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

    Peace does not come from ignoring the situation.. it starts when you communicate. When you start to talk. Peace can only be gained by destroying the enemy, or talking to them.

    December 11, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Why would he even go in the first place .

    December 11, 2013 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  3. Bob

    Cruz does realize that it was Fidel Castro that did that stuff, not Raul Castro, right? Of course he doesn't know that.

    December 11, 2013 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  4. john john

    Sen. Cruz is a racist white Cuban clown just as is Gloria Estefan. He knew Raul was going to speak, he wanted attention, just like a child.

    December 11, 2013 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  5. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    This guy is all for show. The GOP needs to seperate from him, and his way of thinking or we will loose alot of elections in 2014.

    December 11, 2013 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Maybe Senator Cruz forgot it was a memorial service and not a political event . He should have showed respect and sat quietly, this is why are leaders get nothing done they can't even act properly at a funeral, only accting up for their personal gain

    December 11, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  7. Alex Wilson

    Ted Cruz is all about political theater. If he spent as much time actually trying to govern as he does pandering to the extreme right and reading green eggs and ham, he might actually get something done. Ted Cruz should learn the difference between leadership and acting. Leadership means actually working with people to get something done, which Cruz refuses to do. Acting means throwing a hissy fit at a funeral. The man is a perpetual 3 year old's hissy fit.

    December 11, 2013 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  8. Jim

    Good for him. This is what you report, while I see no mention of our great commander-in-chief acting like a buffoon taking selfies of himself and falling all over the blonde next to him during the service. The liberal media never disappoints. I'm sure those tortured appreciated Cruz's gesture. The president's actions, not so much. He's an embarrassment. But then again, so is what you try to pass of as journalism.

    December 11, 2013 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  9. Desel

    Mr. Cruz will do anything to bring attention to himself. The memorial was suppose to be about Nelson Mandela.

    December 11, 2013 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  10. woodie

    Ted Cruz is not very bright. But we already knew that.

    December 11, 2013 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  11. KC Yankee

    Kind of proves the old saying doesn't it? Even a broken clock gets it exactly right twice a day. This was once for Teddy.

    December 11, 2013 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  12. TomInRochNY

    And, Ted should learn what the word compromise means.

    December 11, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  13. Paul

    Castro is a villan....good for you Cruz

    December 11, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  14. Mark

    You go, Ted. Do what others only think of doing when instead they are too cowardly to do

    December 11, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  15. Stephen

    That Ted, class act.

    December 11, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  16. Reddog9500

    America's handshake can turn into a fist on a moment's notice depending on whether we feel threatened by you or if you have something that we want. Nothing personal. It's just how America does business.

    December 11, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  17. John C Finley

    Why in God's name did he even go? He has no real knowledge of the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Does not understand reconciliation and the true meaning of Christianity.

    December 11, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  18. callmecrazy

    He also walked out when Obama was speaking. So what else is new?

    December 11, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  19. Bryan

    What a loser

    December 11, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  20. concernedGrndma

    How rude and adolescent! The funeral was about Mandela, not about Cruz. This behavior dishonored Mandela. South Africa has ties with Cuba and Venezuela which may or may not be appreciated by American politicians. There is no excuse for rudeness on the international stage . Surely, Cruz' diplomatic skills are called into question..

    December 11, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  21. Jake17

    This is precisely why Cruz is unqualified for high office. He has already demonstrated an unwillingness to compromise domestically and now he is meddling in foreign affairs. This latest act is pure grandstanding, just another way to keep his name in the news. Next he'll be scurrying home to bash the new budget proposal, just watch.

    December 11, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  22. Aaron Nelson

    Sounds like something this shameless publicity hound would do.

    December 11, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |

    Good job!!! According to that "elien" kid....all is well with Cuba..LMAO

    December 11, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  24. Cocoamac

    Oy! What a putz! Talk about not the time or place to make such a protest. The guy has the maturity level of a spoiled 10 yo.

    December 11, 2013 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  25. lol at the gop

    what a Dbag. dumb look on his face

    December 11, 2013 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
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