tv New Day Saturday CNN November 26, 2016 4:00am-5:01am PST
what i want to pursue. the idea for first defense came to me as 18 when i first started working on it. my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer as a young adult. that affected me and my family. i began pursuing kayaking before i came to college. i wanted kind of a way to give that kayaking back to other people who can benefit from it. and the natural choice for me was to give people with cancer after seeing what knew aunt went through. young adults with cancer are definitely the most underserved population affected by the disease. and they're facing their own unique psycho-social challenges. they deserve attention. you see it at the bottom of the rapids that look of accomplishment on their faces. you can't teach that or give that to somebody. it's something is that they have earn through the programs and allow them the opportunity.
we are grateful that you're with us. good morning, i'm christi paul. >> and i'm martin savidge in for victor blackwell. we welcome viewers from the u.s. and around the world. ♪ >> we begin with breaking news from cuba. former cuban leader fidel castro is dead at the age of 90. you just heard the sounds of cheering on the streets of little havana on miami. as cuban exiles escaped his regime celebrated after hearing of his death. although a lot of them are the next generation. >> very good to point out. in havana, though, take a look there. the streets are quiet. people are finding out. and as cuba's president and fidel castro's brother raul castro made the announcement.
nine days of mourning started just about an hour ago. the video that you see here for his 90th birthday celebration, that was back in august. we want to go to patrick oppmann, now, he is there in cuba. and patrick, i was just talking to martin about this you are going to have an interesting place in history for a lot of these people in cuba. because i know that you've been talking to them. it happened overnight, and you ended up being the very person informing them that fidel castro had died. help us understand what their reaction was? >> you could see that they would remember that moment for the relevant rest of our lives, like all of us who have witnessed history. and for cubans that have grown up their entire lives hearing about fidel castro. their speeches were soundtracks of their lives. you were obligated to go to
three or four or five-hour speeches. they were printed in full and go on for pages. there was no escaping fidel castro, no matter how you felt about him. in recent years, he's disappeared from the public but re-emerged at crucial times. this is somebody that never seemed to want to go into that night diquietly. he fought age and sickness. late last night when the news did break and i began telling all of the cubans to gather reactions it was really quite amazing. let's listen to some the sound of cubans, as we told them, many of them learning for the first time that fidel castro had die. >> translator: all this is is that we feel. we understand. i'm cuban. wherever i am. and he will no longer be here, understand? it's something that hurts you.
>> translator: the cube people are feeling saturday box of the loss of our commander in chief fidel castro we wish him wherever he is that he's blessed. us cubans love him. >> then, when i first came to cuba, a lot of people would not even say the name fidel castro if you engaged them in the street. they stroked their face. that is kind of how they talked about them. in the past years people have opened up but you will not hear criticism or celebrating like we saw in miami. there's still a fear of what would happen if you openly criticized him or his brother. but certainly, as the sun rises over cuba, without fidel castro, there's a lot of expectation, a lot of hope. perhaps fear of what the future brings and the cuban government, as you said, has declared nine days of mourning. this is a historic leader of the
cuba revolution. and it is a man without will never be the same. >> fidel castro was born august 13th, 1926. he led the cuban revolution in 1959 to the island nation and the first communist regime in the western hemisphere. he ruled cuba for nearly 50 years first as prime minister then president. known for his long fiery speech, military fatigues and, of course, cigars. >> and he's got brought reformed and widely criticized for freedom of speech. thousands of cubans fled to the u.s. and health problems finally forced castro to resign the presidency in 2008, at that time he named his brother raul as his successor. between 1965 and 1973 alone, more than 260,000 left in a u.s.-organized airlift. others left in these makeshift
boats across the state of florida. >> many of them made homes in little havana in miami. amid cheers and banging of pots and pans, cnn's chris moody joins us live. chris, how are people reacting and why are they reacting this way? >> well, it was not long after the announcement of fidel castro's death that people here in miami began to pour into the streets here in the little havana neighborhood where so many cuban exiles have called home. it was a feeling of celebration. people were marching through the streets here. banging pots and pans. noisemakers, drums, dancing. popping champagne bottles. i saw people holding up their phones doing facetime for family members that have moved maybe to europe and abroad, so that they could see this occasion that they've waited for for so long. we've talked to people, the reason that so many feel so joyful, for many people in this community of exiles here, they
feel that fidel castro took away their home. their livelihood and changed the country for the worse. they know that change is not necessarily going to happen immediately just because fidel castro is no longer leading the country. his brother raul is now leading the country. but just because he's gone doesn't mean that cuba is going to change. but they are grateful that this chapter in cuban history can be closed with his death. >> chris, are you they talking to you at all about what will kind of change, we know it's not really -- i mean, it's not expedient. do they know what kind of change they expect to see? >> i think you can see it amplified in the differences of reactions here in miami versus havana. you're not going to really see anyone protesting or celebrating in the streets of what vhavana,
that speaks to the lack of freedom, and also the lack of economic freedom that these people had before the castro regime. they want to see economic freedom grow in that country, as well as having the freedom to speak their minds and criticize the government on that island, something they have not been able to do for many, many decades. >> chris, we understand that your wife is cuban-american that you traveled with her in a return of what must have been an very emotional one to cuba earlier this year? >> it absolutely was, i traveled with three generations of her family, including an 84-year-old grandmother who had not returned in 50 years. she returned to a country that she barely recognized. it was a mixture of joy to be able to see her friends. people that she hadn't spoke to in so many decades but heartbreak to see how much the country has changed. she really didn't recognize it as it was when she was young. she and her children were able
to come to the united states and start a new life here. i anticipate that her children and my wife as well will be able to return and see if there will be change in cuba in the future. certainly, they're hopeful that over enough time, that something will change there. >> chris moody, thank you very much. remarkably personal. thank you. president-elect donald trump is threatening to undo efforts by president obama to bring the u.s. and cuba together. what does castro's death mean now for u.s./cuba relations moving forward? and there's a lot that he isn't able to do, and make-a-wish stepped in. we had to climb up the mountain to get the injured hiker. he fell from, like, a rock. he's been the one that has been rescued so many times. he said to me, "today, i got to be the hero." (avo) the subaru share the love event has helped grant the wishes of over twelve hundred kids so far. get a new subaru, and we'll donate two hundred and fifty dollars more to help those in need. ♪put a little love in your heart.♪
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power, you'll remember that the u.s. launched a trade embargo. in 1961, the bay of pigs. tensions increases in 1962 with the cuban missile crisis and that resulted in a nuclear standoff between the u.s. and soviet union. in 1980, some 125,000 cubans fled to florida in what would become known as the mario boat. and then tensions remained high with the opening of the guantanamo bay prison camp. castro's death comes with big change heading to the white house. president-elect donald trump is threatening to undo efforts between president obama and cuba closer together. here's what trump said about this in september. >> with the concession that barack obama has granted the castro regime were done through executive order, which means the next president can reverse them, and that, i will do, unless the castro regime meets our demands.
not my demands. our demands. you know what the demands are. those demands will include religious and political freedom for the cuban people. and to brifreeing political prisoners. >> i want to bring in juan carlos, political voter for cnn espanol. thank you for being with us. as we larry those words from donald trump and we see those new possibility of change in cuba, how likely do you think it is that the u.s. and cuba will be able to work together? >> it's been a very difficult process. it's complicated, because cuba doesn't see this, they see it as the u.s. has to have a different
approach between cuba and latin america. and that's why maybe we haven't seen the progress as expected. now if president trump, once in office, could, as he said, do away with those executive orders. so far there have not been advances not as expected. and fidel castro is already out of the picture. he was critical of the process. even though he said there's only one revolution, that raul and he were one, and that he doesn't trust the u.s. this whole dynamic falls into what fidel castro was saying that the u.s. cannot be trusted. we'll see what's on board and able to go forward. we have to keep in mind the embargo, for example, only congress can lift it. that's not something that the white house can do. the white house can do one thing like one of the most controversial issues between cuba and the u.s., is that cuban who reach u.s. soil immediately
receive refugee status. that's controversial in florida. many believe people are taking advantage of that. that's something that can be changed by executive order. the government says they will not do it. we'll see. it could change that policy. but the government, in the u.s., the white house, has said that's not something they're planning. it's just going to be a matter of give it time and see what president trump wants to do. >> do you think the death in any way changes the position of raul castro? >> he was already in the process where he said he will finish his term. and someone else will come on board. they've been planning this for a long time. it is not a surprise, speaking to analysts in cuba and outside of cuba, they told us they planned this all along. fidel castro planned this all along. fidel castro planned even his funeral. most of this was likely planned by him. that was the type of leader that
he was. fidel being gone will just mean that the iconic part of the revolution is gone. raul is still there. there will be a change in not having fidel around but they will still have power. >> patrick oppmann there in cuba is talking about the surprise people feel when he is telling them that fidel castro has passed away. at one time, castro has declared that history will absolve him. i'm wondering, do you believe his legacy in immediate days in immediate weeks here, after his death will take a different shape, as cuba evolves? after he has died. >> he is such an iconic figure, he's so controversial. he's so loved and hated at the same time, that it's difficult to predict how it will play out in the coming days. because you have those who live in the u.s. and other countries,
had to leave their country that had their very painful experiences to tell. then you have people on the island who revere fidel castro. it's not going to be an seize process. they had anticipated that this would happen. and we'll see, but an important part of what cuba means to the u.s. is that once u.s. starting normalizing relations with cuba, it changed the whole dynamic of the relations with latin america. so latin america respected fidel castro and this part helped the u.s. as it was portrayed in latin america. >> juan carlos thank you so very much. up next, we want to talk a little bit more about fidel castro's defiant legacy. we're going to look back at his remarkable rise to power.
breaking news this morning. former cuban leader fidel castro dead at the age of 90. castro's defiance legacy began in 1959 when he led the cuban revolution. >> he became the president and it's believed during his rule castro survived several assassination teams. in 2008 after four decades in power, health problems finally forced him to resign and he named his brother raul as his successor. let's bring in philip peters, expert in cuban relations. philip, we've been watching miami here. overnight, there have been a lot of people on the streets there. many of them have been celebrating this, they've been shouting freedom. how quickly do you think we will see any sort of change in cuba? or really, at the end of the
day, to be reali ifisrealistic, seen some change evolving from 2008, when raul castro seemed to take over the power there? >> well, christi, i don't think there's going to be any major change because of fidel castro's passing. but there has been change going on, quite important change because of the change of fidel to raul since 1996. raul has a very different view of the economy. and changing policy in cuba. so the policies in place now are much more oriented towards markets. and smaller government. and more capitalistic, blend with the socialist economy, than anything that fidel castro would have envisioned. >> so, his death, meaning fidel's, which nation does it impact most? cuba, it seems like they've already moved on to ruhl the
united states has focused more on relations. had this happened ten years ago, it would have been huge. >> right, because he left power ten years ago. he's been out of power for ten years. now, he's been alive and i think has some influence. the economic reform that i'm talking about has been sort of stalled. and with the opposition, it's pretty clear that the opposition, the people most loyal to fidel and have a more orthodox view of how the economy should be run. so if there's a change in cuba, it's perhaps that that secretto that wants to stand pat and not continue with the change, is going to be weaker. >> so, as we look at donald trump, as we've been talking about, we just showed a sound bite of him saying that he does notal agree with the concessions that were made. that he wants to see religious
freedoms and political freedoms restored to people there. how do you feel that this will play out in, in terms of u.s. relations with cuba, as president-elect trump takes his rightful place now in u.s. history? >> well, we'll see if the president-elect thinks things through a little differently than the candidate did. you know, president-elect trump, when he was a candidate, the first position he took with cuba is that he was perfectly fine with what president obama has done. he was fine with the idea opening up to cuba and allowing more travel and business opportunities. later, when he started campai campaigning in florida, he made a decision to switch. and he it a 180-degree switch. and he proffered the position that you had on before. he's going to have demands for cuba, and if he don't comply,
he's going to reverse everything that president obama did. i hope he thinks through it. really it doesn't make a whole lots of sense. our influence is much greater if we have a flow of people and ideas and information between united states and cuba. and the idea of presenting demands to cuba and increasing sanctions is something that we did for 50 years. and it might be support of a primal screen type of approach to foreign policy, but it doesn't do anything, doesn't get us anywhere, and doesn't really do anything to maximum mime american influence in cuba. >> let me ask you this, as we're seeing images of cuba i don't know if we can pop them up, overnight of people celebrating in the streets. how influential are the families in miami to what may happen in cuba now, are they at all? >> well, they're influential, certainly. but miami is influential in a different way now. generations ago, the opinion of
cuban miami was very clear. they came early on in the revolution, didn't want do go back, they wanted to have sanctions and that was the end of it. now, even in the votes, the last two elections. the vote is split 50/50 between the republican and democratic candidate. and miami, as younger people come and as more recent immigrants come, miami cubans are split. a lot of them travel to cuba. a lot of them favor ending the embargo. the polls show the majority do. the travel has increased a great deal. and if president trump would backtrack, what he would be doing is cutting off a huge flow of the private sector traveling to cuba. these people who travel are not just visiting with their aunt. they're bringing money, they're bringing equipment. the people that are working with
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>> and i'm martin savidge in for victor blackwell. cuba has declared nine days of mourning after fidel castro has died at the age of 90. his brother raul castro announced his death last night and said that cast throw will be cremated early this morning. >> translator: dear people of cuba, with profound pain, i have to sadly inform you, to our friends from our america, and to the world, that today, november 25th, 2016, at 10:29 in the evening the commander and leader of the cuban revolution, fidel castro died. >> the word of castro's death came to miami. the fills of streets of exiles where many viewed him as an enemy of human rights. they were popping champagne, waving the cuban flag and chanting freedom.
>> here's say look back at castro's life and how he transformed cuba. >> reporter: depending on whom you talk to, fidel castro was a revered revolutionary legend or a despise ed tyrannical dictato. there is little middle ground. castro came to power in 1959 in a widely popular revolution of the throwing. cuba's then dictator fulgencio bautista. but it wasn't long before the bearded man ideology left him on a collision course. 90 miles offshore, the u.s. decided to act. >> i have directed the armed forces -- >> reporter: first launching the embargo, palled by the failed bay of pigs and several assassination attacks on castro,
all of this while cuba allowed the soviet union to secretly build nuclear bases on the island. when they were discovered by the u.s. in 1962, the so-called cuban missile crisis brought it to the brink of nuclear war. thousands of cubans fled the country. millions left behind this new social experiment, the one-party communist state led by one man himself. >> translator: he approached the idea that those who didn't like it could leave. he divides families. >> reporter: many saw positives, for all. >> translator: what fidel achieved has not been achieved by any poor nation or countries despite being submitted to enormous pressures. >> reporter: but critics say it came at a terrible cost. >> translator: the dreams of freedom he's given to the cuban people return to the nightmare
that we live today because we have a totalitarian regime. >> reporter: what castro was never able to abolish is economic props parity. for that, castro blamed the united states and its embargo. many blame the man himself pointing to his unwavering belief and outdated social model. castro had little tolerance. opponents were often listings add traitors and exiles. and castro became the target of international condemnation but like so many times before, castro never backed down, proudly defending his record on human rights. >> translator: there hasn't been a single case of death quads here. never has a person disappeared in cuba which has been common practice all over latin america. so, we feel proud of our clean record with relation to this problem. >> reporter: call it pride or selective reasoning, but castro never lost faith in the
revolution. opponents concede castro's popularity diminished as his beard grew whiter. but his intelligence and shrewdness continued to command fear and respect. he would eventually outlive many of his critics and outlast ten u.s. administrations. in the end, it was illness, not washington that forced him to retire. passing cuba's leadership to his younger brother raul. in his last years, castro appeared only occasionally, mostly in photos looking frail. at times he tried to play the role of elder statesman. but more and more he seemly seemed inconsequential. >> translator: the cuban government has been very agile, it has slowly removed him from the scene. it would have been one thing if he abruptly died. >> reporter: castro always insisted something that he has feared. >> translator: i have never been afraid of death. i'm not concerned about death.
i have lived, feel. >> reporter: that latter statement seems i ronnic coming from a man who almost single-handedly dictated over cuba for nearly half a century. >> joining us now, an expert in cuban history and national politics. >> he's a professor. thank you for joining us. let's get your personal thoughts on the death of fidel castro. >> well, first of all, i want to correct that it's the university of new york. professor of universities of new york at jon jay college. i slept through it this morning. i don't think it will have a great deal of impact on cuba,
and soften the course of the government and the revolution, because, of course, the succession has already taken place. but i think it will lift its moral voice or the perception that fidel castro voice of revolution. and i think it may lead his brother do do more reforms possibly, than if he were alive. >> professor perez, one of the thing that is so extraordinary as we heard in that piece is his tenure. how long he's been in power. as we said, there are 11 u.s. presidents have had to deal with him. when we talk about his power, even in his death, how influential is what he has done going to be in the midst of the change that so many people are
hoping they're going to see now? >> well, it's a very important point, even though, again, he's really not been exercising power, per se. but it's a very important point because this man single-handedly, who led this revolution, for the first time in latin america, very effectively, he confronted the u.s. in many ways. and did this revolution which of course had so many detractors and so many supporters. and i think we're going to see that in the days ahead, leading up to the funeral, how divided the cuban nation is and how divided opinion is on him. there's already been celebrations in miami. we'll see how the reaction is in cuba, on both sides. whether, you know, whether we're going to see a very large funeral. but he has had a legacy that has been divisive. people have had to feel that
they have to leave the country. there's been opposition. he did many controversial things. he confronted the u.s., but he stayed true to his message. and he managed to do something that had not been done previously in latin america. >> the legacy, i guess you could say, is divided between those who look at fidel castro as a remarkable leader, a hero, in some respects. and those who despise him as a dictator. there is no sort of gray area here, is there? >> yes. that's exactly right. there's actually no gray area, because his influence was so profound in the course of the cuban nation. and, of course, he actually -- it was very important, he projected way beyond --
>> i think we're having some audio trouble. lisandro perez, we thank you so much for your insight. you gave us something to think about in terms of his legacy and his power, in terms of how it may continue to work there in cuba. >> in the end there, he was making a point about how fidel, with only 11 million people, he was able to project it as this counter to a superpower which, of course, is the united states. >> again, we want to thank professor perez for his insight there. listen, a lot of cubans, as we know fled the island nation. one of them, our own boris sanchez. he's sharing his personal story, ahead, next. (sfx: park rides, music and crowd sounds)
we're showing you live pictures now of miami, that's where many exiled cubans created a community after leaving the exile nation of cuba. many of them, or their families, are now feeling hopeful after the death of fidel castro. >> more than 260,000 cubans left during a u.s.-organized airlift. and 1980, another 125,000 leave, some of them criminals, creating a violent crime wave in florida. >> among those so desperate to escape they left in makeshift boats. one person who can help us better understand why people left is our own cnn boris sanchez. >> he was born there and fled with his family.
so, boris, talk to us about what you remember. do you remember about cuba, and the stories that you're family tells about their time there? >> unfortunately, i personally don't remember much about cuba. we landed in miami the day i turn 3. the stories they told say life. the reason we moved to the united states is my grandfather was a political prisoner. i've hurts y i've heard you guys noting there's no gray area with fidel castro. some people see him as a here row that was perceived in american imperialism. and others find him as a teayra. my grandfather fought in the revolution. not with fidel castro. but he guided the country and
when things took a turn fidel made it clear the direction he was heading by arresting any sis dissidents and putting many of my grandfather's friends in front of firing squads, because of that, my father was put 20 years in prison for basically refusing to speak out. he was considered a lucky one by many of his friends. sadly, you have generations of people, like my grandfather, like my parents, waiting to have relief because so many of their lives were taken away from them. my grandmother landed in cuba and had a store. after castro took power, suddenly that did not belong to her. all of her hard work was fidel castros. my grandparentses are no longer around. i don't think my parents believe that things are suddenly going
to change on the island. they saw fidel at this point as mostly a symbolic figure but this is certainly a moment for them to remember. i know my grandmother who was waiting for this moment as long as i have been alive. she kept an obscenely huge cuban flag under her bed and a bottle of wine to celebrate when fidel passed away. she's not with us anymore. i know wherever she is, she's waving that flag. >> i was just going to say, i wonder what they're thinking now, and what do you think their hopes are? have you talked to your parents and what their hopes are for cuba? do they want to go back? do you still have family there? >> sure, i have some extended family there. i actually called my mom last night, as soon as i found out. both of my parents were half asleep in bed, dozing off watching tv. i could tell she had a very emotional response because this is -- as i said, this is our story. this is a part of our identity.
i joked actually with my mom about me visiting cuba, maybe next year, at the early start of the year. she made a face and let me know she wouldn't be too happy about that. she feels that, not just was her country taken away from her, but everything that could have been in her life was made obsolete because of fidel. i can tell you, my mom >> i was going to say, boy, how proud you have made her no doubt about it. boris sanchez, i know it's very personal, thank you so much for sharing it with us. >> yeah, thank you very much. >> thank you for having me. >> always. from a catholic to a communist, how ted cruz's relationship with the church allowed him to welcome three popes to cuba and helped thaw relations with the u.s.
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may cause low blood sugar. it's time to turn things around. lower your blood sugar with invokana®. imagine loving your numbers. there's only one invokana®. ask your doctor about it by name. we're following breaking news that former cuba leader fidel castro has died. he was 90 years of age. >> before he was a leader he was a jesuit. he welcome lead the popes to the island. most recently, pope francis, also a jesuit. he was instrumental in thawing the relationship between the u.s. and cuba. i want to go live to rome with cnn international correspondent ben wedeman. you have new information from us
from the vatican. >> reporter: yes. expressing its condolences and sadness over the death of the former cuban leader. now, it's interesting you mentioned that fidel castro was a jesuit, he actually went to a jesuit secondary school but by the time he was in college he was already showing definite left wing tendencies. now, the relationship between the vatican and fidel castro was rocky to say the least. in 1961 when cuba declared itself a socialist country, it closed down the main catholic university. it shut down 350 catholic schools. it exproepuated hundreds of catholic churches and, in fact, in 1969 it banned christmas as a paid holiday. at the time fidel said it was time to allow people to work on the sugar cane harvest at the
time. nonetheless, after the fall of the soviet union in the early 1990s, cuba found itself in a very difficult situation and it was the vatican under pope john paul ii which really did extend a hand of friendship in 1996 fidel castro visited pope john paul ii at the vatican two years later. the pope made his historic visit to cuba. since -- in total actually pope john paul ii met five times with fidel castro benedict the xvi, pope francis, the first latin american pope met last year in september when he visited cuba, met with fidel castro for a 40-minute visit. so despite the obvious ideological differences, relations never were cut between cuba and the vatican.
of course, it was the vatican that played a critical role as an intermediary between cuba and the united states, which led to the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. >> it did indeed. ben wedeman, thank you for that update from rome. we have so much more news to talk to you about this morning. next hour of your "new day" starts right after this break. there's a denture adhesive that holds strong until evening. fixodent plus adhesives. just one application gives you superior hold
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♪ we are so glad to have you with us on our saturday mornings. good morning to you, i'm christi paul. >> i'm martin salve ij in for victor blackwell. we begin with breaking news out of cuba. former cuban leader fidel castro is dead at the age of 90. his brother and cuban president raul castro made that announcement on tv. this video is from his 90th birthday celebration back in august. >> the streets are quiet in havana. the news is slowly reaching out to the people this morning. the cuban revolutionary who installed a communist government in that country has died. [ cheers and applause ]. >> obviously very different scene in miami there. cuban exiles who escaped his regime, they're cheer, they're smiling, waiving cuban flags, they are chanting freedom and they're banging on