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Organizers: Mariela Castro will visit Philadelphia to receive award for gay rights advocacy

The daughter of Cuba President Raul Castro will travel to Philadelphia to accept an award for her gay rights advocacy.

Officials at the Equality Forum say Mariela Castro will attend the group's annual conference on gay rights this weekend. The organization's executive director, Malcolm Lazin, said Tuesday that the U.S. State Department reversed its initial decision denying permission for Castro's visit.

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.

She was allowed to attend an academic conference in San Francisco last year. Cuban-American lawmakers blasted the decision, calling Castro a shill for her family's Communist regime.

The State Department does not comment on visa records, which are confidential.

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