I went ahead and tried with an without the fuel filter. As soon as the hose comes off the carb, fuel flows. I removed the bowl and when the float lowers, fuel flows. I put the bowl back on and opened the drain plug screw and that allowed fuel to flow finally.
However, after putting the carb back on the bike (took it off just to look inside once more, nothing found) the bike only wants to start or run with Choke on at least half way or more. Dies right away without it.
Any ideas on this? Very puzzling.