A look at US Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s Cuban roots

CCTV News

cruyz 1

U.S. presidential candidate Ted Cruz is projected to win this week’s Republic Party primary in the state of Wisconsin. He was born to a Cuban father, who took part in Fidel Castro’s fight to overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista.

CCTV America’s Michael Voss explores Cruz’s roots from Matanzas, Cuba and discovers what some Cubans think of him.

A look at US Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz's Cuban roots

A look at US Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz's Cuban roots

U.S. presidential candidate Ted Cruz is projected to win this week's Republic Party primary in the state of Wisconsin. He was born to a Cuban father, who took part in Fidel Castro's fight to overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista. CCTV's Michael Voss explores Cruz's roots from Matanzas, Cuba and discovers what some Cubans think of him.

Matanzas is a historic old port town about 200 kilometers (62 miles) from the capital Havana. Its latest claim to fame is its connection to U.S. presidential hopeful Republican Ted Cruz, a Cuban-American whose father and political mentor Rafael Cruz was born here.

Ever since Cruz entered the race for the White House, the city historian has been trying to trace his roots and has tracked down the family home.

When asked of the prospect that Cruz would become president Matanzas City Historian Ercilio Vento is concerned.

cruz 3

“I think it’s no good for us. It’s not because he is against Fidel, he’s against the people, all people,” Vento said.

As a high school student in the 1950’s, Rafael Cruz joined the protest movement against the dictator Fulgencio Batista. Fellow student and revolutionary fighter Justino Baro remembers him.

“He was a student activist and later went on to become involved in the insurrection and because of that he was taken prisoner,” Baro said.

Rafael Cruz was badly beaten in jail and left for the United States after his release in 1957. He later became a fierce critic of Castro, a view which has influenced his son Ted Cruz, who is bitterly opposed to President Barack Obama’s engagement with Cuba.

Not many people here know about the connection between Matanzas and Ted Cruz. But there is concern about what might happen to U.S.-Cuban relations with a Republican in the White House.

“If there is a Republican I think we would lose a lot of the advances and that would be very bad for the relations we have achieved between the two countries,” one resident said.

But not everyone is against a particular party.

“We need a President who will continue good relations with Cuba. It doesn’t matter if it’s Republican or Democrat,” another resident said.