Veteran of Iraq war denied trip home to Cuba
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
WASHINGTON -- Cuban-American Carlos Lazo won a Bronze Star for caring for his wounded comrades in Iraq, but he can't get to Cuba to care for a sick son.
Lawmakers from both parties are urging the Bush administration to give Lazo, a sergeant in the Washington state National Guard, an exemption from the strict sanctions imposed on the Castro government limiting family visits to once every three years.
"Surely a hero of the Iraq war who wants to visit his ill teenage son in Cuba is deserving of special consideration," Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., wrote in a letter to White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card.
"We trust him in Iraq, but we do not trust him to visit his own family in Cuba," echoed Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., in a floor speech last week.
Dorgan's office said Lazo's case was being considered this week by senior officials at the State Department.