|Oswald in New Orleans in 1963 with a man Madsen claims is Rafael Cruz on his right|
Reporters looking into the murky background of the Cuban-immigrant father of Sen. Ted Cruz have uncovered a number of inconsistencies in biographical claims in Sen. Cruz's book that his father had fled to the U.S. in 1957 as an insurgent fighting the Batista regime with only a $100 sewn into his underwear. Newly-reported information by independent investigator Wayne Madsen ties Rafael Bienvenido Cruz to Oswald's work for the supposedly pro-Castro group in New Orleans during the summer of 1963.
Madsen claims that one of the Cubans pictured with Oswald handing out pamphlets for Fair Play outside the International Trade Mart in August, 1963 is Rafael Cruz. The ITM's founder, Clay Shaw, worked for the CIA and was the only other man in the U.S. to face criminal charges in connection with the Kennedy assassination, when NOLA district attorney James Garrison brought charges in what he contended was a wide government conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy. Shaw was acquitted of the charges and Garrison humiliated after federal agencies worked hand-in-hand with mainstream media to discredit his case.
Cruz's Cuban father, also named Rafael Cruz, operated an electronic business in Matanzas, Cuba tied to the American company, RCA. While reporters have been able to confirm an instance where the elder Cruz was arrested by Cuban police and brutally beaten, reporters have found no confirmation the arrest had anything to do with work for forces supporting Castro's efforts to overthrow the pro-American Batista regime. After arriving by a ferry boat from Cuba in Key West, Florida in 1957, Cruz' father made his way to Austin, Texas where he managed to enroll at the University of Texas and earn a degree in mathematics in 1961.
While in college, Cruz married his first wife, Julia Ann Garza, in 1959. Cruz took a job working as a computer programmer for a company tied to the oil industry. According to Madsen, Cruz and his wife moved from Dallas, Texas to New Orleans in 1962 with two young daughters. Madsen places Cruz in New Orleans at the same time the CIA plot to assassinate Kennedy, which involved a number of Cuban exiles including famed Watergate burglar Frank Sturges, was being run out of New Orleans. The Fair Play for Cuba group to which the government tied Oswald shared offices in the same building with Guy Bannister, a private detective who worked for both the FBI and the CIA.
According to Madsen, details of both Cruz' work for an oil company in New Orleans and the divorce from his first wife are very murky. It's not clear whether Cruz divorced in Dallas or New Orleans, but the marriage is believed to have ended in 1962 or 1963. Madsen also learned that Cruz had not bothered to register for the draft in the United States until 1967 at the age of 28 despite having become a permanent resident in 1961 as a political asylee after his student visa expired upon his graduation from college, listing a Jackson Street address in New Orleans as his residence. Madsen notes it was a crime for Cruz not to register for the draft when he first became eligible to register after becoming a permanent resident.
Cruz claims to have met his second wife, Eleanor Darragh Wilson, a Rice University graduate who had also been previously married, while living in New Orleans; however, Madsen could find no records showing she had ever lived in New Orleans. Eleanor worked as a computer programmer for the same company that employed Cruz. Eleanor's first husband, Fort Worth native Alan Wilson, now lives in London where the couple lived together from 1960 to 1965. Wilson has told reporters that a son born to Eleanor was not his child. Madsen says vital records in London show the son, Michael Wilson, died in 1966 after his mother was divorced from Wilson, although Sen. Cruz has claimed his half-brother died in 1965.
Shortly after Cruz had registered for the draft, he and Eleanor moved to Calgary, Canada where they continued working in the oil industry as computer programmers. They eventually opened their own independent business together. The couple's only child, Rafael "Ted" Cruz, was born in Calgary in 1970. Cruz's father became a Canadian citizen while living in Calgary. Accounts differ over whether Cruz' mother became a Canadian citizen. Ted Cruz did not renounce his Canadian citizenship until it became an issue after he launched his campaign for president last year. Cruz has never produced proof his mother registered his birth abroad with the State Department to establish his U.S citizenship as required by the Immigration and Naturalization Act. Without taking those legal steps when he was a child, Cruz would not have been considered a U.S. citizen by naturalization at birth.
The family returned to Texas in the mid-1970s (notably after President Gerald Ford granted amnesty to draft dodgers who fled to Canada), but his father sooned abandoned his family. Cruz' estranged parents, both described as heavy drinkers by acquaintances, would not formalize their divorce until decades later in 1997. Eleanor lives in Houston and has not been played an active role in her son's presidential campaign compared to his father. It gets rather sketchy, but Cruz' father is said to have left the Catholic Church in 1975 and at some point underwent a fundamentalist Christian conversion. The elder Cruz didn't become a naturalized U.S. citizen until 2005.
Cruz' father is often described as a pastor, but there is no evidence he has ever been a minister of a particular church. He's more accurately described as a traveling preacher, but it's unclear how he earns an income. He has emerged as an integral part of Cruz' efforts to cultivate support for his presidential campaign among evangelical Christians. Cruz is a self-described Dominionist, which is a Christian movement based on the belief that the Book of Genesis provides a mandate for men of Christian faith to seize control of government institutions and govern by Biblical principle. The elder Cruz has delivered sermons in which he claims his son's rise to political power is based on Biblical prophecy--at least that's the message his CIA handlers have him delivering to unsuspecting Christian voters. Madsen's revelations also raise the specter of Ted Cruz' presidential candidacy being the Trojan horse many have suspected it being for some time now.
|Sen. Cruz campaigning with his father in a Des Moines Pastors and Pews event (New York Times Photo)|
|Cruz's school records from Cuba (New York Times Photo)|