Senator Ted Cruz Flees to Cancún Amidst A Humanitarian Crisis


By Eunho Jung, Assistant Junior Editor

This past week most of the South has been struck with a devastating winter storm. Texas has been the hardest hit by Winter Storm Uri. With record low temperatures below freezing and massive power outages, Texans are struggling to find food, water, heat, and shelter. With 47 deaths resulting from the dire conditions, President Biden has declared a state of emergency in Texas and Oklahoma and ordered federal assistance to aid local government officials. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, desperate to deflect blame, appeared on Fox News on Tuesday to criticize the Green New Deal. “Our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10 percent of our power grid, and that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power on a statewide basis,” Abbot explained. This is far from the truth. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) which supplies about 90% of the state with power explained that wind turbines were barely responsible for the massive power loss. This was just another attempt by Republicans to criticize renewable energy policies that would result in massive economic loss for fossil fuel companies, many of which fund campaigns for politicians such as Abbott. PolitiFact later reported that over 80% of the power outages were caused by coal and gas-fired plants. While Governor Abbott appeared on Fox News targeting Democrats, Senator Ted Cruz fled for the tropics with his family. 

On Wednesday evening, a picture began circulating on Twitter. A user wrote “did… did ted cruz really just fly to cancun today?” alongside three photos of, now confirmed, Ted Cruz and his family boarding a plane. At first, many were hesitant to believe such an allegation. What kind of a politician would abandon his constituents and take a vacation during a humanitarian crisis? However, early Thursday morning, journalist, David Shuster tweeted “Just confirmed @SenTedCruz and his family flew to Cancun tonight for a few days at a resort they’ve visited before.” With several more reputable sources confirming that the man in the photo was indeed Ted Cruz, he began trending on every social media platform. 

Many were enraged and heavily condemned the actions of Cruz. While Texans were struggling to stay warm, Cruz escaped to the luxury of the Ritz-Carlton. Photos showed empty grocery store isles with no available food or water. Millions were on a boil-water notice. 11-year-old Christian Pavon was found dead after two nights of no heat in his mobile home. Amidst the chaos ensuing, Cruz thought a tan was more important.

In an effort to do some damage control, Cruz issued a statement stating that he was just escorting his daughters to Cancún and planned to return back to Texas the next day. On Thursday afternoon, he was photographed at the Cancún airport returning back to Texas. At the airport, Cruz spoke to reporters about the situation. “‘It was obviously a mistake and in hindsight I wouldn’t have done it.'” Yet, according to Peter Alexander, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent, Cruz had booked his ticket Thursday morning at 6 a.m., quite contrary to what Cruz had said. 

Houston police chief Art Acevedo joined in to criticize Cruz. “’I think it’s a little tone-deaf,’” he shared. “[S]ometimes you got to teach your kids the word ‘no’ and this probably would have been a good time to tell your kids, ‘No, we’re blessed, but we have to wait ’til we get Texas on our feet.'”

It seemed that the dust had settled, and a political disaster was avoided. However, the close friends of the Cruz family did not plan on letting the Senator get away with his lies and fabrications. On Thursday night, The New York Times received screenshots of a group chat with Heidi Cruz, wife of the Texas Senator, that showed the planning of the family’s escape. “Anyone can or want to leave for the week? We may go to Cancun,” the text read. Another text showed that the family was planning to return Sunday night, rather than Thursday like Cruz had said. The grave Cruz dug was now only getting deeper. 

However, this is expected from a man of Cruz’s character. As an avid supporter of Donald Trump, Cruz amplified the fraudulent claims on voter fraud and played a role in the Capitol insurrection in January. Furthermore, this past summer when California was ravaged by wildfires, Cruz blamed Democratic politicians and their renewable energy policies. “Hope you don’t like air conditioning!” he tweeted. The Senator does not believe in climate change. During his bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nominee, he argued “scientific evidence doesn’t support global warming… The satellites that actually measure the temperature showed no significant warming whatsoever.” Could the events that transpired this past week change his views on climate change? Hopefully they do because Texans deserve better. 

As expected, many of Cruz’s supporters quickly took to his defense and argued that “there was nothing he could have done.” To some degree, that is correct. One lone man could not have fixed the entire power grid and provided relief to the suffering citizens. However, Beto O’Rourke, who ran against Ted Cruz in the 2018 Senate race and lost by a narrow margin, showed what Cruz could have done. O’Rourke made welfare calls with volunteers to reach thousands of elderly Texans and provided information on where to get supplies and how to stay safe in the freezing temperatures. Although not an elected official, O’Rourke has shown himself to be a true leader. 

Similarly, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who Ted Cruz constantly attacks for her “socialist” agenda, raised $1 million dollars in direct relief for Texans. She is currently in Houston offering her support and sharing information to millions of her followers on social media. This begs the question, how is it possible that a New York Congresswoman did more to help Texans than Cruz himself?

Cruz planned to lounge at the Ritz-Carlton in warm temperatures while his citizens were starving and dying from exposure. Rather than offering a direct apology from the very beginning, he shifted the blame to his children.  

When asked what he thought of the situation, Staff Writer Kevin Valencia said “I find it utterly disgusting and essentially cowardish for him to do such a thing. He could rather be helping others within his state, as his elected position’s duties are, but instead wanted to flea for comfort while others suffer.”

Junior Nick Biondo shared a similar belief. “I think that it’s generally ridiculous but a thing that all politicians do. If you are representing or governing an area and it is hit with a natural disaster or weather disaster like almost all of Texas is dealing with right now, you should never leave,” he said. “I understand what he has been trying to say about making it better for his family but it’s just not the right thing to do. I also believe that it is being blown out of proportion though, as this is normal behavior for politicians of such a high status and it happens on a regular basis.”

Probably the most devastating event out of everything that took place was that the Cruz family abandoned their poodle, Snowflake, in their power-less, “FREEZING” home. Snowflake deserves better. Texans deserve better. 2024 could not come sooner.