Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Is Obama Playing Politics with Cuban Scholar Visa Approvals/Denials?

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"President Barack Obama has made increased academic, cultural and people-to-people exchanges a cornerstone of his Cuba policy, and such trips have greatly increased in recent years.  Yet on the LASA visas, the White House has taken fire from both sides.  Cuban-American politicians were irate this week when news broke that among those granted visas were Mariela Castro, the island’s most prominent gay rights advocate, who is to chair a panel at the San Francisco conference, and Eusebio Leal, a historian who has spearheaded the renovation of Old Havana and sits on the powerful Communist Party Central Committee. He spoke at the Brookings Institute in Washington on Friday.  “The administration’s appalling decision to allow regime agents into the U.S. directly contradicts Congressional intent and longstanding U.S. foreign policy,” wrote Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and David Rivera of Florida, along