Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas eviscerated President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday for their statements following the death of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
Speaking from the Senate floor, Cruz said “we are thankful” for “this brutal dictator’s” death. He said Trudeau and Obama “should know better” than to offer up the statements they did.
“Let me be absolutely clear: We’re not mourning the death of some revolutionary romantic or a distinguished statesman,” said Cruz, who is of Cuban descent. “We’re not grieving for the protector of peace or a judicious steward of his people. Today we are thankful, we are thankful that a man who has imprisoned and tortured and degraded the lives of so many is no longer with us.”
The Texas Republican said he wanted to pay tribute to the “millions” who “suffered at the hands of the Castro regime.”
“We remember them and we honour the brave souls who fought the lonely fight against the totalitarian communist dictatorship imposed on Cuba,” he said. “And yet at the same time, it seems that the race is on to see which world leader can most fulsomely praise Fidel Castro’s legacy while delicately averting his eyes from his less than savoury characteristics.”
“Two duly elected leaders of democracies who should know better: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and American President Barack Obama have been leading the way.”
Cruz roiled Trudeau for having “praised” Castro as a “larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century” and “a legendary revolutionary orator who made significant improvements in the education and healthcare on his island nation.” Trudeau was roundly criticised for his laudatory statement Saturday.
“Tell that to the people in the prisons,” Cruz said. “Tell that to the people who have been tortured and murdered by Fidel Castro.”
The one-time 2016 Republican presidential candidate also criticised Obama for offering “condolences to the Cuban people” and suggesting that “history will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure.”
“What is it about young leftists, what is it about young socialists, that they idolize communist dictators who torture and murder people?” he said. “Fidel Castro and Che Guevara and all of their goons are not these sexy unshaven revolutionaries in college dorm rooms on posters that make leftists get all tingly inside. They were brutal monsters.”
He reiterated that he called for no US government officials to attend Castro’s funeral until his brother, Raul, released political prisoners. Cruz then condemned Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, and US diplomat Jeffrey DeLaurentis, who will attend the Cuban leader’s memorial service.
Watch Cruz’s speech below:
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