(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.
He always has that constipated look on his face...Hopefully his "fame" will be short-lived, and he will fade off into obscurity in the not-too-distant future...total idiot this guy....
The only reason Cruz went to the memorial was to snub Castro and get publicity. What a disgrace this joker is.
Mr. Cruz should see also his own prison at home and abroad, also look at the history of Pulau Buru
"For decades, Castro has wrongly imprisoned and tortured countless innocents"
That's funny.. what about the innocents we have locked up in Gitmo along with actual criminals? How long are they going to stay there without a trial? Look at the Kettle Mr. Cruz and realize that America is a Pot now.
I'm sure that poor Raul Castro was not able to eat or sleep that night because of that, NOT. I imagine Raul Castor did not even noticed and if he did, do you really think he cared? What a ridiculous cry baby. Grow up Senator Cruz!
Cruz doesn't even have good manners. How can such a person be elected to Congress? He is childish and immature. The service was to honor Nelson Mandela and Cruz wants to make it about himself? He should never be allowed to represent the United States anywhere. He is a disgrace,
Ted Cruz should ask himself "What Would Mandela Do?" Mandela fought for human rights in the most gracious way possible. Someone else's funeral is not the time to make a spectacle of yourself by walking out. The event was about Mandela not Ted Cruz.
He should not have gone at all. Rude, ignorant, offensive.
Senator Cruz: Grow up.
Wrong place, wrong time Cruz. Politics should play no part in a memorial service for a world dignitary. I don't care if you are from Cuba or wherever, that was RUDE and totally IGNORANT. You got what you wanted by going there...world recognition, but not for the right reasons.
Obama represents the USA very well. He's diplomatic and intelligent. Senator Cruz embarrasses the state of Texas, both here in the USA and abroad. Obama takes the high road, Cruz is a low-life (including at funerals).
lack of true leadership and only self promotion can best describe this neocon fascist !
I'm not a Ted Cruz fan, but this was a good move. The first one he's made that I actually agree with.
Using a memorial service to try and score political points, just another classless act by a Tea Party loon.
As part of the Congressional delegation, Cruz was WRONG. He represents us, not himself and this is just another reason why he shouldnt be in office nor any public office.
He should not have gone at all. Rude, ignorant, doesn't belong in politics or diplomacy. An embarrassment.
He is just starved for attention. Sad.
CRUZ, has no class and should not have been allowed to accompany the Black Caucus to S Africa. It was a Memorial Service for Mandela and this FOOL walks out on Castro while he was speaking. Cruz, tried to make a Political Jesture which, at that time was completely inappropriate
Just another publicity stunt by this wanna be.
I am sure Nelson Mandela was honored by Cruz' attendance as well as his ill-mannered walk out. Yet another example of 'redneck' diplomacy, more likely calculated to impact Cuban ex-pats living in south Florida (largely the reason the failed embargo remains in effect) than to affect world politics.
Check the history – the USA (as too often) suffered 'Situational Ethics' problems (recall the coup in Iran then Shah of Iran?) and we backed the likes of Batista in Cuba, a cruel dictator, then we snubbed Castro while the Soviets made him a better offer. The rest of that is history – and since then much of the rest of the world (where I have visited) looks at the USA as simply a bully who will not drop the embargo out of spite – our CIA failed in their 'Keystone Cops' attempts to kill Castro after all and that did not make us look good either. Such hypocracy of disengagement when presented any opportunity to open a door is just what has kept the US impact on Cuba marginalized, while the rest of the world flocks there to do business yes spanning from our allies, Yes countries all the way to China – with whom we do business and by whom have become owned.
Unless of course you are some famous American politician or celebrity who visits Cuba for 'cultural exchange' reasons – the embargo has basically served only to isolate the average American and also our businesses from Cuba – a rare contrast for our country that does business with China, Iran (sponsor terrorists anyone?), Vietnam, Saudi Arabia (beheadings, like how they treat women anyone?), and others just as bad or worse in several ways. If Cuba (that is Chinese companies working there) finds oil then I suspect even the Republicans will come around on Cuba.
Like he actually cares about Cuba.
Its time 2 look for an deal with cuba. its been almost 50 yrs. people like sen. ted cruz r just 2 bull headed 2 compermize. vote him out
That's why he went!! Planned to walk out on Castro all along – to steal some Miami are Cuban votes from archrival Rubio in '16 primary. What he did reinforces the Worlds opinion that Americans are rude, crude ( * ) caring only for themselves. Wonderful. * insert your own expletive.
I am not in general a supporter of Ted Cruz, but I am glad someone had the courage to do this. It was the height of hypocrisy to have Castro speak at the funeral of a man like Mandela.