Pretty interesting article about Ted Cruz’s dad.
The political partnership between Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and his father, Rafael, is a rising force in conservative politics. To most observers, it seems like part of a familial game plan that has been in the works for years.
But according to Senator Cruz, it actually began quite recently with a phone call. “My dad poured himself into my Senate race last year,” he recalls. “In the early months, we didn’t have much of a campaign. One day, I couldn’t make an event, so he drove out to West Texas alone — no staffers, nothing — and he spoke on my behalf. A few hours later, I called and asked how it went. He said, ‘Even surrogates for the other candidates were asking for Cruz yard signs.’”
Ever since, Cruz has kept his father, a 74-year-old pastor, involved with his political shop, using him not merely as a confidant and stand-in, but as a special envoy. He is Cruz’s preferred introductory speaker, his best messenger with evangelicals, and his favorite on-air sidekick — a presence who softens his edge. This past Sunday, the pair sat for a joint CNN interview, one full of aw-shucks asides.
Born in Matanzas, Cuba, he grew up in the Cuban middle class in the 1950s, as the son of an RCA salesman and an elementary-school teacher. As a teenager, he grew to detest the regime of Fulgencio Batista. He and some of his schoolmates frequently clashed with Batista’s officials. Eventually, he linked up with Castro’s guerrilla groups and supported their attempts to overthrow Batista.
It’s a decision he still regrets. His move toward Castro, he explains, was mostly due to his anger with Batista’s government, which at one point imprisoned him and tortured him for his work with the revolutionaries. He says he never shared Castro’s Communism, but, at the time, it was the best way to fight Batista’s oppression. By age 18, in 1957, he knew he needed to get out, and a friend essentially bribed an official to secure him an exit permit.
A truly compelling life story.
Tags: Rafael Cruz