Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX) denounced President Barack Obama’s decision to open an embassy in Cuba before Washington has an embassy in Jerusalem.
“How sad is it that under the Obama administration the United States is going to have an embassy in Havana before we have an embassy in Jerusalem?” Cruz said Wednesday’s on the Hugh Hewitt Show, in remarks reported by the Breitbart website.
“I think this is a serious mistake. It’s a manifestation of the pattern of weakness and appeasement towards our enemies that has characterized the Obama-Clinton foreign policy,” said Cruz, a pro-Israel senator who declared in March he will be running for Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election.
“It’s the same pattern that occurred — that is occurring with regard to Russia, with regard to Iran, and it’s a very dangerous pattern,” he continued.
“How sad is it that under the Obama administration the United States is going to have an embassy in Havana before we have an embassy in Jerusalem, that this administration will be friendlier to a Communist dictator who hates America and seeks to undermine our nation, than it is willing to stand with our close friend and ally, the nation of Israel? I think it’s wrong,” stated Cruz.
“The Castros are continuing to imprison and torture people. They have no political rights. And all of the money going there is just propping up a cruel dictatorship that hates America, and that is 90 miles away from America. And it’s an example — consistently under the Obama-Clinton foreign policy, we have abandoned our friends and allies, whether it is the UK, whether it’s Canada, whether it’s Israel, and we have shown weakness and appeasement to our enemies,” he charged.
Cruz’s comments came as Obama formally announced that the United States and Cuba would open embassies in each other’s capitals, branding the move “a historic step forward in our efforts to normalize relations with the Cuban government and people”.
The U.S. and Cuba have been negotiating the re-establishment of embassies following a surprise announcement in December that secret talks between the global foes had led to a landmark agreement.
Cruz, along with Senator Dean Heller (R-NV), recently drafted a law that would remove the president's authority to invoke national security as a reason to ignore Congressional resolutions on moving the embassy to Jerusalem.
According to the measure, called the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act of 2015, the White House would be required to identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel even before the embassy is physically moved.
In 1995, both the Senate and House overwhelmingly passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which required the relocation of the American Embassy to Israel from its current location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That law was passed with a proviso that allowed the President to, at his discretion, postpone the move on the basis of “National Security” concerns, which would be reviewed on a yearly basis. That proviso has been activated every year since the original Act was passed.
Cruz has pushed strongly for greater American support of Israel, telling Arutz Sheva at an Israel Day event in New York City last June that "the friendship between Israel and America is and should be unbreakable," while calling "the prospect of Iran gaining nuclear weapons capability" as "the gravest threat to both" countries.
He was one of the senators who recently sent a letter to Iran warning that a bad nuclear deal with Obama would not outlast his presidency, after vocally supporting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's warnings against the deal in Congress.