Castro's niece in Philly for gay rights conference
PHILADELPHIA — The niece of Fidel Castro said on Friday during a trip to Philadelphia that she believes Cuba and the United States will have normal relations one day, but she doesn't know when.
“I wish ... I was a magician or (one of those) people who knows everything. That's not the case,” Mariela Castro said through a Spanish interpreter. But, she said, “that dream (is) going to be a reality someday.”
Castro spoke during a tour of the city's historic sites one day before she plans to attend a gay rights conference. The State Department had initially denied Castro permission to attend the event, but relented earlier this week.
Castro visited the Liberty Bell, an icon of democracy, even as critics say her family has run a repressive Communist dictatorship for decades. Her father, Raul Castro, is Cuba's president and the brother of the retired strongman.
She spoke briefly while sightseeing. Asked about the health of her uncle and father, Castro replied: “They're wonderful, and I learn a lot from their example.”
Commenting on the gay rights movement in the United States, she said, “In this election especially, they showed that they form a very important vote in American society.”
A married mother of three, Castro leads Cuba's National Center for Sex Education, which is part of the island nation's public health ministry. She is the country's most prominent gay rights activist, having trained police on relations with the LGBT community and lobbied lawmakers to legalize same-sex unions. She was elected as a deputy in Cuba's parliament in February.
On Saturday she'll speak on a panel at the gay rights summit sponsored by the nonprofit Equality Forum and receive an award from the advocacy group.
She also plans to hold a news conference on Saturday evening.
Castro took in the sights on Friday with Equality Forum executive director Malcolm Lazin and a few others.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Corbett, Wolf rush to counter flurry of attack ads
- 2 charged with murder in fatal Philly carjacking
- Observers mixed on grid backup amid carbon rules, natural gas uncertainty
- Home sellers are able to remain mum about violent crimes committed there
- Construction of $500M power plant in South Huntingdon stalled
- Pa. bolsters pension system amid deficit concerns
- Upper St. Clair family’s efforts pay off as governor signs Down syndrome education bill