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

    To say that Ted Cruz is an Idiot would be disrespectful to idiots!

    December 11, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. jean

    Senator Cruz is bafoon, plain and simple... Time and place for everything, and this dude showed his
    true colors... sad!

    December 11, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. Pete

    What a jerk. This is a memorial for a very great human being. NOT a place to bring your political agenda.
    This is not about YOU. You're an embarassment to this country!

    December 11, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. caw

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

    Umm....RAUL Castro has only been president since 2008.

    Since then he's stopped many of the measures that Fidel has instituted. He's released non-used public lands to private owners, allowed import of many life improving things, moved to a more of a pay per performance salary structure.

    Yes Cuba has a way to go, but it appears Raul is moving in the right direction.

    December 11, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Fred

    Well, look on the bright side. If Palin had gone instead of Cruz, she would have made her way to the top row of the stadium to see if she could see Alaska from up there.

    December 11, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. Mike

    Cruz should show more respect for his father's homeland . . .

    December 11, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. AFTER

    kind of ironic. Senator walks out on Castro for because "For decades, Castro has wrongly imprisoned and tortured countless innocents." Yet the USA imprisoned and tortured people in Guantanamo Bay Cuba. Maybe he should have walked out on Obamas speach too.

    December 11, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. politicalrafa

    It is quite interesting to see how on the very same section (political ticker) the very same people bash Senator Cruz for walking out when Castro spoke calling him disrespectful and stating that it was a slp to Mandela in such a solemn occasion. BUT when it comes to obama having a grand olde time flirting with the dane, and taking selfies, all is good, move on, nothing to see here.

    Obaminable =- hypocrite

    December 11, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. HudsonValleyTim

    I truly believe that Ted just looks at what Obama does, and does the opposite. For example, Obama shakes Castro's hand, and Teddy gives the snub. If Obama had ignored Castro, I bet Teddy would have shown Castro to the airport men's room for a proper GOP welcome.

    December 11, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. Fred

    Thom Burke said earlier "Send this clown back to Canada". Why, what did Canada do to America? We have enough self-entitled politicians already.

    December 11, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. Pig!

    Cruz is a pig and did it only to further his own personal gain and interests. I wouldn't believe Cruz if his tongue and brain came notarized.

    December 11, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. Char

    He had certain obligations by accepting the responsibility of attending Nelson Mandela's services. You disresepected the reasons Mr. Mandela was being honored. It was no surprise to most American's to see this type of selfish and sad behavior.

    December 11, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Iowan

    I am not a fan of Ted Cruz, but I believe I would have walked out on that hypocrisy too.

    December 11, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Thomas

    @Jesse
    Obama was flirting and taking selfies your point?

    ======

    Your so petty .

    A memorial to a great man , a celebration of his life , of life itself .

    I've been to many memorials and funerals , the best ones are were people share there feelings of hope , happiness and laugh together .

    Celebrating not death , but life .

    December 11, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. roro

    The man is a rude, attention seeking, hypocritical jerk.

    December 11, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. jordan

    Always with the politics, this guy is just such a political animal, self serving is an understatement.

    December 11, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. SkippyCanCan

    Are we still talking about that little patch of Cuban exiles in South Florida? Descendants of the people that made it rich under the pre-Castro regime by cheating their own people, and then were unhappy when they were sent packing – those people? I have no doubt there are some people in prison in Cuba for political reasons, as there are in many, many other countries in the world, but Ted Cruz is just angling for GOP votes in a swing state – pure and simple. Clown.

    December 11, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. suzy hager

    Ted Cruz for President 2016. I am Democrat.

    December 11, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    Poor rafaelito,he doesn't get it that young Cubans are mostly Democrats and since you can't run for president Florida should be of no concern. Those Cubans who came in the 60s are the only ones who don't think the two countries should put the boxing gloves away once and for all.
    Was that the only reason he went to south Africa? When is this fool going to stop his shenanigans? I hate to say this and insult rats all over the world but he sure looks like one and he acts worse than a real one!

    December 11, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. Stop wasting time

    Why was he there?

    Also, Mendela would not have walked out...

    December 11, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. jsmoulder

    Unfortunate that so many liberals don't understand the reason for what Cruz did. To caught up in your hatred for anyone that does not agree lock step with your point of view. GROW UP LIBERALS, I know that is a lot to ask of you but if you try you will find that you can do it, yes you can.

    December 11, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. rockysfan

    I don't know why this would be surprising. This man couldn't act like an adult if his soul depended on it. His mother is so ashamed!

    December 11, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Iowan

    I am not a fan of Ted Cruz, but I believe I would have walked out on that hypocrisy too.
    ------------------------
    So, why even waste your time attending the event?

    Especially when it was no secret that Castro was not only likely to be there, but would also be scheduled to speak.at the MEMORIAL, NOT FUNERAL, if he did attend. No worry. Your opinions are yours, just Cruz' actions are his and his alone.

    December 11, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. rockysfan

    Clearly Cruz has not learned the lessons of Mandela either. Can you say hypocrit!

    December 11, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. Marie MD

    And his,papi says he is the messiah? Of what, trailer trash from Canada by way of Cuba or vice versa.

    December 11, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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