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NY Times: Rafael Cruz's Story of Fighting for Castro Doesn't Check Out

Image: NY Times: Rafael Cruz's Story of Fighting for Castro Doesn't Check Out
Rafael Cruz (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 09 Nov 2015 08:56 PM

Ted Cruz's father has long said he fought with Fidel Castro during Cuba's revolution, only to be disappointed when he turned dictatorial.

But The New York Times, in a story posted online Monday, said it had difficulty finding people who could corroborate the 76-year-old Rafael Cruz. And some facts directly contradict his story.

"The elder Cruz, 76, recalls a vivid moment at a watershed 1956 battle in Santiago de Cuba, when he was with a hero of the revolution, Frank País, just hours before he was killed in combat," the Times notes. "In fact, Mr. País was killed seven months later and in a different place and manner."

Rafael Cruz told Times reporters he doesn't remember exactly when País was killed. Many of his comrades said Cruz was a teen who wrote on the walls and marched in the streets and not a rebel leaders who was running guns or blowing up buildings with Molotov cocktails as he has claimed.

Others with whom he would have supposedly fought don't remember him at all or remember him as having a smaller role than he says.

Leonor Arestuche, who worked for the Castro regime to verify claims of revolutionary veterans said there was a term for people like Rafael Cruz "ojalateros." Wishful thinkers.

"People wishing and praying that Batista would fall, but not doing much to act on it," she said.

Rafael Cruz did undergo a beating from agents of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1957, but the details of why are sketchy. Even he has given differing accounts.

His face was bloodied and he was taken away by soldiers, one neighbor recalls.

A photo of him shows a bruised nose, and an article in the University of Texas at Austin student newspaper, where he attended college after fleeing Cuba, said he had lost "half of his upper denture" from the ordeal.

"The fog of almost 60 years can cloud even the clearest of memories, and it is possible that witnesses who can back up Mr. Cruz’s account might exist and come forward," the Times said. "But none of the Cuban historians, former comrades of Mr. Cruz in his hometown or veterans of the Santiago battle reached by The Times could corroborate his story."

Ted Cruz's campaign disputed the reporting.

"To repeat statements from Communist officials in Castro’s Cuba regarding events from nearly 60 years ago as truth is irresponsible reporting and simply has no basis in truth," Catherine Frazier, a campaign spokeswoman, told the Times. "For the Batista soldiers who tortured and imprisoned Pastor Rafael Cruz, there was no such confusion."

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Ted Cruz's father has long said he fought with Fidel Castro during Cuba's revolution, only to be disappointed when he turned dictatorial.But The New York Times, in a story posted online Monday, said it had difficulty finding people who could corroborate the 76-year-old...
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Monday, 09 Nov 2015 08:56 PM
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