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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 109  Al Jazeera  April 20, 2018 2:32pm-3:01pm +03

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says the kremlin told the us which areas would be unacceptable to target he also says donald trump has invited vladimir putin to washington hospital. where you know we had contacts between the military leadership and the level of generals with their representatives in the commanders of the u.s. led coalition they were informed about where red lines are including geographical red lines on the ground in any case the result showed they have not crossed these red lines police in south africa's northwest province of fired rubber bullets of demonstrators who are staging protests for a third day the violence is falls presidents are all rather opposed to cut short his trip to the united kingdom and demonstrators are demanding the resignation of the regional leader who they accuse of corruption thousands of students of marched in the chilean capital santiago demanding an end to profit making in higher education is the first mass juden rally under the new government of president sebastian pinera last month chile is called to full court struck down the law that
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would have banned universities operating for profit it's a setback to reforms providing free tuition for low income students and acted by pierre is pretty decisive socialist michel nationally. and police evacuated a large part of central berlin to remove an unexploded world war two bomb they've warned of transport disruption the british explosive was found during construction work earlier this month those were the headlines i'll be back with more news in thirty minutes next it's inside story do stay with us. the end of an era for cuba new president and for the first time in nearly sixty
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years his name is not pastoral we'll meet gayle d.s. can now bring real change and how will it affect us cuba relations this is inside story. hello and welcome to the program i'm fully back to who will succeed the costs are as fidel and raul has been the subject of intense speculation in cuba for decades while we now know a man has been elected as president by the national assembly taking over from eighty seven year old raul his nomination as the head of the thirty one member council no state was officially confirmed on thursday he will serve a five year term but raul castro is expected to continue playing a big role in policy decisions he'll remain the head of the ruling communist party and twenty twenty one so how much power will me get d.s.
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coming out actually exercise we'll get to our guests in just a moment but for asylum america editor lucien human has more on cuba's new president. toll serious efficient and above all discreet rising up the communist party's ranks from the bottom fifty seven year old me. is making history he's done it in part by never ever having tried to outshine or question fidel or raul castro as others once earmarked as their successes learned the hard way and i think they also feel. it's true loyal patriotic that he actually genuinely believes in her cuban revolution. as the communist party secretary of his home province of yet d.s. earned a reputation for being open minded. here is a hangout for young people including gays lesbians transsexuals and punks d.s. was by their side in the one nine hundred ninety s.
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when alternative lifestyles were severely frowned on. even after he rose to the top every time he came to santa clara one of the first things they do is come see us at the min he's the same unassuming humble person. maybe so but in most of cuba people know very little about the first man in six decades who will rule the silent whose name is not castro in fact he was the only candidate in the vote by the national assembly on wednesday. we asked this man would he thought of the selection process. let my silence speak for itself it's the silence of many cubans . those who may be expecting a major shift will clearly be disappointed. we're encouraging reaffirming and consolidating continuity which is very important for the defense of the revolution which today is being threatened and attacked by relationship with the us that deteriorated the truth is the b.s.
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colonel has been chosen not to reform but to improve cuban socialism if he can and does represent a generation younger than that of the castros he will have to answer to a power much higher than his own cuban communist party. al-jazeera than. well let's bring in our guest for today's inside story in havana cuba. a former cuban ambassador to the european union and santa. in the us vicki huddleston former us chief of mission in havana and in washington d.c. andrew or tazo executive director of the cuba study group thank you all for being with us today on al-jazeera if i can start with you. in havana for the first time in sixty is the president of cuba is not a castro just how big a moment is this will cubans and does it represent change in any way. well this is
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a very bold and moment but it is a moment for which the cuban system has been preparing. the cuban president raul castro or initiated the process of preparing the way for new leadership to arrive and he's doing it in a gradual or a way as we could see yesterday a couple of the story leaders of the revolution of the historic guerrillas remaining the colors or state so but it is this is historic it is the government and the party are. going to do it but i would say that is changing continuing the reasonable doubt is that if there is no change probably that kind of vienna continuing so this is this is a dialectical process in which and you leadership is taking over the leadership of people who were born and raised in
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a country and boggled by the united states but also in a country that other time when they were young adults. enjoyed a socialist this see them that worked and worked to a great extent because the soviet union subsidizing what works so this is this is what is happening we are only an economy of these a change made. the sign the process are already in place so now it's a question of implementation ok let me just pick up on what you said they talked about change in continuity do you think the do you expect the new president to hold the castro ideology of course no doubt about it about it one of the guys there he thinks of. this royalty to the revolution but remember these. p.d.l. castro was successful because he accomplished what many cubans who wanted to be accomplished the or the or idea the or idea was. as
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a fair country education held for all these what ideals are part of the ideals of the q allusion but they are in better in the cuban in the cuban nation in the identity of the us nation you can trace had back to him will be the great cuban political leader and poet of the end of the nineteenth century he basically formulated what the country's though. there is a problem though the problem is that the economy's not working as i should be and it full of a political deal with the of the process that the economy we we will indeed touch on the challenges in just a few minutes including the economic challenges but i want to get to the house and view in santa fe first before we get to the priorities for this new cuban president did he what type do you type of president do you think canal will be do expect any drastic changes in direction well absolutely no drastic changes
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and direction i guess cannot has to satisfy the whole party he has the sought to satisfy raul castro who remains the head of the communist party the treasurer t. is that this is a historic opportunity and if the united states were threatening if the trumpet ministration hadn't returned to a punitive policy then i think d.s. can now what have more opportunity to institute and expand reforms people who followed his career say he's a pragmatic politician a seasoned politician but do you think he'll be able to impose his will on the various factions of the cuban government. i think he'll have to start out very slow and i'll have to show that he can manage this government he'll have to satisfy as i say raul castro but for his own credibility and for
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the success of the cuban nation he will have to end the institute reforms because the cuban economy has serious troubles now ok andrew a tussle in washington d.c. your parents are cuban you were born and raised in the united states i'm curious to know what the view is from the cuban american community about this new leader or do do do they see it as representing a sense of review or more of the same well i have to say the first of all i don't think the cuban american community just like any other ethnic or racial community in the united states or elsewhere speaks in one voice but i think by and large they're pretty clear eyed about the new leader we don't expect any great transformational change and. everything the ambassador just said in there doesn't seem to be any drastic change on the horizon although in order to maintain his
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legitimacy which he doesn't have because of you know for example fighting a sierra during the bus but the stay years he has to do something in order to keep the economy afloat do you think he'll have the same popular backing as the castros . no he doesn't have a gun he doesn't have the legitimacy of the cultural brothers he does not have the pool that they had. historically or within the different centers of power in cuba he came up through the the communist party apparatus rather than have his power base and say the military or the security apparatus ok well let's talk about some of the challenges the new president faces the biggest challenge as you heard there from our guests are economic latest figures show unemployment at just under three percent but earnings remain low the government's the main employer and say that salaries average thirty dollars a month we forms to boost private enterprise introduced by raul castro have been accompanied by cuts in subsidies and pensions though tourist arrivals have doubled
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in ten years imports have dropped from fifteen billion dollars in twenty thirteen to ten billion dollars in two thousand and sixteen making goods and products more scarce and cuba has a dual currency system that distorts economy one is used to pay wages and local goods and the other interests and foreign trade unifying the two would raise the price of imports so a carlos as a guy ray in havana what do you see as the main economic challenge for the new president what should be his first priority in dealing with the unstable economy that cuba has been faced with. well what what he has to achieve each already and the design the three bang documents that the national assembly and the central committee of the governing you and governance body have adopted over the last five years the guidelines for the updating of the un economic model in this
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culture of the q where can we model and the. task or the division for twenty thirty now the government is working in another document that would be a more let's say a more a more detailed document about twenty thirty so these are the guidelines of the guidelines are there basically it is transforming the cuban economy from a totally centralized state only economy to a mixed economy and makes that call me with an important role for the private sector and secondly mega decentralization of the cuban state enterprise system in a way that will facilitate the modernization and efficiency of the of that system now on these of these two we choose each other being the main guidelines the main the main things that have to be done obviously it hasn't worked and the central
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committee of the communist party had a plan on about a month ago. it was very self-critical and it pointed out that something had to be done. so so we'll have to see now. a lot of folk using is taking place on the a scale what i buy people to talk use on the proposal for the new vice president. this may have all those ways are is a guy from gone from the workers' movement who was a labor leader who is he's about my age he is he also was minister of labor so he has experience on that front which is would be one of the things that. i want to point out that that the us collects which is the experience in the workings of the cuban economy ok then we have to see what's going to happen in the culture of ministers ok my my suspicion is that the culture of minister is going to
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be restructured and what role reason what are your vice president we do your will day because he's now and he's now not in the cultural state let i suspect there is going to be ready sign of the cuban it's a douche or a process ok let's go through roger's playing the role they have to play let's get to that he had also been c.e.o. on this economic challenges he had lots of challenges ahead for this new president how do you see him tackling the complex dual currency system while at the same time making sure that inflation doesn't rise ford unary cuban's what should he be doing to tackle this issue. i think he has a huge job on his hand and i think hans and i think it fixed stream way difficult the cuban government just said that they were not moving forward with the unification of the dual currency and this really is critical to attract foreign
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investment what i fear is that the cuban government has done a wonderful job in preparing for a succession but are they going to give this new generation of leaders who don't have the same credibility as the revolutionary leaders the space they need to undertake these economic reforms and it's beginning to look like they're afraid of doing that raul castro himself was not able to do it his reforms remain incomplete and and in fact he's pulling them back. andrew or taso vicky had also makes an interesting point there when she says you know this new president was born after the revolution he has no military history how do you think he'll be able to establish his legitimacy when he doesn't have the same moral authority as a historic generation of revolutionary leaders that's an open question that has yet
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to be decided he's going to have to bring in stakeholders from all the centers of power within the cuban government and get the buying of the cuban people which is no easy task he will have to prove his own worth and you have states and you know the well for dry foot policy was abolished at the end of obama's term so there isn't that safety valve to release pressure internal pressure within cuba should there be dissatisfaction so that's going to get pumped up and it all boils down to whether or not he can govern effective manner wonder whether or not he can direct the economy and fix the. just the disaster that's currently. being felt by the cuban people and again a lot of this has to do not just with what happens within cuba also u.s. policy because at the end of day the cuban government can implement whatever reforms they like but ninety miles off shore is one of the most powerful and largest economies in the world so if the united states does not you know continues
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to enact a policy of of isolating cuba going really whatever reforms are implemented will be will not be for felt a full effect on that and yeah well where do you see these relations with the us going i mean the recent trump appointments don't don't bode well for us cuban relations do they no no. no whether that be at the state department or the national security council no i don't see any real improvements on the horizon other facts are not are really is and united states the cuba policy has been subbed out to hardliners in congress to an american represented as to be more specific and they're really driving this and i don't see that changing anytime soon ok carlos are you all thoughts on the evolution of u.s. cuba relations improvement in relations which began under barack obama has been partially reversed since donald trump entered the white house do you see them
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getting worse now with this new keepin leader well obviously. it was reversing everything that obama did he has actually not done that i think there is a consensus in the united states whereby europe your people inside the government outside the government and business in the articles or sector in some states are in revolving and hands that it makes sense to continue having a normalization process so you'll see a kind of a weird situation drama has diminished has thrown down the embassy how and i would think it's a big mistake that damages. q well as it doesn't damage that much the cuban government but it damaged the cuban government but it doesn't just united states interests because they don't have. an effect as affective.
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listening post in havana as they could have if there was. an embassy or embassy here i might be a lot of people at the state department and the cia and some other of the i depend on say we need to have people on the ground and we have to people in the ground to know what's happening and also to leave the legal guys that you guys were both based and bible by the united states so this is the new leadership has to be approached in a very careful manner from the point of view of u.s. interest now. i think. trump is the the drug policy is an anomaly and i think it will be a bond on actual point in time even by dropping self or eventually by the lex president of course we don't know whether that's going to happen. i think the strategy of the q. and go back should be basically to make the economy work even with the u.s.
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embargo on and that would give a signal that the embargo is useless. how distant in santa fe all farts on the future of u.s. cuban relations see see the normalization process resuming or is that forgotten about now in relations only going to get worse. relations are only going to get worse john bolton the new national security director has always been a hard liner on cuba has accused tooba of having biological agents that cuba was sharing with rogue nations this was untrue but he did it in order to sabotage president carter's trip to cuba so we can expect him to try to roll back further the travel of the of americans to cuba might pump aoe if he becomes secretary of state criticized president of wellness trip to cuba and said
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it promote a dictatorship so i think we should be very very worried that we're moving back toward a hostile policy as andrew said president from past hurt to a policy over to the hard liners led by senator marco rubio and not in the u.s. senate so this this is a problem especially since cuba has always had a mentor an ally that provides support and subsidies such as the soviet union and then benson way less so now once again cuba's looking for that mentor for that nation that can subsidize its a come to me and it's looking toward russia which is providing it with petroleum and has taken over mishal been agreement to take over the management of the sea and forgoes petroleum refinery and also china which is cuba's major trading partner
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more greater than the e.u. so these are things the united states should worry about we are pushing cuba toward russia and china rather than helping cuba and its people export and their business and their possibilities and bring it closer. to the united states andrew tazo i want to get your thoughts on cuba's role and position in the wider latin america region this transfer of power comes at a precarious time in cuba's history cuban allies in latin america have been voted out of government positions across the region in recent years what impact do you see this new leadership having are on cuba's position within the region well going back to the early two thousand cuba was the the leader of the so-called pink revolution lot america whether that be. in a swell or bolivia. brazil but things have changed drastically
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since then many of the more leftist governments in latin america either bring it out of power or been voted out. and cuba just doesn't find itself in the same position that it used to be its main benefactor venezuela is going through an economic implosion currently. and it's like the ambassador said cuba is looking to other countries for support because its economic system ever since the revolution hasn't based on an outside patron that is able to subsidize rus the economy so things have really changed since then. really right now cuba does not cuba still holds a lot of the nation of lot american governments but. it really doesn't have the same i'd say influence in the rest of the region that i used to have ok let me get you. to give us a final word on where he sees cuba heading next within the region do you see cuba
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regaining some of this lost influence. well i do i don't think us last through as he loved america in prison q a lot that america has been. important and significant because sometimes it is so odd that cuba has already had a relationship with eleven forces now cuba was smart enough to have a relationship with all political reporters in the region that they were not totally hostile to cuba that can be pretty sound goals in. can be marketed himself in argentina that can be that all in mexico now playing any at all i think cuba has been very smart the president cuba eleven america is even in the cultural field for example cuba has two initiatives that have worked very well which is the gulf america would jesus had reported of the relevant of continental culture in the
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region and also the festival of the new latino american cinema these are elements. that is very wide ranging ok and has been. an actor on the other and i agree with andrew the buy you. guys we got are by by the cuban revolution and many people even if they are right wing they say but i thank you so much carlos azahari. and andrew a tussle for a very interesting discussion on the future of cuba and thank you as well for watching you can watch this program any time by the setting our website at al-jazeera dot com and for further discussion go to our facebook page at facebook dot com for inside story and of course you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle is that inside story from back to blent whole team thank you for watching my friend.
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