Skip to main content

tv   Real Money With Ali Velshi  Al Jazeera  February 5, 2015 10:30pm-11:01pm EST

10:30 pm
it has taken so long she said she still couldn't answer that's america tonight, tell us what you think, at tonight, talk to us on twitter or facebook, come back, we will have more of america tonight tomorrow. . >> it is a fill-court press on vladimir putin for peace in ukraine, the russian president shows no sign of backing down and civilians are in the line of fire. we are on the ground inside a town under siege. america's new cuba policy may do what the embargo could never achieve - transform castro's communism and create a middle
10:31 pm
class. we go to the streets of havana for a look. >> you can see them showcasing what they have. that's emblem attic of a change of what is happening in cuba in which some cubans are getting richer. i'm ali velshi and this is "real money". the fighting is heating up in ukraine, so are the diplomatic efforts to stop it. amid the violence world leaders flocked to sheldon keefekiev to show support for the government and show a push to end the conflict. francis hollande and angela merkel announced a peace proposal that they say is acceptable to all. they intend to go to moscow to press their plan, at the same time secretary of state john kerry arrived promising more aid for the ukraine embattled government. john kerry announced a
10:32 pm
16.4 million in humanitarian assistance to the ukrainian government raising the total amount to 38 million. the money will go to people affected by the violence in eastern ukraine since last year some 5,000 have died in the conflict and hundreds of thousands fled their homes. kerry wasted no time denouncing russia. the russian president vladimir putin denies the charm. russian military officials charge that russian so-called volunteers moved into eastern ukraine to fight along side the rebels. since last month pitched battles intensified between both sides as rebels opened up a new offensive i a gains government lives. one town in the east has become a flash point in the battle for territory because of a city's strategic importance.
10:33 pm
from there charles stratford has this report. >> ukranian army fires a volley of grad rockets to the front line. the separatists say they have vouched debaltseve a down under siege. volunteers, like this man, try to drive civilians to safety. you can hear shelling and shooting. at night it was intense, he said. "i have to go", says this man, "it's bad in there, very bad." we followed a bus along the mud roads into towns, attempts at negotiating a temporary truce for safe passage failed. >> go go go. >> catch them catch them. >> reporter: the shelling is intense. a few people on the street run for cover.
10:34 pm
what sounds like artillery or mortars fears towards targets that we cannot see. there have been repeated efforts at trying to get some of the wounded out of debaltseve. there has been calls for ceasefire, some have been ignored well n.a.t.o. announced moves to double forces in eastern europe fearing russian military moves behind ukraine. president obama is said to be considering up to $15 billion in so-called defensive weaponry for ukraine's military. joining me now is the new york office manager of a pro-russian think tank set up by russian organisations in 2008 and he says any arming of forces by the u.s. will be viewed as a major intervention by moscow and lead to them ramping up their
10:35 pm
intervention. where are we on this. i've seen the articles that you have written. where do we go to deesalate this? >> the key for de-escalation is in washington. a couple of times on your channel it said it's enough for president obama or joe biden to pick up the phone and say petro porashenko, stop killing your people. sit at the table, net the settlement and achieve the peace. >> why do you think petro porashenko is killing his people? >> petro porashenko wants - because petro porashenko has, you know made -- megalow maniac ideas that he is the president that has to destroy the forces, keep integrity over the country at the expense of
10:36 pm
ruling over the area not letting kiev be federalized or some self rule not letting russian language to be second state language, though the majority of the people speak russian as a native language. and he wants to join ukraine to n.a.t.o. russia's position is clear and simple. in advance, russia said listen, if by the way, kiev followed russian proposals, they could have integrity of the country, crimea inside the ukraine and no fighting over there. >> if they followed russian proposals. >> a proposal was not only that. said listen, respect the demands of russians and russian speakers and you can have everything you want to have. which meant integrity over the country. for that reason only simple
10:37 pm
things was necessary to do. give them the right to speak in their language. give them the opportunity for some kind of self rule. >> i brought you to say also discussion in washington not of calling up and saying to petro porashenko stop killing your people but sending defensive weaponry, whatever that means, to ukrainians. tell me how it works. we have to heavily armed nuclear countries, united states and russia. no one speculates that it will get to nuclear war. we refer to it as the new cold war, because it feels like the old cold war. you said if the u.s. sends weapons to ukraine - how will it go? >> because american military supply specially weapons, will escalate the conflict because kiev would think that they are back with the u.s. they can go
10:38 pm
further in attempt to destroy this self-defense forces. >> they will never go beyond the borders of russia. >> no no no that is not the problem. russia as vladimir putin said will not let them to destroy these people in logan's debaltseve. russia will supply arms and send volunteers meaning that the conflict will escalate and the scale of conflict will be bigger meaning it is very i think, short-sited approach to the problem. why i am telling that that washington can stop all this problem. call petro porashenko and say negotiate with these people and solve the problem on the basis of ministerial agreement about the language about the federalization and about the status of the ukraine as a
10:39 pm
non-global country, which is the simplest thing that one would like to know. >> let me ask you this. you made a point in some columns that a bigger problem to the world now is syria. and... >> true. >> and part of the maths on the u.s. side needs to include the fact that russia is influential with respect to bashar al-assad. >> if not ukraine, might be russia could be the first country to whom the united states could apply for joint actions against erbil or you know against the muslim radicals in the region because russia has better knowledge of the situation in the region. russia has friends over there. it has very good and very well-established contact with iran with syria, with other forces who could be very useful as russia was very useful when
10:40 pm
america invaded afghanistan. i think that conflict and cold war between russia and america, because of ukraine is counterproductive, and let us to nowhere. leaving aside all this other conflict and troubles which, you know are more dangerous for us than ukraine. >> i can find you some ukrainians who wouldn't agree with you on that but i agree with your insights. >> that's quite possible. >> thank you for being was. >> thank you for inviting pee america's new cuba policy may undermine the version of communism, creating a middle class. >> on the inside there are social difference on the outside it seems normal. >> we go to the streets of havana to see the haves and have not. tell me what is on your mind by tweeting me at ali velshi. or fit me up on facebook.
10:41 pm
keep it here.
10:42 pm
10:43 pm
president obama's historic decision to renew diplomatic ties with cuba continues to ripple through havana and washington. marco rubio, this week grilled two state department officials about the change souping more like a prosecutor than a lawmakers, and we got reports that the cuban government
10:44 pm
delayed visits by u.s. lawmakers to the country. many will involve exploring business opportunities for american visitors and businesses. the economic implications of the shift is expected to change the social fabric of cuba in ways that no other u.s. administration managed to do. david arioso went to havana to see how cuban society is in the throes of change for restaurant owners in cuba this is a picture of progress - live music, free-flowing rum and customers. cubans dine and drink. for a country that has long aspired to do away with notions of rich and poor. a new and historic shift in
10:45 pm
policy could deep the divide in this country, where new wealth and class lines are starting to form. while revolutionaries still line the streets, cuba is inching towards an economic model bringing free market enterprise to the forefront. under raul castro forming reforms, a tax structure and shrinking state pay rolls allowed privately owned small businesses to crop up across the island. this is one of the top private restaurants in havana and it's amazing that you can see it like this. it was just a brick wall a couple of years ago, shrouding the restaurant so if you walked by, you wouldn't know it existed. it's a secret enclave. now you can see them showcasing what they have. it's emblem attic of a change this cuba in which some are getting richer. >> inside a fresh prepares a
10:46 pm
japanese style dish costing $22, the equivalent of an average salary. it's a scope of luxury off limits to most cubans for generations. but the island's emerging private sector which will get a major boost, has left customers and restaurants with a little more cash to spend. >> when we started the restaurant, a plate of food cost $2 to $3. nothing costs that today. we are trying to make a profit that is more sophisticated and competitive. >> private enterprise existed in cuba during the special period in which soviet subsidies dried up cuba tried to foster more restaurants like this. it happened recently as fuel prices started to drop and venezuela subsidies are no longer there or in short supply.
10:47 pm
the thinking is that cuba may look for other revenue sources. >> so far that means cuba's state-run economy is trying to churn out more wealth through private enterprise. and in restaurants like these, it seems to be working. but drive just 15 minutes down the road to old havana and the story is much different. for many of those that live here and still depend on compensation from the government, the opportunities are grim. >> we are in the lower class, understand. the middle class has more opportunity to get involved with community. on the outside it looks the same on the inside there's social differences. >> this man is on the bottom rung earning about $20 sweeping floors in a nearby hospital. his family including everyone from alberto's 92-year-old
10:48 pm
mother to his 1-year-old daughter rely on the government pay check to survive. they live in this crumbling section, where running water and basic plumbing do not work. there's not enough money to meed the faucet's or patch holes in the roof. in a room is his diabetic brother. his family's lack of money would likely cost his leg. which is swollen and infected. the medication is too expensive and $20 per bottle. the entire monthly salary. there are people with more possibilities. and in the end if you don't have your health you don't have anything. when fidel castro rose to power he sought to stamp out equality and provide access to education and health care. the health system faces
10:49 pm
shortages, in part a response for the u.s. trade embargo. that means those that need medications often have to get help bringing them into the count rip. and it comes from families living in places like miami. like much of the funding for a new array of businesses. relatives spent $3 billion back to the island last year. it's not all evenly distributed. 82% went to white cubans a third of the islands 11 million people are considered black or of a mixed race. >> it's not the people who live out in the countryside that get money and help it's the white people that control the market. >> money is needed in the cash-dropped economy, some fear of a racial divide. as newest investment pours into
10:50 pm
the island cubans could be entering a new era of haves and have not. ing it that fidel castro wanted to avoid. >> every proposal that the president made has to do with in essence, disrupting the social fabric of cuba recreating a middle class and a professional class that the 1959 revolution sought to extinguish. >> reporter: new regulations open the door to american financing and remittances, and that could do what no u.s. administration managed to accomplish in more than half a century - transform cuban communism well the debate over the new cuban policy is stirring a heated discussion specially in south florida. >> the economy is in the hands of the military. we are fat lipping up the military. you know on the dictatorships if
10:51 pm
you have a rifle, you are in charge. >> that's a reason opponents say the policy will not work. there's more of where that came from after this.
10:52 pm
10:53 pm
debate over cuban's policy is passionate as in south florida where many cuban exiles live many are not happy. neither is helen, a journalist in miami. the policy could help people like you saw earlier in david ari osto's story, helen wrote an op-ed in the miami florida saying it was an attack on american values. thank you for being here.
10:54 pm
i understand passions run deep. insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. 11 u.s. administrations over 54 years tried to and failed to bring about democratic reform by isolating cuba. at this point isn't a new approach worthy? >> there's nothing wrong with the new approach as long as the approach is one that makes sense and brings change and compromise for both sides. the united states made enormous changes, but the cuban government has bun nothing. -- has done nothing. when you want to talk about income equality it's a mess. some cubans some leniency by the cuban government are making money. the fact of the matter is if you are a doctor in cuba you make more money being a taxi driver than practicing your profession. on top of that the cuban government has done more to being repressive against
10:55 pm
disdependents and opposition leaders than ever before. where do you draw the line of the government. >> why would we have negotiations with anyone in the world. i am sure a smart researchers like you can find a reason why we should never do anything with the chinese or negotiate with the iranians. i don't think anyone is arguing, this is a failed policy in cuba. we are trying to move it forward. what would you have america do to move it forward? >> one of the things for sure i would do is support the inter-american democratic charter in the oas calling for free elections and the rule of law, all of the things that are important and a big part of american values. you are right. there's no way the u.s. cuban embargo should be a cornerstone of u.s. policy. the united states can do more to ratchet up support around the democracy in the world to bring support for cuba.
10:56 pm
cuba is not poor because of the u.s. embargo, every other country does business with it. cuba is poor because of cuban policy. >> you wrote this saying if it is a failed policy what can be said of a bands of brothers leading the island to ruin. no one is in the room defending the castros, but the point is to make things tough in cuba and it did. >> we are coming to the rescue of two ageing brothers that have been in power when venezuela has little or less money to give to them. we come in and prop up the government. this is what's with the economy. if you wanted to do everything this administration purported i said say okay ask for one big conk session. forget -- concession forget everything else. that american companies can pay cuban workers directly. that would be a game changer.
10:57 pm
>> you write in the miami herald that the concessions fly in the face of history, and the castro regime is the bep fishery. most say the regime is doing fine. they always tend to do fine until they are gone. people in cuba are hurting. so what - what do you think the outcome is of doing something that will as david's peace suggests, start to enrich some of the cuban population. will they renew support for the castros or say "we want free elections." number one, i don't think there is support for the castros. you wouldn't have so many cubans fleeing the island. last year crossing from mexico there were over 22,000 cubans that we know that crossed from mexico. >> they are not happy with the castros. >> they are not happy, there's not that support. there's an enormous amount of remittances from the united states and elsewhere. the piece that was fascinating
10:58 pm
is that it talks about the divide the racial divide. most of the people that have been able to flee are those with families on the outside. and so if you really wanted to do - it's an opportunity to partner in better smarter ways. >> let me ask you this: if the lifting of the thankses thankses -- sanctions and the embargo makes cubans better off, is na not the goal in the end? >> the castro their gig is almost up. the calendar keeps on advancing. the economy is in the hands of the military. we are fattening up the military. you know on the dictatorships, if you have a rifle. you are in charge. we made them wealthier, powered them more.
10:59 pm
and there's nothing to indicate that they will change. we have seen with the increase of remittances that opposition leaders are treated worse. ladies in white and so on. ask the blogger what is going on. there's no reason to believe. can it open an opportunity for the younger generation. >> this is the question. >> that is a possibility. these are vehicles we need to groom and have been groomed from those that work in ongs here. >> you are among the youngest people in miami who take this hard a line. this is the domain of the older exiles from cuba and part of the problem is the youngest amongst the exiles don't have a passion about holding out a hard line with cuba. in the end the opposition is going to fizzle if we don't do something about it. >> the hard line is what the cuban government is holding. i'm saying let cuba come into
11:00 pm
the 21st century. >> helena is a journalist in miami. that's the show for today. i'm ali velshi thank you for joining us. measles on the move. five unfantastic at a day care center near chicago contracted the dangerous disease. what some states are doing to make vaccines mandatory. >> a proposal for peace. world leaders for kiev trying to stop renewed deadly fighting in ukraine. >> the u.s. pledging millions in nonlethal aid, debating whether to send we