tv Local 10 News Sunday 400PM ABC March 20, 2016 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT
ladies in white in front of st. rita's church. we just got off the phone with who we thought was one of the most prom anytime dissidents. >> reporter: i was told it was a friend of his and they werere arrested along with dozens of others. it's something we see every under is. it's something dissidents here call [foreign language] . two of our photographers saw what happened. >> reporter: we'd like to play video for you raw. [yelling] . >> reporter: tell us when to
and there you have it, some of the video that bass out there. cuban police rushing in and pushing our photographs as well. but arrests the members of the ladies in white lying in the street. >> reporter: typically what happens when they march on sunday, they march on a median. [foreign language] if you will. it's when they cross into the street, which is i believe a civil disobedience. in the past, that's what we understand happened. >> reporter: i had a march with them in 2012. they march on the median in front of st. rita's church. once they get to their destination, they're only supposed to walk down the
in front of st. rita's church and chant freedom for cuba. again, police arresting them. and all of them were arrested. i thought that was interesting after you got off the phone. he could be getting out today, right? >> reporter: she said call back around 6:00. hopefully, he'll be out. these are not detainments that take long. hopefully, we'll be able to get ahold of these people. we did talk to a woman this morning which said she was headed to the arrest which means she was most likely arrested. they're going to meet or expected to meet with the president on tuesday. >> reporter: along with a group and others. >> reporter: they'y' all prominent dissidents outside in
>> reporter: before we move on here, too, we know the president is on his way here. he took off early this afternoon. we thought he was going t leave around 1:40, 1:50, but he left a little after 1:00. >> reporter: yes, that's true. he's traveling with a delegation from congress. leahy, from all over around the country. nancy pelosisi the minority house leader. >> reporter: senator leahy, bernie sanders's juniorr senator from vermont. and dick durbin from illinois. and the arizona senator. reporter: he's a republican,
>> reporter: and there's is jackie robinson's widow and her daughter. so sasha, malia, and michelle obama. we're waiting and moments away from air force one arriving here. everyone is talking about the beast, the transvortation for the president, we've talked about that. fascinated. >> reporter: and so are we. we were on our way here at 2:45 or some of the and i have to say that was one of of the most scariest experiences coming over here now a half dozen times for both of us. i have to tell you, coming here, havana has turned int a police state. >> reporter: i don't a ghost town, nobody is out. >> police are everywhere. >> reporter: yes. you won't see a lot of cubans i
massive security along the routes that we think the president is going to take t old havana. >> reporter: one of the reasons it was so scary, the fact that we knew if we stepped out of bounds in anyway, we could have been arrested. so clearly, clearly, this place is getting ready for the president. the first time an american president came to cuba since 1928. >> reporter: this is huge. >> anchor: we're looking at live pictures of what you're talking about, but at the airport, all the support vehicles, as they wait for the beast to land. we've just seen 12 huge black airport. so you're right, everything -- it's beginning to feel, like you say on the streets, just a very, very controlled, a bit more policed state. >> reporter: and you think about the securityaspect, right? because we're used to it back in the states. but this is the president of the
cuba, communist cuba for the first time. so they want to be able they avoid any risks when it comes to security for the president. >eporter: when calvin coolige caca with his wife, he arrived by a war ship. and when he arrived cuba holiday. but people are going to be lined up waiting for the motorcade through the streets of havana. i want to say coolidge was showered with red roses and the entire floor of the palace was taken care of, so he can stay thtre with his wife. in 1928, prohibition was still enforced in the u.s. and coolidge tried to act like he wasn't interested in the cuban rum here.
>> reporter: different times. we were friends back then with cuba. >> reporter: at that time, five years after coolidge came, the president' government was over thrown and in 1959, fidel castro had the revolution in cuba. >> anchor: we were talking about the secret service and what it must be entailed, as you see the vehicles coming into the airport. you wonder how they're going to mix with the cuban secret service. >> anchor: absolutely. there has to be immense coordination. they have to work and had to have planned very, very closely with the cuban police to get that done. that is also a bit of a sign of diplomacy, which i think is incredible. >> anchor: when you s s john kerry, he had to have his secret rvice well when the embassy
cuba is used to the dance with u.s. >> reporter: i think what is probably theheost interesting thing, a visit like this was unthinkable, if you go back even seven years ago, let alone ten years ago. so the fact that this is happening in preparatiti for an american president to cuba, is a astonishing. we happened to be living with a woman here. it's called [foreign language] . the woman we're saying with is 72 years old and she told us this is something she never thought she'd live to see. >> reporte at the same time, she says it's a hopeful time for her. and talking about the newer generation, by saying this is their baton and move the country hopefully in a positive way. . >> reporter: let's take it to victor who is near the theater
president is going to be speaking on tuesday. victor, what are you seeing? >> reporter: all right. let me set the scene for you guys. central havana is very busy. a lot of people excited for president obama'ss visit. he'll be making his way hereafter he visits the u.s. embassy and meets with staffers there. he'll be getting a aou are to of the area. i see a lot of people lining the streets now. he'll be heading to the cathedral. i'm next toohe capitol building and this is the national theater. that is so important, because on tuesday, his last day, he'll be delivering a speech. it's a select group of people. we'll be expecting the civil society, the dissidents, and the people that were listed that we were talking about and some of the ladies arrested today in the marches as well. the plan is to take that speech live. that is huge deal for a speech
the united states of america be taken live on cuban national television. that is the plan. we'll have to wait and see if that comes to fruition. let's take you back to live pictures from jose' marti' international airporor where the president should be arriving any moment now. we were t tre a few days ago. that place was slammed. definitely more than in september for the pope's visit. it was full of tourists and english-speaking tourists. as i made my way through the airport. so havana is packed with people visiting or here to see president obama's first steps on cuban soil. >> anchor: thank you so much. i want to bring in our friend, colleague,enior political reporter, michael putney in the studio.
of the latin america and caribbean supporter. when vtor talks about that theater, you've both been inside the building. is it hard to imagine to see what it will be filled with on tuesday? >> yes, tickets he gone out. the cuban people have invited their own people and the e embassy has given tickets to civil society. i'm envisioning the place and seeing an african american president speaking to that audience about democracy and dignity andhe future of the cuban people and the relationship, it's almosos hard to absorb. >> anchor: he's going to say we're here as friends. we're not here for regime change. anan we want to -- we come here respecting your national sovereignty, which as you know, is a constant theme of cuba over the last 56 years, you must
>> that's right. he's going to highlight in the speech, which is the futuref cuba is in the hands of the cuban people. you will deci, not the united states, not china, not russia, not any other country. the future is in your hands. we will be there to support you. >> you have to wonder how and in what language and how strongly he is going to raise the subject of human rights. he must say something about human rights in that speech. >> he will. i'm not sure he's going to be tear down this wall speech that ronald reagan gaveuring the cold war. but i think it's going to bee very explicit on the issue of human rights. i ask your audience to remember the speech he cave in egypt and human rights. i'm not saying the same thing will happen in cuba, but i'm saying that's the kind of speech he's going to give athe theater.
american leaders from the white house the other day, he says he wants to bring hope and emphasize your similaries as humans. but he didn't get more specific than that. it's going to be a very delicate balance. >> indeed. he doesn't want to be confrontational. but he wants to relay the importance of democracy and human rights to the cuban people. to all 11 million people. this will be televised and that is very, very powerful. >> not since jimmy carter was there -- it's been 20 years ago i guess and spoke at the university of havana, have we had an american of this statur i'm told we're getting a distant viewf air force one as it approaches jose' marti' airport. and do you think that raul
>> i don't think so. usually heads of state don't -- it's very likely that the foreign minister will be at the tarmac. and the vice president will likely be there. it's not clear yet who is exactly going to be there. >> anchor: raul castro didn't meet the other day? >> no. >> this shouldn't be seeee as a slight. >> not in the least. this is very protocol. >> you know protocol. and tre is air force one on a way to a landing at jose' marti' airport. >> anchor: we have so many scheduled and things we've been shared information with. but this is a whole different ball of wax. >> all of this is negotiated.
visits and now, the broad way show has been set up and it's a question of getting it done. all of the coordination has been done. >> anchor: we want to bring in our colleagues. they are on the ground and as they have told us, it is pin drop quietet there. calvin, describe the scene for us. >> reporter: the streets are likeke ghost town. getting over here to the plaza revolution, we s that police were telling folks to get off the@ streets and in old havana some of the shops have been closed down as the president will make his way to the cathedral. >> reporter: what is interesting, any time the president travs, likely part of the plan or the joy of it, is that people get to stand out there and get to stay, wave to the president. i don't know if that's going to happen here, because it is so intense when it comes to security.
will be able to do that in the process. so we'll see. we'll see what happens as he comes down. >> reporter: we know the cuban government is one of the most repressive on the planet. they have a tight grip on communications and information. when it comes to getting people% off the streets across havana, it has worked. there is no 1 on the streets here. let me say something, too, michael talked about how the president has a delicate dance in erms of talking with the cuban people when he has his address on tuesday when he addresses the cuban people at 11:00 at the theater where victor is standing right now. there was an editorial a couple of days ago that said, say what you want to say. but you will not be medaling in cuban affairs. is that w what theeditorial said?
it's the same message when they talk about guantanamo baa being returned. it's the same message. they're good about staying on message. >> reporter: and the one thing that i was t td in an interview, we don't have any issues with our governrnnt and police cracking down on people. but back there in your country, you have an issue with the eric gardner case in new york andn ferguson, missouri. >> anchor: is there any sense of the cubaneople being told to mind their manners today and througugut their visit? have out? >> reporter: yeah, as we've looked at the live pictures of
marti' internanaonal airport, i can tell you when you t tk to people, they're so excited. and some people say, ye we've been told to be on our best behavior. certainly, we have not seen that inithe cuban media, newspaper or t.v. >> reporter: the government has a tight grip on information, so rumor tends to trump facts here. we've heard what you've heard in south florida, although, we have not seen it firsthand so we can't confirm it. air force one is in cuban airspace and about to land at jose' marti' international airport. the first time an american president has come to cuba and land in nine decades. >> reporter: this impressive airplane landing as we speak. >> anchor: historic moment. frank, you're shaking this head.
for u to see. >> reporter: it's quite extraordinary, anybody that understands the relations, a relationship of hostility and confrontation. and a matter of 18 months after the official normalization of relations, you see the arrival of u.s. president of u.s. air force one. you saw in the background the two c-17s from the united states air force. imagine seeing that only three years ago. i would have said that's crazy. and now we're seeing it. it's extraordinary and historic. >> it is a moment of a a m med met metaphor. just the sight of the 747 ited states of america, landing at the airport. i've landed at the airpopo several times.
this, as you say,frank, after -- it was j january 1st, 1959, and fidel castro and the power in cuba and held onto it tightly and still hold it. and so this is just -- and then you -- not to go through all of history, but fidel castro, who the president will not see on this trip, at one point, he urged that russia unleash a a nuclear missiles on the united states during the nuclear missile crisis. the animosity is very deep. >> i would say fidel castro is watching this on t.v. and his hair is curling right now. >> reporter: we're able to see pictures of air force one at jose' marti' international airport. we cannot stress enough how some
mention cubans here on the island, thought they would sese this day. we're talking nearly nine decades ago that calvin coolidge came here. when that happened, it was a very different day and relationship between cuba and the united states. after 56 yes of a bad relationship, a time that brought the entire world on the brink of nuclear war, of course, going back too the missile crisis. the president knows he can only come here and do so much. but now to see air force one about to land -- or in fact is on the runway, has landed. this is a remarkable sight. >> reporter: it's almost like it was o2chestrated perfectly. the rain just started in havana [lamghter] . >> reporter: we know on the plane with the president, he has
includes quite a few senators. patrick leahy. nator dick durbin. the senator from arizona. you can see people lined up to grgrt the president. like you in south florida, you heard how many have bee told not to cheer the president. we heard one rumor that they should not cheer as loudly as they did in september when pope francis came here. >> reporter: let's talk about the roads he's expected to take. we haven't seen banners, much a decorations to welcome the president. much more subdued in a a way for what we saw for pope francis. >> reporter: havana has been cleaned up in terms of the cade on the buildings. when you take a closerlook, it's beauty versus decay. all you have to do i go two or three blocks over from old havana andou see buildings
>> reporter: the cubans here joke that the president and the pope should c ce more often, because when they come, things get fifid. it's certainly true. >> reporter: the president's plane is slowly making its way down the airrt at jose' marti' international airport. this is all happening as we're looking at it on cuban state run television. it's something likely the entire nation are watching for. dozensns and dozens of islanders, the picture from them seems like hope and optimimm. >> reporter: i asked our cab driver are you excited? he said yes. he said i want to go home and soak it inn and watch it on my t.v. that is a way for me to connect what's happening, in my home to take it in.
how president castro and other dignitaries may or may not be on thee tarmac to greet president obama and the first family. but it looks like that is going to be the case if you look at the pictures there. it looks like president castro has made his way to jose' marti' international airport. >> reporr: any time you have a presidential visit with my country, it's what happens. the two leaders come together. they shake hand. mr. obama's -- the presidents will go on and do his own agenda. but he's expected to meet with president castro tomorrow. >> reporter: the president has a very tight schedule. even though he's arriving early. we know he'll quickly get into the beast or into his limousine and head to the american embassy that opened in august o last year, after having been shut and fidel castro calling that five decades ago a nest of spies before it was shut down.
kerry helpepe raise the flag. and it was truly a monumental moments in the course of the two countries coming together. >> reporter: secretary kerry president. a huge part in the process. a huge role he's played. >> anchor:r:since they are a half hou landing, hopefully, the president and crew will have an extra half hour at the embassy or old havana. that will be a real test to see how many people are out on the streetssnd how many people the presesent and first family are able to reach out and shakes hands. >> anchor: that's another thing i think will be such a stunning image. it's not just the president like coolidge and his wife. president obama is there with his whole family, sasha, malia, the mother-in-law. so the image of the firstamily walking off of air force one, i
for the cuban people. it's a diplomatic affair d family affair. >> anchor: the president's approval ratina is through the roof. >> reporter: he's the most pwpular president in cuba. and the most popular mayor they've had is barack obamam but nonetheless, things look better and the roads are better as a result of the president's visit. >> we've seen the great sea side drive has been repaved and@it's probably been many years since that has happened. > anchor: i want to check in with my friend and colleague, victor, who is standing outside of the theater. victor, what are you seeing? >> reporter: just to echo something that frank was touching on, he'ss extremely popular here, the president of nine united states. every person i've talked to on the island, on the streets, in a
say they're very excited aut his visit. some have said it's about time. others said we hope he takes a lot away from his visit, as quick as it might be. one thing that might put a damper on the president's first few hours, the rain just started coming down in old havanana the streets are emptying out. >> anchor: i'm glad to see what is setting the theme. we just got a view of the teceiving group, if you will, for the president. and who did you see there? >> the cuban ambassador to the united states. and those in charge of the event. >> anchor: they will all g to the embassy together where the president will get to meet the entire staff. >> not the cubans. i think in a sense, he is our ambassador. he's not really the ambassador
confirmed him. put aside, what a beaututul airplane taxing to a stop at jose' marti' airport. and -- >> this is one of the optics that is important. but when the president gets off the plane and looks towards the people and towds havana, that will another important visual. >> anchor: so few people have internet and will appreciate it until they see it on television later. >> part of the reason for the trip is legacy. and you're right, frank, the shot of president obama at the door of this plane, waving is ing to be a historic moment. partf his legacy. >> anchor: and to younger cuban americans, this just looks like progress. this looks like any other presidential trip. but to older cuban americans, over 50 who has a sense of the history here, it's just chilling.
and one has to be very sensitive and appreciate the cuban american community. the older generation lost a lot as a result of the revolution -- >> reporter: if i could just say something shortly here. i think this sig is so remarkable, because when you go back and lookk at the 18 months of secret notiations involving the vatican, canada, and the u.s. government, you look at the fact that pope francis was the one who really stepped in to bring the two countries together, to basically say settle your differences. this is not about you two, it's about the people. so for the president to be here right now, some say it was part of his plan all along. but there are others who sa he really want today see that this country was making a difference in human rights. you can argue this country has become more oppressive.
our government, the u.s. government has given way too much. as we seeee the door open, there for the president to come out and the first family to come out off of air force o one. >> some say, let's talk about repression. as you said, it's increased. the numbers do not lie. if you talk to the human rights commission, it's more than 85 arrests in 2015. so compare that to the president$ coming. he himself said i want to see a change when it comes to human rights. and here we have the president of the united states about to step off air force one. and some say those changes have been taking place. >> reporter: or some say clearly the president likes to say that cuba will not change