Cuban-American lawmakers 'deeply disturbed' by latest visa to Castro daughter

“We are deeply disturbed that an entry visa was granted, once again, to Mariela Castro in clear violation of Congressional intent and U.S. law,” Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Albio Sires (D-N.J.) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry. “Mariela Castro is the daughter of Cuban dictator Raul Castro, niece of Fidel Castro, and a high-level member of Cuba’s Communist Party. As such, she should not be permitted U.S. entry.”

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Castro, who became a deputy in the Cuban Congress earlier this year, has been granted a visa so she can receive an award for her gay-rights advocacy at the Equality Forum's annual conference in Philadelphia on Saturday. A similar visit last year became an election-year issue, with Democrats calling Republicans to task for not criticizing Castro's previous visits under President George W. Bush.