Ted Cruz plan to rename DC street aimed straight at Cuban dictatorship

This is sticking it in the dictator’s eye.

In recognition of the normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba’s dictator Castro regime, Sen. Ted Cruz introduced a bill Wednesday to rename the Cuban embassy’s street in Washington after Oswaldo Payá, a Cuban Roman Catholic and freedom-fighter.

As a further tweak, he just wants to rename the block directly in front of the Cuban embassy.

Payá fought for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in Cuba, and founded the Christian Liberation Movement to oppose Cuba’s one-party Communist rule.

He died in 2012 under suspicious circumstances. The Cuban government claimed he was killed in an automobile accident when the driver lost control. A passenger who was in the vehicle claims they were deliberately run off the road and into a tree, apparently by security agents working for Cuban dictator Raul Castro.

Cruz published a statement with the bill:

“The opening of the Cuban Embassy is yet another example of the Administration’s long, slow capitulation to oppressive dictatorships around the globe. The Castros may have come to power before the President was born, but they remain at heart the same brutal thugs they were when they imprisoned and tortured my Tía Sonia 50 years ago,” the Texas Republican said in a statement.

“There is absolutely no reason to legitimize and enrich them now, and it is my hope that this gesture will reassure those fighting for freedom in Cuba that there are still some in the United States who stand with them.”

For Cruz, this bill is personal.

The senator’s father, Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, was imprisoned in “a rotten cell, acrid with the smell of blood, grime, urine,” where he was repeatedly beaten for resisting the Castro regime, the GOP presidential candidate wrote in his recently released book, “A Time for Truth.”

Also on Wednesday, Cruz was joined by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, both Republicans from Florida, in sending a letter asking Secretary of State John Kerry to investigate reports that Paya’s daughter, Rosa Maria Paya and a fellow Cuban dissident, Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo — are being subjected to aggressive behavior by a member of the State Department.

“According to Ms. Payá and Mr. Lazo, when they arrived at the State Department before your press conference with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, they were identified by members of the Cuban delegation. When they entered the briefing room they were confronted by your chief spokesman, Admiral John Kirby, who requested they refrain from asking any questions or they would be forcibly removed,” Cruz, Ros-Lehtinen and Diaz-Balart wrote.

“How very sad it would be if Ms. Payá were to find that the repressive, totalitarian tactics that have silenced so many generations of Cubans do not end at the water’s edge, but have also infiltrated our own capital.”

Even if Cruz’s bill fails to pass Congress, it received plenty of support from social media.


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