Ted Cruz has often told a story about his father, Rafael, fighting for freedom alongside Fidel Castro then coming to the realization that he is a repressive Communist dictator. Cruz has used this story to refer to the Obama administration and what he claims is government overreach.
But the New York Times investigated and it turns out the story of the elder Cruz fighting against the dictatorial Fulgencio Batista regime at Castro’s side may be a lie.
In interviews, Rafael Cruz’s former comrades and friends disputed his description of his role in the Cuban resistance. He was a teenager who wrote on walls and marched in the streets, they said — not a rebel leader running guns or blowing up buildings.
Leonor Arestuche, 79, a student leader in the ’50s whom the Castro government later hired to verify the supposed exploits of revolutionary veterans, said a term existed for people like Mr. Cruz — “ojalateros,” or wishful thinkers. “People wishing and praying that Batista would fall,” she said, “but not doing much to act on it.”
In his campaign book, A Time For Truth, Ted Cruz wrote about a rebel attacked were “all of the students were killed,” but the Times looked into that as well and found “only a few actually were killed, according to eyewitness accounts and historical documents.”
The paper also found that Rafael Cruz’s version of events has morphed and changed. In one instance a version of events he told claimed that he recruited a revolutionary that turned out to be a pro-Batista informant. But the Times notes that when he told the story in 1959 he “did not mention any informant.” They also report, “none of the Cuban historians, former comrades of Mr. Cruz in his hometown or veterans of the Santiago battle reached by The Times could corroborate his story.”
Rafael Cruz has also given speeches about his involvement with a group of young rebels, but the Times reports that “veterans of the operation questioned Rafael Cruz’s account of his involvement” while people they interviewed in Cuba, who could name other rebels, “had no memory of Mr. Cruz.”
The elder Cruz has become a celebrity on the Tea Party circuit, and has given numerous speeches and made appearances on behalf of his son’s presidential campaign. He has pushed the birther conspiracy theory, while also attacking same-sex marriage.
And he has been telling stories about his exploits in Cuba, which may not be true at all.
Oliver Willis, Addicting Info
November 9, 2015