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VIDEO: Sen. Cruz Recognizes 30th Anniversary of Fall of the Berlin Wall, Power of American Principles

‘That’s something America should remember, that our principles can tear down walls’

November 4, 2019

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a new video, "The Power of American Principles," in advance of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, when democracy and freedom prevailed over the brutal tyranny of communism.

Recognizing the power of President Reagan's words in speaking truth to oppression and evil, Sen. Cruz said in the video:

"In my office, there is a gigantic painting of Reagan standing in front of the Brandenburg gate, saying what I think are the most important words any leader has said in modern times: ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.' Three times, the State Department crossed that out of the speech. The State Department argued, ‘Mr. President, you can't say this. It's unrealistic. It's too belligerent. Most importantly, it will never happen.' Three times, Reagan wrote it back with his own hand. And he said, ‘This is the whole point of the speech.'

He continued:

"Within three years of that speech, that wall was torn to the ground. And it wasn't torn to the ground by American tanks. We didn't bomb it with American missiles. It was American strength, and clarity, and sunshine, and light. That's something America should remember, that our principles can tear down walls."

During the 28 years of the Berlin Wall's existence, the Soviet Union's communist regime in East Germany imprisoned and killed thousands of people yearning for freedom and inspired communist countries from Latin America to Africa to southeast Asia to do the same. As Sen. Cruz explains in the video, it was America's values and principles that toppled the oppressive tyranny in East Germany and shined the light of truth on tyrannical dictators around the world.

As the son of a Cuban political prisoner, Sen. Cruz is leading efforts to shine the light of truth on oppressive regimes and fight for the political dissidents and persecuted religious minorities yearning for freedom, much like the people who were imprisoned and killed in East Germany:

In Hong Kong:
• During his ‘Friends & Allies Tour' in October, Sen. Cruz traveled to Hong Kong, where he met with pro-democracy activists, dissidents, and protest leaders and expressed his support for those fighting to protect Hong Kong's autonomy, free speech, and basic human rights.

In China:
• Sen. Cruz called attention to the plight of the late Dr. Liu Xiaobo, a poet, human rights activist, and 2010 Nobel Laureate who was imprisoned by the Chinese Communist Party. While Dr. Liu was imprisoned, Sen. Cruz sought to leverage his release by introducing legislation to rename the plaza in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. as ‘Liu Xiaobo Plaza'.
• Sen. Cruz called for the release of Dr. Liu's wife, Liu Xia, who was released in July 2018.
• Sen. Cruz is leading the fight to identify and counter companies that enable the Chinese Communist Party to run the 1984-style dystopian surveillance regime they have created to target Chinese religious minorities, including and especially the Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

In Cuba:
• Sen. Cruz, along with Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) have sought to rename the street in front of the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. as ‘Oswaldo Payá Way' in honor of Cuba's late and celebrated dissident leader, and as a tribute to those who have contested the cruelty and oppression of the Castro regime.
• Sen. Cruz also joined a bipartisan resolution, which passed the Senate, honoring the legacy of Oswaldo Payá and calling for an impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.
• Sen. Cruz continues to work closely with Payá's daughter, Rosa María, the founder of Cuba Decide, to preserve her father's legacy and to promote the efforts of brave Cubans fighting for democracy.
• In May, Sen. Cruz, along with Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced a resolution condemning the Cuban government's practice of jailing parents who attempt to homeschool their children.

In Venezuela:
• In August 2017, Sen. Cruz delivered remarks on the Senate floor calling for the release of Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma, political dissidents who were unjustly imprisoned by Nicolás Maduro and the Venezuelan government. Mr. Lopez was released earlier this year.
• In April, Sen. Cruz introduced the bipartisan VERDAD Act, comprehensive legislation to help restore democracy and address the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

In Nicaragua:
• In December 2018, Sen. Cruz along with former Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) celebrated the final passage of their bipartisan NICA Act, which imposes targeted sanctions and conditions U.S. approval of international loans to the Government of Nicaragua, ensuring President Daniel Ortega and his regime will be held accountable for its systemic corruption, human rights violations, and assault on democratic order.
• In May 2018, Sen. Cruz delivered remarks condemning Ortega and his regime for their human rights abuses, including imprisonment of dissidents and journalists and murder of peaceful protesters.

In Nigeria:
• Sen. Cruz has renewed calls for the release of Leah Sharibu, who was abducted in 2018 by the Islamic terrorist organization Boko Haram and remains in captivity for refusing to renounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam.
• In October, led a bipartisan, bicameral letter to Nigerian President Buhari urging the Buhari administration to work towards securing Leah's release.

In North Korea:
• Sen. Cruz met with North Koreans who fled the brutal Kim regime. Sen. Cruz has continually spoken out against the Kim family's government of repression and dangerous pursuit of nuclear weapons. Sen. Cruz told the defectors, "Tyrants fear stories like yours because those stories expose tyrants for who they are."

Watch ‘The Power of American Principles' here.

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