Flash is eating whitespace in my html-formatted text node in xml

[font=verdana, arial, helvetica][size=2] the node that i have placed inside a cdata tag looks like this:
this is italic/ and this is bold/

I suspect that flash treats the space between the /i and the b as xml-white-space and not as legitimate white space in text, but what can i do about it?

[/size][/font][font=verdana, arial, helvetica][size=2]I am using the cdata delimiter with no success. Apparently flash still sees the whitespace between two html-tags inside the cdata tag as xml and removes it.

Using nonbreakingspace works fine in players version 6 and upwards i think, but not in version 5.
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica][size=2]Any ideas exept doing a manual replace nbsp with space?[/size][/font]