By Julian Pecquet - 04/30/13 06:39 PM EDT
The State Department had initially confined Mariela Castro to stay within 25 miles of United Nations in New York City, where she will be attending a series of meetings. Those restrictions would have prevented Castro from accepting an award for her gay-rights advocacy at the Equality Forum's annual conference in Philadelphia on Saturday, but the State Department said Tuesday it will allow her to attend, The Associated Press reports
Republicans professed outrage ahead of last year's elections when the State Department approved visas for three Cuban officials, including Castro, who has since been elected a deputy. Democrats countered that President George W. Bush granted her visas in 2001 and 2002.