Rafael Cruz

Rafael Cruz

Anyone who enters the ring to run for president of the United States must have intestinal fortitude.

Otherwise, he or she would be dead inside of an hour. The slings and arrows of the brutal world of modern American politics (we have campaigns that seemingly go on for centuries; our cousins in Europe like the weeks-long variety and seem happier for it) aren’t suited for the faint of heart.

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Rafael Cruz is not faint-hearted. In fact, the father of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz relishes his son’s run for the White House. Cruz the Elder also is convinced this is a defining moment in history: a time to take back America. His new memoir, “A Time for Action,” is a rollicking journey from oppression to freedom under the U.S. Constitution.

As he describes watching his son take the oath of office upon election to the Senate, Rafael Cruz speaks from a life of experience and hardship:

Only in America could the son of a Cuban immigrant who came to this great country with nothing and unable to speak the language be elected to the U.S. Senate and potentially become the president of the United States. Only in America! Fewer than six decades before, I had fought against oppression in my homeland to win the freedoms that Americans enjoy.

In fact, Cruz’s flight from totalitarian Cuba has become the stuff of legend, and made him almost as famous as Ted. Rafael Cruz has been tried in the fire.

One of the things that make “A Time for Action” so memorable is that Cruz did not escape from Fidel Castro’s hellhole, but rather the one dug by Fulgencio Batista, the corrupt leader Castro would soon overthrow. He later returned for a brief period before leaving it all behind forever:

In the summer of 1957, I arrived in America. After being imprisoned and tortured in my native Cuba for my involvement in the revolution against the Fulgencio Batista government, I knew that if I didn’t escape, I would be killed. With very little money and unable to speak English, I paid my way through school at the University of Texas by working first as a dishwasher and later as a cook.

In 1959, after Castro came to power, I returned to Cuba, believing that he would rid the country of corruption and align with America to make it a bulwark of freedom and democracy. But the Communist/Marxist policies he had instituted shocked me. Disillusioned, I left Cuba three weeks later, never to return again.

And when I landed on American soil, I knew I had found my permanent home, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Politicians often attempt to wax eloquent when trying to connect with voters; almost all of them relate the humble beginnings they came from. Ted Cruz and his father have a truly remarkable story, and perhaps appreciate the greatness of America more than other candidates, most of whom have lived off the government all their adult lives. Rafael Cruz knows nothing of a handout.

Cruz offers a unique view of his adopted homeland, and vigilance for freedom undergirds everything he does. For example, he tellingly observed that Jimmy Carter began enacting some of the same tax policies and regulations that reminded him of Communist Cuba. This type of thinking no doubt informs his son’s views today as he battles for the Republican nomination.

In fact, Rafael Cruz recounts for the reader how a love for America’s founding documents became a “fire in the bones” of his son early in life.

No doubt the father is a valuable counselor for his son’s campaign, and it’s obvious Rafael is keenly aware of hot-button issues (and he has a command of the facts!):

The Obama administration has both hands in your pockets, trying to take every hard-earned dollar you make to give it out in handouts to buy votes. A recent government report tragically estimates that more than 23 percent of Americans live in a family that receives some form of welfare. That’s up 17.1 percent over the last year of Bush’s administration.

In “A Time for Action,” Cruz not only identifies five obstacles looming for America, he also has a plan of action. Despite the controversy the liberal media has kicked up about Rafael Cruz’s faith and desire to return America to greatness … his memoir is like a compass leading the nation out of darkness.

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