AMES, IA, August 13, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Senator Ted Cruz's opposition to ObamaCare is well known. His father's feelings are equally intense, if not as well known.

In a fiery speech on Saturday, Rafael Cruz gave said ObamaCare will “destroy the elderly” by denying them treatment for life-threatening illnesses.

The Cuban native added that a national health care service, liberal abortion laws, and legalizing gay “marriage” are all related issues being used to transform the United States from a constitutional republic to a socialist system more closely resembling his native Cuba.

The elder Cruz told a rapt audience at the 2013 Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, that he had been imprisoned and tortured while supporting the overthrow of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. But his dreams that Fidel Castro would bring the island “hope and change” were thwarted.

He said he has seen the same process at work in the United States for a generation.

After the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, “the church remained silent and more than 55 million babies have been massacred through abortion. How long are we going to remain silent? It is high time that pastors stop hiding behind the pulpit, that pastors stop hiding behind the 501(c)3, because we are going to have to be accountable unto God.”

He warned that “life is under attack” in the United States with abortion before birth and “at the other end with ObamaCare.”

“ObamaCare is going to destroy the elderly by denying care by even, perhaps, denying treatment to people that are in catastrophic illnesses.”

The most controversial component of the president's health care plan is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), an unelected panel that will impose “cost-saving” measures on health care providers. Its foes, including an increasing number of Democrats, warn that amounts to rationing.

Family and freedom are also imperiled, Cruz warned.

“When you hear this attack on religion, it's not really an attack on religion, he said. “The fundamental basis is this: Socialism requires that government becomes your god. That’s why they have to destroy the concept of God. They have to destroy all loyalties except loyalty to government.”

He said the same process is “behind homosexual marriage. It's really more about the destruction of the traditional family than about exalting homosexuality, because you need to destroy, also, loyalty to the family.”

Antipathy to the natural family is a vital component of Marxism and totalitarianism, in general. Dr. Paul Kengor, executive director of The Center for Vision and Values and author of Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century, told LifeSiteNews.com, “Marx in The Communist Manifesto literally writes about the abolition of the family.”

Cruz, who lived through Cuba's transformation, said it is well afoot in Barack Obama's America.

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“Unfortunately, I hear people saying all too often, 'It can't happen in America,'” he said. “It is happening in America. And our rights are being eroded more, and more, and more everyday.”

Seeing familiar trends – he believed President Jimmy Carter implemented “socialist” policies – Rafael Cruz became active in politics, joining the Religious Roundtable. “It was the precursor of the Tea Party, even before the Moral Majority,” he explained.

His involvement heavily influenced his son, Ted. The father's pride shone through when he recounted that in junior high school, his son read Milton Friedman, Friedrich von Hayek, Frederic Bastiat, and other free market/Austrian school writers. Ted and his friends also memorized the U.S. Constitution.

Drawing on his own experiences, Rafael Cruz remembered how he, the Religious Roundtable, and a landslide number of American voters elected the most pro-life president in U.S. history, Ronald Reagan.

“We did it in 1980,” Cruz said. “We can do it again.”