tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow CNN November 26, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
you are live in the cnn newsroom. i'm pamela brown in for poppy harlow on this saturday. former cuban leader fidel castro dead at the age of 90 and cuba, castro's death marks the start of nine days of mourning. quiet as people found out the leader who toppled the dictator and saw the communist government for nearly five decades has
died. in miami's little havana, a different scene. cuban exiles dancing and singing in the streets as we see, popping champagne and waving the cuban flag. for them, they remember a ruthless tyrant who reneged on his promise of democracy and executed tens of thousands of opponents and brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. cnn's flora sanchez from little havana. boris, what type of stories are you hearing from people there on the street? >> reporter: pam, there's a tremendous amount of elation on the streets right now. we're outside, the epicenter of the cuban exile center. people are banging pots, pans, they're chanting. hundreds of cuban flags here and this party is just getting started. the crowd has grown immensely
since i got here and people are holding pictures of their loved ones that they lost, either through the revolution, through political oppression on the island or simply couldn't be here today. people that have been waiting for this moment for a long time. as a matter of fact, i want to speak to someone who i was just talking to a moment ago. this gentleman, manuel, you were telling me just a moment ago that you were here to celebrate a day you've been waiting for a long time. >> it's bittersweet because my parents are not around anymore and like many older generation cubans, the older generations, they passed waiting for this day to come. they were, fidel was no longer in cuba. had already passed. >> you did get a chance to share, that was emotional for you. why was it so emotional? >> my mother passed 2.5 years ago and would have been a
beautiful experience but i had the pleasure with my 90-year-old aunt, she got interviewed also and how does it feel? she said, like my birthday is back. this is very important, very great day for all cuban people. >> a lot of people watching this see the celebration here and they may not necessarily understand why people are celebrating someone's passing. but for people like yourself that fled the island for political reasons, why is it that today is so significant? >> because today is a day of hope, hope for the cuban people to one day enjoy what we have in this country, we, the lucky ones, the ones that our parents were able to get out of there, come to this incredible country and the one thing that the cuban exiles found out is that when you embrace this great country, it embraces you back and we would like to see this freedom, democracy in our home country again. >> thank you so much for speaking to us, we appreciate it. pam, as you can see, as we said
before, and not just elation but also hope that this could mean a change on the island of cuba. >> so much emotion. thank you for bringing that to us. we appreciate that. fidel castro will be laid to rest on december 4th after nine days of initial national mourning in cuba. often accused of violating human rights especially against those who opposed him. cuba released at least 53 political prisoners part of its deal with the u.s. and my next guest is gathering personal stories of suffering under castro's regime. cnn political commentator ana navarro joins me. helped bring about the condemnati condemnation. ana, thank you for coming on. you tweeted today, if you know someone killed, jailed, beaten by castro's thugs, sweet me name and story. i will retweet people to know he was a cruel despot.
why these personal stories are so emotional for you and important to document? >> reporter: you know, this is such a bittersweet moment, pam. and it's bittersweet because, it's sweet because on the one hand, it is the day that this cruel despot who ruled cuba with an oppressive regime had come to his death. 57 years without democracy in that country. 57 years of firing squads, the political prisoners, of going after, attacking, beating political dand bitter because s many people died waiting to see this day. it reminded me of all my friends who have died without being able to set foot in a cuba without a fidel castro who wish they could have seen this day. i drove down 8th street today in miami and i passed a cemetery.
and i saw many people going in and putting little cuban flags on the tombstones of their parents and loved ones because it is something that anybody who lived in miami and part of the cuban american community understands the pain and suffering the people of cuba have suffered for so long. >> what are you feeling right now? >> reporter: you know, i'm thinking of my friend, claudia, whose father was killed by a firing squad of fidel castro in 1951 and served as a political prisoner. i'm thinking of my friends who served 28 years as a political prisoner of fidel castro who had one testicle cut off and served 22 years in castro's jail.
i'm thinking of all the families separated who could not see each other and some of them had to die on one side and the other on the other without seeing each other for decades. i'm thinking of all the people, all my friends who woke up this morning and the first thing they thought was, i wish my father, i wish my mother had been here to see this. that's what i'm thinking about. so much death, so much sorrow, so much suffering that was brought about by this one man. i can tell you, pamela, it's also very personal to me in another way. i have to flee a communist revolution in nicaragua when i was a child and fidel castro was directly involved with that. fidel castro was part of inciting financing, provoking, promoting, helping revolutions all over latin america. he waged international war in latin america and elsewhere. people like me had to flee, countries like mine had to go through revolutions and civil wars and bloody, bloody battles
because of fidel castro, russia, the cold war and his personal involvement in all of this. >> responses have been flooding in, asking for stories and i want to read one of the responses you received. it says my grandma killed by firing squad. my father spent 21 years in prison. ana, are stories like these, death by firing squad, how common are these among cubans? or unusual? >> reporter: they're very common. that's why it hurts so much to see some people try to portray fidel castro as a hero, a martyr, a saint, he wasn't. this was a bloodthirsty dictator and he personally ordered firing squads to kill political opponents. there were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, thousands of political prisoners in jail, tortured, starved to death. people who died in hunger
strikes for many years. you've got to remember, this guy used to send gays to a reeducation camp called los cocos. this is not a saint or a life to celebrate. for some, hard to understand why christians are celebrating a n man's death, because that man cost a lot of death and a lot of pain in his lifetime. only thing i regret is that he died of old age in his bed. i wish he had come a lot earlier. it would have been a lot less painful to people of cuba. >> you hear these horrific stories, ana, and you do see people on the streets of havana we've actually shown mourning his death and saying, you know, he was their great leader. how does that square? do you think that they are secretly celebrating but they feel like they can't really show
that outwardly as we've heard some show or actually mourning his death? >> reporter: look, i think most definitely fidel castro has sympathizers within cuba and i also know he's got opponents, people like the ladies in white to march every sunday and get beaten and attacked. some of those people in the homes and i can assure you, being watched and harassed and the government, which is a repressive government with a huge military component, is, i'm sure, watching over their houses and making sure they're not on the streets and make sure there's no demonstrations in favor of democracy, celebrating fidel's death in cuba. yes, he has sympathizers, yes, they saw him as a leader but this guy was a great marketer. he was able to build this legend thr , greater than life persona and
he was seen by people who are anti-american as the symbol of defiance against the united states. he was seen as revolutionary with the beard who never stopped wearing his uniform and never stopped fighting. he was a larger than life figure. he was also, you know, very unique and i think a lot of the government depended solely on him. despite the fact that there's been, his brother has been governing cuba the last several years because fidel castro has been infirm, the symbol of one man and what he did for many years is something that is just escapes me, how to describe it. >> ana navarro, thank you so much for being with us and sharing your perspective. >> thank you. >> coming up on this saturday, donald trump has yet to reveal his pick for secretary of state and sources say the pool of names keeps growing. we look at the contenders up next. >> plus, inside trump tower.
what it's like for the tenants living in one of the most heavily guarded. we'll take you there. and as the world reacts to the death of fidel castro, you can see a very different side of cuba next hour. tune in for special encore presentation of "parts unknown: cuba" at 7:00 tonight. anthony bourdain was there last year and saw how the island was changing. >> it's been over 50 years since you, the american public, have been able to enjoy a fine cuban rum and this is a fine one, i can tell you, but it looks like all of that is about to change. flood gates have been let loose or will be soon, it sure looks like. the whole world is changing. what is that going to mean? do we find out?
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will never even spend on this ridiculous recount. it should be respected rather than challenged an abused, which is what jill stein is earlier. i talked about the accusation as well as what she was hoping to get out of this recount and here's part of that interview. >> this is wail all going into a dedicated and segregated account so that it can only be spent on the recount campaign. so, you know, he may be creating his own facts here, as he's known to do sometimes in the past, and i think he himself said that it was a rigged election, unless he won it, but i think that sort of, not exactly compelling thinking is not particularly persuasive to the american people. the point to drive home here is that having a secure elections process benefits us all and i invite everyone, i invite donald trump's campaign, hillary's
campaign, we've had calls out to gary johnson's campaign. this should be a non-partisan people powered effort to ensure that we can rely on the integrity and the security of our vote. >> as it stands now, dr. stein, there is no evidence there was actually hacking on any of the systems on election day to tamper with the outcome and allegations, as you'll recall, leading up to election day that the alleged hacks by russia was an effort to understood mimine democracy by casting doubt on our election. does pursuing a recount do the same thing? >> i think what we need is a confidence in our system. and we walk out of this election with american confidence at an all time low. over 80% of voters said they were disgusted by the process of this election, and there's been an incredible loss of faith in our basic institutions of government. i don't think we fix this by
just trying to sweep it under the rug. >> let me just ask you, because some may say you're trying to help hillary clinton here. that you're on hillary clinton's side with this. is that true? and what is in this for you personally? >> you know, i would say what's in this for us as voters. we need to know that our votes are counted, that they're not being hacked, they're not being tampered with but as an independent political party, we need to know that our votes are being counted as well. >> our panel weighs in on this recount and donald trump's strong reaction to the effort after this break. stay with us. who says i shouldn't have a soda every day?
for months, trump insisted he may not accept the results. but today, it's trump who is slamming a push to recount the push ridiculous and a scam. green party gilljill stein filer a recount in wisconsin and plans to do the same in pennsylvania. the clinton campaign announced it is joining the effort although it admits it found no evidence of hacking. let's talk it other wiver with and "washington post" columnist scottie nell hughes and she's
supported trump throughout the election and scott at the democratic party, he supported hillary clinton, and thank you to the three of you for coming back on, i should say. josh, first question to you, jill stein said this should be a non-partisan issue. should that be the case? >> listen, i think there is a bipartisan consensus that this is not going to result in a change in the election results. and there's a bipartisan resistance to what jill stein is doing. so if she was looking to sort of unite the parties, she's done so in uniting them against her effort. the clinton campaign, if you read the statement from they haven't found evidence of hacking or any evidence of interference. but now that jill stein has gone forward with this recount, they feel an obligation to participate. they just want to make sure they're there in the room to make sure everything goes okay. what will the donald trump team
do? will they feel that obligation to participate? there's no way to do a challenge of a national election without partisanship being involved. i think jill stein is being a little disingenuous there but both agree it's not going to result in any substantive change to the results. >> so there is this resistance, what is the point of this? do you think it will change the outcome? >> it doesn't look like it will change the outcome but i think a different take on it. there's nothing really wrong with this. this is democracy. this is the election process working on to the law. she's got a right to do this, if you will, and donald trump has to participate and doesn't want to be left out of the recount room. that being said, there were databases and e-mails hacked, but nothing wrong in participating with these state recount and remember one last
thing, no one is channelling lle results but an audit to confirm. my grandmother used to say, trust but verify, and that's what is going on here. >> trump is the one during the campaign that claimed throughout the election would be rigged. why would that not be the case now? >> not that it wouldn't be the case, but evidence. let's go back and remember in october, hillary said, anyone not willing to accept the results of the election is a danger to democracy and hillary clinton herself said this. everything from president obama has been basically that they weren't going to challenge this. and does it make it right? because there's been no actual evidence produced that she's done a press conference even in her interview with you, i was surprised that she did not give us actual evidence to say why
she believes this is happening. and russian hackers and sitting in the grandmother's basement in russia might have caused these numbers and you have to be able to have some reason for this happening and people donating to her. >> what kind of precedent does this set? josh? >> i don't think it sets any precedent and it's rare for a candidate who actually had no chance of winning an election to mount this kind of challenge. i agree she has the right to do it but don't think it helps either side sort of move past what's been a contentious election season. that being said, she's going to do it. and clinton team and trump team will have to deal with it. i'll be the first one, if some evidence exists to point to the fact that what she's done has
revealed that evidence but until some evidence exists, this looks like a fishing expedition and if it's a fishing expedition, it will be costly and distracting and that has to be mentioned. >> okay, but a. scott. >> if there were problems with the process, procedures or russian hacking, wouldn't you want to know that for the integrity of the process and doesn't it go to her credibility? she has nothing to gain out of this and raised $6 million just to look and by the way, under wisconsin law, you don't need to have the evidence first and then say i want a recount. you go in, ask for the recount, wisconsin officials have accepted her petition and they'll do it and the audit. nothing else matters. >> scottie, would you still have the viewpoint if hillary clinton won?ing there saying? >> hillary clinton, donald
trump, whomever else wanted a recount, not challenging the results, by the way, that's a key distinction, yes, we'd have to participate and they had every legal right to do so and i don't think hillary clinton would be complaining about it. she'd be participating in it and think about this. if nothing changes, then we now know. we have confidence, more confidence in the voting process in these three states. what's donald trump afraid of? >> that's not. scottie. >> i don't think it's about donald trump being afraid. he's actually trying to work on being president because that's what he was elected to do and the transition team. this is a pebble in a shoe. he'll send a lawyer to watch it. but a real problem wit. i know it shocks you that people of the working class did not vote for the democrats, i know that's hard to believe. >> it doesn't matter. it doesn't matter. >> but the truth is this is two weeks after the election, this is just throwing mud at the wind, once again, to get
attention, for jill stein to have some reason to do fund raising money. accept it and move on. why don't we go frozen and let it go? >> hillary clinton has conceded. all she said is she's supporting the recount and donald trump in the end is going to support the recount too because he can't not afford to not be in the room. there's no problem here. let's just get it done. >> josh, bring you? >> i just think by that logic, we would be recounting every election every single time and saying, what's the downside? the bottom line is that we have a system in this country where if the margin is close enough, there's an automatic recount. the margins here, they're much larger than any recount than has ever been overturned in the history of our country. statistically, almost impossible that the recount would turn in a different result. so again, we're in this now. we're going to do it. it's fine. it's legally fine, but it's ultimately going to amount to
what i think is a distraction from the work of both parties to sort of put together. >> quickly, josh, before we wrap this up, i mean, clearly a lot of people want this done. millions of dollars have been raised. i mean, what do you make of that? >> there's a lot of people who are, have a lot of sore feelings after this election and i think that is totally legitimate. and people have the right to use their dollars to vote and they have the right to use the dollars to support the recount. no one is disputhiing that but t the viewers know the result is the same and not clear what the ultimate benefit is. if there were evidence, people would be all for it, but until we see some evidence, it does seem like a bit of sour grapes. >> that's what the recount is about, pamela. let's see what happens and guess what, what if the voting changes and what if the results change. >> that's the point right there.
trump tower, the trumps aren't the only ones who call the building home. what it's like to be neighbors with the president-elect. here's jean casarez. >> reporter: trump tower has always been a high profile apartment and business complex. but now with armed guards 24/7, there can be no doubt. this is the home of the president-elect donald trump, the country's next first lady,
melania, and their son, barron. called trump tower home like bruce willis, andrew lloyd weber and rinaldo. leaving the penalty house got a personal call from trump himself. >> donald calls the wife of the tenant and says, do you mind if i show your apartment to a dear friend of mine? she said, no, not a problem. it's fine. and said, michael jackson arrives in a separate entrance that the building has. the nicest man around. >> according to the web site, trump tower has over 60 floors and 263 apartments. jean pierre rispo represented high profile clients and took us inside the building. 42 stories up to see what your average multimillion dollar apartment looks like. heading inside, golden burgundy
walls, marble floors and apartment doors without letters and numbers so you theed to kne where you're going. some prospective buyers are turned off because of the security. >> in a military camp, all kinds of forces from s.w.a.t. teams, police, it's not very pleasant to get to the building. >> reporter: people who live in trump tower actually have to go through this security right here and then even more security beyond to get to the residential entrance. that increased security began on election night. and it's not set to end for a long, long time. residents are taking it one day at a time. >> the most surprising thing is just how easy it's been, you know, the security is clearly substantial but they just are all really good at their job. >> reporter: a logistical nightmare or not, trump tower may be setting an example for
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a transformation captured in pictures from the leader of a revolution to a despised dictator. fidel castro's life with photos like this. joining me now, peter, renowned photo journalist. welcome to you, peter. you have just come back from cuba. i want your reaction to this news of fidel castro's death. >> thank you. i received the phone call from a friend in cuba late last might telling me that there was word that pi defidel had passed and i saw the news bulletin on cnn almost immediately afterwards. i was in cuba only four nights ago and for the last 40 years, i have made a point of trying to be in places all over the world of fundamental change and
history was taking place. about five years ago, i had a sense that cuba was one of the fundamental places to take place and i've made more than 25 trips over the last 25 years to cuba. i engage daily with many cuban people and i have noticed a tremendous amount of change over these last year. i see incremental change. i happen to be, i covered president obama's trip to cuba to visit with raul castro several months ago and i can't underestimate what that trip meant to the population of cuba. the cuban people were very moved by the handshake he extended to them, a handshake where president obama stood up and literally said things are not perfect in the united states and that he wasn't there to preach, but there to extend a handshake and wanted to be a friend with
cuba and that had such an impact on the cuban people. i was in havana. >> i wanted to ask you as we look at the pictures, that you have taken of fidel castro interacting with the crowds up close and intimate moments and also holding court in front as we saw. what did you take away from this? this is someone who is viewed in miami celebrating as a brutal dictator. you have been up close and person personal. what did you take away? >> i think it's important to understand that for the cuban people that live in cuba, their lives have been connected one way or the other to fidel castro for 50 years and like many things in life, i think the situation has not been black and white. i will say and it's important to underline that even if there's problems in cuba and all would like to see some change but
average cuban is very proud of life in cuba. they're proud of the national health care system they have. they're proud of public education. they're proud of the fact, they talk often about the different tranquil place, they don't have to worry about crime or being shot. there aren't guns. and i will say that i think this process of engagement, i wanted to come back to something. i was in havana recently, the night that president-elect trump was president the united states. something many americans don't know or understand is that the average cuban knows a lot about the united states and almost everyone has a family member or some relative in the united states. they know much more about america than americans know about cuba. and i spoke to many cubans about the election of president-elect trump and what they all said to me, and i think this is very interesting and would be interesting if our current leaders would listen to this, what they all said was they really hope that president-elect
trump, who is known to be a businessman that has business acumen, that he would appeal to that pragmatic side of his vision of the world and would engage in with cuba and to give them hope. my sense is that the worst thing that one could do with cuba right now would be to roll things back and to isolate cuba again. i think isolation is simply not worked and cubans will tell you that. >> we'll see what happens under president trump. peter turnley, thank you for coming on the show. coming up, long distance. melania trump, surprises with decision to delay moving into the white house but without precedent? we'll talk about it up next.
so many things about the election of donald trump as president have been unprecedented but the decision to delay one of them? we found an expert. center for congressional and presidential studies, also chief of staff to laura bush when she was first lady. anita, thank you so much for coming on. we've heard a lot about donald trump's transition but melania trump has her own staff to hire and her own transition to take care of. what is she likely doing ahead of the inauguration in january? >> well, we know she's already
made one very important decision which is sets the tone for how she'll start her tenure as first lady, not coming down here right away. she'll wait for her son to finish school so she's sending a clear message. she's a mother first and we heard that throughout the campaign. she's going to stay true to herself and be cognizant of what's right for her son, barron. so i think that initially right now, the decisions on staffing up in the east wing are probably not first and foremost for her until they get through the inauguration. >> she said she'll stay in new york to finish the school year there. has any other first lady made such a choice and do you think it will impact her duty as first lady? >> i think we have examples throughout our history, of course, of where we've had unmarried or widowed presidents that have had nieces that have
covered the duties we've come to expect to be traditionally handled by the first lady or that position but in modern times, we've gotten just very used to having activist first ladies living in the white house with the president, the first family together and we have a fascination about that as americans but the one thing about this position that's most important to remember is that everyone that comes into the job, each occupant rewrites the position description because there isn't one for it. this is not a constitutionally sorry. >> ronald reagan has the best quote about this. the american people get only one federal employee for free. and that's the first lady. what they pick and choose to do with that job ultimately always supports the administration and the president. but they do get the freedom to choose. >> i want to get your reaction
on that note to this article in politico essentially calling for abolishing the office of first lady. and to make the point, the author of this article, dr. schafer writes, yes, defund the ridiculously large staff that currently earns upward of 1.5 million a year serving michelle obama, abolish the federally funded bully pull fit pitt from which the presidential spouses have historically advocated for healthy eating. the president's spouse isn't a specimen of american royalty. what do you think of that? >> what i think and what we study at american university about first ladies, we've looked at them throughout the ark of history. we see that they play such an incredibly important role. they are a partner to the presidency. when you think about it in the respect that every single problem comes to the desk of the american president, and the president's spouse does have a unique role and an automatic powerful platform when the
president is sworn in to pick and choose issues they can pick and choose to work on to help elevator put a spotlight on specific issues. they can be an enormous help and support. when they travel around the world, it is really an important function for foreign leaders or an important optic for foreign leaders to be receiving the spouse of the president. arguably, the person that's closest to them. i would say on both domestic and the global, you know, level, it is an important role. it is a partner to the presidency. we are not a monarchy. i get that. i can appreciate that. i would also say that over the last 40 years the numbers of staff have remained about the same. it is a pretty efficiently run operation even though we have expected more and more out of the office. >> that's right. anita mcbride, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> after the break, a boy in florida calls 911 not with a problem, but with an invitation. a sweet story in our america for this thanksgiving weekend. stay with us.
well, tonight before we go a look at something wonderful happening in our america. no question, this country is divided right now by political beliefs, racial tension and income equality and religion. but we also come together in incredible and unexpected ways and we want to make sure you see those things as well.
in our america tonight, a florida boy had an important reason when he called 911 thursday, but there was no emergency. as the walton county sheriff's department posted on its facebook page, billy called to invite the entire department to come eat thanksgiving dinner with him and his family. with all of the bad calls we take on a daily basis, this one was a welcome, happy call that made us all smile, said lead communications officer monica webster. in fact, the department was so touched a pair of sheriff's deputies paid billy a special visit, and they gave the boy a sheriff's badge as we see right here, and even let him sit in their patrol cars. i bet he will always remember that. of course, the department says he does not encourage the use of 911 for not emergencies, but that they were honored at the dinner invitation. i bet that is a thanksgiving they will all never forget. thank you so much for watching. i'm pamela brown in washington. i will be back tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. eastern and tonight at 8:00. the cnn original series "the 80s" beginning with raised on
television, the reagan revolution and tear down this wall at 11:00. it is a special presentation of anthony bourdain in cuba. he filmed this before castro's death. "parts unknown" starts right now. >> good evening, my fellow citizens. this government as promised has maintained the closest surveillance of the soviet military buildup on the island of cuba. >> this is the cuba i grew up with. >> mankind, teachers precariously on the brink of a thermonuclear war. >> the missile crisis, duck and cover, hide under your desks, kids, cover yourselves with wet newspaper because we're all going to die. >> the flames of crisis burn stronger, fed and fan by the bitter tirades of fidel castro. >> and this guy, always in