Congressman David Rivera (FL-25) released the following statement regarding the decision by the U.S. State Department to facilitate a visit by Cuban dictator Raul Castro's daughter, Mariela Castro Espin, to the United States to speak at a conference hosted by the Latin American Studies Association.
"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. 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."