Obama Administration Granting Mariela Castro Another Visa to Receive Gay Rights Award Is Another Concession to the Regime, Says Ros-Lehtinen

May 2, 2013

(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding the Obama Administration’s approval of another visa for Mariela Castro – Fidel Castro’s niece and daughter of Raul Castro – and allowing her to attend a gay rights forum in Philadelphia.

“I’m not sure if the Obama Administration is unsympathetic to the issue of human rights abuses in Cuba under the Castro regime or if it is being deliberately obtuse. Mariela Castro is the standard bearer for the oppressive Cuban dictatorship that has been wantonly violating people’s human rights for over 50 years. To allow her to come to the U.S. yet again so she can proliferate the Castro propaganda machine is appalling.

“While Mariela receives an award for LGBT issues, we must be reminded that there are no rights at all to speak of in Cuba for any Cubans, gay or straight, under Ms. Castro’s uncle and father. While the Cuban people continue to suffer under the repressive Castro patriarchy, Mariela and the rest of the Castro inner circle live a life full of luxury; a life that is non-existent to most Cubans. For a person like Mariela Castro to attend the a conference on civil rights for lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people, and to receive an award, is shameful, pathetic and a ruse. The words ‘equality’ and ‘human rights’ don’t exist in the vocabulary of the Castro tyranny.

“The Administration needs to wake up to the grim reality that is the nightmare of everyday life for most Cubans, and it must start recognizing that the human rights abuses that occur on a daily basis in Cuba should be reprimanded, not rewarded.”