David Rivera Disappointed Castro's Daughter Gets Visa for U.S. Visit
U.S. Congressman David Rivera, R-Miami, expressed disappointment Thursday that the State Department has granted a visa to the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro.
Mariela Castro Espin, 50, who heads Cuba’s government-funded National Center for Sex Education, will attend a Latin American studies conference next week in San Francisco, according to Bloomberg.
The niece of Cuban leader Fidel Castro is also expected to attend an event in Washington.
“It is extremely disappointing, and a cause for great concern that the U.S. State Department has granted a visa that allows Mariela Castro Espin to visit the United States,” Rivera stated in a release Thursday.
“The State Department’s decision sends a message that is contradictory to established U.S. policy -- specifically Presidential Proclamation 5377 -- which suspends the entry of officers and employees of the Cuban dictatorship and the Cuban Communist Party into the United States. Not only is Mariela Castro Espin the head of Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education, but she is the daughter and niece of Raul and Fidel Castro respectively, and a vocal advocate of her father and uncle’s tyrannical regime. The State Department should not be putting out the welcome mat for officials from countries that have officially been designated as state sponsors of terrorism.”
Asked about the visa application during a press briefing on Tuesday, a State Department spokesperson replied the agency doesn’t address individual visa applications.
“We do not discuss specific details of individual visa cases; visa records are confidential under U.S. law,” the spokesperson stated, according to the State Department. “The rules and procedures for adjudicating visa applications are established under U.S. law and Department regulations. Each visa request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. There is no blanket ban on issuing visas to Cuban government officials.”