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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 17, 2014 11:00pm-12:01am EST

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>> hi everyone, this is al jazeera america, i'm john seigenthaler cuba accord - washington and havana strike a deal after a half century of hostility. >> isolation has not workeded. it's time for a new approach. >> the impact, what it means for cuba, the u.s. and the world in our report. body cams - police test them across the country. the debate over privacy and if it will work.
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>> video is critical, but not the only solution. sony reaction - pulling the plug on a blockbuster release. the new report on who is behind the threats we begin with an historic day for the u.s. and cuba, a defining moment. president obama calls it a time for change. >> today america chooses to cut loose the shackles of the past, to reach for a better future for the cuban people, for the american people, for our entire hemisphere, and for the world. >> since the kennedy administration the u.s. isolated cuba politically and economic lip. now the president announced an historic shift. he will restore full diplomatic relations and open an embassy in havana. cuba's president raul castro hailed the agreement, pointing out that the u.s. economic embargo is still in place. >> translation: this does not mean that the main issue has
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been resolved - the economics, commercial and financial blockade causing huge economic and human damage in our country should end. >> tonight the world reacts - many in support, others criticizing the move. the reaction was swift, emotions are high in the largest cuban community in america. we go to miami, and morgan radford is there with more. >> john, you are rite. the world is reacting tonight. perhaps nowhere more strongly than here in miami, cuba. if you hear the chanting, i'm in the heart of little havana. what is interesting is a lot of people here, i'd like to say it's a mixed crowd, but a lot of people feel like president obama portrayed them. a lot of the miami cuba community are saying that president obama betrayed them. there's a sign saying that obama, you are a coward. in many ways people are saying
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obama did not do right by them nor keep the promises that he promised in 2008 when a lot of the community feels like some of them put him in office. there's a handful of people who said obama is our president and is here to protect us, and this is the right move. i want to introduce you to a couple of those people. take a quick listen. >> the only way they can respond to castro is by force of power. they are not going to lower the suffering of people of cuba just by doing that, what president obama did. >> reporter: you are wearing an obama t-shirt. do you think what happened today was a good move on the president's part? >> definitely. i think it's his legacy. i cry when i saw his speech. it was moving. he talked to the people in cuba about having unions, things that the cuban government has not
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mentioned. freedom of expression. all these things. >> what is interesting, if you listen to some comment. there's a generational component. a lot of people out protesting tonight. they are in their 50s, '60s, and are part of the wave of cubans that came over as young children and said look, i have been let down tries, by fidel castro and again by my own pvt, president obama. >> morgan radford, thank you. we get more on how the deal unfolded from our chief washington correspondent mike viqueira. >> good evening. it involves imprisoned american, changes in u.s. policy towards cuba by the administration. secret talks brokered by non-other than pope francis, and an unprecedented 45 minute phone call between president obama and raul castro, leading to a dramatic day in washington. this was the moment of freedom, a u.s. government plane touching down at a military base outside
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washington. on the flight alan gross, five years in a cuban prison, now home in washington, reunited with friends and family. his release, says president obama, was the last remaining obstacle to a long-sought goal. soon after mr gross was on american oil, president obama made the announcement. >> we will end an approach that for decades failed to enhance interests, and we'll normalize relations between the two countries. the president proposes opening an american embassy in havana. loosening regulations on trade and investment. money travel to relatives and communication, and beginning the process of removing cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. the proposal was met with opposition. including from florida senator marco rubio. a cuban american, thinking about a 2016 run for the white house.
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this president is the single worse negotiator we had in the white house in our lifetime who has basically given the cuban government everything it asked for. and received no assurances of any advances in democracy and freedom in return. >> marco rubio and others vowed to block the president. including a cut-off of funds to open an embassy in havana. and will need help for another cold, lift aring sanctions. in a statement, house speaker john boehner says: also - a spy swap. three cubans held by the united states in exchange for an american spy imprisoned in cuba. the office of the director of national intelligence said the american spy unmasked several cuban agents in the american
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government: the final step for president obama, an unprecedented 45 minute phone call tuesday, with cuban leader raul castro. anticipating the critics, the president said it's finally time for a change. >> i do not believe we can keep doing the same thing for over five decades and expect a different result. >> reporter: white house officials say alan gross was released on humanitarian grounds, and refuse accusations that he was there for spying purposes much president obama spoke to gross while he wasn't o the plane to washington more on the american contractor freed in cuba. alan gross was arrested five years ago, convicted of spying, sentenced to 15 years
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imprison. he was on the island to deliver satellite and phone equipment to a small cuban jewish community. >> 5.5 decades of history shows belligerence inhints better judgment. two wrongs never make a right. i hope we can get beyond the mutually belligerent policies. and i was happy to here and the president had to say. it was cool to sit with the secretary of state as he was hearing about his job description for the next couple of months. gross in all seriousness this is a game changer since the castro revolution, jimmy carter is the only u.s. president to visit cuba, i talked about the landmark announcement today. >> some of the best news i had this year, and international
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affairs - it's something long overdue. it will be good for the people of america, the united states, and good for the people in cuba. i'm very proud of president obama for having a wise and courageous decision. as expected, he'll have a lot of opposition from right wing committee, people, who won't see anything good in what he does. this is a long overdue thing i longed for. when i was in office as president, i tried very much to have the same thing happen, and we established intersections in havana and washington. and the last time i was in cuba i found about 300 people there working in what would be the u.s. embassy. and can now be the u.s. embassy. and lifted all the restraints on travel when i was president. this is a wonderful achievement
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and it's the kind of enters on presidential authority. he recognised another government. over which the congress change. >> you said that it's good for americans, cubans, talk about what it means for cubans. >> well, we have had for more than 60 years, harsh economic embargo or sanctions that have been very difficult for the is 11 or 12 million people to live with. we punished them, and the castro brothers used this economic sanctions to give permission for all the difficulties that the human people have experienced because of the communist restraints. so i think this will not only give them a better life, but open up to america, particularly those in georgia, a wonderful
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chance for a new trade, both in buying raw materials, and selling them corn, chicken, that we have arranged. i think the only president who has been there. i've been there three times now, and met with fidel and raul for long-standing conversations. it seemed to me that this exchange of prisoners and a lifting of the sanctions would be a very good move. president obama used the full expept of his own executive authority wisely, and i don't have doubts that it will prevail. >> president jimmy carter. president obama plans to extend ties to cuba, and it could benefit people in both countries. we have this report. >> reporter: for many americans, this is the picture of cuba,
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known for the classic cars and cigars, mixed with a communist style government. with the u.s. embargo dating back to the eisenhower days, the message to most americans is clear - cuba is forbidden. for those that thing the island's markets are off limits, think again. >> there's a lot of interactions between the u.s. and cuba, since 2000, for 15 years nearly. the u.s. has been free to sell agricultural commodities to cuba, and has. it sold as much as three-quarters of a billion a year, less in recent years. the trade goes on. last year u.s. exports to cuba totals $350 million, making it the largest source of fuel. that means beans and chicken often come from farmers and ranchers in places like nebraska, and ohio.
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it is bulk commodities. soy beans, corn. another big exporter is tyson's chicken. cuba buys is lot of chicken pieces. >> last year the u.s. sold 144 million in frozen chicken, and agribusiness in states like iowa, illinois, and nebraska sold millions in beans, coin, soy and beef to the island. that's a reality con donno hue had in mind when he led a delegation to the island in may. >> it's time to begin a new chapter in u.s.-cuban relations. >> it included executives. >> many midwestern congress men and senators tried for years to further liberalize. and the market could be larger than it is. and we will have much more in today's developments at the half hour in our special report
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"the u.s. and cuba" a new era, and more of my interview with former president jimmy carter. reaction around the world and a look at the impact of u.s. sanctions on cuban culture there are new reports that north korea may be behind the sony pictures hack. sony has cancelled the release of a movie mocking north korea's leader leader. >> good evening. the question of will they or won't they pull the film has been answered. sony, and the film "the interview", is at the center of debate over free speech. sony said because a number of theatres across the country decided not to film "the interview", sony said it would not move forward with its release. it said in a statement, "we stand by the film and
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film-makers and their right to free expression." there is swift reaction to hollywood heavy weights with a lot of stars taking out frustrations and expressing disappointment on twitter. film-maker judd tweeted: sony steve carrel defeated: it's not those people within hollywood that are expressing concern. >> it is absolutely unprecedented, and it's cap itulation to a terrorist threat. i thought we didn't deal with terrorists, and i guess we do negotiate with terrorists, what happens when someone wants to make a serious film about a political matter, or a more serious political satire. what happens if the news
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organization says something that a foreign government does not like. >> sony has not responded to comments. >> obviously sony has been hit on a number of levels. what are they? >> well, we know sony spent millions to make and promote the film "the interview", $42 million went into the cost to make the movie, tens of millions spent on marketing. it's important to note in sony's carefully worded statement, they did not say they were planning to permanently shelve the movie, but were not moving forward with a december 25th release, it's unclear what their move will be. >> it's too clear to say. it will be in their best interests to put the film out there to recoup the money to
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maintain the creative vision. >> there are options for sony by release in theatres, there are online streaming sites. again, sony has not responded to our request. >> jim walsh is a research associate at m.i.t.'s study programme, participating in security talks with oinitials in north korea. he is m boston. is the u.s. - could they formally accuse north korea of this attack? why or why not? >> well, i think it's the very badly kept secret that the u.s. government does believe north korea is responsible for this attack. it makes sense at a commonsense level. the forensic investigation has been done, and all fingers point to north korea.
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the u.s. government doesn't say everything it nose to be true, saying "it's you, north korea", sometimes they haven't done it. they are probably trying to figure out if they announce it, what they'll do in response. that's the hard part. >> what would the u.s. do to retaliate? >> you know, probably not much. we could sanction north korea, but north korea is already sanctioned. they are one of the more sanctioned countries in the world. and we are not going to attack, and we are not going to fire bullets at them because they launched a cyber attack. to step back for a minute. this whole thing strikes me as bizarre. i've never heard of this before, never seen it before. i was involved in a situation years ago when there was a movie called "team america", done by the south park folks. i was about to host a group from north korea at harvard.
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i said "you are going to release this on the day these folks are showing up", the movie was not kind to kim jong-il, but no one did anything. north korea makes threats, they are not going to attack u.s. movie theatres, there's no chance it will happen. it's unusual for sony to respond in this way. >> might there be other countries who department lict the united states who -- like the united states who could launch their own cyber attacks. >> you don't know. you think sony's response would be an encouragement. it adds proof or evidence to the notion that you can coerce or intimidate not the u.s. government. you can't do that. but if you were a corporation you can intimidate them. it's important to remember sony is a japanese company. it's haired in japan, japan is engaged in sensitive negotiations with north korea over the abductee issues, the
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issue of north korea kidnapping people from japan, and them trying to get their remains back. that may be a bit of what is going on. people saying nasty things about the north koreans, they threaten to retaliate, nothing happens. that case has been different. >> as you said much bizarre. good to see you. thank you. still ahead - big questions about police body cameras and privacy. it's the officers raising the issues. new york state takes a stand against fracking. >> migrent kids flooding into the u.s. >> we're gonna go and see josue who's just been deported... >> why are so many children fleeing? >> your children will be a part of my group or killed... >> fault lines, al jazeera america's hard hitting... >> today they will be arrested... >> ground breaking... they're firing canisters of gas at us... emmy award winning
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investigative series... fault lines no refuge: children at the border only on al jazeera america
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new york state says it will ban hydraulic fracking. state officials say the method of natural gas extraction has the participation to contaminate the air and water. fracking supporters say it could help created jobs. in atlanta police officers have spent the last year testing body cameras. some in favour of the cameras, others called them a violation of privacy. robert ray reports. >> it's late rally a hole.
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>> a suspect on heroin, a police officer with a body camera recording every minute of the violently encounter -- violent encounter. >> you don't want to do this. >> stop. >> reporter: nationwide police departments are testing deploying and preparing to use body cameras as evidence. like here in atlanta. but the city's outspoken reverend at the ebenezer church has questions. >> is there an on and off switch? are there repercussions for turning it off when engaged in active police work? these are the kinds of questions that we'll raise. >> reporter: after the eric garner grand jury decision, he and other civic leaders met with attorney-general eric holder the mayor and the atlanta police. >> the decision out of the new
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york with the eric garner case was a kick in the gut. the underscored the way in which video is critically important, but not the whole solution. >> inside the atlanta p.d.'s technology and innovation center, engineers have been testing five cameras. >> whether it's the police officer or a citizen, they have a tendency to modify the behaviour to the best. now, 25 years used them in real world situations on the streets of atlanta. >> we had a couple of officers who we are reluctant at the beginning to use the cameras. >> some officers have concerns that mirror those of the community leaders, including their own privacy. >> it's a balancing act. i believe it's not easy question to answer. >> reporter: many officers have been turning the cameras off when on lunch breaks and other
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private moments. civic leaders want the cameras on all the time. >> you can turn it off any time and there's no repercussion, it simply becomes a device to collect police evidence, but not necessarily the kind of protection that you need on both sides of that dynamic. >> reporter: in the next 3-5 years, perhaps sooner according to officials, real-time body cams could be in play, be transferred to a command center so they can make decisions to deploy officers and get a more accurate picture of the scope. all of that comes at a cost. the a.p. d plans on equipping 1200 officers with cameras with a price tag north of $1.2 million. >> imagine eight hours shift, 200 officers, it's an enormous number of data. no one has the solution. >> for one year of storage the
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price is over $1,500. >> in the interests of transparency and accountability, we need body cams without the on and off switch. that is important. civic leaders want strict rules in place. if approved, atlanta will be on the forefront. it's from robert ray. in new orleans says that body cameras were not used with police force. we ask the police why the cameras are not always on. next - a special report, u.s. and cuba, a new era, an historic change in relations, what it means and why some are angry about it. more of my conversation with former president jimmy carter, why he says the changes are a good idea.
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half a century in the making. cuba has the wind on a bygone time.
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>> announcer: just 90 miles from the u.s. cuba seemed a world away for decades, until today. >> we'll begin to normalize relations between the two countries. >> secret talks between havana and washington. the prisoner exchange. >> i'm blessed. >> and now the historic deal. tonight - what it means for both countries, for the future. >> this president is the single worse negotiators we have had in the white house. >> for the people on both sides. [ chanting ] >> our special report - the u.s. and cuba, a new era.
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hi everyone, i'll john seigenthaler, conflict between the u.s. and cuba, the conflict going back to the cold war. some defining moments, bay of pigs invasion, cuban miss ill cries ace. >> today america cuts loose the shackles of the pass for the cuban and american people. >> the historic deal announced by president obama restore aring diplomatic relations between the countries. america will open an embassy in havana. as cuban's president points out the economic embargo remains in place. . >> translation: the economic and commercial embargo should end. >> the world reacts tonight. we begin in the center of cuban
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american lights, miami, there's more cubans living in florida than anywhere else in the u.s. morgan radford studied in cuba and joins us from havana. >> that's right. as you said, i'm in the heart of little havana, in front of cafes. and you have people from both sides of the aisle arguing about the big question - where do we go from here. a lot of people carry signs saying "you betrayed us", you promised one thing and delivered another. there's a handful saying that president obama did the right thing. i want to show an interaction between someone who said president obama got it right, and someone who said president obama it had long >> another bad deal, president obama, your president. >> reporter: why. >> the same thing he did when he released one american soldier for four high-ranking taliban
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murderers. today he released three convicted murderers here in miami, for what, one person. >> you are wearing this president obama t-shirt. so do you think what happened today was a good move on the president's part? >> definitely. i think it will be his legacy. i cried when i saw his speech. it was so moving. he talked to the people of cuba about having unions, things that the cuban government has not mentioned, about freedom of expression. all these things we are mentioned to you today. >> it's interesting, the woman you saw speaking there came here, her mother sent her from cuba, her mother stayed behind. if you look behind me, a lot of people that came out are older, probably in their 50s or '60s, and describe that they are part of the brain drain. remember when fidel castro tried
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to redistribute things to the lower classes. for example, 600 meals of roads were built in six months. what is interesting is that fidel castro, people reacting saying look what happened is a violation of what we believed the country would offer us. >> thank you very much. the deal was negotiated during 18 months of secret talks. senior washington correspondent mike viqueira joins us from washington with more. . >> president obama wanted to relinkish some of the restrictions, in terms of exchanges that can be recommitted from cubans in america to friend and family at home. these talks accelerated - they have been going on for 18 months. it wasn't until the end of march, march 27th, when
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president obama, on a tour of europe went to the vatican and met with pope francis behind closed doors. there, we learn, that the two men had a discussion about liberalizing and reducing restrictions and improving relations between united states and cuba. pope francis is from the latin world, it's been a cause of his for many years. fast-forward to october, when a secret delegation, at the behest of pope francis and through the good offices of canada as well, which has an business center and an economic interest in promoting trade wrote to president obama, did pope francis, and to raul castro, asking them to come together. they met in secret in the vatic vatican in act before the elections. it was just yesterday when the deal was sealed. president obama in an
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unprecedented phone call. 45 minutes to an hour in duration, with raul castro - they sealed the deal and the flight to freedom for alan gross. >> mike viqueira in washington, thank you former president jimmy carter tried to normalize relations with cuba in the 1970s. i asked him why it took so long. >> well, we didn't have normal relations, but cuba at that time would not desist from trying to subvert a lot of the conversations, and in this hemisphere to commune im, and sent a large number of troops to places in africa, including ethiopia, and those were the two things that ended a full recognition, but fidel castro and i agreed at that time to take as much of a step as we could. that's when we established the
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intersections in havana, and washington. they have been open without interference by all presidents since that time. >> you travelled to cuba in 2006 and met with fidel castro and his brother raul. did you get a sense that they'd be open to this? >> yes, they made the proposition then that basically was accepted now, that the three cuban prisoners in florida would be released, that alan gross would be released. i met with him while i was down there. he was in prison then. and that the sanctions be lifted. so i thing that this has been the realisation for a long time. i'm glad that president obama finely decided to do it on his
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own initiative. >> you know there has been plenty of criticism for this move on the parted of senator president obama, particularly from marco rubio, does this give legitimacy to castro's regime in your opinion? >> it doesn't. it's not a matter of a stage for the prisoners, that i described. i talked to john kerry about the coming announcement. and he made it plain, as did president obama on television, at noon, that on a swap for alan gross for the three prisoners, it was an exchange for the three prisoners, of an unnamed precious and valuable american assistant that was imprisoned now for 20 years. about whom i did not know by the way. i thought the whole gamut has been collective. i think it will be good for both
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countries. i see a very wonderful boost for cuba, particularly american tourism, and a good boost for american farmers and others that i have mentioned in normal tried relationships with our nearest neighbour. >> what does it mean for russia, and the influence in this region? >> this increases the american influence. as a matter of fact, there is a lot of programs in latin america, and the united states was getting into disfavour with an increasing number of latin american countries because of our unique harsh treatment of cuba, and as you know, it was an annual resolution in the united nations. which condemned american sanctions against cuba. and the only two countries that
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voted against if were united states and israel. i think the upcoming meeting of american states was a foregone conclusion that america would be there. all the united nations decided on that decision. and now the united states have to cooperate. i say a foregone conclusion, and it will lesson outside the united states. it is a disruptive force, and heel a lot of wound, wounds that have been developed between the united states and other latin american countries who are supposedly our friends. >> president carter, good to have you on the programme. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, good luck with you and your good work. >> jame caisson was the chief of the u.s. diplomatic mission in havana, and is the major of
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coral gables. tell us what you are hearing in coral gables in miami. >> there's a mixed opinion. the majority of people that left cuba 20 years after the resolution are opposed to this. on two grounds - one, the administration was saying for many, many years that they would not exchange three convicted spies who murdered citizens in this area over international waters for an aid contractor who didn't do anything but provide a cell phone for the small jewish community. they feel they were lied to, and this is a gesture that is going to lead other totalitarian countries around the world to realise that all they have to do is get an american hostage, hold tonne them, we won't pay money, but we may change our policy. >> i take it you don't think
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this was a fair deal? >> definitely not a fair deal. >> i'm happy that alan is out. they want to release him, and fight for him to get out. they should have done it five years ago. remember also, that the alan gross's asked to be out on parole to visit his dying mother, they wouldn't allow him, yet the americans allowed two cuban spies to go on a furlo to see their relatives. i think they see it as an equal exchange, apple, and oranges, and stimulated others to do it. there's a question of what did cuba do to merit a change of policy. we have never considered them normalization as an end in itself. we have been supporting human rights in cuba, rapid peaceful change, but, you know, they are wondering what is it that the president thinks is going to result from these gestures he's making. does he think 88-year-old people
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in cuba, the leaders, will change their policy at this stage when they are on the verge of death beds? >> i - and i agree with that. i think that we - you know, the president said it's time to change our policy because it hasn't worked. my question is name me one question in the world whose policy worked. europe and the rest of the world is the only country that hasn't had free unlimited trade travel, 20 democratic americans have been to cuba, there's no lessoning of the political situation, to think americans have pitchy dust and can go over there and makes a difference in what's in cuba is naive. is there not countries that the u.s. has normalized relations with that has human rights violations almost as severe as
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cuba? >> yes, of course. but, i mean, cuba - it's a domestic political issue. we had millions of people that fled cuba, continue to flee cuba. they want to see a continuation of a policy of not normalizing with a country that has shown no signs of liberalization. it's minor what they have done, and most people support a policy of what would be called biological solution, when the castros are gone, they believe the embargo and the u.s. influence could have an impact on those that follow. >> when you hear president carter say this is going to benefit cubans and americans, you say... >> absolutely not. i mean, cubans, what would benefit cuba is the cuban
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government opening up to its own people, allowing them to have unfettered access to run businesses, they are controlled by the regimes, and there's no purchasing power. they earn $20 a month. there's no money to buy anything. >> you don't think this will help the economy in cuba. >> i think it will help the economy of the military that controls 80% of the economy. >> not the people. >> no, absolutely not. i think the timing is interesting before the republicans take control of congress, at a time when oil prices were plummeting and the sugar dadies that kept cuba alive will be much less able to provide the billions of free income to the government. they are looking around unlimited tourists, dropping millions to the enterprises
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controlled by the military. >> you were the former chief, what about the promise of an embassy and ambassador there. is that significant? >> no. we - as president carter says, we have the largest equivalent of an embassy, 400 or 500. only 51 americans are allowed by the cubans to be present. they control everything we do, who we can speak to, how we travel. they change the names on the door and call it an industry. i can't believe that the democrats like menendez and crews and others will allow a senate hearing to put an ambassador in symbolizing a normalization in relations when they don't believe cuba deserves to have normal relations. >> jim is a former chief of the u.s. mission in havana, and joins us tonight from miami. it's good to see you.
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thank you very much. >> thank you, pleasure the impact of today's announcement reaches beyond washington or havana. jamie mcintyre looks at how the world is reacting. >> john, while the president made the case that normalizing relations was the right thing to do for the cuban people, the white house argued it could pay diplomatic dividends beyond u.s.-cuban relies, removing restriction and improving cooperation, especially in the western hemisphere. >> raul castro got almost everything he wanted, giving up nothing of real value in return. outside the united states the president's move was heralded as a diplomatic breakthrough. in a vatican statement, pope francis, who played a key part in the deal expressed warm congratulations, and u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon thanked the two presidents for taking an important step. >> as much of the member ship of
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the united nations have relatedly emphasised through a revolution, lasting for many, many years, it is time that united states and cuba normalize bilateral relations. >> world opinion is behind. last non-binding united nations onending. only israel supports the u.s. in continuing the embargo. only congress can lift the embargo. full diplomatic relations is in line with how the united states deals with other countries it accuses of human rights abuses, such as china and vietnam. we re-established relations with vietnam.
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fighting a war. cuba will be koimed to the summit of americans and panama. in the past, often pressing for human rights was deflected. >> now that the policy is changes, we hope to foster a greater debate as to whether or not cuba has the right policy when it comes to their people, and whether they'll get away with trampling basic human rights. >> and the president's bold initiative drew prays from the man it benefitted. aid worker alan gross. released from five years of captivity. >> 5.5 decades of history shows bellagerens inhib its better judgment. two wrongs never make a right. gross has the utmost fondness and respect to the human people
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and regards the olive branch as a game challenger that he supports. the white house hopes time will show that gross is right. >> jamie mcintyre, for much of the last half century u.s. and cuba have been at odds. jonathan betz is here with a look at it. >> reporter: this is a 50-year plus divide that began before many of us were born. >> reporter: tears from cuba to miami. after astounding words from a u.s. president. 50 years has shown that isolation has not worked. >> reporter: so many for so long... >> the u.s. at first warily welcomed fidel castro to power in 1959. vice president richard nixon met with him in washington. castro seized private companies and taxing american imports. in 1961, severed relations.
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the next year it imposed the embargo, cutting off the island. >> we were accustomed to having cuban leaders do what we wanted. castro did not. >> the u.s. tried and failed to have castro overthrown, with the bay of pigs envision, planned under eisenhower, executed by president kennedy. miss ill bases were built in cuba, sparking a missile crisis in 1962. >> the purpose of the bases can be non other than to provide a nuclear strike capability against the western hemisphere. >> relations got easier. both sides dug in. cuba was closed off from the u.s., and its people suffered. in 1980 castro allowed 100,000 cubans to fully. coming in waves and on boats. >> castro sent prisoners and mental patients angering the
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u.s. then in the 1990s cuba shot down two small american planes that were trying to help refugees. that prompted more restrictions. >> what castro did was take away the rights of the kooubians, turning the -- cubans, turning the country into a prison. >> fidel castro handed over to raul castro in 2006. relations has warmed. but they continue to violate human rights. this week the country cracked down on dozens of dissidents in havana. the big part to the embargo is not changing, like allowing tourists to visit. co congress must approve that. president obama deciding enough time has passed the deal coming hours after cuba freed an american serving 15 years for spying. government contractor alan gross landed on u.s. spoil this
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morning. john terrett has more on his long-awaited return. >> reporter: alan gross on home soil for the first time in five years, not afraid to show. it. >> imincredibly blessed finally to have the freedom to resume a positive and constructive life. >> a website pushing for gross's release says he travelled the world helping people to create jobs and improve agriculture, it was the worldwide web that kept him in cuba for five years. a contractor for u.s. a.i.d., the state department's overseas development wing, he was accused of smuggling for attempting to disseminate internet equipment to a jewish community without a proper permit. alan gross showed signs of his parliamentary coming through. >> it's the best hanukkah, and i tell you, for a long im. >> reporter: his wife has been
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appealing for his release on health grounds saying every day in prison, hor husband was more -- her husband was more and more depressed. >> very gregarious, happy, great personality and very warm. unfortunately that has changed a bit in the past four years. >> reporter: gross's 5-year gaol time has been complicated by a trades embargo, now under review after 50 years, and the revelation of secret u.s. a.i.d. programs against the communist island, including a twitter feed designed to destabilize the regime in havana. president obama hinted at behind the scenes negotiations in a sit down with spanish tv. >> we have been in conversations about how we can get alan gross home for some time. we have been working through a variety of channels. >> alan gross is a free man once
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more. free to join his family for the holidays, and by his own administration, to get the teeth fixed. >> i hope they'll be strong and sharp enough to make a difference coming up next - life in cuba - what a half century of economic sanctions have down to the country. >> i told you this would be your best interview >> ...and it is... it's the current one... >> every monday, join us for exclusive... revealing... and surprising talks with the most interesting people of our time... talk to al jazeera, only on al jazeera america
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>> al jazeera america presents >> somebody's telling lies... >> it looks nothing like him...
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>> pan am flight 103 explodes december 21st, 1988 was the right man convicted? >> so many people, at such a high level, had the stake in al-megrahi's guilt >> the most definitive look at this shocking crime >> the major difficulty for the prosecution that there was no evidence >> al jazeera america presents lockerbie part one: the pan am bomber
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today's agreement could mark an historic beginning for cuba, what will it mean on the island for daily life, where the average wage is $20. 60 years of the communist rule has cooba looking like the island time forgot. that is true when you step into the streets of havana, and see a fleet of classic american cars, chevrolets, fords and boouics, to cadd ill a and steweda baker. if not for the u.s. efforts to isolate cuba, most would have been on the scrap heap a long time ago. they are, instead, taxis, and provide a life line that is needed here. under the u.s. trade ban the people of cuba have been forced
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to get most of their daily necessities on the black market. paying in u.s. dollars. there are a couple of staples of daily life in cuba that may be transformed by better relations with the united states. some hope it might be the begin of a new resolution - one that lifts the country up, rather than tearing it apart now our picture of the day. young students in havana watch raul castro's coach speech to the noakes, i'll john seigenthaler, thanks for watching.
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>> on "america tonight." forcing change. cleveland cops under fire. years of stunning allegations, misconduct, excessive use of force. "america tonight's" christof putzel looks at excessive use of force. >> i'm sitting in my truck with my arms up like this. >> and what led the department of justice to step in. >> where does it come to the point where the doj releases a report like this?

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