During a campaign stop in Nevada on Tuesday, Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz opined on President Barack Obama’s true motivations behind closing Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. In an attempt to make good on a key campaign promise, Obama announced this week that he will be shuttering the center, which has housed terror suspects since 2002.
Beyond the administration’s assertion that GTMO is too expensive to operate and has been used as a recruitment tool for terrorist organizations, Cruz thinks Obama has another reason for wanting to abandon the facility.
“I believe that President Obama intends to try to give the Guantanamo naval facility to Raul and Fidel Castro as a parting gift,” the Texas senator said.
@thehill From one Marxist to another.
— Michele Schiesser (@MicheleSchiesse) February 23, 2016
After taking steps to normalize relations between Cuba and the U.S., Obama is set to become the first sitting American president to visit the communist nation since Calvin Coolidge’s 1928 trip. If Obama does plan to cap off his second term by bestowing Cuba with a valuable gift, Cruz said the move would not be unprecedented.
“Four decades ago,” he said, “Jimmy Carter gave away the Panama Canal. We built it, we paid for it, and then a feckless left-wing president gave it away to undermine this country.”
Cruz punctuated the historical reference by issuing a warning to Obama, emphatically informing the president he does not “have the authority to give away vital military assets.”
No matter the impetus, Cruz insisted that shutting down GTMO is a dangerous and insulting move.
“How on earth does any president look in the eyes of a mother or father whose son or daughter lost his life capturing these terrorists,” he wondered, “and justify we’re going to release them again when we know a very high percentage of them are going to return to waging jihad, to try to murder innocent Americans and the next American is going to look into the eyes of another father or mother and say their son is going to go have to get them?”