Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, spoke out strongly in support of the political uprising in Venezuela and criticized President Obama for his history of "negotiating with tyrants and bullies" in the country.

Cruz criticized a State Department spokeswoman who explained Tuesday that the United States was open to closer engagement with the regime of President Nicolas Maduro.

"Negotiating with tyrants and bullies never works," Cruz said, calling for the United States to demand the tyrannical government to stop oppressing its people and censoring the media.

Cruz also insisted that Obama had a chance to support regime change after dictator Hugo Chavez passed away.

"Instead, the Obama administration opted not to rock the boat in hopes that Chavez's handpicked successor would prove more susceptible to diplomatic outreach, that he might not follow 'Chavismo,' " Cruz said.

Cruz praised his colleague Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., for leading the way with his Senate speech on Monday in support of the Venezuela uprising, encouraging other leaders and Obama to stand with him.

"This is the time for American leadership to speak out in defense of freedom, this is a time for the president of the United States to unequivocally stand against oppression, against totalitarianism, and for the desire of the Venezuelan people to be free and to be prosperous," he said.