Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, urged people Saturday to honor and remember Fidel Castro's victims as news of the dictator's death continued trickling in.
Cruz, whose father Rafael Cruz was born in Cuba and escaped the island-nation in the 1950s, posted a short note on Facebook after media outlets reported Castro had died Friday.
"Fidel Castro's death cannot bring back his thousands of victims, nor can it bring comfort to their families," he said. "Today we remember them and honor the brave souls who fought the lonely fight against the brutal Communist dictatorship he imposed on Cuba."
Castro, who appointed himself president for life, ruled Cuba for nearly five decades before his brother, Raul, officially took over in 2008. Cuba became a socialist state under Fidel Castro and remained a place of repression and fear for decades, a place where political activists were jailed, where AIDS patients were restrained to medical facilities, where medicine was sparse and people lived in filth.
Cruz has long been a vocal opponent of Castro's regime. While campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination, Cruz often touched on his father's fight for "liberty" as a rebel leader against the rule of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.
"My dad asked if he could join Castro in the mountains and keep fighting," Cruz wrote in his book, "A Time For Truth."
"But he was told there was no way to get to the rebels."
After leaving for Texas and returning shortly after Castro had taken power, Cruz was shocked to see Castro had "declared to the world that he was a Communist."
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