In defending Obama, other Florida Democrats lashed out at Republicans for being hypocritical.
"Where was their criticism then?" said Freddy Balsera, an Obama supporter from Miami, speaking on behalf of the Florida Democratic Party. "Nowhere, because ultimately this is all about politics for them."
Balsera called on Republicans to stop playing with peoples emotions when it comes to Cuba.
The Hispanic Leadership Network, partly led by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, says theres a huge difference between the Bush-era visits and the most recent visa approvals by Obama. The human rights situation in Cuba has deteriorated since Castros initial visit, said its director, Jennifer Korn. That includes Alan Grosss detention.
Also, Mariela Castro, at the time of her initial visit, was the niece of the then-president, Fidel Castro. Now, shes the daughter of the Cuban president, Korn said.
"The situations are not the least bit similar as the human rights situation has deteriorated, she said. 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 Benedicts visit, Cubans have lived under even more fear as they cope with a large round up of dissidents and activists."
By days end, the conservatives had unexpected ideological allies in Nelson and Wasserman Schultz, who has long straddled the dual worlds of being a partisan Democrat and a Cuba hardliner.
After she was first picked by Obama to become DNC chair, a May 2011 Miami Herald story noted that the two differ over Cuba.
Its not going to be something that creates any daylight between the president and myself, she said at the time.