Organizer: Castro’s daughter can’t come to Philly

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The daughter of Cuba President Raul Castro won’t be traveling to Philadelphia to accept an award for her gay rights advocacy.

Officials at the Equality Forum said Thursday that the State Department has denied permission for Mariela Castro to attend the group’s annual conference.

A State Department spokesman says he can’t comment because visa records are confidential.

Mariela Castro is the niece of retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro. She is the director of Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education and the country’s most prominent gay rights activist.

Equality Forum executive director Malcolm Lazin says Mariela Castro accepted an invitation months ago to speak May 4 at its gay rights conference and receive an award.

Castro received a visa last year to attend events in New York and San Francisco.

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