tv CBS Overnight News CBS November 28, 2016 3:00am-4:01am PST
. cuba's farewell to fidel castro. we're in havana as the island nation begins a week of rallies and tributes to its father figure. but here in the u.s. some cuban americans say history will not absolve the man they call a brutal dictator. >> he says history will absolve him. history will condemn him. also tonight, president-elect trump slams election recount efforts as a scam. the young victims of the chattanooga school bus tragedy are laid to rest. concerns were raised about the driver weeks ago. and the online holiday shopping rush is on. could cyber monday shatter an internet sales record? >> it's going to be a very strong cyber monday.
>> announcer: this is the "cbs overnight news." welcome to the "overnight news." i'm meg oliver. 21-gun salutes will fire in cuba's largest cities today as the island nation begins a week-long choreographed farewell to its long-time leader fidel castro. the communist dictator, who wore his animosity toward america as long as his trademark beard, died friday at the age of 90. manuel bojorquez is in havana. >> reporter: meg, cubans are grieving today as the death of fidel castro has started to set in. while a divisive figure abroad, on this caribbean island castro was admired by many. as flags flew at half staff over havana, some cubans could not hold back their tears. victor manuel said he felt like he had lost a patriarch. the factor of other of our fami father of the revolution he said. havana's normally bustling
revolution plaza was quiet. workers were busy preparing for two days of tributes to the dictator, who led the country for half a century. thousands of cubans will pay their respects in the shadow of the monument to national hero jose marti and a sculpture of revolutionary leader che guevara. inside the havana cathedral leticia fonseca prayed and reflected. "fidel was someone that always helped us a lot," she said. "especially the cuban community of the lower class." on saturday at cast he tro's former university dozens of students chanted "i am fidel." pedicab driver lanzaro alonzo said he hopes castro's death would not slow progress in cuba. "we continue o'work hard," he said. "there will be great moments that will come for this country." people here will gather for official state memorials starting tomorrow with the largest expected on tuesday at revolution square, where castro delivered some of his most fiery
speeches. his remains will then be taken from havana to santiago, essentially retracing in reverse the steps he took in victory with the revolutionary army. meg, his funeral will be next sunday in santiago, known as the cradle of castro's revolution. >> manuel bojorquez, thank you. about 225 miles north of havana it's a very different mood. more like a party in miami's cuban-american neighborhood little havana. david begnaud is there. >> reporter: this is the second day that people have taken to the streets here in little havana. as one woman said, we're not celebrating the death of fidel castro but we're celebrating the potential for freedom in cuba. it's still front-page news. i want to show you the front cover of the "miami herald." the picture of fidel with one word, "dead." it's still all people are talking about in miami. the streets are still closed and they're blaring music in front of cafe versailles. tanya madrigal came to the united states when she was 9 years old. tanya-y did you want to be here?
your parents came with you. they are now deceased. why is it important for you to be on the streets tonight? >> to support my cuban family. to support -- all these people have come here today to celebrate and to teach my daughter there is a moment in history. and the reason why i'm here, for freedom. i left when i was 9 years old and i've never gone back to cuba. and one day i will go back. when i can go there with my american passport because i'm an american. >> reporter: thank you, tanya. we appreciate it. we also spoke with the republican congresswoman iliana ros-lehtinen who herself came to the u.s. when she was a child. >> what's the rest of the country to make of all this happening outside of versailles? >> i know people are looking at these visuals and they're saying are these people nuts, they're celebrating someone's death? and we're not. we're celebrating an opportunity of a new beginning. a new dawn. and we're a hopeful, optimistic people. we're never going to stop dreaming of a free cuba and working toward one. >> reporter: we noticed today that people were taking small cuban flags and bringing them to
nearby graveyards where their relatives are buried. as one woman said, "i wanted to put a flag at the grave of my mother and father, who didn't live long enough to see this day come." meg? >> david begnaud in miami for us. thank you. top aides to president-elect trump said today the incoming administration will not make any decisions on u.s.-cuba relations until after mr. trump takes office in january. for now mr. trump is filling positions in his administration and keeping an eye on election recount efforts. errol barnett has the latest. >> reporter: president-elect donald trump fired off a tweet storm sunday over the pending vote recount in wisconsin, where he won by 27,000 votes. "hillary clinton conceded," he wrote, noting that after the election the democratic nominee said, "we owe him a chance to lead." clinton's general counsel said on saturday they would participate in the recount which was initiated by green party candidate jill stein.
she has raised $6 million for the effort and may pursue recounts in michigan and pennsylvania. trump calls it a scam, and today his chief of staff went further. >> and it's ridiculous. this is a fund-raising notoriety-driven fraud by a person who won 33,000 votes in wisconsin to president-elect trump, who won 1.4 million. >> reporter: also today the transition team's debate over who should be secretary of state spilled into public view once again. governor mitt romney and mayor rudy giuliani are among those being considered. trump campaign manager turned adviser kellyanne conway appeared on several sunday programs to slam governor mitt romney. >> he gave speeches against donald trump. he attacked his character. did he go and intervene in syria where they're having a massive humanitarian crisis? meaning when i say intervene, offer to help. has he been helpful to mr. netanyahu? >> reporter: now, the president-elect is wrapping up the family vacation at his
mar-a-lago resort in florida, and his transition team says he's been contacted by more than 40 world leaders. meg, more cabinet and staff announcements are expected monday. >> all right. errol barnett, thank you. there were mass shootings in a number of cities this weekend including new orleans. one man is dead and nine others injured after an overnight shooting in the french quarter on bourbon street. two were arrested. it's not clear whether the victims were targeted. a civil rights group is calling for more police protection of mosques after threatening letters were sent to three mosques in california. investigators are trying to track down whoever sent the handwritten, photocopied letters. jury selection begins tomorrow in the trial of dylann roof. he's accused of murdering nine african-americans at a bible meeting in june of 2015. on friday a federal judge ruled that roof is mentally competent to stand trial and could face the death penalty if convicted.
funerals were held in chattanooga, tennessee for two of the six children killed last week in a school bus accident. paula reid is following this. >> reporter: mourners gathered at the redemption point church in chattanooga to say good-bye to 9-year-old kordasia jones. her pastor remembered her as a child who made everyone's day a little brighter. >> she was the most genuine child you could ever meet. you know when people say that oh, man, they leave everyone smiling, they just say it. well, for cordasia they really meant that. >> reporter: the bus driver has been charged with vehicular homicide. newly released records show school administrators and students raised concerns about him in the weeks before he crashed a bus carrying 37 children on their way home from
woodmore elementary school. just ten days before the accident a principal reported walker for driving way too fast. in a handwritten report a student said "it feels like the bus is going to flip over." when confronted by school officials walker stated he did not care about the students and proceeded to tell the students he did not care about them. funerals for the young victims continue throughout the week. 10-year-old diana harris was laid to rest today. 9-year-old zoe nash's funeral is scheduled for thursday. three students remain in the hospital in critical condition. a fund has been set up to help families affected by the bus crash. it has raised over $150,000. meg, they tell me they expect that number to be even higher after the two organizations have had a chance to count all the donations that came in over the holiday. >> such a sad story. paula reid, thank you so much. coming up next, cyber monday. it's expected to be the largest online shopping day in history.
record numbers this weekend leading up to the big event known as cyber monday. here's mireya villareal. >> reporter: bargains on tvs, toys, and technology was enough temptation to draw in hordes of shoppers across the country on black friday. but crowded stores with limited product have some second-guessing whether braving black friday is worth it. >> walmart was crazy busy and people were trying to punch people in the face. >> reporter: this year online retailers got a jump start on cyber monday, posting deals on thanksgiving day. the savings so good savvy shoppers actually crashed macy's website. consumers research president joe colangelo. >> it's going to be a very strong cyber monday. you're looking at amazon of course as capturing the lion's share of cyber monday and walmart is close after. and then macy's, lord & taylor, home depot. these are three of the other major players. >> reporter: sales from this cyber monday could hit at least $3.3 billion. that's 9% more than 2015 and a
nearly 27% jump from 2014, when sales were at $2.6 billion. overall this year's holiday season could ring up at 117 billion. >> of the three main shopping days over this holiday weekend, that's thanksgiving, black friday, and cyber monday, cyber monday has been growing the fastest of all three of those. >> reporter: colangelo says the convenience of shopping at home combined with better bargains is what's fueling that growth. converting shoppers like pat courtney. >> we used to get up every morning on black friday, 3:00 in the morning and go everywhere. these days you get up on thanksgiving order online and come out out of habit. >> reporter: millennials are leading the shopping pack, increasing their spending by 25% this year. meg? >> mireya, thank you. up next,
uh, yeah i have an early day tomorrow so... wait. almost there. goodnight, bruce. gotta tune the "a." (humming) take a closer look at geico. great savings. and a whole lot more. mthat stuff only lasts a few hours. or, take mucinex. one pill fights congestion for 12 hours. guess i won't be seeing you for a while. why take medicines that only last 4 hours, when just one mucinex lasts 12 hours? let's end this. there are nearly 120,000 homeless people in california. more than 2/3 of them live on the street. that's the highest rate of people without shelter in the country. john blackstone tells us about a simple program that's making their lives more bearable. >> reporter: the latest count of homeless in los angeles shows the city has more than 43,000 people living on the streets.
on skid row in downtown los angeles makeshift dwellings spread for block after block. few outsiders regularly walk these forbidding streets. but raquel beard has. >> people are dying every day here. the drug trade and drug usage is just out of control. property thefts are through the roof. >> reporter: she worked with the association of business owners in the skid row area who are being overwhelmed by the homeless. >> and there's no community outcry about that. >> reporter: because other people don't see it. >> out of sight out of mind, let's just keep it there. >> reporter: but skid row also has those struggling to make better lives. they are helped at a warehouse called the bin. with nowhere to live, debra parra got a bin here to keep clean clothes, helping her hold down a job as a security guard. >> i leave a lot of stuff here. so depending what job i'm doing -- >> reporter: this makes it a little easier. >> oh, sure does. a whole lot easier. >> they're all full. we have a witting list. >> reporter: mark loringer is
ceo of chris alist, the organization that runs the bin. what does this represent? >> this represents the personal belongings and life history of about 1,500 residents of the skid row area. >> reporter: users must check in at least once a week. >> glass in there. >> yeah, it's a drinking glass. >> toothbrush. >> yeah, toothbrush. >> reporter: levelle liggins, living on the streets for 15 years, got a measure of safety when he got a bin. >> rule of the streets is whatever they find is theirs, they keep it, they can move on it. >> reporter: the bins provide order in often kay ottic lives. >> when i come out and i roll out their bins, i'm treating it as a service to them. >> i got it. >> reporter: demetrious reid knows the bins from both sides. he was homeless until the job here helped him get a place to live. >> it kind of adds a little dignity back into the equation. >> reporter: it's part of l.a.'s latest plan to help the homeless. the city is looking to add thousands more bins, which can provide a modest step toward life off the street. john blackstone, cbs news, los angeles. >> we'll be right back.
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than 4,000 people from aleppo, syria this weekend. it comes as syrian and russian forces continue their assault to retake syria's largest city. across the border about 6,000 american troops are in iraq helping in the fight against isis. over the holiday weekend holly williams spent time with some of them. >> reporter: they've spent months away from home, aiding in the fight against isis on the other side of the world. >> happy thanksgiving. how are you? >> reporter: their thanksgiving lunch wasn't shared with family. but with their brothers and sisters in the armed forces. >> stuffing? >> yes. >> reporter: and when we asked some of the roughly 6,000 u.s. service members currently in iraq what they're thankful for, many of them spoke of their loved ones. major rebecca de niro white and captain jeremy white were grateful just to be together for a few hours at thanksgiving, meeting up at a military staging
area around ten miles east of mosul. they've only been married five months. so you're intentionally together here in iraq. this was the only place you could be together. >> yeah. kind of. >> it just worked out that way. >> reporter: major steven bryant serves as a chaplain. ♪ ministering to the spiritual needs of soldiers of all religions. but on his third tour of duty in iraq he's thankful for something rather practical. cell phones. >> i think what's different this time is communications. it's giving me an opportunity to express that to my girls and to my wife and to my mom and dad and different family members more frequently. that i miss them, that i love them, and i certainly appreciate their support. >> reporter: others waxed poetic. like private first class onay beam from fontana, southern
california. >> this is a humbling experience. out here -- the experience to be able to like come and be humbled and see how other people live, stuff that people think they need back in the states. kids as they grow up this is all they know. no socks, no shoes. just running around playing soccer. just -- it's crazy. but -- that's what i'm thankful for. >> reporter: specialist monique frank from goldsboro, north carolina has the kind of relentless optimism that's infectious. one of a team of three cooks, she feeds 150 soldiers every day from this minuscule kitchen. >> it's something i love. something i'm very passionate about. food tells a story nothing else can. like you put your emotions in it. i love it. >> reporter: and you're putting your emotions into it even here in this tiny little kitchen in iraq? >> yep.
[ speaking foreign language ]. >> at the vatican today pope francis said special prayers for hurricane, earthquake, and flood victims in costa rica, nicaragua, and italy. vatican television broadcast the news worldwide. seth doan got a rare behind-the-scenes look at the high-tech operation. ♪ hallelujah >> reporter: though 70,000 people packed into st. peter's square in vatican city, an even larger audience watched on tv. this mass last sunday was covered by 12 cameras including two sweeping gibs, those cameras on long arms. specific moments including the closing of the holy door, were carefully choreographed. it was all transmitted to the
world at the highest quality possible, 4k hdr. you're broadcasting at a quality level that most of us cannot imagine. most of us have never seen because our tvs aren't that good. >> it's the very first time. >> reporter: a first for the vatican. stefano dogastini is the head of vatican tv. he explained how they're early adopters of the latest technology. you describe vatican tv almost like a laboratory for television. why? >> because it's easier for the companies, for the factors to work with us because we are small. >> reporter: vtv its acronym in italian has just 21 full-time employees. greg burke is a former fox news correspondent. he now runs the vatican press office. >> vatican television is like the mouse that roared. okay? it's a tiny operation if you look at the number of people. but the quality is really great.
>> reporter: vatican tv is hardly an independent observer. rather it's part of the church's massive pr apparatus. reminders of its mission are on screen and off. the material is hard to beat in setting, scale, and sheer theatrics. whether it's the cardinals marching into the sistine chapel or that memorable good-bye flight over the eternal city when benedict xvi became pope emeritus. >> this is an expensive operation, vatican tv. why dedicate so many resources to tv? >> i think the answer is this helps get the pope's message out. the better you can tell that story. and these days we're telling stories with pictures. >> reporter: seth doan, cbs news, vatican city. that's the overnight news for this monday. for some of you the news continues. for others check back with us a little later for the morning news and "cbs this morning."
from the broadcast center in new york city, i'm meg oliver. welcome to the "overnight news." i'm meg oliver. president-elect donald trump is back at trump tower in new york city, steaming mad over efforts to overturn his election victory. hillary clinton has now joined green party candidate jill stein in calling for recounts in several states that went republican. clinton leads in the popular vote by nearly 2 million votes. but she lst the electoral college 290-232. and she'd need every state at issue to come close to toppling mr. trump. errol barnett reports. >> reporter: president-elect donald trump fired off a tweet-storm sunday oaf the pending vote recount in wisconsin, where he won by 27,000 votes. hillary clinton conceded, he wrote, noting that after the
election the democratic nominee said we owe him a chance to lead. clinton's general counsel said on saturday they would participate in the recount, which was initiated by green party candidate jill stein. she has raised $6 million for the effort and may pursue recounts in michigan and pennsylvania. trump calls it a scam, and today his chief of staff went further. >> and it's ridiculous. this is a fund-raising notoriety-driven fraud by a person who won 33,000 votes in wisconsin to president-elect trump, who won 1.4 million. >> reporter: also today the transition team's debate over who should be secretary of state spilled into public view once again. governor mitt romney and mayor rudy giuliani are among those being considered. trump campaign manager turned adviser kellyanne conway appeared on several sunday programs to slam governor mitt romney. >> he gave speeches against donald trump. he attacked his character.
did he go and intervene in syria where they're having a massive humanitarian crisis? when i say intervene like offer to help? >> reporter: the president-elect is wrapping up the family vacation at his mar-a-lago resort in florida and his transition team says he's been contacted by more than 40 world leaders. meg, more cabinet and staff announcements are xpt expected monday. >> all right. errol barnett, thank you. 21-gun salutes will fire in cuba's largest cities monday as the island nation begins a week-long choreographed farewell to its long-time leader fidel castro. the communist dictator, who wore his animosity toward america as long as his trademark beard, died friday at the age of 90. manuel bojorquez is in havana. >> reporter: meg, cubans are grieving today as the death of fidel castro has started to set in. while a divisive figure abroad, on this caribbean island castro was admired by many. as flags flew at half staff over havana some cubans could not hold back their tears.
victor manuel said he felt like he had lost a patriarch, the father of our family, the father of the revolution he said. havana's normally bustling revolution plaza was quiet. workers were preparing for two davis tributes to the dictator who led the country for half a century. thousands of cubans will pay their respects in the shadow of the monument to national hero jose marti and a skurpculpture revolutionary leader che guevara. inside the cathedral lettisia fonseca prayed and reflected. castro was someone who helped us a lot she said, especially the cuban community of the lower class. on saturday at castro's former university dozens of students chanted "i am fidel." pedicab driver lanzaro alonzo said he hopes cast troes death would not slow progress in cuba. "we continue to work hard," he said. "there will be great moments that will come for this
country." people here will gather for official state memorials starting tomorrow, with the largest expected on tuesday at revolution square, where castro delivered some of his most fiery speeches. his remains will then be taken from havana to santiago, essentially retracing in reverse the steps he took in victory with the revolutionary army. meg, his funeral will be next sunday in santiago, known as the cradle of castro's revolution. >> manuel bojorquez, thank you. about 225 miles north of havana it's a very different mood. more like a party in miami's cuban-american neighborhood little havana. david begnaud is there. >> reporter: this is the second day that people have taken to the street here in little havana. as one woman said, we're not celebrating the death of fidel castro but we're celebrating the potential for freedom in cuba. it's still front-page news. i want to show you the front cover of the miami herald. the picture of fidel with one word. "dead." it's still all people are talking about here in miami.
the streets are still closed. and they're blaring music in front of cafe versailles. tanya madrigal came to the united states when she was 9 years old. tanya, why did you want to be here? your parents came with you. they are now deceased. why is it important for you to be on the streets tonight? >> to support my cuban family. to support -- all these people have come here today to celebrate and to teach my daughter there is a moment in history. and the reason why i'm here, for freedom. i left when i was 9 years old, and i've never gone back to cuba. and one day i will go back. when i go there with my american passport. because i'm an american. >> reporter: thank you, tanya. we appreciate it. we also spoke with a republican congresswoman, iliana ros-lehtinen, who herself came to the u.s. when she was a child. what's the rest the country to make of all that's happening outside of versailles? >> i know. i know people are looking at these visuals and they're thinking are these people nuts? they're celebrating someone's death. and we're not. we're celebrating an opportunity of a new beginning. a new dawn.
and we are a hopeful, optimistic people. we're never going to stop dreaming of a free cuba and working toward one. >> reporter: we noticed today that people were taking small cuban flags and bringing them to nearby graveyards, where their relatives are buried. as one woman said, i wanted to put a flag at the grave of my mother and father, who didn't live long enough to see this day come. meg? >> david begnaud in miami for us. thank you. florida senator marco rubio is the son of cuban immigrants. he discussed his views of the death of fidel castro with john dickerson on "face the nation." >> senator, what would you like to see change in u.s.-cuba relations now? >> well, i'd like to see more of a democratic opening on the island of cuba. things like, i don't know, free press. stop putting people in jail because they don't agree with you politically. stop helping countries like north korea evade u.n. sanctions. don't invite the russians to open a military base 90 miles from our shores. allow independent political parties to be able to function.
you know, the kinds of things that you find in virtually every country in the western hemisphere except cuba and now increasingly venezuela. that's what i'd like to see, and i'd like to see our foreign policy geared toward accelerating that. i believe it is in our national interest to see democracy take hold on the island of cuba. and so we should examine our foreign policy including all the changes that president obama made in that lens and through that lens. >> why not just reverse? >> well, as i said, there are key elements that are more important than others. we'll look at all of them. here's the thing people don't understand, and i've said this repeatedly. i am not against changes in u.s. policy toward cuba. i just want to make sure that those changes are reciprocal, that that's a reciprocate by the cuban government. that was not part of what president obama did. and i want to make sure they're the kinds of things that help create a pathway toward democracy in cuba because while fidel castro was 90 years old his brother's 85. there is going to be a generational leadership change in cuba over the next five to ten years, hopefully sooner, and we need to ensure that our
fidel castro was a thorn in the side of ten u.s. presidents. he died friday at the age of 90. martha tieshner looks back at his life and legacy. ♪ >> this is the sierra maestra on cuba's southern coast. ♪ these are the jungle fighters, the rebels of sierra maestra. >> reporter: at first he charmed us. ♪ it's hard to believe now, more than 50 years after the fact. >> with fidel castro here are former clerks, technicians, students, townspeople and the simple campesinos. >> reporter: up in the hills with his rebels fidel castro looked and sounded like a freedom fighter, a romantic
hero. >> there are thousands of men who would gladly join us. >> reporter: not the pogbogey m he became to so many. >> we suffer rain and the hardship of life in the mountain. this is only the beginning. the last battle will be fought in the capital. you can be sure of it. >> reporter: but there was no battle. on new year's day 1959 cuban dictator general rogenceo batista, the bloated corrupt embodiment of cuba's problems, fled the country. fidel castro was born in 1926, one of five children. his family was prosperous and owned this sugar plantation in eastern cuba. educated by the jesuits, he became a lawyer. the poverty castro saw around
him, the inequality, turned him into a revolutionary. >> fidel castro, at the age of 32 you now have in your hands a great deal of power and a great deal of responsibility. >> reporter: a month after taking power interviewed on cbs by edward r. murrow, castro said exactly what americans wanted to hear. >> tell me, fidel castro, are you concerned at all about the communist influence in cuba? >> oh, i'm not worried because really there is not a threat about communism here in cuba. >> reporter: it's still not clear whether he changed or whether he lied. but when castro began executing opponents, when castro started nationalizing industries and aappropriating u.s. property in cuba, it didn't matter. the u.s. response -- sanctions. the economic embargo that exists to this day. since the early 1960s more than
a million cubans have left. most of them landed in miami with nothing but their lives and the fierce determination to bring fidel castro down one way or another. in april of 1961 an army of cuban exiles backed by the cia tried to slip into the bay of pigs and liberate the island. the invasion was a disastrous and embarrassing failure. with a jubilant castro playing david to the u.s. goliath, a role he fine-tuned for the rest of his life, with help from the soviet union. >> this is the cbs news extra. >> reporter: the following year, in 1962, u.s. spy planes spotted the russians installing nuclear missiles in cuba. >> those are russian-made, russian-manned ballistic missiles. >> reporter: this was the cold war in our own back yard.
suddenly, cuba seemed very, very important. >> i have directed the armed forces to prepare for any eventuality. >> castro did not blink. it appealed to him to play this role that he would harbor these missiles that could threaten the great imperial -- that he could do this. >> reporter: jay taylor represented u.s. interests in cuba in the 1980s. >> the world teetered on the edge. teetered on the edge of a nuclear war. we're talking about the world. millions. millions dying. >> it shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from cuba or against any nation in the western hemisphere as an attack by the soviet union on the united states, requiring a full retaliatory response on the soviet union. >> reporter: for a couple terrifying weeks president john
f. kennedy and nikita khrushchev played chicken until khrushchev backed down and the missiles were removed. but that wasn't the end of soviet involvement in cuba. ♪ the russians pumped something like $5 billion a year into the cuban economy, propping it up, while the united states kept tightening the screws, toughening sanctions, with the expectation that one day castro would fall. the cia repeatedly plotted to kill him. but still he hung on, jailing dissidents, neutralizing political rivals, speaking for hours on end before vast crowds bused in to hear him. which brings us to 1980. the mariel boat lift that year was a huge repudiation of
castro's claim that cubans were happy and content. told they were free to go, 125,000 did. risking their lives, piling onto small boats and makeshift rafts for the 90-mile crossing to florida. >> it did hurt his image. but in the end the fact that the united states then had to stop this flow having said we would not turn our backs on them, suddenly we did, and we said turn them back and stopped the boats, that castro then i think felt that he had emerged still even from that politically the victor. >> reporter: especially when it became clear that 10,000 to 15,000 of the refugees he sent our way were insane or criminals turned loose from prisons and asylums. if life in cuba was bad then, it got worse when the soviet union collapsed in 1991. suddenly all that soviet money
was gone, along with the oil cuba received in exchange for sugar. cubans were literally starving. anti-castro interests in the united states thought surely the end was in sight. but in 1993 fidel castro, the crafty survivor, did something startling to prop up the cuban economy. he legalized the u.s. dollar, which meant that if your relatives in miami sent you money you could afford to eat. today those payments bring in $3 billion a year. castro also invited foreign investment. suddenly cuba looked like one big construction site. you name the country. canada, france, spain, mexico, the netherlands, israel. everybody but the united states was there building massive resort hotels and condos for the
2 million tourists who now visit cuba every year. in 1998 when fidel castro welcomed pope john paul ii and let the pictures do the talking, the world saw cuba surviving in spite of the u.s. trade embargo. it was political theater on a grand scale, the kind castro loved. remember the custody showdown over elian gonzalez? the small boy rescued at sea after his mother drowned trying to escape cuba with him. castro won. the boy was returned to his father in cuba. >> he milked it in every way to make the cuban community in miami look bad and the cuban community in miami frankly fell right into the trap. >> reporter: marisele pere
marisele perez estabele is a sociology professor at florida international university. >> the revolution was simply claiming a son for his father. >> reporter: the revolution does have its supporters, who give castro credit for raising the literacy rate in cuba to nearly 100% and for providing free health care to all. cuba turns out highly skilled doctors, respected throughout latin america. in february 2008, after a long illness, fidel castro officially transferred cuba's presidency to his younger brother raul. >> today the united states of america is changing its relationship with the people of cuba. >> reporter: it was raul who agreed in 2014 to a restoration of diplomatic relations with the united states. it was raul who welcomed president obama to cuba in march of this year.
less than a month later a frail, faded fidel castro appeared at a communist party congress. "soon i will be 90 years old," he said, "in what seemed like a farewell address." stating "everyone's turn comes. but the ideas of cuban communists will remain." he turned 90 on august 13th, the day of his last public appearance. but even in death he remains a bogey man to some. >> castro will always be remembered as the cuban, latin american revolutionary who stood up to the united states and won. won in terms of his health brought him down, not anything that the united states ever did. >> reporter: the man the united states tried so hard to topple
♪living well rise above joint discomfort with move free ultra's triple action joint support for improved mobility and flexibility, and 20% better comfort from one tiny, mighty pill... get move free ultra, and enjoy living well. so how will history judge fidel castro? is there good to weigh against the bad? according to the cia's latest fact book, cuba's infant mortality rate is 4.5 per 1,000
births. that's lower than the 5.8 recorded here in the united states. average life expectancy in cuba is 78.7 years. just a tenth of a year shorter than here. cuba has 6.72 doctors per 1,000 people. more than double the number per thousand in our country. weighed against these pluses are the negatives of decades of political oppression. though there's no hard number, political executions by firing squad total just over 3,100, according to the non-profit think tank cuba archive. human rights watch reports 6,200 arbitrary detentions during the first eight months of last year. and there's that flood of cuban refugees to the united states to consider. more than 1.1 million cuban immigrants now live in the
president-elect donald trump is already getting pushback from congress over his immigration plans. mr. trump has vowed to build a wall along the u.s.-mexico border, have mexico pay for it, and deport medals of people in the u.s. illegally. the federal government used large-scale deportations twice in the past century. carter evans has the story. >> reporter: huge numbers. unbelievably huge numbers. >> reporter: immigrants are joining the anti-trump protest worried that the president-elect will soon follow through on his promise to deport millions who came here illegally. sisters fluor and victoria martinez were brought here illegally when they were just 1 and 3 years old. they're allowed to attend school and work, protected under president obama's dream act. if they're deported, their family will be ripped apart because their two younger brothers are u.s. citizens by
birth. >> if we have to go back, we wouldn't want them to go back with us because they made it here. >> reporter: former u.s. congressman esteban torres knows the pain of being separated from family. >> it's a tough feeling not to know the person that was your father. >> reporter: his father was one of an estimated 2 million immigrants who were part of a government campaign called mexican repatriation. during the great depression they were herded onto trains and kicked out of the country. it was an effort to save american jobs. >> rounded them all up and shipped them back to their home country. >> reporter: just 3 years old, torres was allowed to remain in the u.s. with his mother and brother because they were born here. >> i remember living in shacks, you know. my mother couldn't afford anything better. you know, all the days of standing in line for relief, of getting government-issued tennis shoes and canned food. >> reporter: torres never saw
his father again. >> it's a really dark part of u.s. history. >> reporter: ucla professor raul hin joes o. ojeda said it happened again in the 1950s when a quarter million more immigrants were sent back across the border during operation wetback. >> these round-ups did break up families that have consequences even today. >> reporter: torres not only lost a father. his brother had to be raised by family friends. >> my mother had to make a choice really. the economy was so bad that she couldn't sustain us both. you know, it scares me because it could happen again. >> reporter: but he's hoping that dark chapter of american history will remain in the past. carter evans, los angeles. that's the "overnight news" for this monday. for some of you the news continues. for others check back with us a little later for the "morning news" and "cbs this morning." from the broadcast center in new york city, i'm meg oliver.
captioning funded by cbs it's monday, november 28th, 2016. this is the "cbs morning news." grief and joy following the death of cuba's former leader as the communist nation prepares to say good-bye to fidel castro, cuban exiles are hoping for change. >> it's ridiculous. a fund-raising notoriety driven fraud. >> and election officials in wisconsin are get ready to recount the ballots triggering a twitter storm by the president-elect. good morning from the studio 57 newsroom at cbs news headquarters here in new york. good to it