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tv   The Seventies  CNN  November 25, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm PST

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yourself as a unique individual. what could be more important than that? did someone put up a lot of money to have the democratic headquarters infiltrated and, if so, who and why? >> justice will be pursued no matter who's involved. >> do you have information implicating president nixon? >> i have no comment. >> the president of the united states demanded the attorney general fire the special prosecutor. >> that is the definition of tyranny. people have got to know whether or not their president's a crook. well, i'm not a crook. >> i don't think there was ever any discussion that there wouldn't be a cover-up. >> congress must move ahead with impeachment proceedings. >> there can be no whitewash at the white house. ♪
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♪ i think what we have to do is feel it out.
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we're going to have to find out what the mood is. >> in 1972, richard nixon is very much at the top of his game and is in a position to achieve his goal of being the greatest president in american history. >> the comments before about mao and joe. >> he had desegregated all the southern schools, he had ended the draft, he had created the epa, the cancer institute, and he had the greatest arms control agreement in american history. not a bad record, and the american people thought so. >> air force one has just landed at peking international airport. it is an historic moment, the official beginning of his visit to china. >> china was considered almost a different planet. and the idea that any american president would go to china was considered a fantasy probably at best. in terms of foreign policy, it was sort of a moon landing.
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>> i think one of the results of our trip, we hope, may be the walls that are erected, whether they are physical walls like this or whether they are other walls of ideology or philosophy, will not divide peoples of the world. >> in richard nixon's own mind, this was a script. it was designed to result in an overwhelming election victory in the november election. >> who do you think you'll vote for for president this year? >> nixon. >> richard nixon. >> nixon. >> yeah, nixon. >> nixon. >> is anybody else running but nixon? >> the president was a political animal. the president was phenomenally skilled. he was able to handle virtually anything. >> five men wearing white gloves and carrying cameras were caught early today in the headquarters of the democratic national committee in washington.
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they were caught by a night watchman, and they did not resist arrest when the police came. they were apparently unarmed, and no one knows yet why they were there. the film in the camera hadn't been exposed. in any case, they're being held. >> the democratic national committee is housed in the fashionable watergate complex. the break-in prepared well in advance. files were ransacked and papers removed. also in this area, ceiling tiles had been removed for the suspected planting of bugging devices. >> it was saturday morning, june 17th. the phone rang, it was about 6:30. a colleague of mine, chuck work, was on the phone. he said, hello, it's chuck. we have a hot one. we have a burglary at the democratic national committee headquarters. and most unusual of all, the burglars, five of them, are wearing suits. >> the arraignment of the five middle-aged men was slowed down by the fact that each had several aliases. four said they were from miami,
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the fifth said he lived in the metropolitan washington area. three were originally from cuba. the facts presented so far raise a number of intriguing questions, such as did someone put up a lot of money to have the democratic headquarters infiltrated and, if so, who and why? >> the president's press secretary said of this incident, i'm not going to comment from the white house from a third rate burglary attempt. obviously, he said, we don't condone that kind of second rate activity. >> when the first reports came about the burglary at the watergate, i didn't think much of it. but more and more facts begin to come out. >> this is a police photograph of james w. mccord. mccord is a former cia employee. now he runs his own private security service. and guess what else he is. a consultant to president richard nixon's reelection campaign committee. mccord and his accomplices meanwhile have been charged with second-degree burglary and have been released on bail, but i don't think that's the last we're going to hear on this
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story. >> it's one of the most shocking actions i think that's happened in this country in a long time. but i must say that it's the legacy of years of wiretapping and snooping and violation of privacy in which the government itself has been too deeply involved. >> both democrats and republicans played with pranks and tricks all the time. the difference in watergate was that these people were foolish and they got caught. >> no one in the white house staff, no one in this administration, was involved in this very bizarre incident. >> nixon said, this is being investigated by the congress, by the fbi, but even more importantly, i've had my own white house counsel john dean conduct an investigation, and he's reported to me that nobody presently employed in this administration had anything to do with this. well, this is the first i heard
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hurry, and get it all at verizon. seven people were indicted today, the five who were caught by police along with two others, g. gordon liddy and e. howard hunt. >> i had never met liddy nor had i met howard hunt. i didn't know who they were when i was in the white house. but when the break-in occurred, i said, oh, no, because i knew at once instinctively it was our guys. >> g. gordon liddy, finance council to the administration. ex-fbi, ex-treasury, ex-justice, ex-white house consultant, and e. howard hunt jr., ex-cia, ex-bay of pigs planner, ex-white house consultant. >> we didn't think they measured up. it was closer to the typical gang that couldn't shoot
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straight. >> earl silva read the names of 60 government witnesses. the list included only one low ranking white house lawyer and several former employees of the committee to re-elect the president. >> if you don't know richard nixon's psychology, you don't know his background, you could never understand why the white house reacted to watergate the way it does. >> froday one, there was a great sense that we were under siege. and we were not deceiving ourselves that the press did not like us. both houses of congress did not like nixon. i mean, that is the truth. and the question is how you deal with it. >> he tries to build a little like mafiosa group out of the oval office, guys that will take the bullet for you. pure loyalty. they fell under his spell. >> president nixon created a what you'd have to call a paranoid atmosphere in the white house. that you're supposed to get your enemies. they took it literally, that if the president said, you've got to go get your enemies, well,
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we've got to go get our enemies. >> nixon, he did not know they were doing the break-in, but once it happened, he was convinced they had to engage in a cover-up. >> by august 29th, nixon is deeply involved, to my surprise, in all the key elements of the cover-up. >> who do you think gave the orders to bug the watergate? >> well, the persons who the grand jury indicted in washington, d.c., last week gave the orders to do it. >> you don't think they were following orders then? >> no. i do not. there's been no evidence presented by anybody who did that. i think the opposition is disappointed that after a thorough intensive investigation that seven persons were indicted. >> at the time, most of the press was satisfied that the nixon white house had nothing to do with this watergate break-in. >> i have full confidence in the integrity of president nixon and in his determination and ability
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to resolve the watergate matter to the full satisfaction of the american people. >> now, this is when "the washington post" really distinguished itself from the rest of the press pack. >> october of '72, the headline said that dirty tricks operation had been run out of the white house. >> it's a pretty good story. >> they don't really crack the case. what the "post" does very effectively was they kept the story alive when nobody else was paying any attention to it. >> using innuendo, third person hearsay, unsubstantiated charges, anonymous sources and huge scare headlines, the "post" has maliciously sought to give the appearance of a direct connection between the white house and the watergate, a charge which the "post" knows and half a dozen investigations have found to be false. thank you very much. >> fairly early on, we were
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running into wall of silence or we were been stonewalled. that became clear, none of the seven would talk to us. the white house was paying hush money to keep the watergate burglars silent. hunt is asking for money. and if the money isn't forthcoming, these people aren't going to stay silent. haldeman and yours truly, we're obstructing justice. but nobody was thinking about the criminal law. we were thinking more about the politics of it all. >> all of the burglars stay quiet. nobody else is indicted, which is exactly what the white house's strategy was. >> the strategy was containment. if it doesn't get widespread coverage in the country as a whole, then we'll be able to handle this. >> this is about the government. this is about credibility. this is about bugging. this is about deception. this is about the white house. and this is how you stop it.
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with your vote. >> while senator mcgovern is out campaigning tirelessly, trying to get his message across to the people, mr. nixon is giving the impression of remaining above the campaign, sitting in the white house and carrying out his presidential duties and leaving the hard campaigning to vice president agnew. >> people want to trust the king. people don't want to believe this about their president. >> pennsylvania decisively important state for the democrats, gone tonight to the republicans. kansas, connecticut, texas, michigan, delaware, arkansas and north dakota, those are the states that we show for president nixon. >> that was one of the greatest victories any president has ever had, carrying every state except massachusetts and the district of columbia. >> i think that the shadow on his victory is the watergate affair, and i believe a great many people very close to the
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president would like to have a move on that as one of the high priorities of his new administration. >> either have these people exonerated or get them out and persuade the country that the taint is gone if there is a real taint there. todathese two truck beds.aring let's start over here with this aluminum bed. you put your toolbox up here... whoa! that's a big hole. that is unbelievable. now let's check out the roll formed steel bed of the silverado. same spot, same empty toolbox. took it way better. the steel held up. you don't have to wait until black friday to make a strong decision. find your tag and get 20% cash back, or, get 0% financing for 72 months on select remaining 2016 silverado double cabs in stock. find new roads at your local chevy dealer.
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the jury in the watergate case reached a quick verdict
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late today. nixon campaign counsel gordon liddy and campaign security chief james mccord guilty on all counts of the break-in and bugging of the democratic national committee headquarters. liddy convicted on six counts. mccord with two more, a possible 45 years. >> they're all found guilty, all of the seven men who were originally indicted. but one of them starts to crack. >> is your client going to spill the beans on the watergate affair to the judge? >> i have advised mr. mccord to be guided solely by his own conscience and conviction. he'll do just that. >> mccord isn't so willing to go to prison and not speak up. he feels higher ups shouldn't get off scot-free. >> mccord wrote the judge a letter. in it he says, other people not yet named were involved in the break-in at democratic national headquarters. >> mccord says there are efforts being made to keep us quiet, and
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there are people responsible who are much higher up than us. and you're being denied that information. >> i think what bothers us as republicans is that there is apparently so much more to be revealed. and every day, every week, when something else happens, it's one further dagger in the heart. >> by and large, it was a national consensus, listen, the president is saying one thing, the prosecutors are saying another thing. there are a lot of very serious accusations in the air. let's get to the bottom of it. >> senator sam irvin of north carolina was chosen today by the democrats in the senate to conduct a full investigation of the watergate case. >> once that senate committee convenes in february of '73, it's the first time that people were going to have to testify under oath. this was not good for the president. >> i go in on march 21st to see nixon, and i lay out the mess we're in. telling him i thought there was a cancer on his presidency.
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and my hope is, by laying it out as brutally as i can, that he'll bring his fist down on the table and he'll say, this is unacceptable. we have to end this. to my surprise, i am unable to convince him. >> dean had been caught up in this and had done things that really involved him and the obstruction of justice, and i think they had decided he was going to be the sacrificial lamb. >> john dean was in way over his head. and then when he realized this ship is going down, he jumped. >> this morning, without the president's approval, dean issued a statement in which, among other things, he declared some may hope or think i will become a scapegoat in the watergate case. anyone who believes this, dean added, does not know me, know the true facts, nor understand our system of justice. >> do you have information implicating president nixon in a cover-up? >> i have no comment this morning. i'm sorry.
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>> we started having secret conversations with john dean. he was disclosing this sprawling conspiracy, to put it mildly. >> when i broke rank and started dealing with the prosecutors in early april, i had the naive belief that by breaking rank, they would do likewise. >> john dean kept upping the ante. i want immunity. no. okay, i'll tell you this. as we were leaving, i just remember this. he said, john has something to tell you. and dean told us that this same group had broken into the office of ellsberg's psychiatrist. he says, oh, your jaw just dropped beneath the floor. >> in 1971 daniel ellsberg had been a defense consultant, decided that the war was wrong and so he took this vast volume of secret papers and he leaked it to the "new york times." >> i felt, as an american citizen, i could no longer cooperate in concealing this
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information from the american public. >> names on paper never mentioned the name richard nixon, but its leak drove richard nixon nuts. >> i think it is time in this country to quit making national heroes out of those who steal secrets and publish them in the newspapers. >> this is a product of the president's paranoia about his ability to control his own government. >> they actually broke into the psychiatrist's office of ellsberg. now, come on! somebody's psychiatrist's office files are raided by people who are commissioned by the white house? >> it's one thing to disclose breaking into the offices of the democratic national committee. it's another to have broken into the offices of a person's psychiatrist. and the public would really have an adverse reaction to that, much more so than the democratic national committee headquarters.
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>> i hope that whatever comes out they get it over with, they find out what it is, and it teaches us some kind of lesson because this country is coming on to its 200th anniversary, and i want to be proud of it when it does. and i'm not too proud of it right now. >> that's when i went to nixon and i said, get up and clear from this thing. whoever's going to have to go ought to go now. >> good evening. the biggest white house scandal in a century, the watergate scandal, broke wide open today. the two closest men to the president, h.r. haldeman his chief of staff and john ehrlichman, his chief domestic adviser, have resigned. the president's white house legal counsel john dean has been fired. reportedly, dean is implicated in efforts to cover up the watergate scandal, and he may implicate ehrlichman and haldeman. >> good evening. i want to talk to you tonight
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from my heart on a subject of deep concern to every american. today, in one of the most difficult decisions of my presidency, i accepted the resignations of two of my closest associates in the white house, bob haldeman, john ehrlichman. >> he thought, by throwing out his inner circle, he would be left alone. he was throwing these people under the bus so the bus wouldn't hit him. >> justice will be pursued fairly, fully, and impartially no matter who's involved. >> richard nixon wants to control everything. but he's extraordinarily delusional. i mean, he really doesn't seem to understand that he's digging himself deeper and deeper into the crime when he's trying to dig himself out. >> we must maintain the integrity of the white house, and that integrity must be real, not transparent.
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there can be no whitewash at the white house. >> in may of 1973, earl silbert is preparing to hand the case over to archibald cox. and he says there are 39 principals involved in this case. and he said, number 39, richard m. nixon, president of the united states. >> what if this trail leads into the oval office at the white house? >> well, as i replied then, the trail should be followed wherever it leads. i'm victoria alonso and i'm an executive producer at... ...marvel studios. if my office becomes a plane or an airport the... ...surface pro's perfect. fast and portable but also light.
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watergate senate hearings. >> long shadow on the history of cuba but his brother is now holding the reins of that country. fidel castro razz barn in -- and led. turn the island nation into the first communist regime. reigned. for 30 years as president. known for long fiery speeches and military campaigns. brought social reforms to cuba but widely criticized.
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during his reign thousands of cubans fled 23r the u.s. resigned in 2008 and named brother raoul as successor and in his lifetime will have seen country cuba become closer to the u.s. as diplomatic relations were restored. going to be interesting to see in what way his death will affect the politics of cuba. brother raul castro is running the country. essentially putting forward the same policies as his brother fidel castro. cnn teams working across the world to bring you the implications of this death. one of the great figures of the 21st century. people remember his name on par
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with nelson mandela, different political path but one of the names from the 20th century. can confirm to you that fidel castro, former president of cuba has passed away. page is being turned in cuba. going to break for just a second and be back with more after this. all right going stay you with and on this. teams working to pull information on what's going on. at the moment fidel castro has passed away. former cuban president who handed over the reins of power to brother raul castro a couple of years ago and undergoing dramatic change over the last years and especially the last
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months with diplomatic relations restored with former u.s. impact from people who knew fidel castro as leader of the country and essentially a father figure for cuba for many years now. will that change? what it's going to change psychologically for cubans and for the polit igs of that country? all of those questions will be getting answers to in the hours and i dare say the days to come. former president and revolutionary leader was 90 years old. rumors have periodically surfaced about his death before but can confirm that fidel castro has passed away in havana. born in cuba, fled the cuban revolution in 1959 turning island nation into the first
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communist regime in the western hemisphere. seeing pictures with venezuela president. ruled for many years as prime minister and president. and cuba in general and fidel in particular cast a long shadow not just over the politics of the country but region as whole. played a role with venezuela and continues to do so. recent columbian peace accord between the columbian government and farq government happened in cuba. and this serves to remind us -- serves to remind us of the influence that fidel castro has had over cuba and the caribbean and latin american region over a number of decades out in.
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patrick ottoman is joining us from havana. what can you tell us athis stage? i know it's early hours. >> reporter: that's right. news landed like a bomb on cuba. a man who has ruled this island and had influence across the world for 60 years now. just beginning to feel the aftereffects. announcement made after typical event here to mark a revolutionary victory. i'm told that raul castro took to the stage to announce the death. iconic leader who has angered u.s. presidents for decades. some have called him a dictator, others a freedom fighter. but a man who has lived a life like few others and apparently that life has come to an end. raul castro, the younger brother
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and current president of cuba announcing tonight that fidel castro has died at age 90 and this is an event we'll be talking about for days and perhaps weeks to come and certain an event that many have been waiting for. fidel castro been in bad health for so many years now but continued on and over the years we saw less and less of him. but incredible influence in cuba and around the region in latin america and africa for leftist governments first world leader to stand up to the united states, established a communist government just 90 miles from the united states. who lived a life like few others and risked death throughout his career but as well, his reign here had an amazing toll on so
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many people. tens of thousands. >> like to cut you off for a second. i know throughout the course of the night and coming days we'll be analyzing the impact of his death. what i'd like to know right now, how do cubans feel about him today? insofar as they talk about him and free speech in the realm of politics in cuba is relative but how do they feel about him today? patriarchal figure or criticism or ambivalent? >> reporter: a bit of both but someone who has affected millions of people's lives, not always for the better and cubans long waited to see what would happen after he passed away. lot feel real change couldn't happen in cuba until he passed. that has now taken place, told by his brother raul castro. so the aftershocks will be felt.
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even know for last ten years not in a position of power but how big a figure he struck here. even after leaving office for ten years ago, peripheral role in cuban life, but look over the history. bay of pigs, missile crisis, this is someone who has led really an epic life but at cost of so many people who had to flee this island. i know people will celebrate in florida and mourn in havana but most wonder how will this aect their lives? will ordinary cuban's lives improve? >> and get back to part of the question here, emotional tie to fidel castro. the reason i ask is because a majority of cubans today will have only known fidel castro as the leader of cuba. so what kind of emotional ties do they have to him?
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>> reporter: his speeches have been the soundtrack of their live. took power in 1959, so people have known -- cubans known fidel or raul castro, president named castro for entire life. ask cubans what will happen after and couldn't imagine a life without fidel or someone named castro in power. today is the day look to the future and hope for a better future but not sure that will happen. raul castro, while changing parts of his son's governing style, very authoritarian style, is very much the same kind of leader as fidel castro, not changed a single party communist form of government and don't expect major changes from within cuba but a moment when all eyes will be looking at cuba.
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weeks ahead talking about funerals and world leaders coming here but will play out for months and years. will be increased pressure from outside cuba and within for change. >> telling us about the emotional tie, interesting you're saying that his speeches have been the soundtrack to a lot of people's lives in cuba. seeing pictures of the late venezuelan president hugo chavez. we'll get into the nitty-gritty on the influence cuba has had and castro himself across the region but to this transition from fidel to raul castro and the change people are expecting. expect the country to change or still in the hands of the castro? >> transition took place years ago and if fidel castro had not
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gotten so ill -- ten years ago had intestinal illness that forced him from power. if not happened be president still probably. raul castro not that much younger. but for a leader who survived so many cia plots and intrigues, it was illness that sidelined him but still wrote editorials and influenced chavez and others. there's still a lot of hatred for castro has a symbol for so many different things for people. but tonight we've learned he has passed away and this is certainly the end of a major chapter in cuba if not world history. and raul castro will -- only has a year left in office. will step down then he said. a little over a year.
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now more than ever this is a time of transition for cuba. seen so much change here in the last few years. u.s. president obama visiting cuba and now will be more expectation among cubans who endured so much for a better economy and life. it's not sure or clear whether those expectations will be met. >> all right. patrick. going to look back at fidel castro's life with a report you put together on the late cuban leader. >> fidel castro rode into havana in 1959, a conquering hero astride a jeep. just 32 when revolution overthrew a corrupt and brutal leadership. he promised free and democratic elections but instead ruled for next 45 years trying to make cuba into socialist utopia and
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player on the world stage. born in rural cuba, father's status as wealthy landowner insured his place in society. mother uneducated maid who didn't marry father until born. studied in havana to become a lawyer. soon became involved in plots. led a failed uprising against batista. many followers killed and he was on trial and declared that history will absolve me. after two years in prison released and went into exile in mexico. returned by boat again seeking to overthrow the dictatorship and once again most of the soldiers slaughtered by
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government troops. at first castro reported killed. but reported he escaped to the mountains, legend and followers grew. cuba earned reputation as debauched mob-run playground for americans seeking sin. after castro took power many hoped would clean up the island but still remain friendly to the u.s., the largest trading partner. pajama wearing castro initially sought to ease american's concerns. >> there is no threat of communism here in cuba. >> but castro's prosecution and execution of officials from the previous regime and nationalization of american's property in cuba causes administration to sever ties. dozens of cia plots to assassinate castro failed as did
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u.s. invasion with the bay of pigs. now cuba invited moscow to secretly place nuclear weapons the island. discovery of the missiles led to a 13-day standoff and nuclear war appeared eminent until the soviets agreed to remove the weapons. remained enganled in proxy wars. for many cubans the -- made life intolerable. communism is the only ideology permitted on the island. and in 1980 declared that anybody who wanted to could leave on a boat to the u.s. nearly over 1,000 cubans took his offer. crippled the economy but resisted free market reforms or
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lifting prohibitions. as always he claimed to know best. known for ever present cigar, beard, fatigues and marathon speeches remain a thorn in the side of dozens of u.s. presidents. not a cia plot that removed him finally but botched stomach surgery. near death turned reins over to brother raul. once a force in public life but now infirm retreated from public spotlight. made an pa appearance for them to remain loyal it the revolution after his death. soon i'll be like everybody else. everyone's turn comes. few monuments to castro, no streets named after him. unlike other strong men avoided appearance of cult of
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personality. but school children required to memorize speeches and revere as national hero and commemorate his arrival as revolutioniaary havana. will endure for years to come. cnn havana. >> those who just turned on your tv. breaking news, fidel castro, former cuban leader is now confirmed dead. he was 90 years old. for years had been out of the public eye. rumors surfaced about his death previously but now confirm he passed away in havana. here with colleague george howell and be with you for next couple of hours on this breaking news of the utmost importance. this is one of the seminal figures of the 20th to 21st century. few people in this planet have
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had their names so closely associated with one country but that's the case of fidel castro. >> led for nearly half a century, a major figure in cuba. will be interesting to see the reaction in miami and cuba. cnn has the only dedicated correspondent in cuba. patrick is live with us this hour. reading the headline for viewers in the united states and around the world, fidel castro dead at 90 years old. are you hearing reaction there? >> reporter: yes, i spoke to someone on the way to the office. who never hid from me her absolute hatred of fidel castro and she was crying. i don't think because of any love for the man but just the weight of history and perhaps her fear for what comes next for cuba.
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but so many people here either loved or hated this man. there was not really much in between. you either were for the revolution or against it. seminal event that had so much impact across the world. for people who supported fidel never gave up on the dream of 0 socialist revolution. for so many millions of millions who had to flee went to miami and felt this was the man who took away their homes. in fact their nation. never forgave him. i think you have to have celebrations. of course there will be some official mourning here. what most cubans feel is a weariness. theyave waited for this day for so long. i asked cubans if they heard the news. other than the brief announcement by raul castro the news is just now breaking. for a lot of people, even though they expected this day for so
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long it's going to take much longer to absorb the news. i lived in miami for years and they used to say fidel castro was immortal, proven otherwise today. a man who survived for so long against all odds has passed away. his legacy, some would say the damage of his revolution will endure. it will take quite a lot to rebuild this island and of course we have seen u.s. move closer to cuba under president obama. president-elect trump has different policy toward cuba that remains to be seen. certainly tonight, as cubans hear this news, they are really feeling incredible weight of the impact of one man on the life of 11 million people and more on this island across the world. a man who lived one of the most remarkable lives of the 20th
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century. he said in one of his speeches when he was being tried at the beginning of the cuban revolution that history would absolve him. i don't think that history will be so simple. this is a complicated figure and it will take cubans a long time to finally come up with a verdict for whether or not he improved life on this island or whether he destroyed many people's lives by bringing a revolution, some 60 years ago. now the news in havana late tonight is just breaking that fidel castro has died. >> that was going to be my question to you, do cubans at this staej, as far as you can tell, do most cubans know that fidel castro has passed away? >> no. i did a informal poll on the way in as i came to our office. there was a gentleman listening to the radio on the street and i said have you heard the news? and he said, no, what? he was listening to an official
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government channel. they were playing music. a walled government controls all of the media on this island. they have not harnessed that media to get the news out. it was only from what we can tell a very brief mention by cuban presidents raul castro, fidel castro's younger brother at the end of an official government event tonight where he dropped this bombshell. the news we have expected so long but still i think many people here were unprepared for. of course, the majority of the island was born after his revolution. this is the president they have known most of their lives, the leader they have known most of their lives and he has an impact on everyone on this island. there isn't a cuban island that doesn't have family that has fled the revolution. it is a divide place, a divided island. his legacy is contested very much here. it's debated very much here. there are people who still have
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great passion for fidel castro and the revolution. there are many who lost faith throughout the years of many hardships. cubans have been forced to endure. fidel castro in his final months actually called on the cuban people to continue his work and continue the revolution. i think many lost faith in the revolution a long time ago. >> one other question. i want to get on this. there's so much history when it involves fidel castro. we will be talking about this for hours, if not days, given this leader of cuba,er former leader has died at the age of 90. let's talk a bit about the present. there's a great deal of uncertainty. obviously the death of this former leader, at the same time there have been improved relations between the united states and cuba. though castro at one point struck a defiant tone toward those improved relations and now
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we have a new president elect coming in. unclear what position he will take with the changes that happened the last several years. >> yes. that's interesting thing here. raul castro is the president of cuba and we clearly saw that he was not in favor of improved relations with the u.s. or thought it was a mistake. this is a man who staked his career on being the fly in he ointment. the leader that resisted for the longest the united states and managed to survive, despite the cia's best efforts. i couldn't expect any dramatic changes. in a lot of ways a lot of us who lived here felt because raul castro said he would step down in a year from february 2018 it would in so many ways help him should fidel castro pass earlier because raul castro has been hamper that his brother second guessed his decisions. that now has ended. fidel castro will be buried
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here. there will be state funeral. the likes cuba has ever seen and castro will have a year to finish up or try to finish up the economic reforms that fidel castro resisted. we have to see if this will improve relations with the u.s., if raul castro has more liberty to improve relations with the u.s. because of course president obama is in the final months of power and president-elect trump has a different view of what his administration's relations will be with cuba. he said he w0u8d remove the u.s. embassy in havana and backtrack on improved relations. it comes at a moment of uncertainty in terms of u.s.-cuban relations. in terms of leadership, we always wondered when fidel castro was president, w.h.o. would succeed him and it is raul castro. there isn't that uncertainty in terms of leadership.
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this is a leader -- to many cubans met fidel castro, shook his hand, were forced to go to his speeches. when he gave a speech, literally every tv and radio station carried the speech. that's what is so striking to me that it was not on the radio other than this one brief mention on cuban tv that he had passed. it had not begun to blanket the air waves. that will change in the days ahead. this is an island the communist party controls the media and now they will begin the process of mourning fidel castro, something so many foreso long have wondered what -- have hoped for this, so many false rumors over
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the years but tonight, finally the news is real. i remember fidel castro used to joke when he did die nobody would believe it because there have been so many false death reports over the years and now we are living that moment. of course it is very real for cubans who have to live with the after effects of this revolution that completely changed life on this island and continues to really affect every single cuban citizen. not only here but the millions who fled and left and now live in the united states. cnn's dedicated correspondent to cuba who has covered it for many years. patrick on the line with us. >> we are going to take a short break. cnn will stay on this for the foreseeable hours. if you are tuning in just now around the world, know you are
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learning of the death of fidel castro. possibly even before some cubans themselves have found out the news. as our correspondent was telling us, it was his brother, the current president raul castro who made a brief statement a short statement giving the news that his brother fidel castro had passed away. currently the cuban media are not broadcasting this news. it is entirely possible, as patrick was telling us, that people in havana or around the island haven't all yet found out about this news. >> absolutely. >> this is all developing right now. >> even for cubans who have long since fled their homeland, fidel castro's and his rule remain charged over issues. ed lavandera sat down with a family to get their take on the castro regime. >> it's dinner time for this family. we asked them to sit down for a conversation about fidel castro and cuba to capture how
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cuban-american families have evolved more than 50 years after castro rose to power. when jorge came to the united states in 1960, at age 19 he had hopes of crushing fidel castro's dictatorship. >> now, you know i guess everybody's tired. >> everybody's tired. >> everyone's tired because nothing has been done or we lost a lot of opportunities. >> reporter: jorge and his wife have lived in the united states longer than they ever lived in cuba. fidel castro was a figure that forever changed their lives. >> what can i tell you about fidel. fidel is fidel. i don't think it will change. where fidel goes the regiment will be the same with different people, younger people. maybe i'm wrong. i wish i am. >> are you


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