(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.
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.
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.
Cruz has little class! Who cares – does anyone listen to him? Why didn't he speak – because he's a nobody!
Hey Cruz, doesn't your Bible say that you should love your enemies? Hypocrite!
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.
Ted is a tea party fool, what's to be expected !!!
Who paid for this loser to attend the Mandela memorial anyways?
And...why was he even there? He should have been in congress WORKING...that's what we PAY HIM TO DO!!!!
Ted Cruz were all watching you and your negative comments and doings
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.
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