Sen. Cruz walks out on Castro speech at Mandela memorial
December 11th, 2013
01:04 AM ET
12 months ago

Sen. Cruz walks out on Castro speech at Mandela memorial

(CNN) - Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, part of a Congressional delegation at Nelson Mandela's memorial service, walked out of the service Tuesday while Cuban President Raul Castro delivered his speech.

"Sen. Cruz very much hopes that Castro learns the lessons of Nelson Mandela," his spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, said.

"For decades, Castro has wrongly imprisoned and tortured countless innocents. 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."

ABC News first reported this story.

President Barack Obama, along with former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush attended the event in Johannesburg. Before eulogizing the former South African, Obama shook Castro's hand as he walked onto the stage – a rare gesture between the leaders of two nations that have not shared diplomacy in over a half century.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Nelson Mandela • Ted Cruz
soundoff (810 Responses)
  1. Larry Hass

    Big surprise that Mr. Cruz decides to grab headlines at a funeral. I can't wait to hear what he has to say at the next wedding he attends.

    December 11, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  2. Vicente Dias

    President Obama is a big disappointment and now, a complete embarrassment and is good to know, that we Americans still can count on men like Senator Cruz, that wont accept the company of criminals and will never shake the bloody hands of an dictator like Castro.

    December 11, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  3. Mccainfrenchfry

    Cruz has little class! Who cares – does anyone listen to him? Why didn't he speak – because he's a nobody!

    December 11, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  4. Albert

    Hey Cruz, doesn't your Bible say that you should love your enemies? Hypocrite!

    December 11, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  5. Romnesia

    Maybe Cruz should take Mandela to heart,and learn reconciliation and forgiveness....What a childish fool. Fifty years of embargoes, and nothing to show for it? The definition of insanity, continue to do what doesnt work, or be a Republican.

    December 11, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  6. Name

    Ted is a tea party fool, what's to be expected !!!

    December 11, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. Steve

    Who paid for this loser to attend the Mandela memorial anyways?

    THE TAXPAYERS!!!!

    And...why was he even there? He should have been in congress WORKING...that's what we PAY HIM TO DO!!!!

    DESPICABLE!!!!!!!!

    December 11, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  8. YUCK

    Ted Cruz were all watching you and your negative comments and doings

    December 11, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  9. Loddi

    With all the support that the Cuban government gave to Mandela and the freedom fighters while the US turned their backs. I'm pretty sure Mandela would rather Castro stay than Ted Cruz.

    December 11, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  10. Oglala Lakota

    Ted cruz pick a country US or Cuba and to all you Cubans who are bashing my president if you don't like it go back to your country , you too ted cruz this is America you want to be an American or a Cuban you can't be both

    December 11, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33