tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN November 26, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PST
and president obama saying this, quote, we know that this moment fills cubans in cuba and in the united states with powerful emotions. history will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him, end quote. so we'll talk about the politicalism implications of all of this in a moment, but first we have a team of reporters covering this story from havana, cuba to little havana in miami. let's begin in miami with ed lavendera. >> reporter: well, here in the middle of what is affectionately known as couldkai ocho, the fam versailles restaurant, this has been a gathering spot for exiles to debate the future politics of cuban/u.s. relations, dictatorship of fidel castro and
as everyone imagined, with this news the chance of at least this day has come is what you hear repeatedly from the people here who have poured out into the streets since midnight last night when the news of fidel castro's death was first announced. the husband of gloria estefan releasing a statement saying in part, to all those who tied seeking freedom, we thank you and honor you for fighting for freedom and human rights for our homeland. your sacrifice will never be forgotten. today there is a new dawn filled with hope for our beloved cuba and that is definitely the sense that you get from all of the people who have poured out here into the streets in this part of havana, hoping that this would be one of the first dominos to begin the real democratic changes that many people here in miami, cuban exiles would like
for s to see that place. but there is also a stark realization that perhaps all of the changes, when the moment came, it hasn't unfolded the way many thought it would. and many will also tell that you perhaps any kind of real change in cuba won't happen until raul castro steps down from power, which he has said he would do in 2018. but that in many ways that initial step in that process, this decades long struggle that they say they have been fighting to bring about real democratic change to the island of cuba. but here in little havana, since midnight last night, a festive atmosphere, many people celebrating the death of fidel castro with chants of at last. >> ed lavendera in little havana, so lots of expressions of hope. let's check in with patrick oppmann who is in havana where there is quite the contrast because you have been showing us
all morning long that there is great sadness. what else from the people there? >> reporter: absolutely. only about 100 miles away, but a very different picture here, very somber. but also very controlled. the cuban government shortly after the announcement was made put more police on the street, closing bars an restaurants where music is played. showing the exact opposite of the scenes that we saw in miami, the opposite of a celebratory attitude. and today of course it's usually quiet the here on the weekends, but you just feel like you can hear a pin drop because so many people are wondering what the future brings, what is going to happen with this island now that fidel castro is no longer in the scene. and we will now of course see nine days of official mourning and at the end of florida of
course cubans have a lot of uncertainty about their future. >> patrick oppmann, thank you so much. appreciate that. so for many cubans and americans, castro's passing evokes memories of the cold war and fear of nuclear warfare. cnn has received some impassioned statements in response to his death from both democrats and republicans. i want to bring in a lawmaker who has a personal tie cuba, new jersey senator bob menendez. senator, thanks so much for being with me. i know you've been very critical in the past of president obama's gestures. you were critical that he did not meet with dissidents, human rights activists when he visited cuba. you are a byproduct of your parents who are cuban immigrants. so what is your feeling today with castro's death because in your statement you appear to sound very hopeful about what is next. >> well, it is my hope that we
take this moment to do what we did at other parts of the world at different times, what we did in the czech republic and in poland and in the former soviet union, which is to help the human rights activists, independent journalists, many which i have personally met and told me that since president obama's engagement of nearly two years ago, life in cuba for them has gotten worse. they had seen more arrests, more beatings, more jailings. and they see money flowing to the castro regime, but not going to the cuban people. and so i would hope that we would be recalibrating our policy to engage human rights activists, independent journalists inside of cuba so that they can push for the type of freedoms that we enjoy and just gave thanksgiving for yesterday here in the united states. >> so can you kind of paint the picture of what you envision if
you want to see people of course enjoying more freedoms in cuba, do you believe the u.s. can help facilitate that by continuing a momentum that has been set particularly by the obama administration in terms of talks lifting embargoes, how do you see the u.s. engaging in what you are hoping to be a more free cuba on the horizon? >> well, if you listen the human rights activists and political journalists inside of cuba, some who have gotten out to speak to me and i've seen for example one of the leading human rights activists, the ladies in white, and they tell you that life is worse. so what that means to me is that a policy that allows money to go to the castro regime is not engaging the cuban people, it's keeping the regime and its oppressive system in shape.
so it seems that you directly assist human rights activists, political disowe dissidents -- >> how do you do that? >> we used to do it in assisting them to communicate inside of the islands, in helping them have the resources to organize for freedom and democracy. you do it as we did during the soviet union in the eastern bloc countries that ultimately tee arrive freedom. so we can do that. and the other thing we should stop doing is giving one way unilateral concessions to the regime that allows enormous monies to flow and you do business in the regime, only way do business is with castro's son and his son-in-law. one heads the tourism industry, the other the agriculture industry. so at the end of the day, you have to think about who you're helping here and it's not the cuban people.
>> is it your help that the next secretary of state or even the next president, now president-elect trump, will actually have direct face-to-face meetings with raul castro since it's raul castro that is? p in power until 2018? >> well, it is my hope that the president-elect ? in power until 2018? >> well, it is my hope that the president-electin power until 2? >> well, it is my hope that the president-electin power until 2? >> well, it is my hope that the president-elect and next secretary of state will say what president obama said to burma, which is you want to have a relationship with the united states, you have to release political prisoners and hold independent legislative elections, you have to permit the u.n. into your country. and if you do those things, you can have a relationship with us. and guess what, that all happened. i don't know why the people of cuba deserve less than the people of burma. >> nosenator, thank you so much for your time. coming up next, the delicate new relationship with cuba on the line as president-elect donald trump prepares to take office.
some cuban-american lawmakers such as senator menendez really having questions about continuation of the obama policies set forward as it pertains to the u.s. and cuba. what is potentially next. plus, hillary clinton's campaign says it will join efforts to push for recounts in several states. what is the end game? [vo] quickbooks introduces jeanette. and her new business: i do, to go. jeanette was excellent at marrying people.
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already a deepening divide over u.s.-cuban relations. several prominent republicans saying the u.s. never should have reopened relations with cuba. >> president-elect trump has correctly stated that obama's overtures to the castro regime were one-sided and only benefited the cuban regime. i hope that the new administration under the
leadership of president trump seizes this moment as an opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the cuban people that it will pressure the castro regime by rolling back these executive actions of the obama administration. >> let's talk more now with a democrat being strategist and former consultant at homeland security. and mike shields is a political commentator. already, gentlemen. mustafa, you first. if president-elect trump were to roll back things like lifting the embargo, cooling relations between cuba and the u.s., how would that go about? >> it's really ticket. we've just started the process. airlines are about to open up next week. and this people to people diplomacy is what will make cuba free again. and we had the sanctions for 50
years and we haven't made much progress. so the right step is to allow this integration between the yuchbd and cuba to begin. and i think that that democratic process will begin there, as well. >> and so critics of the obama administration's approach to this, talking to fidel castro, lifting the embargo, allowing funds to flow into cuba without the conditions of political prisoners, you know, being released, many of the critics are saying, you know, hchlooray for political prisoners being released, but how do you do that without person to person relations. >> first of all, i think anytime a brutal dictator dies, we should all rejoice. anyone who believes in freedom, religious freedom, freedom of the press, democracy, should be happy today pa that a brew fall
dictator is dead. but no one should be under the illusion that cuba is free because he's dead. it still is not free. it still has a dictatorship and represses its people. so we have to keep democracy as a shining light in the west, we have to keep fighting to help the cuban people and not prop up the cuban government and that is where president-elect trump's policy comes in. he wants a better deal and says he'd it over and over again, whether trade deals, whether weakness being shown, he's for having dialogue and opening up things for cuba. given that we actually get a good deal. >> does it mean, though, ending the current deal, or does it mean building on the current deal? >> we'll have to wait and see. you know, you can see a little bit in for instance the people's considering for secretary of state. mitt romney, rudy cruel januagi these are outspoken critics of the cuban regime. so he's considering people who
have a strong position on this. and his election sends a signal for the cuban regime. the weakness of the obama administration is over. we'll have to start all over again and take a look at what it is we want to get out of this deal before we just happened you these things. by the way on the airline flights, that is very easy to stop. that is not really an official gree agreement. i believe that is manage that he can revoke with executive order. he'll start revoking some of these things and say you have to come back to the table with us if you want to do something. why don't we start releasing political policeners, start freeing up your immediate yargs your press. why don't we start giving some of your people the rights that they deserve. now we can talk about having airline flights put back into the country. president-elect trump will put himself in a strong negotiating position. >> so mustafa, do you see as president-elect trump is discussing with his team who to select for the next u.s. secretary of state, do you believe the death of fidel castro now changes the dynamics and the conversations about who
would be the most appropriate u.s. secretary of state? >> well, i certainly hope so. look, this is an opportunity to turn the page in the relationship between cuba and the united states. we've tried the sanctions for the last 50 years and we've tried a lot of tough talk and it got us nowhere. there is an opportunity really to move forward in building diplomacy between cuba and us. and with that, freeing the prisoners. with that making a life better for the cuban people and building this trade. and we've been very successful in other places in doing this. tough talk isn't the way forward. the way forward is really working together and cuba is just 90 miles away. this should be our strong ally, not our enemy. >> and let's shift gear s a little bit now from the transition team and all that is on the table and what they have to consider and now we understand green party candidate jill stein has raised millions of dollars an hd has asked for recount in wisconsin and we're hearing that the clinton camp
will be participating in that recount effort. pike, what is your reaction to that and how far do you believe this might go? >> well, we just went through one of the most divisive elections in the country p's history paand since the electio president-elect said says we have to bring people together. and now we see the clinton campaign joining something where their own lawyers have said we found no evidence of any wrongdoing whatsoever and yet they will raise money an put out e-mails and continue to divide the country when they don't even believe themselves that a recount would change the outcome. the recount won't change the outcome, but i think it's a shame that the clinton campaign is joining this. maybe they're worried about losing vote count to the green party and they want to be at the table. but i think they have a responsibility. after the election hillary clinton said the election is over, let's move on and accept the results. and now her campaign is saying
they won't accept the results. >> is this moving toward more healing or more divide? >> well, she's won over 2 million votes. across the country, the race in wisconsin was between 27,252 votes. and her vote count is increasing. i think the trump campaign does want hillary clinton involved because they have always been gracious about this. she came out right after the election, she was very gracious, she called him. and this is a close election and it's a divided election. and you want some finality to this. and if that is going to happen rather than jill stein, you do want hillary clinton involved. >> all right. thank you gentlemen. appreciate it. next, the president-elect warned about the danger of the north korea regime as he prepares to take office, what the delicate relationship with the aspiring nuclear power might look like under trump.
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women come back. donald trump will officially begin his job as president after he's sworn in on january 20th. an as the echos of miss inaugural address fade, the threats he faces as commander in chief become more are clear. one of the mostmiss inaugural address fade, the threats he faces as commander in chief become more are clear. one of the most is threats come from north korea and kim jong-un. now we're being told the white house considers north korea a
grave threat to america and the president-elect has been briefed. brian todd has more. >> reporter: new information that donald trump got a dire warning about a major national security threat he will face when he enters the oval office, a threat that comes from a young dig dictator who executed his own uncle. intelligence officials tell cnn the white house is conveying that north korea is a grave near term threat to america. "wall street journal" says the obama team viewed north korea as trump's top national security priority and warned the trump transition team about the threat. >> once the president-elect got the detailed briefings on the state of the missile programs being, i imagine it was rather jarring. >> reporter: weapons experts say kim jong-un probably has the and already to put nuclear weapons on missiles and they're improving their longer range
missiles. one called the kn-14. >> they have tested the engine. it may have new fuels that give it far greater energy and range. and with that range, the kn-14 can possibly reach washington, d.c. >> reporter: those missiles haven't yet been tested to be able to re-enter the atmosphere, but experts say the north koreans could be able to fire those missiles at the u.s. during trump's administration. there are also new concerns about kim's violent tendencies and how 3president trump will deal with him. >> kim jong-un is a dangerous man. he has grown up around violence. he seems to even enjoy violence. he has brutally killed dozens of his generals. and he is a leader without legitimacy. he needs to prove to the green people's army that he is a tough guy. >> reporter: on the campaign trail, trump alternated between saying it's possible he could meet with kim and say he wanted to push him out of power.
>> he's like a maniac, okay? and you have to give him credit. how many young guys, he was like 26 or 25 when his father died, take over these tough generals. >> reporter: now analysts have a serious question. are these two leaders who will act rationally toward each other or impulsively? >> kim takes any insult very personally. we've seen that threats of 9/11 style attacks after the movie "the interview" was released and perhaps mr. trump is very amenable to responding strongly to any kind of criticism. >> reporter: we've pressed the trump transition team for a response to that. and for specifics on how they will handle jim jong-un. we haven't gotten a response. brian todd, cnn, washington. next, global reaction po pouring in about the death of fidel castro. we're live in moscow where the russian president and people are remembering the dictator fondly.
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don't wait. call now. hello again. thank you so much for joining me. so we've been getting reactions from around the world on the news of fidel castro's death and during his lifetime, the leader met with three popes including pope francis back in september of last year. ben wedeman has more. >> reporter: pope francis has sent a telegram of condolences to raul castro on the death of his brother, fidel. now, fidel castro had a complicated relationship with the catholic church. in 1961 when cuba declared itself a socialist country, it shut down the catholic university there, closed 350 catholic schools, and exappropriated hundreds of catholic churches.
nonetheless as time passed and the soviet union collapsed, cuba was definitely in need of friends. in 1996, fidel castro visited pope john paul ii in the vatican and two years later pope john paul went cuba on a historic visit. and of course it was pope francis who behind the scenes played a key role in re-establishing relations between the united states and cuba. >> vladimir putin has also paid tribute to fidel castro. global fellow for the winter wilson center and jill dougherty with me now. jill, what are you hearing about the tributes that are being paid from moscow? >> reporter: well, you know, i think from president putin on down to average russians, at least a lot of them, there is a lot of nostalgia.
after all, fidel castro was a revolutionary right to the end. and that kind of brings back some memories of the old days when russia was a super power and it had a lot of super power influence around the world. and the relationship is very strong. but president putin did issue a statement quite long and he said that fidel castro was a symbol of an era, a sincere reliable friend of russia, and he said that the memory of him will live forever in the hearts of russian citizens. and over at the cuban embassy here in moscow, russians came by, they laid flowers, candles. and some of them actually -- there were some who were crying, they were remembering saying that they remembered even from their youth castro. and as i was saying, i think there was very much this feeling that here was a man who was a leader of a very small country,
actually an island, who stood up to the big united states. and that is a message that goes over well even in today e's russia. one russian politician was quoted saying when you look at fidel castro, the sanctions against him, against his island and also the international isolation did not work. because there was a strong leader. so i think that you could almost take that as a hint about president putin and how many russians look at president putin right now. >> and there will be many days of mourning in cuba and the funeral scheduled for the 4th of december. is it your feeling that the russian president putin would attend? >> reporter: we don't know. we want to know that very much. we still don't know who would represent him. but the relationship has changed. because remember after the soviet union ended, then russia could no longer afford to
subsidize cuba. so the relationship really dropped off and then most recently, they used to have a base, it was an intelligence listening base in cuba, and president putin back when he became president closed that and then just recently in october the russian military were saying, well, perhaps we might be reconsidering opening that. although the relationship is many years ago, it still is politically significant for russia. >> jill dougherty, thank you so much. next, donald trump's list of potential cabinet and staff picks reads like a who's who of the super wealthy. but can millionaires and bill n billionaires deliver on trump's common man message in his campaigning? we'll discuss. even though they have
disabilities, it doesn't mean they can't do what we can do. i'm the head instructor at breaking barriers martial arts. breaking barriers teaches children with all types of abilities. so we have down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, autism, adhd. it's just really fun to see them coming out of their shells and really being comfortable in who they are, knowing that being different is okay. i have two younger brothers, and her both diagnosed with autism at a young age. it was really hard to tind something for my brothers to be involved in. so it was really neets when we joined tae kwon do and we could do it as a family. i felt like the environment was so much more understanding. >> most importantly i think the heart of tae kwon do is how to become like a better person. >> i started this program, i had no idea it was going to be anything more than just a saturday class that was going to be fun for kids to just come and play and learn martial arts. but it's made an impact on these kids. >> feels good to know that we're
forget about a team of rivals. how about a team of millionaires and billionaires? donald trump considering a variety for key jobs p and let's say they have serious cash. betsy devos, education secretary, her family has an estimated net worth of $5 billion. some of the other picks have deep pockets, as well. mitt romney who is under consideration for u.s. secretary of state has an estimated net worth of $250 million. oil tycoon harold hamm a reported contender for energy secretary with an estimated net the worth of more than $15 billion. i bring this up because trump ran on a promise to fix a rigged system and to rein in wall street. >> my weakest support is with very rich people. i don't get along very well with the rich. i don't even like rich people very much. >> let's discuss.
with me now, mike shields and mustafa. good to see you back. so what does this say about donald trump, his decision making especially on the heels of him saying i don't even like rich people? >> donald trump has a history of saying things and then doing something completely opposite. in this case he said that he was going to heal the nation, bring people together and he appointed steven bannon one of the most divisive people in american poll sick politics. and he appoints reince priebus. and then he says he's for the working people and he's appointing billionaires to key positions both in secretary of education which we need someone to bring up the middle class and now you have a billionaire who is for school vouchers. so this is concerning. >> so does this demonstrate an administration for the forgotten
man? >> yeah, look at the people that elected donald trump. they knew he was wealthy person himself and they knew that he couldn't be bought. and that was a really powerful message for him. and if you look at the voters that really carried him in the election, they were working class voters in the midwest that switched from obama to trump in the last election. and so who he's appointing, he's appointing them based on their policies. betsy devos is a champion for education, for school choice, for getting people out of failing government-run schools and getting them in on schools that their children can go to regardless of their income. so her very policy reason that she's being put into the department of education is because she's trying to create an education system where children get taken out of failing schools regardless of their income and put into schooschool schools that work even if they wpt afford it. john kerry is one of the wealthiest people in the country, he's secretary of state. i think almost all of the senators in the country are very wealthy people. it's really not a matter of how much money you have, it's a matter of what the policies are
that you're putting forth. and the public knows donald trump can't be bought and he didn't run on his wealth, he ran on his policies. >> and trump has repeatedly said that he wants outsiders, not washington elite. betsy devos is not a washington insider. i mean, elite in other circles. but do you see a real congruent message here? >> not really. donald trump kept on saying he may not be bought, but he's trying to expand his own wealth based on some of the meetings that he's had with his daughter in the room with the leader of japan and many other instances. >> that is an accusation, no fact behind what you just said. >> well, except that's van came tru ivanka was -- >> to say that he has tried to increase his wealth is an accuse saying that has no basis in truth. >> if you allow me to speak, i can tell you what happened. his properties in the uk where
you met a uk leader and said i don't like the way that the wind farms face his property. he's talked about taking those wind farms away. that is a way of -- that is a factual thing. >> so you're talk about the potential conflict of interest here, how being president -- how is he going to straddle being president and also being a businessman or will he be handingoff and n over and not p in a business sense from his presidency. >> absolutely. if you say i'm for the common man an then you say i can't be bought and then instead of other -- helping other people with influence, he's helping position and his family. and that is concerning and i think there needs to be a much stronger line between people in public office and their private interests. and donald trump has not done that. >> so how is donald trump going to do that, to cop say to people that he's not using the
presidency for the gains of his business? >> well, this is why we have a transition period. in our system, you don't become the president the day after the election. you get sworn in on january 20th. people -- voters knew that he was a businessman, that's why they supported him. they wanted someone outside of washington. if you had elected a typical washington politician, this wouldn't even be an issue. the fact is you have a transition period and that's the period of time where they have to come up with -- >> but there are many that take issue with that which is if you thought potentially you would be the president, why wouldn't you do that before the transition period just in case you were to be elected? >> first of all, i can't speak for the president-elect on that, but my understanding is you want to have the right counsel, the right lawyers involved do this the right way. he was focused on with inning, he was focused on talking to the american people about winning the election knowing that there is a transition about period between now and when he's sworn in and the white house incoming
chief staff reince priebus has said they are looking at the ways do this correctly. they don't have to answer this yes ten days in when they're busy trying to put a cabinet together. by the time he is sworn in, they will have an answer and i think this is just a distraction from the real issues. >> so do you think it was appropriate for ivanka to be in these meetings when he's in transition talking to other heads of state? >> absolutely. he's in transition. he's not the leader. and the british politician he talked to doesn't hold office. ? leader of the party. >> he's no longer the leader of the party. this is why it's a political distraction. there are people in the country that want jobs. the last thing they care about is people talking in washington, d.c. about what blind trust donald trump will put his money into. he's focused on a transition to people put into the cabinet that can help solve the problems on the issues that he ran on and that's what he should be focused on. in the meantime, there will be some lawyers that get together
an figure out exactly how he will put things in to a blind trust. he has said he will follow the letter of the law. and he has time to do that. that's kre wiwhy we have a tran per. >> we'll leave it there. conflict of interest is a concern for a number of voters. so i'm sure we will be talking about this again. gentlemen, thank you so much. next, jury selection resumes monday for the trial of the young man accused of gunning down nine people in a charleston church. what to expect now that the judge has ruled he is competent to stand trial.
welcome back. i'm fredricka whitfield. jury selection resumes monday for dylan roof, the 22-year-old that is facing multiple counts of murder after killing nine people in june at the church in south carolina. the judge ruled he is competent to stand trial. let's bring in avery and richard. >> thanks, fred. >> avery, you first. dylann roof, deemed confident to stand trial. how was that decision rendered? >> it is a very revealing
opinion written by u.s. district judge richard gurgle. he had to balance the right of freedom of the press. he permitted the media to argue they should be able to publish information about the eight witnesses concerning competency. the defense lawyers for dylan roof argued that by disseminating the information, it is going to prejudice his rights, it's going to poison the jury pool and therefore he wouldn't receive a fair trial. on balance, while it is controversial, i think the judge did exactly the right thing. >> richard, you are in disagreement? >> i'm not in disagreement, fred. it is just that the issue in the competency hearing was, did you mr. roof understand the nature and consequences of the charges brought against him and is he able to assist in his defense. that was the issue before the judge. the judge ruled, yes, he is
competent. there is a state murder trial that's going to take place in january after this federal trial. >> now, jury selection was scheduled earlier in the month. dylan roof's attorneys wanted him to be analyzed. what was their hope in that analysis, that he would be found incompetent, that it was a stalling technique, what, avery? >> well, it's amazing they started the process before the defense lawyers argued strongly their client wasn't prepared, at least mentally, to move forward, both in terms of the act and in terms of understanding what was going on. the trial started on the 7th of november, ajurd because of a two-week compentency hearing. based on the junldge's resoluti will resume. i think it should have started
before the trial. this is what happened. jury selection was interrupted and now it will precede again starting on monday. >> richard, change of venue is always a tool that attorneys will use, particularly when you have highly subly sized cases. is it your feeling that it will difficult to seat a jury and that a change of venue motion could still potentially be made? >> no, fred. the defense has waived that right to make a change of venue and they did it based on a strategy. in a quick nutshell, this individual went into a bible study in a black church, sat with members and the congregation and after the hour, pulled out a gun, killed nine
people and let three leave so they could claim to the world that he hates black people and that's why he did it. then, law enforcement went to his house within an hour and found a manifesto where he admitted to the killing. he showed that he is a racist. this is the case that's going to go to trial. you ask why did the defense attorneys do this? it is panic, outright panic right now. there is no defense. they are going to keep it in charleston, because they believe in that jury pool they are going to get a lot of urban citizens, and an ironic twist, that's who they are going to look for for forgiveness and mercy to prevent the death penalty. they feel if they go rural, there will be no chance. t they will want to kill him. people can't forget, early on, despite the nine people that
were killed in the church, they forgave dylan roof. avery friedman, richard herman, thank you so much. famed cuban-born physician, gloria estefan weighs in on the death of fidel castro. we will take you live to miami's little havana neighborhood where people continue to celebrate in the streets there. generosity is its own form of power.
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hello again, thanks so much for joining me. to some, a hero, to others, a tyrant. fidel crass stro is dead at 90. reactions a reactions are poring in from around the world. the people are feeling sad because of the loss of our commander in chief fidel crass stro. we wish him, wherever he is, that he is blessed. us cubans love him. >> reporter: in miami, the heart of the cuban exile community celebrations broke out in the streets. some saying it will close a dark chapter of cuba's history. >> we are here because we are celebrating the death in cuba. after this moment, many things are going to change in