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US Denies Visa for Cuban Scientist to Attend Award Ceremony

An American museum that wants to honor a Cuban scientist says it is frustrated the U.S. government denied the scientist a visa to come and pick up his award.

A spokesman for the Tech Museum of Innovation, in San Jose, California, said the museum had wanted the federal government to grant a visa to Vicente Verez Bencomo for the Wednesday ceremony.

The Miami Herald newspaper quoted the spokesman as saying Mr. Verez-Bencomo had been allowed entry as recently as March.

The U.S. State Department has declined to comment.

Mr. Verez-Bencomo was one of a number of scientists being honored for innovations that use technology to benefit mankind.

He helped develop a low-cost vaccine that fights the bacteria causing pneumonia and meningitis, diseases which kill some 700,000 children each year.