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Raul Castro's daughter to visit U.S.

May 18, 2012 at 12:37 AM

WASHINGTON, May 18 (UPI) -- Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro and niece of Fidel Castro, is being allowed to visit the United States, officials say.

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.

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