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Saturday, 19 May 2012

No speech like free speech ...3

Obama's visa pleaser?

The Obama administration is accused of bowing to pressure from the Cuban-American right in denying visas to Cuban scholars invited to the LASA Congress in San Francisco next week. According to today's Washington Post HERE, after giving 66 visas including one to Mariela, Raúl Castro's daughter and to leading communist Eusebio Leal, the administration appears to have denied some visas to other prominent Cubans as a pay off.
The Post quotes one of the scholars, Temas magazine editor Rafael Hernández (pictured left) as saying the visa decisions seemed arbitrary. He speculated that the White House was mixing in some denials with the majority that were approved due to political pressure.
“They have denied visas to several of us who frequently travel to the United States,” Hernandez said. “That is the cost, I suppose, that they are paying to bring in the rest. They have to throw a piece of meat to (Cuban American hardline politicians) ... because they gave a visa to Mariela and Eusebio.”

Meanwhile, Mariela Castro (above right) led a march on Thursday in Cienfuegos, central Cuba, marking the international day against homophobia as featured HERE in a video on The Guardian website.

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