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

    I think he did right thing by leaving people have no respect for castro his country is not free like american.

    December 11, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. tgbvt

    Pathetic. If anything that would have been the place to improve relations, instead you chose to make an effort to set them back further. Plus you wasted taxpayer money to do it – not saying you wouldn't be a waste of our money staying in the US, but at least your moronic behavior would have been somewhat contained.

    December 11, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. Bulos Qoqish

    You have to remember that stunts like this - and like the recent government shutdown, as well as the still-present threat of defaulting on the U.S. national debt - are all designed for one thing and one thing only, and that's to burnish Demagogue Ted's credentials with the angry, racist Tea Party right, so he can beat Demagogue Rick Santorum and Demagogue (whomever) in the 2016 Republican Primaries. Nothing else matters, as long as you can appeal to them good ol' boys with their pickup trucks, their shotguns and their Confederate Flags in the back window. Yee-HAH!

    December 11, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. Lemon

    Did anyone let Cruz know that Fidel Castro is dead?

    December 11, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. blakenaustin

    Very deceptive headline CNN. Intended to put Cruz in a negative light. He didn't walk out on Mandela. He walked out on Castro. Try news reporting for a change!

    December 11, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    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.
    ----------------------
    How much you want to bet that given the opportunity, Cruz would have laughed it up and posed for a picture with the Danish Prime Minister, too? But, seeing how Cruz has not demonstrated the same hypontic effects with ladies as the President has displayed, it is safe to say that Cruz would have never done it.

    BTW, did Cruz think that he was walking out of the U.N. General Assembly, or something?

    December 11, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Mark in Seattle

    Leave him there to find his own way home. With any luck.....he won't.

    December 11, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. sharncedar

    I find it odd that Ted Cruz attended this bizarre canonization of a child killer anyhow. Perhaps Ted Cruz really is quite dumb. Mandela was in jail for 27 years for terroristic murder, a series of bombings he orchestrated for the ANC that killed children, families, innocent bystanders, and even on one occaision a pregnant women who was killed and her baby with her. This is who Mandela is, he is not a decent human being at all, and its hard to see why Cruz would be there to praise him. i understand why Obama was there (the victims were mostly white so to the Obama's it was acceptable collateral damage). I understand why the Democrats want to canonize this killer as a saint, he fits their agenda of purest hypocrisy. Deep down inside, his crimes against innocent civilians resonate with the hatreds of a Democrat, and they tacitly agree with his approach which is the terrorizing of citizens for political gain, provided the result is a left-wing agenda. But what is Ted Cruz doing there at all.

    December 11, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. SAD DAY

    Sad day when a senator acts more presidential than the Diva and chief. The Castros have murderd and tortured political rivals for decades. Probably a Leftist wet dream and that is why CNN is cool with it.

    December 11, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. Old West

    McCain shook the hand of Gaddafi....

    December 11, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. Chris

    zero class. There's a time and place for everything and this guy obviously doesn't get that.

    December 11, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. Tom Legare

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

    So what does this say about Cruz, Is he a man or a mouse? A loser for sure. Not a big enough boy to show manners. He's has to take his ball and go home. Tough stuff Ted. Grow up!!

    December 11, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. ljjm

    Teddy's having trouble remembering that the day was about celebrating Mandela's life, not about Teddy! If everyone chose to walk out when offended by the presence a speaker, the stadium would have been empty.

    December 11, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. Marie MD

    We have to thank god that he's given us rafaelito,the Canadian/Cuban terrorist to replace the screeching witch from AK who now only gets about 50 responses vs this fool who is up to 613!
    The battle of the dimwits and he's winning hands down.

    December 11, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. Hugh Jass

    "Mr. Obama shaking a dictator's hand is a "rare gesture"" Nixon and Clinton both shook with Castro. You have to understand that Castro took power to prevent Cuba from becoming what Las Vegas and Atlantic City are today: Syndicate strongholds. Today we fly to Vegas to get wild, but in the Fifties we flew to Cuba. He used the Communists to keep the Mafia from taking back their casinos, but at the core he is a Conservative. He's been an awful and foolish leader, but I think he meant well in the beginning, and I also think they will call us up about treaties five minutes after he dies. A lot of Cubans love the guy and don't want him to see them toss away his revolution and get back with the USA, but once he's gone?

    December 11, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. JW

    Why is Ted Cruz there? Probably so he could conduct this act and find a way to get into the news. Way to take the focus away from the real purpose of the event, which was remembering Mandela's life!

    I'm starting to see a trend with Ted Cruz, he likes to take the spot light off that which is the most important.

    December 11, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    let the church say amen

    December 11, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. ljjm

    BTW, Lemon, Fidel is not dead.

    December 11, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Cruz attempted a COUP to overthrow our Government under the guise to get rid of Obamacare a law signed in by the President and aapproved by the Justices. The cover up was to shutdown the Government and if all this were not true think about how Republicans and Democrats have work together on a budget deal. Obamacare is a law Cruz should be charged with TREASON and ejected back to Cuba where he belongs.

    December 11, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. Hammer And The Anvil

    Angie

    Unfortunately this President does not care about the suffering of the Cuban people

    And Bush did ?
    I must have missed something.

    December 11, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. steve

    Blakenaustin – read much here's the headline "Sen. Cruz walks out on Castro speech at Mandela memorial"

    December 11, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. Dan

    Hopefully, this will sink any chance of him being elected president. Not that he had a snowball's chance in the first place. What a pathetic little excuse of a human being.

    December 11, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. Hammer And The Anvil

    considering his family were deprived and tortured at the hands of the Castros

    Rush tell you that little lie, or did you make it up
    all by your widdle self ?

    December 11, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  24. FB

    Cruz did not walk out on Mandela and he did not walk out on Castro. He walked out on the peace process. Why is he not walking out on anything to do with Russia. Why is he not walking out on anything to do with China, Vietnam, Korea and others who are communist regimes and have tortured and murdered far more than what they have in Cuba. It looks to me that we are looking for political points just as the rest of these hypocrites in Miami!!!!

    December 11, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. JW

    Cruz did the exact opposite of what Mandela would have done. Cruz is so irrelevant, CNN needs to stop catering to him.

    December 11, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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