Cruz: Obama wants to offer Gitmo as 'parting gift' to Fidel Castro
© Getty

Republican presidential candidate Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE said Tuesday that President Obama is pushing to shutter the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility as final gift to the Castros before leaving office. 

"I believe that President Obama intends to try to give the Guantanamo naval facility to Raul and Fidel Castro as a parting gift," Cruz told a couple hundred voter in Nevada, according to The Washington Post.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"Four decades ago, 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. Well, Mr. President, you don't have the authority to give away vital military assets!" Cruz added, according to the newspaper.
 
Republican presidential rival Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Richard Gere welcomes lawmakers' words of support for Tibet Dem lawmaker gives McConnell's tax reform op-ed a failing grade MORE, also campaigning in Nevada on the day of the GOP caucuses, mentioned the possibility of the military prison ending up in the hands of the Cuban government.
 
"This makes no sense to me," Rubio told supporters at a rally in Las Vegas. "We are not giving back an important naval base to an anti-American communist dictatorship."
 
The White House has repeatedly indicated such a move is off the table, but the Republican senators — both of Cuban descent — are using the opportunity to criticize the president ahead of his visit to Cuba in March.
 
Cruz and Rubio both noted that those being held at the facility are enemy combatants, with Rubio stressing they not be released and Cruz suggesting "some new terrorists" join them at the facility.
 
Obama's plan submitted to Congress proposes moving between 30 to 60 of the remaining 91 detainees at the facility in Cuba to a new facility in the U.S. More than a dozen options have been proposed.
 
The Pentagon began looking last year at locations in the U.S. where the prisoners could be held, including looking at federal sites in Colorado, South Carolina and Kansas.
 
"Not only are we not going to close Guantanamo, when I am president, if we capture a terrorist alive, they are not getting a court hearing in Manhattan. They are not going to be sent to Nevada. They are going to Guantanamo and we are going to find out everything they know," Rubio said Tuesday.