Earlier this week, Ted Cruz was asked by a CNN reporter what would have happened if his father, Rafael Cruz (a Cuban refugee), had been denied asylum in the U.S., the same way Cruz wants to turn away Syrian refugees.
"If my father were part of a theocratic and political movement like radical Islamism that promotes murdering anyone who doesn't share your extreme faith or forceably converting them, then it would make perfect sense," Cruz said.
But this would appear to run counter to comments Cruz made about his father on Late Night with Seth Meyers earlier this year, in which the Texas senator described how his father had fought with Fidel Castro before he left Cuba to seek asylum in the U.S. "He started fighting when he was fourteen. He spent four years fighting, was throwing molotov cocktails, I mean he was fighting alongside Castro," Cruz told Meyers in March.
"That's right, when Ted Cruz's father came here from Cuba in the 1950s, the closest equivalent to a political movement using violence to achieve its goals would have been Communism," said Meyers.
Cruz has discussed his father's history as a Cuban dissident during the rule of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista before. After being imprisoned by the regime, Rafael Cruz tried to join Fidel Castro's resistance, but couldn't reach the rebels, so he found a way out of the country and into the U.S. The New York Times writes:
He returned home shortly after Mr. Castro seized power in 1959, but, Ted Cruz writes, was appalled to see Mr. Castro had “declared to the world that he was a Communist.” Mr. Castro did not formally call his revolution Socialist until the eve of the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.
The Cruzes have long acknowledged that Rafael Cruz was an early Castro sympathizer. But Ted Cruz’s memoir — a copy of which The Associated Press purchased — provides new details about his desire to fight alongside the guerrilla leader.
In response to the refugee crisis and the terrorist attacks on Paris last Friday, Cruz has said that only Christian Syrians fleeing persecution should be allowed into the United States, and that he supports a "religion test" to decide which refugees are accepted.