tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN November 26, 2016 2:00am-3:01am PST
5:01 on the u.s. east coast. welcome back to our viewers. we're following the breaking news, death of fidel castro. >> fidel castro has tied in havana, former president and revolutionary leader was 90 years old. for years he had been out of the public eye. his brother raul castro made the announcement on cuban television. trf dear peop >> translator: dear people of cuba, with profound pain, i have to sadly inform you to our
friends from america and to the world that today november 25th, 2016, at 10:29 in the evening, the commander and leader of the cuban revolution, fidel castro, tied. following the explicit desires, his remains will be cremated in the early hours of tomorrow saturday the 26th. the organizing commission of the funerals will give our people detailed information about the organization of the posthumous tribute that we will give to the founder of the cuban revolution. until victory, always. >> cnn has a variety of correspondents, analysts that are covering this breaking news story this hour. let's first go to patrick who is live in havana, he is the only u.s. television correspondent based in cuba and brings us a great deal of insight.
patrick, talk to us about the reaction, sort of a silence there in the streets. >> reporter: news travels here much slower than the rest of the world. people don't have internet in their homes, they don't have phones that receive news updates like in the u.s. so people will learn as the sun comes up from neighbors, from the radio, perhaps from even their print newspaper when it's delivered. and the reaction it that we've seen again and again is sort of a stunned silence. people understand fidel castro has been ill for so many years. many people didn't think it would be that impactful because he had been out of sight for so long, had not wielded the influence. but everyone that i'm talking to has been stunned, some have celebrated his life, other people said that he brought disaster to this country. but by and large, people are taking in the news wondering what it means for them, for their future, after so many
years of asking what will happen after fidel castro dies, today we find out. >> patrick, i also want to get a sense just as we know the former leader will be cremated. is there sort of a plan in place, you know, over the days and weeks ahead? >> reporter: yes, very much so. and this is something the cuban government has been working on for years. so the first part we've heard about is that raul castro has said that his brother's wishes were to be cremated and that plans will begin for what we can expect to be a massive state funeral. i've covered a lot of these types of events. never to this magnitude because there hasn't been one in cuban. and immediately after tragedy in cuba, the order goes out bars an restaurants must be closed, music can't be played, children are told not to sing. so there is a national sense of
mourning whether people feel that or not. and usual there is a place where cubans can go and express their condolences. i was here when someone was killed after fighting this bolivia, when he was brought back here, and hundreds of thousands of cubans walked by his casket. so those are the images i expect we will see in the weeks ahead. of course there has never been a cuban like fidel castro. he was loved or hated, left enormous mark on this country for better or worse. certainly the economy has been struggling ever since the cuban revolution. many families have been divided by the cuban revolution. still quite a lot of hatred for the man. but there is still a sense in cuba of the revolution, the promise that it once had. and i think a lot of people here, while celebrating fidel castro and his life are looking with a lot of concern towards
the future. now raul castro has a year left in power. 85 years old. and it's not entirely clear yet how the cuban revolution will outlast the death of its principal leader. >> patrick oftman, the only u.s. correspondent based in havana. thank you so much for the insight and context. we'll be back with you through the hour i'm sure. >> and over the coming hours we'll get you reactions from around the world. let's go to moscow now. jill dougherty joining us from the russian capital. has there been any reaction, any official reaction and if there hasn't been official reaction yet, what do you think that would likely be? >> reporter: there has been reaction now from the kremlin, from president vladimir putin. and as we all know, they had russia and cuba such a long lasting relationship especially
during the cold war. a good 50 years or so of that relationship. and you can hear that in the tone of the statement by president putin. in fact referring to fidel castro in expressing deepest condolences to the cuban people as your brother. president putin went on to call him a true and reliable friend of russia, described him as a wise, strong person who was confident in the future. and then finally said the memory of him will remain forever in the hearts of russians. and in fact it will because as i was saying, during the cold war, really cuba was reliant upon russia for almost everything. cuba sold its sugar to russia. russia gave it oil. it was extremely dependent. and then when the soviet union fell apart, cuba was pretty much on its own. and yet throughout you'd have to say that fidel castro remained a real revolutionary.
and that still has a lot of meaning here in russia, the memory of this man who described himself as a marxist/leninist. >> and i want to ask you, because we're getting reaction from many parts of the world, you can't say this enough, some people appreciated him, some people hated him. >> some people adored him. and we've heard it since the beginning of our coverage. >> so i'd like to ask you, in russia for the average russian on the street, this is a name that people learn in the history books. what is the sense about fidel castro? >> reporter: their sense of fidel castro? >> yes. >> reporter: it has changed. >> sorry, jill, go right ahead, please. >> reporter: we're having a little bit of trouble with the
sound. but we were looking at pictures from russian tv and they're showing -- playing some music over the graphics of the years that fidel castro lived. there also is a little makeshift shrine it ththat has been put together at the cuban embassy. people considering him, castro, again, this revolutionary, but times have changed. and now you had -- remember when vladimir putin came into power in roughly 2000, he decided as a sign to the united states that he would close the intelligence base that they had in cuba as a sign to the united states that they wanted to improve relations with the u.s. but more recently, after of course this problem with ukraine, the russians just very recently in october hinted or said that they might be
rethinking opening or reopening that intelligence listening post. so it's been used in a way as a political symbol, as well. and i would have to say as i've been watching russian tv, much of it has been very straight ahead about the relationship between the u.s. and cuba. but there also has been that tone referring to the many attempts by the cia to murder or assassinate fidel castro. signs that the united states, that old cold war power, remember what they did. so it's been used on many different level. but i'd have to say for russians, it was a lot of close relationship, russians worked in cuba, some married cubans. so there was a very tight relationship. and i think that you'll probably see a number of people, maybe older generation over at the cuban embassy today expressing their condolences. >> these two nations have been
closely tied together over the decades. and it will be interesting, it will be telling to see he which world leaders are there at the final ceremony for fidel castro. >> very telling on a diplomatic level. >> cnn contributor jill dougherty live for us. jill, thank you very much. jill has a lot of experience in russia and we get a sense of the reaction there today. let's talk now about the little havana neighborhood in miami, florida. it's the home to thousands of cuban immigrants and exiles. >> and chris moodity ity is fo the reaction and he joins us live. chris, what are you hearing? it's the middle of night and this has been going on for hours. just 11 minutes past 5:00 in the morning florida time. what is it like? >> reporter: that's right. there is celebration in the air here in little havana, the home
base of the cuban exiled community, multiple generations of people are here on the streets, banging drum, banging on pots and pans, celebrating the death of fidel castro. the police here have blocked off streets to give people a chance to express themselves and celebrate. we've even seen people who have family members fred across the world on their phones facetiming the celebrations so they can see the moment. what has happened is something that many people have waited a long time to see, so these celebrations are something that people have talked about for a long time. even in the restaurant just to my right, which has been a home for a lot of exiles to come p and talk about what it will be like after fidel castro passes away, and that begins now. and it's starting with the sound of pots s and pans and horns i celebration for the community. >> and i wanted to ask you, we've seen these crowds throughout the night.
we saw ariels of pretty impressive group of people, large crowds. do you get a sense that it is growing as people get the news or what is happening? >> reporter: -- >> i've lost chris there. may be having audio issues. but what you can see is what i was talking about. 5:13 in miami, florida and take a look just outside the versailles restaurant, famous important restaurant there in little havana, a police where people come together to talk politics. on this day people are coming together to celebrate. in fact gans in tkct dance in t over the death of fidel castro. let's bring in rafael romo. he's also covered the geopolitics of latin america for many years. and you have news as well as far as what will happen in cuba. >> yes, a few minutes ago the
state council public lished what will happen in the next following days in terms of mourning. and it will benign days of naof national mourning in cuba, starting today at 6:00 a.m. local time and ending december 4th at noon. not this sunday, but the next sunday. and listen to everything that will happen. there will be no public events or shows. flags will fly at half-staff throughout the country. radio and tv can only play informative patriotic and historical programming. every single tv staption and radio station in cuba. on monday november 28th, there will be an opportunity for the common people to pay their respects, there will be an opportunity to sign a book expressing their admiration of fidel castro. and then on tuesday, there will be a massive what they describe as a massive rally at revolution
square. now, wednesday is when a procession carrying the ashes of fidel castro begins in havana, cuba on their way to santiago. and then the last day, december 4, not this sunday but the next one, the ashes will be placed at a church there. and that is going to conclude the nine day mourning process. but again, it is very long, very detailed, very specific about what the authorities want from people -- to hear and see from people in the entire country. >> controlled and choreographed. >> that's right. and we were talking about this before. it will be very interesting to see what heads of state show up for the funeral and what accommodation, what sort of reception they get in cuba and what messages they will say at the funeral itself. >> so that will start in 45
minutes. nine days of national mourning will start in 45 minutes in cuba. what do you think is the opportunity to express any kind of dissent during that period, is there any? >> we were hearing some reaction earlier. and what you hear from people, and again, you have to qualify this by telling our viewers that people do not feel a freedom of expressing their true feelings for fear of losing their jobs or a member of the communist community is two steps away and listening to what they have to say. but all we've heard so far are phrases like i am sad about losing the commander as fidel castro is known. this is a terrible thing, but we understood that he was getting old and we knew that this would happen. you're not hearing any sort of celebration, you're not hearing the same things that you would
hear in miami for example. people again are taking their precautions because they know whatever they say can get them in trouble. >> you describe again the statement that you read again choreographed, controlled, will play out over the next several days. stay with us because i want to go to the exact opposite of that, what we're seeing on the streets of miami. let's bring back in chris moody who is there on the ground. and chris, what are you seeing from people? because again, it seems that people are just taking to the streets, they're coming together to celebrate. this is not a choreographed or controlled reaction. in fact it's very organic and people had been waiting for this moment for many years, many of these families. >> reporter: that's right, people knew that they would be celebrating when it happened, but there have always been rumors year after year that he has passed away, and now it's confirmed that he has. so people have filled the
streets spontaneously. it is not controlled and it's something that you will see over the weekend here in the miami area and possibly other places around the united states. but it has started here in little havana where people have come to the streets, people have closed down the streets to car traffic so people with come and celebrate after many years. i want to point on you that this is multigenerational. there are people here that were alive before the revolution, people that came over as children, and people that were born here and are children of exiles. so you're seeing people of all ages out here celebrating in miami. >> all right, chris moody, thank you very much reporting live from the streets of miami. and this partying, the celebration has been going on since, what, 1:00 in the morning? >> since we started covering this news. >> and it's been nonstop and we've seen this outpouring of emotions and people telling us and rafael was noting this, what it means for them and for their several generations back, what
now to recap our breaking news. fidel castro is dead at age 90. his brother, the current cuban president, raul castro, announced his death on cuban television. he said he died friday night and will be cremated early saturday. >> this is a controversial leader. he survived num werous assassination attempts. here is the scene in miami, florida. you see here people came together despite the rain to celebrate the death of this former cuban leader. but in havana, a very different scene. things have been quiet there. news of castro's death has likely not reached many of the cubans as it broke late night. in fact we learned that many people were just learning the news, some of them from our own correspondent who is there on the ground and covering the story. >> people will continue to learn the news through the coming hours and into the morning there.
it's 5:30 local time, people will start waking up soon and some of those people are in for a very big shock. joining us now for more on fidel castro's death is john lee anderson, staff writer for the new yorker and he has profiled castro. mr. anderson, what is the someone thing, is for for someone like yourself who has worked so much on fidel castro, what is the one thing that you will remember? >> i think he became the prototype, the modern paradigm for the outlaw political leader, that is to say he created the model by which dozens of other revolutionary figures sought to change their societies through guerrilla warfare and revolution at the height of the cold war. truly iconic figure. i think a status only shared on
an equivalent level by perhaps nelson mandela amongst modern political figures. >> at the same time, this is a former world leader who has been greatly criticized when it comes to the treatment of his own people, when it comes to the freedom of the press, the ability of the reporters there to do their jobs, when it comes to getting food and medicine and when it comes to doctors. many are forced as it's been stated to practice their services there. how do you balance all of that into castro's legacy? >> well, indeed a very mixed legacy. i don't know about equally hated or loved, but along those lines. a figure who divided his country, you know, hugely. a million cubans left the island after he seized power and chose to embark on a radical socialist
course. again, it was the height of the cold war, nonetheless outlasted ten american presidents and the collapse of the soviet union. despite will his, you know, highly divisive policies for those cubans who fled and certainly those celebrating today in miami, still became a patriarchal father figure to many cubans, created a society that today despite those aspects that you've mentioned is very possibly one of the most securist societies in the americas. >> just to point one thing out, and i want to make sure, 11 presidents in fact that the former leader has outlasted. so certainly he is a figure that is historic in cuba. and today we're hearing quite a mixed reaction from people now that the news is spreading of his death. thank you so much for being with
us. we'll get back to you a little later in the hour as we're speaking to many other guests about this breaking news. >> nine days of national mourning going to officially begin in havana, cuba in 35 minutes. stay tuned to cnn as we continue our coverage. you have dinner on the table at 6:00 every night. hey guys, i'm home! of course no one said it had to be cooked. campbell's one dish recipes,
generosity is its oyou can handle being a mom for half an hour. i'm in all the way. is that understood? i don't know what she's up to, but it's not good. can't the world be my noodles and butter? get your mind out of the gutter. mornings are for coffee and contemplation. that was a really profound observation. you got a mean case of the detox blues. don't start a war you know you're going to lose. finally you can now find all of netflix in the same place as all your other entertainment. on xfinity x1. welcome back. we tip following the breaking new this is hour, the death of the former leader of cuba, fg. i'm george howell.
>> and fidel castro has died at age 90. the former president and revolutionary leader for years he had been out of public eye. his brother raul castro made the announcement on cuban television. >> translator: gary people of could y dear people of cuba, with profound pain, i have to sadly inform you to our friends of america and to the world that today november 25th, 2016 at 10:29 in the evening, the commander and lieder of the cuban revolution fidel castro died. following the explicit desires of leader fidel, his remains wille cremated in the early hours of tomorrow, sat the 26th. the organizing commission of the funerals will give our people detailed information about the organization of the posthumous
tribute that we will give to the founder of the cuban revolution. until victory, always. >> cnn is live in havana, cuba this hour. patrick is the only u.s. correspondent in cuba and joining us live. patrick, this is a leader who has survived many assassination attempts, a leader who there have been rumors about his death it d disprov disproven, but now confirmed. >> reporter: he used to joke when he did die, nobody would believe it. certainly tonight and last night -- excuse me, last night and this morning when i began to tell people right after the news broke, they just looked at me, they didn't quite believe it. and when i said that the news had come from raul castro, this
unexpected, up announnanswered over live cuban tv late friday night, they just seemed to freeze and didn't know how to reacts. and i think when the sun comes up behind me in a few hour, it will shine on a somewhat different cuba, cuba for the first time in generations where cubans don't have the shadow of fidel castro over this island. this is a man who really dominated the political d discourse and tdestiny of this country. it would be a very different country if he had not taken power. but for many, they are just learning the details of the lengthy mourning process, about ten days. and very symbolic. they will transport his ashes in a reverse trip that took him to power in 1959 when he traveled
from one of the island to the other. there will be massive rallies in santiago and buried from the other end of the island from where i am now, next to the most famed revolutionary who began the fight against the spanish. so very clearly the cuban government is putting fidel castro in that category of a nationalist hero. for many people though, really the question is not the past, the future and how their lives will improve, what happens now after the passing of fidel castro, will there be better relations with the u.s. or will the economy here continue to really suffer and those are questions that nobody has the answer to at least not right now. >> patrick, give us a sense of how emotions are likely to play out as cubans wake up and find out about the news. of course this is something that they have been thinking about for many years because fidel castro has been very ill, there has been a lot of speculation
over the years about his death and about what would happen at that time. and these are people whose lives have been marked, seared sometimes by his political path and what he's done in this country. so what will the emotions be like when they wake up? >> reporter: i think they will be very mixed. just about every cuban family has been divided by the revolution. people have been separated by their families, some decided to live, some who were supporters of revolution stayed and never got to see their families again. so there really is an incredible amount of mixed emotion, sadness, and perhaps some cautious hope for the future. but i think it will really be dominated now by the government trying to create this narrative of burying not an enemy of the united states, not communist,
but a nationalist, somebody be who made cuba independent, freed cuba from the influence of the united states, of impearlism. that will be the narrative that the cuban government is trying to project. and i think we will see rallies. they are used to rallies and mass demonstrations. hasn't seen the kind -- will the kind that they haven't seen in years. i think after the pageantry is over, then the hard questions become of what next. and will raul castro take greater changes, greater actions to improve life here now that his brother isn't looking over his shoulder and of course these two men are very similar, but fidel castro over the years did criticize sometimes some of the decisions that raul castro took. but i think we continue to keep in mind that anyone is expecting a great deal of change, raul castro has opened the island
somewhat more economiciallecono said he's done those things to preserve the cuban revolution. in fact the last time castro assisted the people, he called on them after he was gone to continue to support revolution. will the revolution survive him for many, many years as he hoped? we'll just have to see. lots of questions, not a lot of answers. at least not right now. >> 5:36 in the morning, patri o man the only u.s. live correspondent in cuba. but let's bring back in rafael romo. rafael has covered gee he owe po geopolitics of latin america for indiana yea many years. and you're getting more information. >> yes, the information is a little bitten a trickle.
a lot a lot of patriotic articles that have been published. one says the life of a commander in the is a paradigm in the sense that in the way it sorted out road blocks and challenges that surfaced during the different phases of the struggle from an unbreakable libertarian vocation that has its root in is an msan marte, their hero. and we're about 23 minutes away from beginning nine days of national mourning in cuba. it will start this saturday 6:00 a.m. local time. and it will he said next sunday at noon. no public events, no show, flags will fly at half-staff. radio and tv can carry only
historical patriotic and historical programming. and then monday there will be an opportunity between 9 t:00 a.m.o 10:00 p.m. to pay their respects. and on tuesday, a massive rally at a very iconic place, revolution square. and then wednesday, the ashes begin to be transported in a procession from havana, cuba to santiago, another city in the provinces, and the ashes will finally be placed at a church in santiago on sunday december 4th. so a full schedule of activities being planned for cubans so they can pay their respects for the cuban leader. >> how do you feel this will feed into the politics of cuba? anything that you have something happening on this kind of scale involving this kind of figure, this becomes part of a nation building and how you write a country's history.
so how do you think this will play out in could you about and what purpose will it serve for the current government? >> in the following days paying respect for fidel will be as important as the image that cuba will present itself to the world. and by that i mean they will try to show a united front to tell the world that his legacy, his political legacy and the sam he create system he created, rat geem, is alive and well. there will be a show of unity, you will see all the political figures paying their respects. you will see the same patriotic messages talking about the revolution, saying the same phrases we've will heard for 60 years. fatherland or death, all of those things that fidel castro came up with you will hear. >> so continuity. >> that's right, to tell that the regime is alive and well, in fact in spite of the fact that the historical leader of the revolution has passed.
>> important to point out fidel castro lived to see barack obama. 11 presidents, but point to -- a long list, but important to point out that he outlasted ten presidents. we technically can't count the president of the united states barack obama given that he is still president. >> it's all semantics of course, but starting with eisenhower, look at the list of u.s. presidents who have had to deal with fidel castro. eisenhower, kennedy, johnson, nixon, ford, carter, reagan, george bush father, george bush the son and of course obama. we can't say he outlasted obama because technically he's not done with his presidency yet. but continue presidents that he outlasted, 11 presidents that had to deal with fidel castro. >> he's had a long, log hng history. rafael, thank you so much and of course stand by as we continue to follow this breaking new this is hour, the death of fidel
you can handle being a mom for half an hour. i'm in all the way. is that understood? i don't know what she's up to, but it's not good. can't the world be my noodles and butter? get your mind out of the gutter. mornings are for coffee and contemplation. that was a really profound observation. you got a mean case of the detox blues.
don't start a war you know you're going to lose. finally you can now find all of netflix in the same place as all your other entertainment. on xfinity x1. welcome. let me recap our breaking news. former cuban leader fidel castro is dead at age 90. his brother the current cuban president raul castro announced his death on cuban television. he said he died friday night and will be cremated early saturday. >> castro has been a controversial leader to say the least. he survived numerous as satisfies nation attempts a assassination attempts and his
death has drawn mixed reaction. in miami, florida you see here where people came together despite the rain to celebrate the death of fidel castro. but in havana, it is a different scene. people have been quite quiet there. news of castro's death has likely not reached many cubans as it broke late at night. and it is important to point out as we heard from patrick oppmann that many learned from him. let's talk now about little havana in miami. it is the home to thousands of cuban immigrants and exiles. >> chris moody is following the reaction and he joins us live. you can describe the mood? and we're about 15 minutes before national mourning starts in havana. of course what you're witnessing is very different. >> reporter: that's right. celebration is in the air in miami, florida. and it has been this way for
hour. all through the night people have poured into the little havana neighborhood here in miami banging pots and pans, throwing impromptu parades through the middle of the streets which the police have blocked off for cars so people with come and celebrate here. people are waving cuban flags, american flags. and this is a moment that many of them have been waiting for, for years. particularly exiles who left cuba under fidel castro's leadership. but this is a multigenerational celebration here in miami. it's their children and their grandchildren. we've heard stories of cuba and possibly have visited, as well. we're in front of versailles restaurant, really the home base for the cuban exile community, so people are waiting very excitedly for the doors to open later this morning so they can get a cup of cafe. >> and people celebrating in the streets of little havana.
the life and death of fidel castro, divided reaction, mixed reaction around the world as we're sharing this breaking news with our viewers. patrick oppmann is our correspondent based in cuba and he has a look back now at castro's life and how he transformed cuba over the decades. >> reporter: fidel castro rode into havana in 1959, conquering hero. he was just 32 when his revolution overthrew a corrupt and brutal dictatorship. he promised cuba would soon hold free democratic elections. instead castro ruled for the next 49 years, trying to remake cuba into his vision of a
socialist utopiautopia. castro was born here in rural eastern cuba. his father's status as a wealthy land other than ensured his place in high society even if he didn't feel he belonged there. his mother was an uneducated maid and she didn't marry his father until after he was born. castro's school mates teased him about being born out of wedlock. castro studied to be a lawyer and soon became involved in revolutionary plots. he led a failed uprising in 1953. many of his followers were killed and castro was captured. during his trial, castro declared history will an absolve me. after released, they returned by boat seeking to yoe tloefr the dictatorship. and once again, most of his
soldiers were slaughtered. castro was also reported as have been killed. when it was revealed that he had escaped to the mountains, his followers grew. cuba had earned the reputation of a mob run playground for americans seeking gambling, cheap rum and sex shows. after castro took power, many cubans hoped that he would clean up the island while still remaining friendly to the u.s. as seen in an interview in the '60s, he sought to ease american's concerns about which side of the cold war he was on. >> there is not threat among communism here. >> reporter: but castro's prosecution and execution of officials from the previous regime and the nationalization of american's property in cuba caused the u.s. to serve receiver diplomatic ties with
cuba. the bay of pigs invasion failed. now in about the soviets camp, castro in 1962 invited moscow to secretly place nuclear missiles on the island. discovery of the missiles led to a 13 day standoff between the u.s. and soviet union. nuclear war appeared imminent until the soviets agreed to remove the weapons. castro and the u.s. would remain engaged in proxy wars as the cuban leader tried to foment socialist revolutions around the world. for many, the failed soviet style economic policies made life intolerable. communism was the only ideology permitted on the island. critics of the government often faced lengthy jail sentences. this 1980, castro declared anyone who wanted to could leave on a boat it to the u.s. nearly 125,000 took him up on his offer. but castro resisted major free market reforms, or lifting
prohibitions on life in cuba. as always, castro claimed he knew best. known for his ever present cigar, beard, fatigues and marathon speeches, fidel castro would remain a thorn in the side for ten u.s. presidents. it wasn't a cia that forced him from pow eveer but a botched sth surgery. he turned the reins over to his brother raul. a now weak and informed castro retreated from the spotlight. he made a rare public appearance to call on communist party officials to remain loyal to his revolution after his death. soon i will be like all the rest castro told officials, everyone's turn comes. in cuba, there are few monuments to fidel castro. no streets are named after him unlike other strong men, the cuban leader avoided appearance.
but schoolchildren are required to memorize his speeches, revere him as a hero and recreate his triumphant arrival once a year so that after he's gone, fidel castro's influence will endure for generations to come. patrick oppmann, cnn, havana. >> he was a leader that many described as immortal until proven otherwise. >> and just before we prepare to wrap up this show, this is the last official photo of fidel castro released to the public. it was taken ten days ago november 15th in havana, he was meeting with vietnamese president and we now know this was the last picture of him, official picture of him taken alive. and that wraps this hour of cnn newsroom. christi paul and martin savidge continue our breaking news coverage of the death of fidel castro. but first, we leave you with these images in miami. you see the crowd that has
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