tv FOX News Reporting Cuba -- Losing the Last Battle of the Cold War FOX News January 26, 2015 12:00am-1:01am PST
team. thank you core foffor covering a range of suggests. have a great week. we will see you next "fox news sunday."the last battle of the cold war hosted by bret baier. see you saturday. >> today the united states of america is changing its relationship with the people of cuba. 50 years as cold war enemies ended just like. that >> cuba is just one more example of saving dictators who are on their knees. our shift in the cuba policy stops it is legend of destrust. >> that is cold comfort for those who suffer as a result of castro. every time you complain about the living conditions in the prison you are assaulted and punished. >> there is crimes.
>> fox news reports that cuba losing the last battle of the cold war. from washington bret baier bear. >> if idel and his brother have ruled cuba in 11 presidencies and in their waning years and cubans ponder life without the castros, america is reaching out to the regime. >> we'll end an outdated approach that failed to advance our interest and instead normalize relations. >> it was a bombshell. president obama using excutive power to open diplomatic relations to cuba and loosen restrictions on travel and trade. >> you are in favor of the opening up of the travel and trade with cuba why? >> the policy of the last 54 years is a complete and utter
failure. and the idea was that the embargooisealating cuba would somehow bring down the castro regime. the only people isolated are the people of cuba and the u.s. policy in latin america. >> when what you are doing doesn't work for 50 years it is time to try something now. congress should work at ending the embargo. >> why would you engage a rogue regime that has a history of abusing its people and anti- democratic to it the core and reward them with everything you want and get nothing in return? >> obama's overtours mark the biggest change in u.s./cuban relations since the embargo begin. cuba occupied a unique place. an island neighbor that long ago became the enemy at our
doorstep. before fidel castro took over. the cuban nation was a tropical paradise for those who could afford it. in the 1950s cuba itself was one of the richest nations in latin america and there was high unemployment and u.s. companies dominated the economy. and the leader ran a corrupt and repressive regime. the revolution forced ba tistan in exile and at first america did not know what to make of the bearded man in fatigues. eisenhower recognized the new government and some saw castro as a hero. her better matthews lionized the young leader. dr. fidel castro is the greatest hero. castro himself didn't tip his
hat. >> we are not communist. what was clear america in the middle of the cold war had a communist nation on the doorstep. 90 miles off of the cost of florida. castro took over farm land and nationalized businesses including american companies. and signed deals with the soviet government, also aided by marxist revolutionary he oversea thousands of executions. >> before leaving office. the president eisenhower imposed an embargo on exports to cuba and then the united states severed relations to cuba. there was a attempt to overthrow castro. the invasion in the bay of pigs was a fiasco and propaganda coup
for castro and a black eye for the new president john f. kennedy. 1962, kennedy extended the cuban embargo with the exception of humanitarian aid but not before purchasing 1200 cuban cigars for personal use. then came the cuban missile crisis and the united states and soviet union had a tense stand off over the weapons deployed in cuba. as part of the settlement, the u.s. agreed not to invade. but president kennedy imposed restrictions and preventing u.s. citizens from traveling there. and over the next few days, presidential support for the embargo waxed and waned. >> there is no fresh bread or meat on sale only goods from china and russia. >> the nation was a constant
thorn in the side of the u.s. and it lent cuba a romantic mystique. and celebrities in hollywood spoke highly of fidel. and praised the socialized health care system. and bill deblasio travelled to havana for his honeymoon. but no american president from iceeb be hour to george w. bush altered the policy. and then came president obama who promised to transform america. whether or not he succeeded is a judgment call but there is little question now he fundmentally transformed our relations with cub a. when we return, we look closer at the island nation romanticized by many in the world and what are the realities? we go inside of cuba and meet
>> roberto milan, the member of the patriotic committee in cuba knows the limits. two years ago he was arrested and imprisonned for in america muches a exercise in political speech. speaking his mind landed him in prison, he was willing to speak with us. (speaking spanish) >> i am roberto, i was born in cuba. i think my life is in danger by speak to the media. i use the form of communication to notify the world about my situation and it something happens to me everybody knows the truth.
♪ >> the owners of this country ra oul and fidel they own everything. cubans can't own their own businesses and they manipulate everything. the ref lugz back fired on them in real life. >> can you explain more about march 23rd? >> on march 23rd in a peaceful rally in the street asking for changes in the island of cuba the police arrested me. (speaking spanish) >> this is the shirt i wore and these are the blood stains on my shirt. the police officer picked me up and put me against the ground and i was threatened and told i would disappear. and the threat they made toward me took place.
i thank god that i am alive because they could have killed me. i had a wound on my head and left unconscious for 20 minutes. they didn't release me and they took me to jail. the reason i was given for my arrest is threatening the country and threatening fidel and ra oul. and then they told me my conviction was reduced to four years. >> did you have a judge or a lawyer? >> no, i wasn't given the opportunity to tell the truth. the courts are in partnership with the national security and you don't have a chance it a fair trial. >> how were you treated in prison? >> i was treated badly. they don't have a medical clinic and we were assaulted and the cells were small and the beds
were broken and every time you compare about the living condition we were assaulted and punished. >> how has this affected your family? >> it has affected my family a great deal. my son gets up in the morning and he asked for me. where's daddy, where's daddy? and i have to reassure him i will not leave and i will be here with you. i will be here with you. >> how did your wife deal with your absences? >> she's cried a lot and suffered and we are happy and together. do you hope and the cuban government it will be a change.
i wish and hope that there are changes and they are all true and they haven't lied to president obama and made false promises. (speaking spanish) >> i have a letter that was given to me releasing me from prison. i was released because i am sick. i feel like i am still in prison. and i upon am not free. the people remind me of the limits. and even those who escape generations ago carry with them the scars of the castro regime and later we'll hear from the all- star panel on the
ory. for one group it is something they keep with them every day of their lives. phil keating reported from miami. >> we all know that the regime in havana has a policy of oppression and terror. they speak out against fidel and ra oul. >> you can see the same crimes committed in the beginning of the revolution. >> her show is two hours long and every minute is filled with stories about the daily abuse and violence cubans endower in the hands. castro regime. >> i reported on six month old children dead on a tub boat and
drowned in the bay. and you name it, there is no crime that that regime has not committed. >> she was only eight when her family escaped cuba months after castro came to power. half a century later the memories remain fresh. >> people were taken before the firing squad and you would see men taken to the firing squad right in front of your eyes. and i remember going to a prosectionon where they took my uncle and the firing squad was there and women would fate because you had to go by that place. you could see the blood stains from the night before. it was a horrible time. >> she has a perch to tell the tales but miami is filled with
xoils who plenty of stories. every cuban is a book because of what their family went through to leave. you don't have to tell the people of miami because they lived it. ♪ ♪ >> there is roosters and signs in spanish and the spanish language drowning out the occasional english. and you think you are in havana, but this is miami's little havana and many of the old school wave of cub an exiles live here and drinking the super strong coffee and the hatred of the castro brothers is strong today as when they fled their
home land. >> we don't like communist. we like freedom brother. >> what do you think of the castros today? >> same thing as yesterday. criminals. >> i feel like we are making it with hitler. >> the cuban community in miami is a loud and influential one and younified and certain of one goal, total defeat of the communist castro regime and now that two or throw generations of americans have been born here 90 miles from the homes of the parents and parents, many see the hard line approach with cuba softening and the younger generation taking a practical approach to havana. >> i know what happen in cuba. >> 76 year old george is a cuban exile. as a boy, he witnessed his
uncle's skougz and at 17 he and his family were put under house arrest and threatened with death. his father and sisters were thrown in policeon. his great nephew born in the u.s. doesn't grasp the brutality his family experienced? cuba. >> he has no idea what we are talking about. that is important distinction in this. >> i did not live through what some people lived through when they were forced to flee from their homes and so that passion and that anger is not with me. and i am sort of removed from the situation. but i get to see things without emotion and in a clear perspective. >> and which is why younger generation cuban americans are not bothered by the prospect of a thaw of the relations.
>> they think the countries should get together. >> i am scared to say yes. but what if nothing changes. >> more than half of all americans support making the embargo and in favor of renewing diplomatic relations. >> anything in history. and the longer it fades away the emotions and the anger from generation to generation. a good number have never been to the island and they are in agreement with me. they are in between you know the angst and anger that their relatives have and change happening in cuba and they want to see something different. >> they have no idea. they really have no idea what they are talking about. because they don't know what cuba was and what cuba is. >> despite the difference between the cuban americans,
president obama is changing things like no president before him. >> america is not about just turning your back and doing business in a country where there are no human rights. where there is. >> and he's giving everything to the cuban rejim when they are in the worst state because venezuela cannot support them. and it comes at a perfect time to bail out a 56 year old dictator ship. that's not what america was about. >> what was behind the sudden surprising change in american policy. we'll look at who gavenews.comfor
what had to happen to make this possible? you will be surprised by one of the diplomatic measures that was taken. >> it took people by surprise when president obama announced the change in america's cuban policy. but it did not happen overnight. it was 18 months of intense negotiations included many sessions in can cawhere both sides met in secret and discussions in the vatican where the pope brokered the deal. president obama hoped for a more open relationship and so did cuba, but the sticking point was a prisoner swap. freedom for allen gross who worked with the u.s. agency for development was arrested in 2009 for distributing communication's equipment not under the control of the state and he was quickly
conflicted in 2011 and sentenced to 15 years. >> cuba insisted on the return of cuban five. spies who infilt traited the cuban exile. and they targeted brother to it is rescue who searched for refugees flowing cuba. and cuba shot down two planes floun by brothers to the rescue and killing four. five spies were arrested in 1998 and convicted in 2001. once the exchange was agreed to the way was cleared for diplomatic relations. i talked to chris van holland of marry land that was in the delegations. >> when i went out of the hotel, and put the bags away and took a walk i had on a pin that had
a cuban flag and american flag and people on the street came up to me right away and they were excited about the new relationship and opportunity. which leadership or leaders did they meet with. >> we met with the archbishop of the catholic church in cuba ortega who was instrumental in what became the release of allen gross. we met with disiddent groups within cuba and we met with the cuban foreign minister. >> where do you see cuba 5 or 10 or 20 years from now? >> i don't expect change overnight. i hope we'll have a growing sector and over time that will be leading more cubans to challenge the limitations on their political freedoms as
well. there are no guarantees in the process. >> while van holland is hopeful colleagues are skept beingal of obama's policy. >> what do you say when you say we'll change it from the inside? >> you are wrong. name one time america took a dictatorship and change it from the inside. what he's done in cuba is make every other dictator think that maybe obama will do business with me. this was the time to choke the financing of the cub an regime and show leadership and opposed to doing that president obama is trying to throw a lifeline to the castro regime. >> there was a lot of secret preparation up to this point. and your thoughts on the process? >> the process was horrible. he didn't speak to opposition leaders in cuba or congress or democrats and members of his own
party. >> one part of the secret negotiations is hard to believe hernandez, one member of the cuban spy ring and his wife back in cuba wanted to have a baby what to do? and in the enstiigration of pat lehe, the united states facilitated artificial insemination and hernandez had his sperm frozen and transferred to panama and his wife was impregnated. >> you read the propaganda, you would think it is a musical group. they were spies. hernandez, whom the united states was so eager to facilitate that his wife gets pregnant through artificial imsemination which i never heard of that for someone convicted of killing americans. >> since then, the five have
returned to cuba and given a hero's welcome and hernandez returned to his wife who gave birth to a baby girl this month thanks in part to senator lehe. >> he killed and defoyed and he was returned to cuba thanks to the u.s. government and president obama. >> some feel betrayed. but those who take the spectacle personally. >> he is a murderer and i think it is sad that our president let him walk out of the door. >> this is the daughter of one of the men who died in the shoot down because of the cuban five. he'd escaped cuba at age of ten and served as a u.s. marine and became an american citizen.
mar lean believes that president obama solid out all that her father believed america stood for. >> my father fought to bring democracy to cuba and it would hurt him terribly that the country that he could have begin his life for has complete plea dishonored his memory. the mysterious part of the cuba is a portion of what america controls.
>> mention guantanamo naval base and gitmo and people think of the detention camp there but before 9/11 the u.s. had control of the 45 square miles of land in the southeastern tip of cuba for a century. >> 1898, first u.s. troops in cuba in the spanish american war made camp in guantanamo bay. >> the u.s. came in possession of the guantanamo base. >> motorcycle mike phillips is a reporter and written about guantanamo. >> they got a lease to it in 1903 and had it every since and the lease gives the the united states rights to stay on base and only cancelled if the u.s. and cuban governments
agree. the u.s. government doesn't agree. >> relations remain stable for 50 years and then the cuban revolution and it was the beginning of a hostile relationship and the trickiest question what to do with all of the cubans that worked there. and it is working on the base and commuted to the other side of the fence. and a number of the cubans had opposition to the new rev lougzary government and wanted to stay on the base and eventually hundreds of cubans came to live on the base full-time. >> no one had any idea how long they would be in guantanamo. >> the kennedy administration said you can stay until it is resolved and they are surprised to find them there. >> height of the population. hundreds of cubans living there and now only two dozen living
around. >> they have ended up in a place is as good as they hope. all of them have u.s. citizenship but live on guantanamo bay because they feel at home. >> the youngest one in the the 70s and the oldest one in the 90s. they have lived out entire adult live confined to a fence. it is small and safe. >> if you ignore the military trappings guantanamo comes across a place with a small town atmosphere. those who have lived there, love it. >> montgomery granger is a retired army ranger who arrived in guantanamo a few months after 9/11. he wrote a book detailing his appearance. >> guantanamo bay at that time had 3000 or so civilian independents and they had them
all. outdormovie thetaries and community center, officer's club and et cetera. and you could go scuba diving and fwishing and they had a restaurant and a mcdonald. but granger was there when gitmo became something more controversial. a detention camp was established to hold those captured in the war on terror and there was a legal battle over the detainees. the bush administration didn't believe enemy combatants were guaranteed any rights under the geneva convention. but the courts declared they had prekdz. >> they could have been shot in the battlefield. they didn't have to take them prisoner and the reality of gitmo is that it exists at all
and each one is lucky to be alive. >> i was there when the population was 600. the ceo of concerned veterans of america served in gitmo from 2004 to 5. >> what kind of contact did you have with the detainees. >> these guys are cocktails of urine and feses thrown on their face. >> that was the gitmo cocktail it. >> they would hide it until there was a guard in proximity. >> they were hell bent and determined to get back to the battlefield. >> you can see it in their eyes and actions and hear it in their words. they are at war with us. >> what do you make of the efforts to portray them as victims? >> it is part of portray americans the wrong doers. if you can say they are
misguided youth and guantanamo bay becomes legitimate. >> and as a candidate barak obama promised to cloys the gitmo detention from and as a president he moves in that direction by releasing five yemeni terrorist. >> as americans we commit to justice it makes no sense to spend throw million to keep open a prison that terrorist use to recruit and world condemns. >> i can't get over the fact that the president continues to release the people in the environment. al-qaeda was not decimated. you are send issing them fresh recruits. >> lindsay graham has been a jag officer 33 years and co-sponsored a bill to limit the president's ability to release gitmo detainees. >> we are a nation without a jail when we need a jail. now is not the time to let them
out of guantanamo bay. >> every american can be proud of the job our military does there every day. it is the best military di detention facility. and the islamist equivalent is a pile of heads. >> the u.s. faithfully made the annual lease payment of 4085. and the cuban government refuses to cash the checks. cuba considers the presence of america illegal. what arrangements is still up in the air. part of his plan to normalize relationship with cuba and cancel the lease agreement and close guantanamo bay through that route. >> are you linking his policy shift to the gitmo closing.
>> this is my biggest fear. normalizing relationship with cuba we'll cancel the lease that allows us to it operate in guantanamo bay and thereby closing the prison. >> the issue of gitmo is a separate american decision and not part of negotiations with cuba. >> cuba long claimed that our presence is illegal in guantanamo bay. do you sense there is any push by the cubans to get the land back? >> i have been there three times. the cubans never raised the issue of getting back guantanamo. i wouldn't be surprised if they didn't bring it up in a long list, but i don't see it as one of the priorities they have right now. >> coming up next our all-star panel
syndicated columnist george will. jason riley, editorial board member of the "wall street journal." a.b. stoddard, associate editor of "the hill" and syndicated columnist, charles krauthammer. george, your overall thoughts on this policy these moves and the fallout? >> many of the critics of the policy soup to assume the cuban regime will crumble when its founding dictator dies. the problem with that is that the soviet regime survived the death of its founding dictator by 67 years. the soviet regime survived the death of his successor stalin. it began under the presidency of dwight eisenhower. as did attempts by the united states to bring the regime down. the regime has survived the
presidencies of eisenhower, kennedy, johnson, nixon, ford, carter reagan bush, clinton, bush, and obama. that's 11 presidencies. it's not going to fall by itself. we don't know what will work but 50 years of futility is probably about enough. >> jason, as we've heard in this hour critics of this policy say this was the time because the soviets are no longer supporting like they did, neither is venezuela because of falling crude prices. if this is the time, critics say this is a lifeline to the castro brothers. >> well, what we've learned is that if you look at countries like china and vietnam you can have relatively economic free countries that co-exist with political repression. and that's what we have in cuba. and you also have to remember or that's what we could possibly have in cuba under this regime. you also have to remember that while the u.s. has not been trading with cuba for a long time, other nations have, and there's no reason to believe
that u.s. dollars will work some sort of magic that hasn't been worked by these other countries in the west that have long been trading with cuba. >> a.b.? >> well, what's interesting is the way that president obama, i think, saw this was generational, that as george said, 50 years, it wasn't working but this is an issue that is not of any concern to people who are young in this country. this is now, his new policy is 60% approval rating. it's much higher almost 70% among younger americans. and so he's thinking if there's a short-term benefit to this change, to the regime, long term, he is hoping that like other proponents it's going to hasten the dictatorship's demise and that history will view this as the right decision. >> critics say, charles, point to a country where this has worked, where establishing this opening it from the inside has changed the dynamic for improved human rights. >> well, that is refuted in cuba, itself, by the empirical
fact that the rest of the world -- the united states is the only major country that does not have relations with cuba. canada has them. france has. britain has. spain. it hasn't had an iota of change on the level of repression in that police state, so there's no evidence whatsoever it's going to have any effect. normalization would be okay in principle if you at least got something in return. you're not going to get the regime giving up, but why didn't we exchange, for example some normalization, exchanged for at a minimum opening the internet to cuban civilians? and then for every step rereward them with something else? instead, we gave away everything for nothing. >> i mean jason, the difference, you know, with china, vietnam, there is this business community that's dealing with u.s. business. in cuba, at least so far, everything you do with cuba goes through the regime.
>> that's a big problem. the dollars go to the government who turn around and give useless pay to the masses and that's something i wish the administration had pushed to change in these negotiations. one thing, charles though, that they're still asking for that they didn't get is for gitmo. they want it rusheturned. obama's talked about closing it but they want it back. i think what we've seen in recent weeks in terms of terrorism is it should not only stay open it should stay under our control because we need some place to send these bad guys. >> why stop with gitmo? what about alaska for the russians? didn't we steal that, too in some swindle during the lincoln administration? >> it was paid for. >> also it's too soon to say that the deal that obama struck is the deal because congress is freshly assertive on foreign policy. it's flexing its muscles on iran. it flexed them memorably on the fall of 2013 i guess, regarding syria, and it has yet to put
forward the money and the authorization that will be necessary to fully normalize relations with havana. it can hold out for concessions that theth president did not get. >> a.b., paint the picture on the hill. you talk to lawmakers who say there's zero chance of lifting of the embargo at least not now. on issue of gitmo, clearly the president is engaged and wants this thing closed, but there sunt seem doesn't seem to be the appetite in the building behind me. >> in congress passions are very high about his decision and they're going to fight very hard and they have -- that constituency has been organized and galvanized for a very long time. on the other side people who say, eh, sounds pretty popular in the opinion polls, they were not pushing for this. they were not asking for the administration to please normalize relations with cuba. this was obviously a pet project for president obama to make it into the history books. it's clear by the way that he set it up by charles' description of giving away the
store, by the people that he end colluded and didn't include, that they did a sloppilypy sloppy job. it will be amended over time, constrained over time. guantanamo bay, he made a promise, and on the second day of his presidency and has not been able to fulfill it because he doesn't have support within his own party. though they might be quiet about it, in the end, they don't support it. he doesn't have the constituency in congress to close it as much as he's trying to rush that through, i just believe in the end he's not going to be able to do it on his own. >> charles? >> i don't think he'll close it. if he tried giving it away i think he wouldn't be able to sustain. why not alaska to russia? why not louisiana to the french? why stop there? i do think one thing obama has gained by normalizing relations is he now have the optimal place
on a buzz beater this sunday, the press tackles the patriots. and coach bill belichick. and quarterback tom brady. over allegations that the team cheated its way into the super bowl by underinflating footballs. but with the constant coverage and breaking news isn't this story, well, overblown? >> can. >> you can answer right now, is tom brady a cheat sner. >> i don't believe so. i feel like i've always believed withins rules. >> those balls were deflated. somebody had to do it. >> why are the media treating the football plot like a full pledged scandal. president obama takes on the bun pits for spreading cynicism and many push back over his state of the union.