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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 22, 2016 10:30am-11:01am EDT

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cuban people. [ applause ] >> and today i want to share with you my vision of what our future can be. i want the cuban people, especially the young people, to understand why i believe that you should look to the future with hope, not the false promise, which insists that things are better than they really are, or the blind optimism that says all of your problems can go away tomorrow. hope that is routed in the future that you can choose and shape and bill for your country. i'm hopeful because i believe that the cuban people are as innovative as any people in the world. in a global economy, powered by ideas and information, a country's greatest asset is its people. in the united states we have a clear monument to what the cuban people can build. it's called miami. here in havana, we see that same
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talent in [ speaking spanish ] cooperatives and old cars that still run. [ speaking spanish ] [ laughter ] [ applause ] >> cuba has an extraordinary resource, a system of education which values every boy and every girl. [ applause ] >> and in recent years the cuban government has begun to open up to the world, and open up more space for that talent to thrive. in just a few years we have seen how [ speaking spanish ] can succeed while sustaining a
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distinctly cuban spirit. being self-employed isn't about becoming more american, it's about becoming more of yourself. look at [ inaudible ] who chose to start a small business. she said our secret is not in comepying or imitating, but simply being ourselves. look at a barber who's success allowed him to improve conditions in his neighborhood. i realize i'm not going to solve all of the world's problems, he said, but if i can solve problems in the little piece of the world where i live, it can ripple across havana. that's where hope begins with the ability to earn your own living, and to build something you can be proud of. that's why our policies focus on supporting cubans instead of hurting them. that's why we got rid of limits
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on remittances. that's why we are encouraging travel which will build bridges between our people, and bring more revenue to those cuban small businesses. that's why we have opened up space for commerce and exchanges, so that americans and cubans can work together to fine cures for diseases, and create jobs, and open the door to more opportunity for the cuban people. as president of the united states i have called on our congress to lift the embargo. [ cheers and applause ] >> it is an outdated burden on the cuban people, a burden on the americans who want to work for do business here in cuba. it's time to lift the embargo.
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but even if we lifted the embargo tomorrow, cubans would not realize their potential without continued change here in cuba. [ applause ] >> it should be easier to open a business here in cuba. a worker should be able to get a job directly with companies who invest here in cuba. two currencies shouldn't separate the type of salaries cubans can earn. the internet should be available across the island so that cubans can correct to the wider world and to one of the greatest engines of growth in human history. [ applause ] >> there's no limitation from the united states on the ability of cuba to take these steps. it's up to you. and i can tell you as a friend that sustainable prosperity in the 21st century, depends on
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education, healthcare and environmental protection, but it also depends on the free and open exchange of ideas. if you can't access information online, if you cannot be exposed to different points of view, you will not reach your full potential, and overtime, the youth will lose hope. i know these issues are sensitive, especially coming from an american president. before 1959 some americans saw cuba as something to exploit, ignored poverty, enabled corruption, and since 1959 we have been shadow boxers in this battle of geo politics and personalities. i know the history, but i refuse to be trapped by it. [ applause ]
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>> i have made it clear that the united states has neither the capacity nor the intention to impose change on cuba. what changes come will depend upon the cuban people. we will not impose our political or economic system on you. we recognize that every country, every people must chart its own course and shape its own model, but having removed the shadow of history from our relationship, i must speak honestly about the things that i believe, the things that we as americans believe. as marty said, liberty is the right of every man to be honest. to think and to speak without hypocrisy. so let me tell you what i believe. i can't force you to agree, but you should know what i think. i believe that every person
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should be equal under the law. [ applause ] >> every child deserves the dignity that comes with educationnd healthcare and food on the table and a roof over their heads. [ applause ] >> i believe citizens should be free to speak their mind without fear. [ applause ] >> to organize, and to criticize their government, and to protest peacefully. and that the rule of law should not include arbitrary detentions of people who exercise those rights. [ applause ] >> i believe that every person should have the freedom to practice their faith peacefully and publicly. [ applause ] >> yes, i believe voters should be able to choose their governments in free and democratic elections. [ applause ] >> not everybody agrees with me on this, not everybody agrees with the american people on
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this, but i believe those human rights are universal. [ applause ] >> i believe they are the rights of the american people, the cuban people, and people around the world. now there's no secret that our goes disagree on many of these issues. i have had frank conversations with president castro. for many years he has pointed out the flaws in the american system. economic inequality. the death penalty. racial discrimination. wars abroad. that's just a sample. he has a much longer list. [ laughter ] >> but here is what the cuban people need to understand. i welcome this open debate and dialogue. it's good. it's healthy. i'm not afraid of it. we do have too much money in american politics. but in america it's still possible for somebody like me a
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child who was raised by a single mom, a child of mixed race who did not have a lot of money, to pursue and achieve the highest position in the land. that's what is possible in america. [ applause ] >> we do have challenges with racial bias in our communities and our criminal justice system, and our society, the legacy of slavery and segregation, but the fact that we have open debates within america's own democracy is what allows us to get better. in 1959, the year that my father moved to america, it was illegal for him to marry my mother, who was white, in many american states. when i first started school, we were still struggling to desegregate schools across the american south, but people organized. they protested. they debated these issues.
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they challenged government officials, and because of those protests and debates and because of popular mobilization i'm able to stand here today as an african american and as president of the united states. that is because of the freedoms that were afforded in the united states. that we were able to bring about change. i'm not saying this is easy. there is still enormous problems in our society. but democracy is the way that we solve them. that's how we got healthcare for more of our people. that's how we made enormous gains in women's rights, and gay rights. it's how we address the inequality that concentrates so much wealth. because people can organize. american democracy has given people the opportunity to pursue their dreams and enjoy a high standard of living. [ applause ]
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>> now there's still some tough fights. it isn't always pretty, the process of democracy. it's often frustrating. you can see that in the election going on back home. but just stop and consider this fact about the american campaign that is take place right now. you have two cuban americans in the republican party running against the legacy of a black man who is president while arguing that they are the best person to beat the democratic nominee who will either be a woman or a democratic socialist. who would have believed that back in 1959? that's a measure of our progress as a democracy. [ laughter ] [ applause ] >> so here is my message to the cuban government and the cuban people. the ideals that are the starting
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point for every revolution, america's revolution, cuba's revolution, the liberation movements around the world, those ideals find their truest expression, i believe, in democracy. not because american democracy is perfect, but precisely because we're not. and we like every country need the space that democracy gives us to change. it gives individuals the capacity to be catalysts to think in new ways until we imagine how our society should be, and to make them better. and there is already an evolution taking place inside of cuba, a generational change. many suggest that i come here and ask the people of cuba to tear something down, but i'm
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appealing to the young people of cuba who will lift something up, build something new. [ speaking spanish ] [ applause ] >> and to president castro, who i am appreciate being here, i believe my visit here demonstrates you do not need to view a threat to the united states. i am also confident that you need not fear the different voices of the cuban people, and their capacity to speak and assemble and vote for their leaders. in fact i'm hopeful for the future, because i trust that the cuban people will make the right decisions. and as you do, i'm also confident that cuba can continue to play an important role in the hemisphere and around the world.
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and my hope is that you can do so as a partner with the united states. we have played very different roles in the world. but no one should deny the service that thousands of cuban doctors have delivered for the poor and suffering. [ applause ] >> last year, american healthcare workers and the u.s. military worked side by side with cubans to save lives and stamp out ebola in west africa. i believe that we should continue that kind of cooperation in other countries. we have been on the different side of so many conflicts in the americas, but today americans and cubans are sitting together at the negotiating table, and we are helping the columbian people
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resolve a civil war that has dragged on for decades. [ applause ] >> that kind of cooperation is good for everybody. it gives everyone in the hemisphere hope. we took different journeys to our support to the people of south africa in ending apartheid. but president castro and i could both be there in joe hand -- johannesberg for the tribute of the great nelson mandela. [ applause ] >> and in examining his life and worlds, i'm sure we both realized we have more work to do to provide equality in our own countries. reduce discrimination based on race in our own countries. and in cuba, we want our engagement to help lift up the
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cubans from african decent who have proven there is nothing they cannot achieve when given the chance. [ applause ] >> we have been a part of different blocks of nations in the hemisphere, and we will continue to have differences about how to promote peace, opportunity, security, and human rights, but as we normalize our relations, i believe it can help foster a greater sense of unity in the americas. [ speaking spanish ] [ applause ] >> from the beginning of my time in office, i have urged the people of the americas to leave behind the idealogical battles of the past. we are in a new era. i know that many of the issues that i have talked about lack the drama of the past, and i know that part of cuba's identity is its pride in being a small island nation that can stand up for its rights and
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shake the world, but i also know that cuba will always stand out because of the talent, hard work, and pride of the cuban people. that's your strength. [ applause ] >> cuba doesn't have to be defined by being against the united states, any more than the united states should be defined by being against cuba. and i'm hopeful for the future because of the reconciliation that is taking place among the cuban people. you know, i know for some cubans on the island, there may be a sense that those who left somehow supported the old order in cuba. i'm sure there is a their ti tiff -- narratives that suggests that cuban exiles, rejected the struggle to build a new future.
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but i can tell you today that so many cuban exiles carry a memory of painful and sometimes violent separation. they love cuba. a part of them still considers this their true home. that's why their passion is so strong. that's why their heart ache is so great. and for the cuban american community that i have come to know and respect, this is not just about politics. this is about family. the memory of a home that was lost. the desire to rebuild a broken bond. the hope for a better future. the hope for return and reconciliation. for all of the politics, people are people, and cubans are
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cubans. and i have come here. i have travelled this distance on a bridge that was built by cubans on both sides of the florida straits. i first got to know the talent and passion of the cuban people in america. -- and to struggle and to work harder to make sure their children can reach higher in america. so the reconciliation of the cuban people, the children and grandchildren of revolution and the children and grandchildren of exiles, that is fundamental to cuba's future. [ applause ] >> you see it in gloria gonzalez who traveled here in 2013 for
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the first time after 61 years of separation. and was met by her sister, yorka. you recognize me, but i didn't recognize you, gloria said after she embraced her sibling. imagine that after 61 years. you see it in melinda lopez who came to her family's old home and as she was walking the streets an elderly woman recognized her as her mother's daughter, and began to cry. she took her into her home and showed her a pile of photos that included melinda's baby picture, which her mother had sent 50 years ago. melinda later said so many of us are now getting so much back. you see it in christian miguel, a young man who became the first of his family to travel here
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after 50 years, and meeting relatives for the first time, he said, i realized that family is family no matter the distance between us. sometimes the most important changes start in small places. the tides of history can leave people in conflict and exile and poverty. it takes time for those circumstances to change. but the recognition of a common humanity. the reconciliation of people bound by blood and a belief in one another, that's where progress begins. understanding and listening, forgiveness. and if the cuban people face the future together, it will be more likely that the young people of today will be able to live with dignity and achieve their dreams right here in cuba. the history of the united states
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and cuba encompass revolution and conflict, struggle and sacrifice, retribution, and now reconciliation. it is time now for us to leave the past behind. it is time for us to look forward to the future together. [ speaking spanish ] and it won't be easy, and there will be setbacks. it will take time. but my time here in cuba renews my hope and confidence in what the cuban people will do. we can make this journey as friends, neighbors, and as family together. [ speaking spanish ] [ applause ] >> thank you. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you. thank you. >> president obama wrapping up his speech to the people in cuba. he said he had, quote, come to bury the last remnant of the
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cold war in the americas. there is a shot of raul castro, who was listening in on the speech with his head phones that gave him the spanish translation. the president did make several comments in spanish, and said quite a lot about his vision for cuba. which we will parse out in just a moment. but first we want to bring you an update on the breaking news we have been following all this morning. a series of explosions in brussels, the capitol of belgium this morning. two blasts erupting at the airport, followed by another at a metro station in the center of the city. at least 34 people have been killed. that death toll has been rising throughout the morning. there are dozens of people injured as well. and the belgian prosecutor says the attack at the airport likely included a suicide bomber. now let's go back to president obama addressing the belgium attacks just a short while ago in havana.
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>> the thoughts and prayers of the american people are with the people of belgian and we stand in solidarity with them in condemning these outrageous attacks. we will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally belgium in bringing to justice those that are responsible. and this is another reminder that the world must unite. we must be together, regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism. we can and will defeat those who threaten the peace and security of people all around the world. >> parts of europe are on lockdown right now. rail stations in airports in belgi belgium, france, and the u.k.s are either shut or at the highest alert level. the attacks come four days after
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salah abdeslam the only surviving suspect alleged to have carried out the paris attacks was captured in brussels. it also comes after authorities announce they were searching for another suspect who was a bomb maker. i want to go to mike viqueira. we all woke up thinking the biggest story in the world would be president obama speaking in havana, but we all woke up to news that there has been yet another major terror attack on a major european city. what more to we know about the white house's response to what has happened in brussels? >> reporter: obviously this happens in -- and it was an undeniably historic speech we just heard, and yet the news started breaking at that time very early this morning. we were told by white house staff that the president had
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been briefed on the situation. we were assured that white house officials were in contact with their belgian counterparts. the department of homeland security advised everyone that they were on top of it. again, repeating their -- repeating their often said phrase. if you see something, say something, things of that nature. the white house obviously on full alert here. this is bringing a political cue and cry from the republican right back home. we have seen a number of provocative statements from the leading republican contenders, calling for stricter measures in the fight against isil, which the president is carrying forth. a whole host of issues serving as a backdrop to the speech. >> and loretta lynch as been briefed on the attacks as well as the justice department and the fbi coordinating with other u.s. agencies at this hour. mike viqueira we're going to bring you back when we start
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talking about cuba and what was said there by the president. let's bring in now a security and defense expert. he joins us live from brussels. axle thing you for being with us. can you tell us what is happening in brussels now. what are you seeing? is the city in complete lockdown? >> first [ inaudible ] i am [ inaudible ] vision of the town is quite limited. i cannot go out. i can only see that everything is blocked around our offices. >> reporter: okay. we are being told that police departments, and security agencies in several european cities are in crisis mode. from a security standpoint, what does that mean? what does the response look like? >> well, it is very complicated
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of course. because here what we are seeing in brussels is an increase compared to [ inaudible ] in terms of [ inaudible ] but perhaps in terms of where to act. because in paris it was mainly with firearms, so quite easy to -- let's say open eyes in a way. and here is brussels it is explosives. much more technical. it's a kind of step forward for terrorists in their actions. >> again, when we talk about what police might be doing right now across europe, and we're hearing that there is a larger police presence in metro stations from london to the netherlands. what can increased police presence do at this point? does it come down to that? or does it come down to intelligence? >> i think it's more now a problem of intelligence because as i said, improvement of actions with explosives means
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that someone is able to make these explosives. >> are you shocked that you are seeing an attack in your city four days after the arrest of abdeslam? i would have thought the threat level would be high then. because they had warned of the possibility of fresh attacks shortly after his arrest. >> i'm not sure that it does anything related directly to the arrest of abdeslam, who is not a prime -- a prime actor in this -- in this drama. i think the -- the -- there is today a [ inaudible ] around the case of [ inaudible ] a year ago, and it's more possible that it doesn't link with this legal
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issue, and organizing such coordinated attack takes time and [ inaudible ] i'm not sure it can be really related with the arrest of abdeslam. but what is sure is that, yes, there is a high level of security for months now in europe, france, and -- and belgium, especially, of course because they are linked between the two countries, and [ inaudible ] during the paris attack. so yes, also it is -- i'm not completely surprised, but ditz not change the fact that it is impossible to change everything, of course. >> axle thank you for your expertise this morning. i want to go now to a comment by defense secretary ash carter. >> in the face of these acts of terrorism, the united states