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realclearworld

Senator Ted Cruz Pays Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Reporters gather around U.S. Senator Cruz at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

Here is what Senator Ted Cruz had to say about the passing of Nelson Mandela on December 5, 2013:

"Nelson Mandela will live in history as an inspiration for defenders of liberty around the globe. He stood firm for decades on the principle that until all South Africans enjoyed equal liberties he would not leave prison himself, declaring in his autobiography, 'Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.' Because of his epic fight against injustice, an entire nation is now free.

We mourn his loss and offer our condolences to his family and the people of South Africa."

16 comments to Senator Ted Cruz Pays Tribute to Nelson Mandela

  • TWFKAP

    I hate to say it but Senator Cruz dropped the ball big time on this one. He made a plainly political statement, aimed at the Mandela worshippers, wholly devoid of the one salient fact that says everything you need to know about him: he was an avowed Communist, supporting regimes that imprison and murder their people. Supporting injustice for others while fighting for justice for you and yours is wholly immoral and reprehensible. For truth with a capital "T" read Carlos Eire and Humberto Fontova yesterday.

  • antonio2009

    A speech writer wrote this for Cruz. However, I am sure that his father has enlightened him about Mandela and must be chagrined. To call Mandela what he was, a Communist terrorist, somehow equates you with being a racist.

  • asombra

    Too bad Mandela didn't give a damn about the freedom of the people in Cuba, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Uganda and assorted other African dictatorial regimes...but hey, let's all join the PC lovefest, shall we? Rubio's eulogy can hardly be far behind, and surely Menéndez will join the chorus--assuming they both haven't chimed in already. And by the way, despite lying about it like someone very familiar, Mandela was indeed a communist, and we know what communism means to freedom. If the USSR hadn't gone south shortly before Mandela became South Africa's president, well, you do the math.

    Yes, Mandela is a sacred cow to the max, so there is major pressure to observe orthodoxy. Yes, his death was bound to be a trap for any prominent Cuban-American figure, especially a national politician. The knives were duly sharpened and lying in wait, but that should have been anticipated and prepared for, evidently better than it was. Yes, politics is a frequently dubious game of calculation and expediency, where perception trumps truth, and where deliberate manipulation of perception is routine. Yes, the game rigged, and not just in politics, clearly not in our favor.

    I understand a statement like this one by Cruz in strictly political terms, but in terms of truth and what is due to Cuba and Cuba's dignity, I simply cannot respect it--from anybody, but especially from someone of Cuban extraction. Surely he knows he's dealing in whitewashed or sanitized truth and that he's withholding critical facts--not opinions, FACTS, which are neither secret nor hard to come by. I'm very disappointed, not to say disgusted. But no, I'm not in his predicament; I have no political career to consider, and no price to pay for saying what should be said and needs saying. I suppose it's a no-win situation, but what a lousy, rotten business.

  • Rayarena

    I think that Cruz should have just kept quite on this one, but I do understand the pressure to say something less he be labeled a racist, especially after the onslaught of vitriol that he suffered for praising Jesse Helms. Criticizing Mandela now is worst than going back to the Middle Ages and spitting, kicking and stepping on the Host.

  • asombra

    Talking straight about Mandela has nothing to do with his race and everything to do with his glaring HYPOCRISY. Nobody who publicly, repeatedly and consistently sings the praises of indisputably oppressive and ruthless dictators, LOTS of them, has any right to be called a "champion of freedom." I mean, it's a grotesque joke. It's like a serial child rapist being praised because he treated his own kids decently. The hideous killings perpetrated or directed by Mandela's wife ARE his responsibility also, yet he's been magically absolved, as if he had no idea what she was doing and/or was utterly powerless to stop her. The fact he lied about being a communist, which is the same as lying about being a fascist or a Nazi, is also treated as perfectly OK. When has a communism EVER been about freedom for anybody in practice, once it's gotten control of a country? No, Mandela didn't set up a communist system when he became president, but by then the USSR was kaput and communism was at least temporarily out of fashion. Besides, if he had any intelligence, he had to realize he'd get much more mileage internationally and in historical terms if he took the high road. And, as far as ending the apartheid system in South Africa, the critical factor was not so much what he did but what the international community did to help him, which it has never even come close to doing for a country under leftist oppression like Cuba. In other words, we're talking about major, heavy-duty BS all around. I'm sick of it, and possibly even more sick of people who are supposed to be above that but are still caving into it, especially Cubans.

  • Rayarena

    Asombra,

    As always, you hit the nail smack, drab on the middle of the head! The hypocrisy is monumental and Mandela would have been as utterly unknown as the late Mario Chanes de Armas [a true hero] who served more years in Castro's gulag than Mandela spent in jail in South Africa much of it under house arrest receiving a fawning world media and going for swims the pool [while Chanes de Armas was in a celda tapiada] had it not been for massive pressure from around the world.

    Mandela in essence is another Che, in other words, a terrorist who found himself lifted up, worshipped and turned into a demigod by international communism and the stupid masses who believe everything that they are force fed.

    The Mandela worshipping has gotten so sick that I was watching a reporter on one of the morning shows talking about how Mandela told him in an interview that he was happy that he was arrested when he was, because he didn't like to kill and the African National Congress was going to start putting bombs in hospitals and schools and that he would have found himself in the obligation of killing children and dying people had he not been arrested when he was arrested. Most people would of course be horrified that someone would be willing to kill children and wounded people and confess to it, but not that reporter, instead, he used this as yet another opportunity to state of what a great man Mandela was!

  • asombra

    Ray, I din't know that about Mandela. It means he was prepared to kill children and sick people if ordered. I assume that's how he justified his wife's horrible killings: she was just following orders. That was essentially Adolf Eichmann's defense at his trial, as well as that of other Nazi war criminals at the earlier Nuremberg trials. It didn't fly for them, but apparently it's an acceptable excuse for people like Mandela. The other potential "excuse" is that the end justified the means. Unbelievable, or rather, all too believable, considering how full of shit the world is.

  • Jorge Ponce

    President Barack Obama, and former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter will attend the memorial service in South Africa for the late Nelson Mandela. See http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/09/us-mandela-obama-idUSBRE9B80J920131209

  • Rayarena

    Hmmm, I wonder if this all a foreshadowing of the outpouring that will occur when the monstrosity of Biran dies? No doubt, the New York Times will lead the chorus of the media offering "balanced" appraisal of his nightmarish rule. In other words, like in the case of Mandela, they will downplay the assassinations, terrorism, mayhem and destruction.

  • asombra

    Mandela was a hypocrite, and so was any country or person who actively opposed the apartheid regime in South Africa but has condoned, let alone supported, Castro, Inc. However, Mandela was obviously no Castro. For one thing, he relinquished power, and he didn't blatantly abuse it while he had it. His ex-wife, the horrid Winnie, was actually worse, though, as Mandela himself admitted, being in prison kept him from killing a lot more people.

  • Rayarena

    I agree, Mandela was no castro. castro as we all know is in a class by himself--a singularly evil, harmful, dastardly piece of smelly crap! Mandela was a terrorist, but had some redeeming qualities, relinquishing power being chief among those.

    By the way, Israel is the only country that has had the fortitude and dignity to resist the worldwide pressure to pay homage to Mandela:

    http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-netanyahu-to-skip-mandela-memorial-20131209,0,5630155.story#axzz2n0P4bGOh

  • Jorge Ponce

    Senator Ted Cruz is the only U.S. Senator to attend the memorial service in South Africa for the late Nelson Mandela.

    See http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2013/12/09/ted-cruz-only-senate-member-to-attend-nelson-mandela-memorial-service/

  • Rayarena

    Wow! Disappointing. I can only imagine one thing, being a politician, Cruz is acting like a politician and is going to get browning points.

  • asombra

    Cruz issuing a pro-forma PC statement was one thing, but going to South Africa for Mandela's funeral is quite another. Nobody would have expected that of him, and he was under no pressure at all to do it. I'm not sure what he's playing at, but he's playing at something, and going out of his way like this is clearly meant to be noticed and send some sort of message. That message may be that he's an American politician whose Cuban ancestry is not any kind of "baggage," that he's not beholden to or especially concerned with "those people" and their issues, and that he can be pragmatic and play ball like anybody else. He's not necessarily out to score brownie points, unless he's stupid enough to believe liberals will give him any credit or cut him any slack on account of this. The message is not so much for them but for those who may worry he's "one of them fixated Cuban types, not really one of us."

    Again, I'm not sure what Cruz is about, but this is not an idle or casual gesture (which the earlier statement might have been if he'd gone no further). It actually feels quite exhibitionistic, and most certainly calculated. To call it distasteful is an understatement, and even if it positions him better as one of us (Americans), I'm afraid it may well mean he's not one of us Cubans. Frankly, this gesture is infra dig, and while Cruz may not be concerned about his personal dignity, he should have shown more respect for Cuba's.

  • Jorge Ponce

    Here is what Cuban-American Carlos Alberto Montaner had to say about the late Nelson Mandela: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/07/3802237/the-greatness-of-nelson-mandela.html

  • asombra

    Montaner is a politician, or rather, a would-be political figure. He also suffers, apparently, from a form of fashion victimhood, or a fear of being taken for one of "those people." Ultimately, he's kidding himself and wasting his time, but I suppose everyone is entitled to his own fantasies and follies. Still, even though he's of little real consequence, he's a Cuban exile and public figure of sorts, at least in a certain milieu. That means he has a responsibility which an anonymous person does not, since his views are being published or reported as if he were some kind of spokesman for Cubans, a role he implicitly accepts (or he certainly gives that impression). This, of course, is a problem.

    He is typically, if not always, a mixed bag, as is practically inevitable for "moderates." The mix varies, but it can include ingredients so unpalatable that one winds up spitting the whole thing out of one's mouth. Clearly nobody is infallible, but it's not just a matter of how frequently one misses, but how badly. In his published eulogy, he calls Mandela "one of the noblest and most admirable figures of the XX century" and the greatest African statesman of the century (not that it would take much, given the piss-poor competition). He dismisses Mandela's ties to Castro as understandable gratitude for services rendered, but expresses no objection to the fact Mandela never showed any sympathy or concern for the enslaved and oppressed Cuban people or the untold misery and suffering brought upon them by his friend Fidel over more than half a century. He also says nothing about the host of other monstrous despots Mandela supported. He does not mention that Mandela lied about being a communist, or that his wife was a serious horror, or that he admitted he would have been prepared to bomb schools and hospitals if he hadn't been imprisoned. Neither the scrupulously fair trial that convicted him (of crimes he HAD committed) nor the relatively benign conditions of his imprisonment (which coiuld have been much shorter if he'd renounced violence) are alluded to, especially given how that contrasts to the experience of numerous Cuban political prisoners (including several black ones who were in jail as long or longer than Mandela). In other words, forget everything except the standard, official position: All hail the great sacred cow! Ugh.