Castro, 50, director of the National Center for Sex Education in Havana, is to attend the Latin American Studies Administration in San Francisco next week, followed by a visit to New York, The Washington Post reported Friday.
Cuban-American leaders urged the Obama administration to bar Mariela Castro from the country. U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, suggested she is a "regime agent" who would be able to spread "twisted rhetoric."
Others suggested Mariela Castro, a prominent advocate of gay rights in a country that has not been friendly to them, is not a mouthpiece for her family.
"She is a champion for human rights. She is not a critic of the regime, but she is an outspoken critic of its policies," said Philip Brenner, a professor at American University.