Following a last minute meet and greet in Peoria, Arizona, 2016 Republican presidential contender Sen. Ted Cruz told reporters that President Obama’s visit to the communist dictatorship of Cuba that day was “a sad day in American history” and that he looks forward to visiting a “free Cuba” after he becomes President.
Today is a sad day in American history. For decades, leftists and Hollywood liberals have made the pilgrimage to Cuba to pay homage to Fidel Castro and Raul Castro. It’s very chic, it’s very shi-shi, for leftists to celebrate vicious communist dictators.
Ya know, this is an issue I know firsthand. My family has experienced the ravage of Cuba. My father fought the Cuban revolution. My father was imprisoned and tortured as a teenager by Batista. And my aunt, my tia Sonia, was imprisoned and tortured by Castro’s goons. Now when President Obama is in Cuba, you know who he’s not going to meet? He’s not going to meet the dissidents who are being tortured right now by Raul and Fidel Castro, who are being silenced for daring to stand up. He’s not going to meet the Ladies in White.
Just before President Obama landed on the island of Cuba on Sunday a group of over 50 pro-democracy dissidents — many of which were designated as the Ladies in White — were beaten and arrested.
Breitbart News reported:
The Ladies in White marched holding a sign reading “Obama, Nothing Has Changed Here.” Another group of dissidents held a sign reading “Obama, traveling to Cuba is not fun. No more violations of human rights.”
Cuban activist activist Marta Beatriz Roque warned of crackdowns leading up to Obama’s visit, cautioning the U.S. President that the visit would be an error, “These sorts of visits bring a lot of collateral damage.” Another Cuban dissident leader remarked that the visit “is giving the Castro regime a pat on the back.”
Cruz harkened back to the President Reagan era, when the then-president called for Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” in reference to the Berlin Wall separating East and West Germany. He spoke of prisoners in the gulag who passed notes from cell to cell with the message “did you hear what Ronald Reagan said?”
America should be standing for freedom, not sending billions to oppressive dictators who hate America and who are spreading terrorism throughout Latin America. And I would note, sadly, this has been the pattern of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy.
The nation of Iran. This administration has sent over a hundred billion dollars to a bilious regime that hates America. The Ayatollah Khamenei chants ‘death to America’ and this administration is funding Khamenei’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons to be used to murder Americans. The same thing is happening with Cuba. Where this administration is allowing billions of dollars to flow to Cuba, to strengthen Fidel and Raul Castro and that money, we know what will be done with it. It will be used to oppress the Cuban people. It will be used to spread terrorism throughout Latin America and it will be used to attack America.
Asked if he would visit Cuba as president and meet with foreign dissidents Cruz responded:
I cannot wait as president to visit Cuba, but when I visit Cuba it will be a free Cuba. It will be a Cuba without Raúl Castro without Fidel Castro. I cannot wait to celebrate with the people of Cuba, 90 miles off America’s shore, their liberation, their freedom from the communist dictatorship that has sacked their future that has destroyed their economy, that has destroyed lives. And that will only happen with a President who doesn’t side reflexively with every enemy of America, who doesn’t side reflexively with Iran and North Korea and Cuba while he ignores Israel and the United Kingdom and Canada and our allies. This president gets it exactly backwards.
Cruz went on to mention President Obama’s actions in light of terrorism, his unwillingness to say the words radical Islamic terrorism and the Obama press conference following the San Bernardino terror attacks that warned Americans against Islamophobia.
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