Ted Cruz: ‘No Mojitos’ For Oppressed Political Prisoners in Cuba

Republican presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) addresses the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) March 21, 2016 in Washington, DC.
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GOP 2016 contender Sen. Ted Cruz draws a sharp contrast between the “radical chic” pulled into Cuba’s totalitarian Communism and the country’s political prisoners of conscience who are simply forgotten.

With the arrival of President Barack Obama and his entourage in Havana, Cruz asserts in an op-ed in Politico, “[I]t is so sad, and so injurious to our future as well as Cuba’s,” that – rather than denounce Castro’s “corrupt and oppressive” regime – Obama instead has elected to legitimize it with his presence.

Cruz says the oppressed in Cuba “will not be on TV, rubbing elbows with the Obamas or left-wing politicians like Nancy Pelosi. There will be no mojitos at the U.S. Embassy for them. Raul Castro denies their very existence.”

He continues:

The White House keeps saying that this trip will chart a new course for people-to-people relations, but all that Obama’s appeasement of the Castro dictatorship has done so far is create a channel for inside deals between large corporations and the Cuban military, which holds all the keys to the island’s economy. The effect will not be liberalization but rather the institutionalization of the Communist dictatorship as the profits from this détente will line the pockets not only of Fidel and Raul Castro, but also of Raul’s son, Alejandro Castro Espin.

Corporate cronyism, meet communist totalitarianism.

Cruz’s observation about the lure of communist Cuba for the left was evident in CNN’s Chris Cuomo’s comments as he began coverage of Obama’s visit.

Newsbusters reports that Cuomo was wearing his father’s – former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo – guayabera shirt which, he told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, was “given to him by Fidel Castro as a gift.”

“[I]t didn’t mean something to him [his father] because it came from Fidel Castro necessarily, but because it marked conversations going on decades ago that were the same as those today,” Cuomo said, adding that for his father Mario, “the concern was the freedom of the people. What is the point of this communist regime if it is not to truly make everyone equal — not at the lowest level; not by demoralizing everyone; but lifting everyone up? My father, generations of politicians, have been fighting this. So, I wear this shirt as a reminder of that, and of my pop.”

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh reacted to Cuomo’s comments:

Did you just hear how communism was defined here? Where did this guy pick it up? From his dad? From school? This is incredible. It marked conversations going on decades between Mario the pious and Fidel Castro. And they were the same then as they are today…

Did you know that?  Did you know that the purpose of communism was to make everybody rich?  Did you know the purpose of communism was to elevate everybody? Everybody was to be equal, everybody was to be the same, not demoralized, not at the lowest level, but lifting everyone up. “My father, generations of politicians have been fighting this, so I wear the shirt as a reminder.”

Sound bites like this – I don’t know – slap me in the face and make me realize something that has escaped me all these years…

Communism imprisons people.

But not to these media people! No, no, no. See, I always thought that these people knew. This is where I was wrong. Back in the day, the seventies, eighties, I’m listening to these people speak glowingly of the Soviet Union, glowingly of the Soviet Union system, happily pronouncing Soviet expansionism — and opposing Ronald Reagan or any effort to rein in communism. That was considered the problem as far as the left and the media was concerned.  I thought they knew that communism imprisoned people.

Cruz points out that Obama said only a couple of months ago that he would only travel to Cuba “if in fact, I with confidence can say that we’re seeing some progress in the liberty and freedom and possibilities of ordinary Cubans. … If we’re going backwards, then there’s not much reason for me to be there.”

“I have news, Mr. President: No progress has taken place,” observes Cruz – the son of a Cuban. “Cuba is going backward.”

“The independent Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation says that 1,141 Cubans were detained for political reasons last month alone, following the 1,447 that were detained in January,” he notes.

Cruz continues that both his father and aunt were brutalized in Cuba, but found freedom in the United States. Freedom cannot come to Cuba, he says, by “enriching and empowering the dictatorship,” as terrorism is also exported to Latin America.

“And it cannot happen by forgetting the heroism and suffering of the brave souls who have opposed the Castros for so many decades,” he adds.


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