A spokesperson has confirmed that Sen. Ted Cruz, who attended the Nelson Mandela memorial today, walked out on a speech by Cuban President Raúl Castro.

Sean Rushton, Cruz’s communications director, explained:

Senator Cruz very much hopes that Castro learns the lessons of Nelson Mandela. 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.

Earlier in the day, President Obama shook hands with Castro.


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