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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  September 21, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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09/21/15 09/21/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> let us not forget the news we have heard today, the importance of the people, nation, and the importance of individual, which is always based on how they seek to serve the vulnerable brothers and sisters. here we encounter one of the fruits of her true humanity because, my dear brothers and sisters, whoever does not lift -- live to serve does not serve to live. amy: pope francis arrived in cuba saturday for an historic
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for a where he called deepening of the rapproachment between the u.s. and cuba. after celebrating mass in havana's revolution square, the pope met with retired cuban president fidel castro, and is due to arrive in the u.s. on tuesday afternoon. we'll go to havana to speak with a former cuban diplomat who attended the pope's mass on sunday. then "fracture: barack obama, the clintons and the racial divide." we will speak with author and msnbc correspondent joy-ann reid . >> the fundamental question the last 50 years is what to do with johnson's legacy, whether to run away with it which the party by large did, spearheaded by bill clinton who shifted the party to the right as a corrective to what i think a lot of party leaders saw as the consequences, the electoral consequences of embracing so much social change. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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japanese lawmakers have voted into law new measures to allow japanese troops to fight abroad for the first time since the end of world war ii. the vote came after days of protests which brought tens of thousands to the streets to defend japan's pacificist constitution. japanese prime minister shinzo abe has pushed to weaken the pacificist provisions as part of a broader strategy of militarization. opposition parties had sought to block the pro-military measures which were opposed by a majority of the public. protesters vowed to continue fighting. >> it doesn't mean we should let it pass. we can't just develop because it pass. after all, it was passed in the most regular way. celebratedrancis mass in front of hundreds of thousands in revolution square. born in argentina, he is the first latin american pope. he was widely praised in cuba for helping to broker secrets talks with washington that
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resulted in a further normalization of u.s. cuban relations. after arriving in cuba saturday, pope francis praise the detente which in cuba in the united states as "an example of reconciliation for the entire world." on tuesday, pope francis arrives in washington where he will address congress and meet with president obama. we will have more on his visit to cuba after headlines. in news from yemen, six foreign hostages, including two americans, have been freed by houthi rebels after months of captivity. the news comes as the u.s.-led back targeted rebels has killed more than just killed more people. us-led targeted, rebels have killed more people. in greece the left-leaning , syriza party has won snap elections, bringing alexis tsipras back to the role of prime minister a month after he resigned. tsipras had stepped down amid a revolt within his own syriza party after he reversed course
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on austerity and accepted the harsh terms of an international bailout. syriza won 35% of the vote versus 28% for the conservative new democracy party, giving syriza 145 seats in the 300-member parliament. tsipras said he felt vindicated by the win. >> be gave a tough and physical battle and i feel vindicated today because the greek people gave us a clear mandate to continue fighting inside and outside the country and boost our people's pride. amy: foreign ministers from four countries in eastern europe are meeting for talks today to address the influx of syrian refugees fleeing violence in their home country. thousands of people flooded into austria over the weekend with more expected to arrive from hungary today. hungary has reportedly reopened its main border crossing with serbia, after its closure sent refugees streaming into croatia. in serbia, hundreds of people attending a heavily guarded lgbt pride event in the capital belgrade over the weekend called
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for solidarity with the refugees and migrants passing through the country. meanwhile, at least 13 people, including four children, died when their dinghy collided with a ferry off the coast of turkey. another 26 people are missing in a separate incident after their boat sank off the coast of the greek island of lesbos. the united states has vowed to take in more refugees from around the world. secretary of state john kerry said the united states would take in a total of 100,000 refugees in 2017. announce thatd to today the united states will significantly increase our numbers for refugee resettlement in the course of this next year and the year after. last year, i think we're at 70000 and we're going to go up to 85,000 with at least, and underscore the at least, it is not a ceiling, a floor, of 10,000 over the next year from syria specifically, even as we
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also receive more refugees from other areas. and in the next fiscal year, we are -- we will target amy: 100,000. kerry's announcement still falls fall short of calls from human rights groups and lawmakers to accept 100,000 syrian refugees next year. the united states has taken in about 1600 syrian refugees in total since the conflict began in 2011. volkswagen has apologized and halted the sale of certain diesel cars in the united states following reports it illegally installed software to evade standards for curbing pollution. the environmental protection agency ordered volkswagen to recall half a million vehicles after finding it installed the devices in a deliberate bid to avoid emissions rules. it remains unclear if volkswagen officials will face criminal charges. tyson slocum of the consumer advocacy group public citizen told the huffington post -- "this is a huge test of how serious the [obama] administration's commitment is to prosecuting white collar
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crime." the council on american-islamic relations is calling on republican presidential candidate ben carson to withdraw from the race after he said he would not agree with a muslim being elected president. carson made the comments on nbc's "meet the press" with chuck todd. it depends on what that faith is. if it is inconsistent with the values and principles of america, then of course it should matter. realm it fits within the of america inconsistent with the constitution, no problem. >> so do you believe islam is consistent with the constitution? >> know, i do not. i would not advocate that we put a muslim in charge of this nation. i absolutely would not agree with that. amy: carson's campaign has defended the remarks, saying there is a "huge gulf" between the muslim faith and "our constitution and american values."
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carson's comments came after fellow republican contender donald trump was criticized for failing to correct a supporter who called obama a muslim at a town hall event last week. on sunday, trump told chuck todd he was willing to take obama at his word when the president said he was a christian. he also said some already think we have a muslim president. house lawmakers on friday voted to strip federal funding from planned parenthood for a year unless it stops performing abortions. the vote follows a series of republican-led hearings on heavily edited videos released by an anti-choice group which show planned parenthood employees discussing the sharing of fetal tissue with researchers. at one hearing, tennessee -- arizona republican congressmember trent franks acknowledged republicans on the house judiciary committee had neither seen or requested the full, unedited videos. on florida democratic friday, congressmember lois frankel denounced the bill defunding planned parenthood. >> i want to say this as respectfully as possible.
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but this bill is dumb, foolish, and is mean-spirited with only one purpose, and that is to punish one of our country's premier health organizations because it provides women access to an array of services that we need to lead healthy lives. amy: president obama has nominated eric fanning as secretary of the army. if confirmed by the senate, fanning would become the first openly gay civilian to lead a branch of the u.s. military. the move comes as the u.s. military continues to deny imprisoned, transgender army whistleblower chelsea manning permission to grow her hair. manning is serving a 35-year sentence for giving classified documents to wikileaks. last year, the aclu filed a lawsuit demanding treatment for manning's gender dysphoria, including permission to grow out her hair. while manning has been granted access to hormones and makeup, on friday, the military ruled she must continue to cut her hair short, citing security concerns. in a message on her twitter
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feed, manning vowed to fight the decision in court. in chicago, a dozen public school parents, grandmothers and education activists have ended a hunger strike over the fate of dyett high school after 34 days. under chicago mayor and former obama chief of staff rahm emanuel, the city has closed about 50 schools in predominantly african-american and latino neighborhoods. earlier this month, under pressure from the hunger strikers, officials announced plans to reopen dyett high school as an arts-focused, open-enrollment school. but the hunger strikers had called for it to become a global leadership and green technology school. they ended their fast saturday amid concerns over the hunger strikers' health. and viola davis has made history, becoming the first african-american to win an emmy award for best lead actress on a drama series. i see a line. and over that line i see green
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fields flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line, but i can't seem to get their know-how. i can't seem to get over that line. that was harriet tubman in the 1800s. and let me tell you something, the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. [applause] you cannot win in amy for roles that are simply not there. here is to all the writers, -- awesome people that people who have
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redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a , andng woman, to be black to the kerry washington, the tole berry, the megan goods, gabrielle union, thank you for taking us over that line. thank you to the television academy. amy: that's viola davis, accepting the emmy award for best lead actress on a drama series for her role as a defense attorney in the series "how to get away with murder." and that does it for the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. ahead of his first u.s. visit, pope francis celebrated mass in cuba sunday before hundreds of thousands of worshippers in havana's revolution square.
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born in argentina, francis is the first latin american pope. he is widely praised in cuba for helping to broker secrets talks -- secret talks with washington that resulted in the further normalization of u.s.-cuban relations. after arriving in cuba an saturday, pope francis praised the detente between the two countries as "an example of reconciliation for the entire world." during sunday's mass in havana pope francis called on catholics to be at service to one another. >> people of flesh and blood, people with individual lives and stories and with all their frailty, these are those whom jesus asks us to protect, to care for, to serve because being a christian entails serving the dignity of your brothers and sisters, to fight for our brothers and sisters dignity, and to live for the dignity of your brothers and sisters. that is why christians are constantly called to set aside
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their own wishes and desires, their pursuit of power, and to look instead to those whom are most vulnerable. there is a kind of service which truly serves others, yet we need to be careful not to be tempted by another kind of service, a service which is self-serving. there is a way to go about serving, which is interested in only helping my people in the name of our people. this service always leaves your people outside and gives rights to a process of exclusion. amy: the pope's homily in havana included no direct political message besides urging the successful conclusion of colombia peace talks that have been taking place in cuba for nearly three years. after the mass, pope francis met former cuban leader fidel castro at his home. the pope, who is a jesuit, gave castro a collection of sermons by castro's former jesuit teacher, the reverend amando llorente, and two cd recordings of the spanish priest speaking.
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the pope also met with president raul castro at the palace of revolution. on tuesday, pope francis arrives in washington where he will address congress and meet with president obama. according to some accounts, pope francis had initially wanted to begin his u.s. trip by crossing the mexican border to show support for immigrants but the , plan had to be scrapped for logistical reasons. after washington, the pope heads to new york and philadelphia. over the weekend, the vatican released a short video of pope francis speaking in english about his philadelphia stop. greet the people of for thephia when i come world meeting for families. i will be there because you will be there. see you in philadelphia. amy: to talk more about pope francis' cuba-u.s. trip we are joined by two guests.
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in havana, dr. carlos alzugaray treto, a former cuban diplomat who attended the pope's mass in havana on sunday and has closely followed the pope's visit. dr. treto is a scholar and writer and former havana university professor. here in new york is andrea bartoli of the community of sant'egidio, a liberal catholic group active in international affairs. he is the representative to the u.n. and the united states. bartoli is also the dean of the school of diplomacy and international relations at seton hall university. we welcome you both to democracy now! let's begin in havana. dr. treto, can you talk about what happened on sunday, the mass in havana's revolution square? describe the scene for us and what the pope said. i think, amy, thank you
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for having me. i think, first, you have to describe the city the day before. it is very important because it was a saturday. and everything was recent do. like, everyone was in the expectation of what was going to happen on sunday. not full of were patrons. patrons simply stated home and got ready for the mass. the mass was attended by large number of cubans. i think it is interesting -- ofe the very complex the cuban people. the remaining practicing catholics. as a matter of fact, communion was handed out all over the plaza. but at the same time, there were many curious people who simply were attracted by the figure of the pope. the first latin american pope. his position in international affairs is quite different from what we have seen in the past because the pope has aligned
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itself in the big debate of the world today. the pope has aligned itself with the poor people, with the under -- under developed countries. but his message on the plaza was basically a catholic message. theoubt that it helped catholic church in cuba. the catholic church in cuba is not very influential, mainly because it had always been in the national debates on the wrong side. but now the church is aligning itself with the right side. and it is interesting because to a great extent, it is the vatican that has promoted the position of the church. at the massugh yesterday the pope simply kept going a message of solidarity, getting together come a but the cardinal -- together, but the cardinal mentioned the fact the church was playing a role in the
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normalization relations with the united states and the church through cardinal ortega very sidenctly stepped on the of normalization. and this is important because there was a large delegation of cuban-americans from miami and other places in the united states. i personally met with the bishop of miami and there were lots of cuban-americans who some years ago would not have dreamed to come to cuba, and now they are here in cuba being part of this process. as a matter of fact, many have left to be present at the mass today. amy: described the mass you attended. what revolution square was like on sunday. and then talk about the significance of the meeting between the pope, between pope francis come of the first latin american pope, and fidel castro at his home with his family.
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was full ofass people. i was surprised by the number of young people who are believing catholic, which is import and for the church because in the past, the church has never crossed the threshold of maybe 10% of the population being practicing catholics. so it was a manifestation of the growing influence of the church, although, my opinion is that it is not something that will continue to grow forever because they are -- there are obvious limits of what the church can be part of. maybe the most significant one was the meeting the pope had yesterday in the afternoon in -- with young people in cuba. i think the important thing is the church is growing, but it is siding in cooperation with the
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government. and this is very significant. there is no, let's say, open conflict, although, the church would like more presence. and that presence is thing achieved with the help of the vatican. now my view of the meeting with fidel is very interesting. i mean, fidel, since 1985 when he gave the interview and appeared in a book called "fidel and religion," he has come out as a person who has studied in catholic schools -- i, myself, went to the same school as fidel. i have a lot of respect for the jesuits, for the way the jesuits have helped us learn more and be constructive. which was not the case, by the way, when fidel and me met because at that time it was quite conservative. but there is such a coincidence between the political positions of fidel castro in the world stage and raul castro, for that matter, and the position of the
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pope. it is for equality, for the poor, for the advancing progressive agenda worldwide. so i see is as part of that and as this continues relationship that began many years ago, especially when in 1998 hope john paul visited cuba and the connection between john paul and this was so good, so continues to happen today. remember when the pope arrived in cuba, the first thing pope francis arrived in cuba, the first thing he said in his give my greetings to your brother fidel castro. which, of course, is kind of contradictory with the original position of the church in the early years of the revolution because the church sided with the united states, with the upper class against the revolution. in that situation continued into
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the 1960's and 1970's. it started to change in the 1980's. both sides approached each other since the 1980's. and i think this was an aligned but everything -- by editing the pope did, but especially with as many with fidel castro, who is the historic leader of the cuban revolution. amy: we will come back with this discussion with dr. carlos alzugaray treto and also be joined here in new york by dr. andrea bartoli, who is the dean of diplomacy at seton hall university. we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. speaking shortly after his arrival saturday in havana, pope francis praised the recent rapprochement between cuba and
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the united states in which the pope played key role, and he urged them to set an example for the world, which he warned has an atmosphere of "a third world war." >> for some months now, we witnessed an event which fills us with hope, the process of normalizing relations between two peoples following years of estrangement. it is a process will stop it is a sign of the victory of the culture of encounter and dialogue. the system of universal growth over the forever dead system of dynasties, -- i urge political leaders to persevere in this path and to develop all its potentials as proof of the high service, which they're called to carry out on behalf of of the peace and well-being of our people's of all americans and as
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an example of reconciliation for the entire world, the world needs reconciliation in this atmosphere of a third world war. amy: that is pope francis when he first arrived in cuba. he will come to the united states tomorrow on tuesday. our guest to talk about this in havana, dr. carlos alzugaray treto, former cuban diplomat and here in new york, we're joined by dr. andrea bartoli with the community of sant'egidio, a liberal catholic group active in international affairs. he is also the dean of the school of diplomacy and international relations at seton hall university. dr. andrea bartoli, tell us about your take on the significance of the pope's visit. first, he chose to go to cuba, then he is coming to the united states. and he played a key secret role in the rapprochement between the two, no calling for an end to the embargo. >> it is very clear that timing is marvelous.
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he could have come to the u.s. without going to cuba. he could've gone to the u.s. first and then to cuba. instead, it is his choice of going to cuba first. francis is very clear in this message. he likes peru for ease. he wants to see the world through the peripheries. he wants to come to the central, the world from the periphery. the moment of francis is very telling. and i think it is very important moment. it is not -- she is not only going to cuba because cuba is a catholic country traditionally am a because it is a cultural legacy in a speak spanish, obviously, in cuba, but i think because diplomacy is made with encounters, with this challenge of encountering somebody that can be threatening and the relationship between cuba and the u.s. has been mutually reatening for quite some time. sayrancis is trying to encounter is a challenge, .ncounter is a risk you take
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and diplomacy must be taken boldly, must be taken with some gusto. and i think the message that he is saying is that the u.s. is actually ready for this challenge, and has done well so far. amy: can you talk about how the pope did facilitate this rapprochement, something that was not known about until it was announced? well, known by some. >> in many ways, the two parties did not need francis at all. they did all of the work in canada and they did all of the work by themselves. so in many ways, you wonder why did they think it was necessary to go to the vatican and have this blessing. i think there is something about the general perception in the problems mustious be solved by war, that serious problems must be sold violently. serious problems must be solved by victory. and instead, both of them felt francis was very important and blessing this idea that serious
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problems actually must be solved by diplomacy. must be solved politically. so the role of the pope was at the very end. it was him a stay blessing, a fatherly blessing of an agreement that was a made by the americans and the cubans. amy: this is that the first time a pope has gone to cuba. you had pope john paul ii as well as pope benedict. >> yes, indeed. it is an interesting process. as we know now, the cardinals studied with -- the visit very carefully. the visit was an important one. this is a pope that was born in poland and lived in his own way, the tragedy of europe, nazi germany occupying and then the communists, yet came out victorious because he felt the church needed to be the church, needed to be a space for people
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to think freely. and interestingly enough, his visit to cuba has similar overtones. the church is not confronting -- aligning itself against the government, but clearly creating conditions for new options to emerge. it is clearly giving the system the possibility to breathe. clearly setting himself into this line that benedict, too, wanted to strike. on then you comment comments made about the pope by new jersey governor chris christie? tois catholic, but speaking cnn, he says he disagrees with the pope on the u.s.-cuba relationship. >> i just think the pope was wrong. infallibility is on religious matters, not political ones. and the fact is that for me, i
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just believe that when you have a government that is harboring fugitives, murdering fugitives, one who murdered a state police officer new jersey in cold blood, broke out of prison and been harbored for the last 40 plus years by cuban government, that this president could extend diplomatic relations with that country without getting her returned so she conserved a prison sentence that she was sentenced to buy a jury of her peers in new jersey, is outrageous. and so i just happen to disagree with the pope on this one. amy: that is chris christie, the governor of new jersey. you are at seton hall university. you are the head of the school of diplomacy and international relations, the dean of seton hall in east orange, new jersey. your response to governor christie? >> the governor is right, the pope is infallible only on matters of faith. and when he speaks -- that point is very clear. the question is, should we keep
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yearsies frozen in 50 relationship that doesn't go anywhere? the fugitive that governor christie mentioned is not in new jersey. and he is not one to be a new jersey anytime soon. it is the policy of the u.s. -- if the policy of the u.s. remains the same. the result of that policy is that justice, according to new jersey law, was definitely not served. to have a chance at justice will be served if there is an agreement between the u.s. and cuba? is silly muchat higher. in the world of probability, i was a the pope is right in a sense that even the justice the governor christie is claiming will actually be probably better served by a collaboration between the government of cuba and the government of the united states. his i want to ask you about trip to the united states and the significance of this and the
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priest will be sanctifying here when he first comes to washington, d.c. >> clearly anpresence in the u.. he is a spanish-speaking missionary and his memory is very fond in certain quarters, but he is also debated. i think the support for people to realize that the debate within the catholic church has been around for quite some time and was celebrated a few years ago 500 years of the hollies, the famous words in which the dominican -- was condemning the spanish think he stood doors -- was condemning the spanish cookies to doors. beene catholic church has thinking -- seeking this contradiction for some time. the judge with found latin america very interesting history of experiment thing with
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politics the could not accept. what we're seeing is the long and a long history. church is been around for quite a long time. amy: pope francis's decision to canonize the father has drawn a strong protest from many native americans. they accuse -- they say in the 18th century franciscan missionary was brutal, imposing conversion to catholicism. this is korean fairbanks -- corine fairbanks. he was an accomplice and co-conspirator to rate, torture, murder. i think he is just as bad as hitler. some people might understand the comparison, but it was a man with a vision and cap nothing, nothing in the way of making a
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vision happen. he did not care how many you will you heard. yet a plan, vision and he executed it. amy: dr. andrea bartoli, your response? interestingly, the pope has condemned colonialism has apologize to indigenous native american people. >> this is an interesting challenge for the catholic church more than anyone else. a presence in human history for more than 2000 years, so clearly, you have introductions that were wrong and for which the church has apologized. the pope himself, especially john paul ii, started this expression of contrition. but i also think it is important to realize how the debates within the church were well alive at that time and were still alive, and also how the political realities of that moment were pushing for even thinkr oppression and i
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the choices that we make today are clearly making the world as we live it, but it is important to realize the ways in which members also count. amy: i want to go back to dr. treto in havana, in cuba, and ask you about assata shakur who governor christie was talking about. convicted maywas 2, 1973, killing of a new jersey state trooper during a shootout that left one of her fellow activists dead. she was shot twice by the new jersey police during the incident. in 1979, she managed to escape from jail, and she later fled to cuba. she has long proclaimed her innocence. she said she could not get a fair trial in the united states.
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is it possible that her exile is threatened under this rapprochement, dr. treto? the cuban government has been very clear on this issue. they have insisted again and again that assata shakur is a political exile, is considered a political exile by the cuban government. of course, governor christie, it is only normal he would have that opinion, but i would invite him to think about these things. if we're going to stop the normalization process because of these kinds of issues, the cuban government can say, why doesn't the united states extradite luis posada carilles? whose cases even worse than governor christie describes about assata shakur?
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carilles is a terrorist and has confessed to major crimes. an convicted in venezuela and panama, but partnered by the interest of the right-wing cuban-americans and panel mock, and he's in the united states and the united states is that presented them for his terrorist activities even though internal documents, it is recognized he is a violent terrorist. and he is done extradited. the cuban government can say, well, i'm not going to talk to the american government until they extradite assata -- luis posada carilles. talked about diplomatically. it is a reality, unfortunately, a reality of our long conflict. the cuba stands on its position that she is a political -- she came to cuba asking for political asylum, and she was
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given political asylum by the cuban government. amy: finally, this dish i don't know if it was a rumor am a but -- rumor, but the possibility of the pope would have come up to the united states through the mexican border. dr. andrea bartoli, what do you know about this? >> i think it is a wonderful gesture and something possible that francis had considered. you will remember him at the wall -- and i think it is important for francis to realize that his presence and his -- not just made by speeches, but also by gestures. he is becoming more known in many ways in this global age through his gestures. i think we also need to remember that american cardinals went to the wall, to the border, to celebrate. cardinal o'malley, who is fluent in spanish and portuguese and is been a very strong defender of the rights of immigrants already
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did this. for the catholic church, that border is particularly relevant imagine,s we can catholics are everywhere, clearly, very strong in the u.s. but also in mexico, too. it would've been a wonderful gesture and it is interesting that it cannot happen. amy: finally, the community that you represent -- will he a minute, but can you explain how this relates to the pope and what this community of liberal catholic service does? >> in this particular case, the community is a large moment of catholics in cuba and it is growing quite remarkable. 1968, his in rome in presence in the united states and being working on peacemaking for a long time. in representing the community of the u.n. because we were involved in the peace process and albania and a jury in many countries. we are working now on syria. of a newhe beginning
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church. it is the expression of a new catholic understanding of the world and this is why we feel francis is so important, not just for catholics, but for everyone. amy: and in syria, you're doing what? non-armeder all the opposition and we have been working with them on the new concept and the new ideas on ways in which diplomacy could address the issue. our presence in syria has been especially through the christians in the territory. one in particular, to bishops , syriancatholic priest orthodox unorthodox -- greek ,rthodox bishops, all kidnapped have been in our prayers every day since the kidnapping. dedicated from all of the world. i think it is important to
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realize that we definitely feel the lacking of a peace movement worldwide for peace in syria. it is outrageous what is happening there and the lack of responses we have. amy: a want to thank you both for being with us and over like to continue the conversation at another time with you about your work all over the world. dr. andrea bartoli is the representative of the community of sant'egidio, a liberal catholic group active in international affairs. dean of the school of diplomacy and international relations at seton hall university. and carlos alzugaray treto is a former cuban diplomat who was speaking to us directly from havana, cuba. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. atn we come back, we looked racial relations over the last 50 years the but particularly focusing in the last years around president obama and the clintons. ,e will speak with joy-ann reid author and msnbc correspondent, but her book called "fracture."
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stay with us. ♪ [music break] amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and
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peace report. i'm amy goodman. we end today's show with a conversation with joy-ann reid, a national correspondent for msnbc. she used to host "the reid report" and was a press aid in the final stretch of barack obama's florida campaign in 2008. she has written a book called "fracture: barack obama, the "fracture: barack obama, the clintons and the racial divide," , which looks at the history of race relations in the u.s. while tracing the political shifts in the democratic party through the relationship between the clintons and president obama. last week, democracy now!'s juan gonzalez and i sat down with joy-ann reid, and i began by asking her what exactly is the fracture that she sees occurring between barack obama and not just hilary clinton, but the clintons. inis interesting to quiz 2008 -- because in 2008, he saw both of the clintons litigating within senator obama, the legacy of the civil rights era, and they ran into trouble over their interpretation of the dichotomy
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between the nonviolent movement toward social change for economic empowerment and also the right to vote, in the lyndon johnson break with his own party with these once democratic soul is segregated south on the issue of civil rights. they ran into trouble with the fundamental question that the democratic party had faced over the last 50 years, what to do with johnson's legacy? whether to run away from it, which the party by large did, spearheaded by bill clinton who shifted the party to the right, which i think a lot of party leader saw as the consequence of the electoral consequences of embracing so much social change. juan: but you actually go back and look at how this developed even before the clintons and the role of the jesse jackson campaign within the democratic party as well. could you talk about that? >> i think i've been several fractures in the party the first was this break that lyndon johnson made from his own heritage as a southern politician, southern democrat, and then i think the next one
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really was with jesse jackson. when reverend jesse jackson ran for president in 1984, it was a movement that was not embraced started by the black political leadership or the democratic party leadership. but if ultimately transformed the party. he won several important concessions of the convention because he was a successful vote in the campaign and in 1988 in just registering millions and millions of voters, many african-american. you saw this fundamental shift in the way delegates were awarded, and the way the party had to campaign in the reinjured action of the need for southern politics that really made barack obama's rise possible because he the courselly over of the small races because of jesse jackson. amy: how did president clinton deal with jesse jackson? >> once jesse jackson had achieved these two back-to-back campaigns that really were successful political movements that galvanized african-americans, the party had to decide what to do with him.
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by 1998, the answer was, we will set him aside. bill clinton led that in 1992 when he essentially rebuked jesse jackson and was also the same time rebuking mario cuomo and he did so in very stark terms as a way of signaling to really white working-class voters that this is the party that is not beholden to the jackson wing, a candidacy not beholden to jackson himself. and that rejection of jackson in 1992 really reset the party with white working-class voters, helped bill clinton to when the white house, but set a tone for the party that was very center-right and had liberals within the party really left yearning for a movement of their own. it took what a long time for the liberal wing to come back in the african-american part of that movement to find its own voice, but they definitely did in 2008. juan: yet you say jackson and clinton did develop a personal relationship of some sort. >> one of bill clinton's talents, he's a very deft
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politician in southern politician, so politicians in the south including jimmy carter had long had this dichotomy of holding the african-american vote with one hand and the white rural with the other and being able to do both. because bill clinton is so commercially -- easy and natural relationship, he was able to surmount that vote with like voters but also with jesse jackson. he had a personal relationship with the guy. they could sit up until 3:00 in the morning talking politics. he could walk into a black church with jesse jackson and they both knew all the stanzas. i think bill clinton's personal gift as a politician helped him overcome some of the political strain that he himself created with policy. amy: he just spoke at jackson's mother's funeral, as i write? >> absolutely. i talk in the book how they got back together sitting in the governor's mansion in arkansas and sitting up until three in the morning when hillary clinton had to literally get jesse jackson out because a set of
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talking politics and enjoying each other's company. this is an interesting relationship that had ups and downs but a thin of the day has remained really close. amy: how does that translate into hillary clinton running for president now and 2015-2016? >> hillary clinton has had this remarkable arc over the course of her life. goldwater teenager to a fears ercenist young lawyer -- fi feminist young lawyer, then shifting back to traditional first lady role after being rebuked for trying to have a policy portfolio of her own with health care. she occupied a strange space that is near the democratic party that is on left, right, hawkish, the neocon in the party . now she is trying to find her own individual voice and balance whether she is innocence looked at as a clinton restoration candidate or in obama continuation candidate. she has a role in both of those
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administrations and in both of those wings of the party. so she has this on space and hasn't really decided which camp to come down on. she really needs to because she needs that ascended obama coalition to become president. juan: in terms of the issue of the racial divide, we've seen after the killing of michael brown in ferguson and the continuing incidents all across the country of police abuse that the president has been challenged in terms of how he responds to this huge and growing concern in the african-american community among people of color in the united states. >> and issues of policing underlie the movement around black civic justice going back 100 years. if you go back to the 1960's, the majority of the riots that took place in urban centers were around incidents of police brutality or allegations of policemen -- is conduct black
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citizens that caused this disruption. it is been that way for long time, we just did not have cell phones to document it. barack obama comes along at a time he could transcend race. that he could get the country beyond it, really, by not addressing it and not sticking that needle into the large body politic. but he defies that because he is just defines that because he is an african-amecan man, he can avoid showing the inner self at these moments and he showed it with trayvon martin, although, that was not a police incident, it was likened to a because it was a person acting in the guise of a police officer. it happens again with michael brown. i think the president find his original attempt to embrace his larger vision of race is unsatisfying to african-americans. african-americans say, no, we want you to litigate this and speak our pain from the pulpit of the presidency. it takes president obama quite a time to do it because he feels he has this duty as president but over time starts to unfold that little by little until now
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you see a president who has come into his own talking about race, which i think happened around selma he started to see him open up. the african-american community and white americans have a different expectation. there is just desire to transcend it and heal the past and say the past is the past but african-americans, the past is present and they wanted discussed. amy: i want to turn to comments made by president obama earlier during his address to the naacp plus in all convention were he spoke about racism as "the legacy of slavery and segregation." measure, about every the life chances for black and hispanic youth still lag far behind those of their white peers. our kids, america's children, so without hope,ated less likely to graduate from high school, less alert link -- less likely to be employed, less
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likely to have health insurance, less likely to own a home. and part of this is a legacy of hundreds of years of slavery and segregation and structural and equalities that compounded over generations. amy: that is president obama addressing the naacp. you were his press aid in florida, system press aid in the last days of his run in 2008. how do you think he has changed? as he disappointed you? as he surprised you? >> the president has changed but mentally and the way he communicates with african-americans. of thenier iterations senator and president obama would have followed the statements by saying, we also have to turn off the tv until black parents to be present in the home, sit up with little johnny and do the homework. he had this admonition style
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that is very much and the pastor style. there's a tradition even in the black church of telling parents to, you know, make the kids left their pants. he had that part of his presentation, which is much like what the clinton would often do in black churches and his political career. it is successful in the room, but i think outside the room and the growing body, particularly of young black intellectuals and the younger african-americans, that was received as blaming the victim and constantly lecturing african-americans without really directly addressing the structural inequalities in the country. present-day president obama, particularly in the last 18 months, is where you saw him at the naacp where he is able to speak to the ongoing structural inequalities african-americans experience in real life. i think he is more comfortable doing that. the white house, their side of the story would be, well, the reason he did not spend more time on race before it was chilling with in the economy that was cratering and other things. i think is a greater comfort level you can see them president
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obama in talking about race the way his fellow african-americans talk about race all the time. juan: but is it also perhaps coming in the last couple of his own realization that his expectations to take the country beyond racial conflicts has not happened? the idea -- ink write about the fact i think there was a believe in a false belief in a way and the obama team, not just -- that comes from the top, that his being president could help the country sort of surmount this issue of race and could render his race almost incidental to his presidency, that the successes in policy would spread across raise and sort of help him to surmount it. that was not possible. i even believe that the time when then senator obama was running that if he won, he would have a reckoning on who we were as a country, as a multiracial democracy, and it would be not always pretty.
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i am not been that surprised there's been a lot of ugliness tied to the presidency barack obama because we still have a racial baggage as a country, we just don't want to talk about it. we have to talk about it with a black family in the white house. he, partially, had to experience some of the direct and really ugly sides of this country as president. but doing it as president of think makes it a difference because it forces the country to reckon with it. amy: let's contrast president obama with hillary clinton. last month, group of black lives matter activists from massachusetts met with hillary clinton following a campaign event in new hampshire. i want to go to a clip of the exchange that begins with a woman from black lives matter boston. beenu and your family have personally responsible for policies [inaudible]
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i want to know why you feel about your role in that violence and how you plan to reverse it? >> i feel strongly, which is why , youe this town hall today know, the questions and the comments from people illustrated, there is a lot of concern that we need to rethink and redo what we did in response to a different set of problems. and life and politics and government, you name it, you have to constantly be asking yourself, is this working, is it not? if it's not, what do we do better? that is what i'm trying to do now on drugs, mass incarceration, on police behavior and criminal justice reform, because i do think that there was a different set of concerns back and the 1980's and early 1990's. and now i believe we have to look at the world as it is today and try to figure out what will work now. and that is what i'm trying to figure out, what i intend to do as president. amy: that is hillary clinton
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speaking with the founder of black lives matter boston. our guest is joy-ann reid who wrote, "fracture: barack obama, the clintons and the racial divide." can you assess that conversation, the issues she was raising and what hillary clinton responded? >> i think you're seeing hillary clinton -- having this false conversation about authenticity and campaigns and candidates. that is authentic hillary clinton. intoof the reason she ran trouble in 2008 issue is having a very academic discussion about the difference between what advocacy did and what it took fracture legislation to make that possible. she is essentially doing the same thing here. amy: joy-ann reid, author of, "fracture: barack obama, the clintons and the racial divide." she's a national correspondent for msnbc. that doesn't for our broadcast. happy birthday to amy littlefield. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by
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