Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), reportedly walked out of Nelson Mandela’s memorial service to protest Cuban President Raul Castro‘s speech, reports ABC News.
His self-serving actions were in sharp contrast to President Barack Obama, who caused quite the international stir when he diplomatically shook Castro’s hand.
Cruz, who is of Cuban descent, has been outspoken in his criticism of Cuba, so his actions are not surprising—but they are laughable and hypocritical.
“Sen. Cruz very much hopes that Castro learns the lessons of Nelson Mandela,” said Cruz spokesperson Catherine Frazier. “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.”
“Free elections”? “Political prisoners”?
Cruz must not know what country he lives in or with what political party he’s affiliated.
Assata Shakur, Mumia Abu Jamal, Jamil al-Amin (H. Rap Brown), Sundiata Acoli, Jalil Muntaqim, Leonard Peltier, Chelsea Manning and Oscar López Rivera are all political prisoners right here in the United States of America.
Why is Cruz not calling for all of them to be released? Or is the United States exempt from the moral standard it sets for the rest of the world?
Cruz is also a member of a political party which aggressively works to disenfranchise voters of color in this country; yet he has the nerve to chastise Cuba about free elections?
In the words of Nelson Mandela, “When Africa called, Cuba answered.”
It was the U.S. CIA which allegedly helped capture Mandela. It was the U.S. that labeled him a terrorist—until 2008. It is the United States through AFRICOM who is competing with China to control Africa’s resources. If anyone should have been insulted enough to walk out of Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, it should have been Raul Castro.
But of the two men, he is the one who knows that would have been the exact opposite of honoring Mandela’s legacy.
Let’s just call Cruz’s words and actions the audacity of revisionism.
Follow Kirsten West Savali on Twitter at @KWestSavali.