Ted Cruz Walks Out on Castro's Speech at Mandela Memorial

Image: Ted Cruz Walks Out on Castro's Speech at Mandela Memorial Cuban President Raul Castro speaks at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela on Dece. 10.

Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 06:10 PM

By John Gizzi

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas walked out of the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday as Cuba's President Raul Castro began speaking.

A spokesman for Cruz, who is a member of the official U.S. delegation to the Mandela memorial, told Newsmax that the senator feels "Castro has wrongly imprisoned and tortured countless innocents."

Cruz's father fled Cuba before Fidel Castro — Raul's brother and predecessor — came to power in 1959.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

"Just as Mandela was released after 27 years in prison, Castro should finally release his political prisoners; he should hold free elections, and once and for all set the Cuban people free," the senator's spokesman said.

Cruz hopes the Cuban strongman's regime frees its political prisoners and forgives its enemies, his spokesman told Newsmax, and that "Raul Castro learns the lesson of Nelson Mandela."

The action by Cruz came in stark contrast to that of President Barack Obama, who shook hands with Castro at the service.

The United States and Cuba have not had diplomatic relations for more than 50 years. Obama's handshake with Castro was only the second time that leaders of the two countries have greeted each other. In 2000, President Bill Clinton shook hands with Fidel Castro at the United Nations.

Obama's handshake was criticized in the Cuban-American community, including by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Rubio, son of Cuban immigrants, said that "if the president was going to shake his hand, he should have asked him about those basic freedoms Mandela was associated with that are denied in Cuba," The Hill reported.

"It remains clear that Cuba is the same totalitarian state today that it has been for decades. This totalitarian state continues to have close ties to terrorist organizations," Rubio said.

Related story:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

'Outsider' Clawson Leading in Florida GOP House Primary

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 10:53 AM

As Tuesday's Republican primary in Florida's 19th Congressional District draws closer, the momentum is with Curt Clawson . . .

UK Politician Liam Fox: Pulitzers for Snowden's Betrayal 'Bizarre'

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 11:28 AM

The Pulitzer Prizes for journalism awarded to newspapers for publishing Edward Snowden's revelations of mass U.S. intell . . .

White House Won't Rule Out Sanctions on Putin Assets

Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 14:59 PM

As tensions rise over uprisings by pro-Russian forces in Ukraine, speculation mounts over whether the Obama administrati . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved