Thursday, June 21st, 2018

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

"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