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

    Guys like this will never make things move forward for freedom.

    December 11, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. Boomer in Mo

    It was planned before he ever flew to South Africa. Just wants to look good to the nitwits in the party.

    December 11, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. valproic

    Cruz get's his views from his father who left Cuba after Castro put paid to his scheme to rip off the poor. Cruz himself has never been in Cuba. While Cuba is not a perfect state, it has never reached the depths plumbed by the USA in murdering so many innocent foreigners over the years.

    December 11, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. tet1953

    So he goes all the way to Africa, on a plane full of people whom he basically can't stand, just to stand up and walk out on a speaker paying respects to Mandela. How sadly pathetic is that?

    December 11, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  5. Don

    Sen Cruz again reminds us why he didn't get "Person of the Year"

    December 11, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  6. bl

    Cruz is a disgrace

    December 11, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. Pander Bear

    More pathetic posing from a pathetic poser.

    December 11, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  8. Paulos

    @lemon

    Fidel Castro isn't dead but even if he was what difference would that make ?

    December 11, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. John

    Was he there to honor Mandela or to score cheap political points?.......all intelligent people know the answer..........

    December 11, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. tcp

    Grossly misleading link in to this article. Castro's PRESENCE was an abomination. Cruz was the ONLY one who stood the ground that Mandela may have...had he not been a raging communist. Oh, but I forget, that IS YOUR affiliation as well.

    December 11, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. Jamie

    Didn't anyone tell Cruz that Fidel Castro left office in 2008? People are mad about Obama's photo session but not about Cruz walking out? Raul Castro has released a lot of prisoners by the way. From 2010-2011 he released 166 political prisoners and at the end of 2011 an additional 2,999 prisoners although these ones were mostly not there for political reasons. The guy is not saint and I would not enjoy living in Cuba under their current system but Cruz's reasons are more talking points that factual. He is talking about prisoners when America has the highest amount of prisoners in the world, not per capita but just by amount alone and some of the longest sentencing. He is also in Texas, TEXAS! A state known for its harsh punishments, high prison populations and use of the death penalty. In fact Texas is second only to Louisiana in the country in the amount of incarcerations. Ted Cruz should think about setting his own people free before asking anyone else.

    December 11, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. Juan

    Good for him. Funny on how every one is defending Castro, the Communist pig.

    December 11, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. Ricky

    Cruz is such a clown; he is an embarrassment to Latinos anywhere.

    December 11, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    seems everyone with a pitance exsistence has a comment about cruz but not castro hmmmmm haters of your own country but too chicken to move hahahha

    December 11, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. Carol

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

    The same could be said for Senator Cruz. Mandela's lesson was that you engage, speak and listen to those you disagree with. Mandela wouldn't have walked out.

    December 11, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. Whiskerdots

    Pretty rude behavior, shows a lack of diplomatic skills..

    December 11, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. Treebeard

    Malory Archer

    Friends

    While Obama takes a selfies and laughs and jokes being disrespectful.

    ------------------------------–

    Obama didn't take anything, you see a camera in his hand ?
    This was not a funeral, it was a celebration of Mandela's life.
    Some joined the celebration.
    Others used it to pull a political stunt.
    Are all you Republicans this stupid ?

    December 11, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Phil Tuncap

    Cruz walking out on a Communist speaker, Obama shaking hands with a Communist speaker and taking selfies at a funeral. Everyone on both sides will always have something to say. I enjoy watching you political people shake your fists at each other.

    December 11, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. danat

    This is a memorial for God's sake. Keep your politics to yourself!

    December 11, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. Doug in NYC

    Honestly, I think RAFAEL Cruz was mad he couldn't read Green Eggs and Ham at the service.

    December 11, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. JD

    Sad, but does seem like he went only so he could do exactly what he did – walk out and give himself a campaign moment for 2016 – can't seem to decide what he's for, who he is, or what he stands for, but he knows how to get elected and we can expect much more of this – McCain's comment was also stupid – when do Republicans(and democrats) get back to focusing on this country instead of the constant running for the next election – I get it, it's not rocket science, call the President by his name so everyone continually associates it with something awful (like calling ACA the Obamacare) just want this whole group to disappear – a very disillusioned Republican

    December 11, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. Tmoney

    So Cruz is a bad guy for walking out on the Communist Pig Castro yet all you bleeding heart liberals are not saying anything about your joke of a commander in chief joking around and taking a selfie photo during the service? Once again liberals show what hypocrits they are to the core of their very being. Sorry I do not want to join in your misery you bunch socialist swine.

    December 11, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. Rowing Stone

    What of piece of GOP!

    December 11, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Phil Tuncap wrote:

    Cruz walking out on a Communist speaker, Obama shaking hands with a Communist speaker and taking selfies at a funeral. Everyone on both sides will always have something to say. I enjoy watching you political people shake your fists at each other.
    -----------------------------–
    Malory Archer wrote:

    Obama didn't take anything, you see a camera in his hand ? [quite so]
    This was not a funeral, it was a celebration of Mandela's life. [funeral is Sunday]
    Some joined the celebration. [Many others simply watched it all unfold.]
    Others used it to pull a political stunt. [Cruz made the US look bad]
    Are all you Republicans this stupid ?

    No, they are not that stupid. But, they do think that if you bury your head in the sand, then no one can see you.

    December 11, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. Don

    Thank-god he left Canada and now you have to put up with this guy.... You're welcome!

    December 11, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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