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Hypocrisy alert: Jeb Bush's brother, George W. Bush, laid out "welcome mat for Communist" Mariela Castro three times

The Jeb Bush-led Hispanic Leadership Network, which has close ties to former Gov. Jeb Bush (a top adviser), sent out a screamer of a press release headlined "Obama Lays Welcome Mat for Communist at U.S. Front Door" because the president's administration granted a visa to Raul Castro's daughter. The subhead: Mariela Castro Espin's Visit "Sends the Wrong Message."

But the press release is the result of some mixed Republican messaging as well because the administration of Bush's brother, former President George W. Bush, gave Castro the right to travel not just once -- but three times.

"Mariela Castro visited once in 2001 and twice in 2002.  I can’t discuss her visas specifically, but you can assume she needed one to travel," State Department spokesman William Ostick said in an email response to a Miami Herald inquiry.

But the Hispanic Leadership Network says there's a big difference between the Bush-era visits of Castro and the most recent approval by Obama. Here's the HLN statement:

"The situations are not the least bit similar as the human rights situation has deteriorated.  An American citizen is locked up in a Cuban jail now for trying to provide internet access to Cubans, and in the last few months since Pope Benedict’s visit, Cubans have lived under even more fear as they cope with a large round up of dissidents and activists. Furthermore, Mariela Castro is now the daughter of the President of Cuba and a leader in the Cuban Communist Party."

The Republican National Committee doubled down in a press release "on Obama Rolling out the Red Carpet for the Castro Family." Earlier, it hosted a conference call to bash Obama over Ms. Castro. No mention of President Bush's commie complicity there, either.

Democrats latched on to the double talk.

"Republicans need to stop playing with people's emotions when it comes to Cuba," Obama surrogate Freddy Balsera said in a statement. "While they grab headlines criticizing the President and distorting his record on Cuba, they avoid saying that Mariela Castro actually received a visa to visit the US in 2002 under the Bush Administration. In fact, the top State Department Official in charge of Latin America at the time was a Cuban American. Where was their criticism then? Nowhere, because ultimately this is all about politics for them"

** This post has been updated

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Walter Lippmann

Read what Mariela Castro has to say for yourself and then draw your own conclusions:

Mariela Castro: Socialism with Discrimination is Inconceivable
We cannot believe that by eliminating homophobia we would be eliminating the problem of discrimination in Cuban society. We need to eradicate the trend, the archaic model of an exploitative society that makes up parameters to establish differences and inequalities. We cannot keep on reproducing these.

This is why the educational work we do is aimed at transforming our consciousness, our culture. I hope that at some point our conga against homophobia that is danced along our main avenues becomes a tradition. We’ll have to make it more artistic, find better ideas to make it richer as a cultural option, so that perhaps it becomes a historical tradition and one day, when there is no longer homophobia in Cuba, somebody would say, “remember when in Cuba this was done because there was discrimination and this conga was danced to call people’s attention to the need to eradicate homophobia!”…

This is a small excerpt.
Read the full, detailed interview here:
(April 2012) http://www.walterlippmann.com/docs3416.html

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