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WHAT ARE THE FACTS?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Apr. 22, 2016) — Recent blog posts and timelines posted on the Internet have reported that Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, the father of presidential candidate Ted Cruz, divorced his first wife, Julie or Julia Ann Garza, in 1996.
However, through a paid subscription to a newspaper archive, GenealogyBank.com, The Post & Email was able to locate both the separation judgment and divorce decree between Rafael B. Cruz and Garza in The New Orleans Times-Picayune.
The separation was published on July 1, 1967 and the final divorce decree on September 24, 1968.
The separation is noted as the ninth entry in the column under “Judge Rainold.”
The divorce is the fifth and second-to-last entry under “Judge Rainold.”
In January, Breitbart News reported that the Cruz campaign said that Cruz’s mother, Eleanor Darragh Wilson, went to Canada in December 1967, after which she and Rafael Cruz launched a company which analyzed oil-industry data.
Documents posted by RadarOnline.com which The Post & Email is attempting to authenticate state that Wilson and Cruz were married on March 14, 1969 in what appears to be Canada and that their divorce, finalized in Texas, was decreed in February 1997.
Eleanor was born “Eleanor Darragh” on November 23, 1934 but at some point began using the middle name “Elizabeth.” The Post & Email has not yet located an official name change or addition, although it might not be public record. She first married Texan Alan Wilson in 1956 and went to Great Britain in 1960, where the couple lived and worked for several years.
In January, McClatchy reported that Alan Wilson, reached by phone for an interview, said that the couple divorced “around 1963.” On June 17, 1966, Eleanor gave birth to a son, Michael, who is noted as “Michael Darragh” on his birth record. The image was obtained by researcher “Jim Redding” with the help of a British researcher as reported exclusively by The Post & Email on Tuesday.
Alan Wilson told McClatchy that Eleanor had asked if she could “use his last name on the birth certificate,” referring to Michael, but the images obtained by The Post & Email indicate “Wilson” on Michael’s death certificate rather than the birth certificate. Alan Wilson is also the person said on the death certificate to have reported the child’s passing, although he claimed to McClatchy that he is not the child’s father.
The Post & Email has been told that paper documents are en route from Heathrow International from which the birth and death certificate images were created.
According to Wikipedia, Rafael B. Cruz was in New Orleans “in his twenties,” reporting, “In 1969, at his new oil company job, he met his second wife, Eleanor Elizabeth Darragh Wilson, a computer programmer from Delaware. Cruz and Wilson lived in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where their only child, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, was born. While in Calgary, the couple owned a seismic-data processing firm for oil drillers,” Wikipedia reports.
Anecdotal evidence as yet unconfirmed by The Post & Email appears to reveal that Eleanor lived in Louisiana for a time following her return from the UK and Michael’s death. Redding speculates that she and Cruz met there, then decided to go to Canada, where she may have been able to fast-track herself to Canadian citizenship if she possessed British credentials. Rafael Cruz reportedly became a Canadian citizen in 1973.
Redding has speculated that Eleanor may have applied to become a British citizen by virtue of her son’s birth there as documented by British authorities. It is unknown if Eleanor reported the birth of her first son to an American embassy as a U.S. citizen born abroad. Today, such a report generates a “Consular Report of Birth Abroad,” or CRBA.
On Ted Cruz’s birth certificate, his mother is identified as “Eleanor Elizabeth Wilson.” She is now reportedly known as “Eleanor E. Darragh.” Rafael Cruz appears to have initiated their divorce in 1996 according to RadarOnline’s documents.
Rafael Bienvenindo Cruz may have shortened his last name from “Cruz Diaz” upon his arrival in the United States in 1957.
The Post & Email’s request to the U.S. State Department for Ted Cruz’s CRBA, if it exists, have been denied on “privacy” grounds, as has our request for any naturalization documents from USCIS, if they exist.
Cruz and his campaign claim that Eleanor never became a Canadian citizen and that her U.S. citizenship renders Cruz a “natural born Citizen,” as required to serve as U.S. president.
The Cruz campaign has not been willing to respond to questions about the candidate’s or his father’s background. Rafael B. Cruz is reportedly now heading an organization titled “Grace for America” whose slogan is “Restoring our historical and Biblical foundations.” The “About” section of the website states that Rafael Cruz “built a small business in further pursuit of the American Dream” but does not disclose that the business was located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where his son was born.