — Mariela Castro, daughter of Raul and Fidel Castro’s niece, believes that the “dream” that Cuba and the United States normalize relations be fulfilled “someday”.
“That dream is going to be a reality someday,” said Mariela Castro during a visit to Philadelphia, where on Saturday she will participate in a forum on equal rights for homosexuals and receive an award for his work on behalf of transsexuals in Cuba.
The forum, held in Philadelphia from Thursday to Sunday, focuses this edition on Cuba and the “history, progress and challenges of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual)” on the island, notes the program.
Mariela Castro, a member of the Cuban Communist Party, is the director of the National Sexual Education Center of Cuba (Cenesex), from which has led a strong campaign for the gay and transgender community of the island.
The State Department initially refused to allow Castro’s visit to Philadelphia, but eventually accepted it.
That led three US representatives to send a letter of protest on Friday to Secretary of State, John Kerry, over the granting of Castro’s visa.
Republicans Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart and Democrat Albio Sires demanded “answers” to Kerry for giving Mariela Castro permission to enter the United States.
In the letter to Kerry, the representatives said they were “deeply upset” and believe that the visa violates the law barring officials or employees of the government of Cuba entry into the United States.
The two countries severed diplomatic ties in 1961, two years after the triumph of Fidel Castro’s revolution.
It is not the first time that a visit to the United States Mariela Castro causes political stir.
Last year the subject became an element of attack on the presidential election campaign waged by Democrat Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney, who criticized the granting of a visa to Mariela Castro to participate in a conference in San Francisco and considered such a “slap” to dissidents on the island.
Romney accused the White House of having “softened” U.S. policy toward Cuba.