Sen. Ted Cruz was one of just two Republicans in the Congressional delegation that attended Nelson Mandela's memorial service, but even though he traveled halfway around the world to participate, he couldn't resist the temptation
to use the event to make a political statement to his conservative fans back home:
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walked out of former South African President Nelson Mandela’s memorial service Tuesday when Cuban President Raul Castro gave a speech, a spokeswoman for Cruz said.
“Sen. Cruz very much hopes that Castro learns the lessons of Nelson Mandela,” Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for Cruz told ABC News. “For decades, Castro has wrongly imprisoned and tortured countless innocents. Just as Mandela was released after 27 years in prison, Castro should finally release his political prisoners. He should hold free elections, and once and for all, set the Cuban people free.”
Whatever you think about U.S.-Cuba policy, only a self-absorbed egomaniac would turn the memorial service for Nelson Mandela into an opportunity to score points with that sort of political grandstanding. In other words—especially in light of the Right's angry reaction
to his Mandela tribute—it's not at all surprising that Cruz did what he did.