tv Today NBC November 26, 2016 7:00am-8:00am EST
good morning. breaking overnight. the death of fidel castro. the long time cuban dictator dead at the age of 90. his brother raul making the late night announcement on cuban >> as celebrations spill o out into the streets of miami's little havana. castro's half century reign forced thousands to flee for their lives and brought the u.s. and cuba back to war in the '60s. he presided over 11 presidents in power. now the u.s. and cuba are enjoying better relations, what
what is to come. today, saturday, november 26th, 2016. >> announcer: from nbc news, this is "today" live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. >> good morning. welcome to "today" on saturday morning. i'm sheinelle jones alongside dylan dreyer and we have hallie jackson here with us. happy to have you here on this side. >> nico sitting with you after stuffing myself for two days. >> and we start with a busy news day. let's get to it. the top story is breaking news overnight. cuba's long time former leader fidel castro has died at the age of 90. castro in power for nearly 50 years was in failing health in years. his brother, raul castro announced his death.
look back at fidel castro's life. >> reporter: to his followers, he was commander or fidel. to enemies, a dictator. one of the world's last communists. the illegitimate son of a land owner. he graduated with a law degree and doctorate. tried running for the assembly until power seized. in 1953, castro led a coup. castro ended up in jail for two years after it failed. in mexico, castro regrouped with his brother raul and fellow revolutionary. the three led a force back to cuba in 1956 waging guerilla war.
day, they marched into havana. at first the young leader promised democracy. telling the u.s. he was not a communist. meet the press in 1959. >> i am not communist. >> later, he went on the tonight show with jack carr. >> you can ask all you want for the public states about anything you want. >> reporter: almost from the start, castro took the wealthy and silenced newspapers and nationalized oil refineries and signed a pact with the soviet union. in 1961, president kennedy ordered the cia to invade cuba at the bay of pigs using exiles. >> on wednesday, resistance
consolidate power. by then a declared socialist, he improved health care and literacy. also accepted nuclear weapons. >> requiring a full retaliatory response upon the soviet union. >> reporter: until jfk's hard line got the russians to pull back. for 25 years, moscow helped castro throughout latin america with but with the end of the soviet union, cuba's economy imploded. on makeshift boats, thousands fled the regime. >> his legacy is a complicated one. there is no for getting how many cubans left the island under duress. >> reporter: in the 1990s, a ruler courted business men and tourists. he welcomed john paul ii in
cuban trained doctors and exporting medicine. in 1999, a custody battle over 6-year-old elian gonzalez. months later, a federal court ordered the child removed from miami. elian returned to his father and hero's welcome in havana. exhaustion in 2001. tripped and broke his knee and arm three years later. the bush administration tightened sanctions cutting off travel. castro arrested hundreds of dissidents. cuba's economy was pumped up by oil from venezuela.
turned over power to his brother raul in 2008. then he commemorated the revolution and had a celebration of the 80th birthday. fidel castro did not attend. two years later, he stepped down. he wrote columns about his life experience emerging for a pope benedict visit in 2012. and for president jinping in 2014. he never commented on the president obama break through to normalize relations. fidel was absent when his brother welcomed home three cuban spies. to the end, castro insisted his revolution would out-live him. >> if i die tomorrow morning, there would be no problem of any sort.
leaders. >> reporter: he never tolerated dissent. his legacy may be holding power for half a century. longer than any other modern leader. >> and andrea joins us now. good morning to you. we are reading this morning. you interviewed him a number of times. in 2002, you interviewed him that went until 2:00 in the morning. >> that is what happened with fidel castro. you would stay up fully clothed waiting for the call from the presidential palace. they would summon us and we go at midnight or 1:00 in the morning. sometimes i have to confess, it was difficult to stay awake during his lengthy answers. we timed one of his answers of one of my questions at 45 minutes. >> wow. what do you remember about him most or your time with him?
well red. he was on the internet every night. he once took me to a cabinet meeting that started at midnight.rogated all of the people until the very end. he was very popular with the young people. he would have a student leader who was an accolade and then would rise through the ranks of the communist hierarchy. he had the repressive police. that was the other key to power. a totalitarian regime. still is to an extent. there are some in the obama white house are concerned that the opening will not last. obviously executive orders can change and it does require an act of congress to lift the embargo fully.
beloved by the people in the country. how do you see his legacy unfolding after his death? >> he is one. iconic figures of the last century. was clearly in failing health in the last decade. the legacy is already eroding that raul castro has instituted some market reform. still the social services and health care, health care he that is part of a legacy. fundamentally, a strong man, totalitarian man and no free elections at all as the passage of power to his brother and soon to be designated leaders. they call them elections. they are not elections in cuba. >> i think a lot of people are wondering how drastically things will change for the cuban people with his death. >> i think things won't change
fundamentally symbolic figure. only heard from rarely in columns he would write for the communist newspaper. that said, once raul castro passes power to the next generation, that is going to be a moment where you see some changes. raul has been revolutionary in his own way. he has reached out to the united states and has accepted some market reforms. used. some telephone communications. there's postal service for the first time in more than half a century between the united states and cuba. also airline service as well. there have been changes, but not changes in terms of free expression and democracy. >> very interesting. andrea, thank you. a lot of cuban-americans celebrated as soon as they heard the news. spilling out in the streets of
spots. nbc's kerry sanders in miami this morning with more on that and reaction from around the world. kerry, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, hallie. one of three people who lives in the greater miami area is a cuban-american. not all of them refer to this as home. their political exile. still refer to cube cuba as home. their properties w nationalized and businesses were taken. some why imprisoned and tortured. that is the back drop why people would come and celebrate a death of a head of state. they say it is a long time and coming. miami's little havana erupting in joy as nearly six decades in the making. generations of cuban-americans devoted themselves to the end of the castro regime.
change to cuba. >> the years of repression. >> reporter: a similar feeling. a new beginning can dawn on cuba. international leaders are more likely to see castro as a statesman who left a mark on the 20th century. india's prime minister called him an iconic personality. mexico called him a friend. the former soviet union supported cuba. vladimir putin said fidel castro was a true friend of russia. back on the island today, many mourn a man whose life will be synonymous with cuba. many cuban-americans gathered here have never been to cuba. they were born in the united states. they learned about the castro
grandparents. none referred to fidel castro as president fidel castro. they used terms like the vampire saying he sucked the life out of the country of what they believe could have been. sheinelle, hallie. >> we should note the funeral will be on december 4th. >> you mentioned kerry in the report. let's bring in a congresswoman fr with her parents when she was 8 years old. thank you for talking with us. >> thank you so much. i think it is interesting to see the different perspectives from world leaders who did not have to suffer the injustices of fidel castro rule and the cuban exile community. i feel humbled to represent because we bear the scars of the dictatorship and what it can do
so much as people are optimistic that this will usher in an opportunity for freedom and democracy for the cuban people. a tyrant is dead, but a tyrant is still in power. president-elect trump said he will rollback the concessions that president obama made. we are optimistic that those sweetheart deals will somehow the people of cuba. that never materialized. it benefits the dictadictatorsh. >> congresswoman, given your story and journey from cuba. what was your reaction? who was your first phone call? >> caller: i first thought of my dad. i was born in cuba. i came here when i was 8. my dad, just like many of his generation came here and continued the fight for free
the historic exile figures who wished they were around to see this day. i don't think they will meet my father in heaven. i don't think castro's going to heaven. he is a man who executed a lot of family members of my constitu constituency. his legacy will be one of how you can hang on to power when you are a you control every aspect of everybody's life where you live and work. you stay home and operated with few exception. that is how you remain in power. like kim jong-il and kim jong-un, his son, it is not a big feat. he has been out of power for a number of years. that transition from one dictator to the other has taken place. now we see what changes this
as long as there is a castro in power, there is not much hope for change. >> that is interesting. that is what i would ask. your change for the people with his death. >> caller: we hope the changes come with the u.s. policy change that we will not dole out all this hard earned money to the dict dictatorship. everything is run by the tyranical leaders there. hotels and airlines. everything is state-operated and controlled. that's why it is so difficult for human rights activists to really break out in cuba and have their voices heard because they get jailed and they get trampled upon literally. the ladies in white who peacefully marched through the streets of havana with pictures of loved ones who are or have been in jail. their reward is they get beaten
it is a real harassment atmosphere against anyone who wishes to express an opinion contrary to the totalitarian regime in power. >> as you are talking, we are watching that reaction coming in. thank you for your time. >> caller: thank you. >> his death comes at a time when the relations with u.s. and cuba are starting to thaw. what happens now? we have nbc's ron allen at the white house with more. >> reporter: good morning, sheinell statement from the president or white house administration later today. nothing imminent right now. they have been silent as this has been breaking overnight. the obama administration policy toward cuba is one of the most significant foreign policy initiatives that the president has undertaken during his time in office. the question is what will remain when he leaves office? we heard president-elect trump saying he wants to reverse what
we know the president went there. historic visit in march of this year. all he has done is there regulatory changes and executive order. now there are commercial flights between the united states and cuba. it is easier for people to travel. tourism is up 12% on the island. what the obama administration is yi people-to-people contacts. to get businesses to invest in the island. they want to make these changes, what they say, irreversible. so the next president that comes in will be hard pressed to essentially dismantle the relationships that have been established during the past few months and past year or so. the question is how permanent will those changes be? we expect to hear from the
make. i imagine he will be sensitive to concerns of what happened on the island. listen to reaction around the country. the unanswered questions of how much changes the president has initiated and how much of that will remain going forward under a donald trump administration. sheinelle. >> ron allen, thank you. you heard ron talk about this. what happens next between the u.s. and cuba soon in the hands of president-elect trump. he has been critical in thpa nbc's kristen welker is near his home in florida. >> reporter: good morning. donald trump is on a working vacation in palm beach. i anticipate we will get some reaction later on today. the critical question is what does this mean for u.s. and cuban relations? as ron was discussing, candidate trump talked about reversing the actions that were put in place by president obama.
take a listen to what he said in september. >> but all of the concessions that barack obama has granted to castro regime were done through executive order. that means the next president will reverse them. that i will do unless the castro regime meets our demands. those demands include religious and political freedom for the political prisoners. >> reporter: now because the actions that president obama took were executive actions, president-elect trump can roll them back if he so choses. this comes against the back drop of the president-elect trying to pick a secretary of state. rudy giuliani, a hard liner and loyalist. mitt romney, antagonist and
no travel morning, live view from the tour camera, sun coming up and a few clouds on the eastern horizon drifting off to the east and sunshine for the rest of the day with afternoon highs in the mid 50s. getting a little breezy. we might have gusts up to around 25 miles an hour. lighter winds tonight and tomo
. hi. the time is 7:26 on this saturday november 26th. good morning. fairfax county police looking for this 21-year-old man. w homicide at the skyline apartments in falls church. yesterday police arrested three other men. one is charged with murder and two others are accused from stealing from the victim. we are learning more about the virginia sailor killed on thanksgiving day in syria. the senior chief petty officer was stationed in virginia beach. the explosive specialist was killed when an explosive device went off near him.
we're hoping for sunshine. >> we're getting it now. as we look at the live view looking off to the west, we've just a few high clouds are passing over us. temperatures later today should be hitting the mid 50s, but it will be rather breezy with winds up to 25 miles an hour later this afternoon. on sunday 30s in the morning and afternoon highs reaching low 50s. lots of sun and increasing clouds on monday ahead of some much needed rain on tuesday and wednesday. highs both days in the 60s and
dry after that as we get into next weekend with highs in the 50s. we're back we are back on this saturday morning, november 26th, 2016. as we follow the overnight breaking news of fidel castro's death. many cuban-americans taking to the streets overnight in miami to celebrate. that is, of the former cuban leader dead at the age of 90. the news announced on cuban tv by his brother, president raul castro. as we saw, a lot reaction on the streets of little havana in miami. we will have more on that in a few minutes. a thanksgiving weekend of gratitude for a california family. sherri papini was found chained
and the presidential vote now set for a recount in at least one state. former green party candidate jill stein filing that with the election commission in wisconsin. stein's pushing for the same thing in the swing states of michigan and pennsylvania. her goal isn't to overturn the results, but establish voter integrity. let's go back to reaction in miami where people celebrated into the night after learning of fidel castro's death. with more. good morning, kerry. >> reporter: good morning. we have a little bit of a sun shower. people have gotten under the overhang. you can see folks gathered out here. she is wearing a shirt that says "cuba." there is anticipation and a lot of people waiting and in some cases almost a lifetime to watch fidel castro die. now it seems odd. why would you want a head of state to die? you have to understand the dire
little havana. filled with people celebrating. because they were exiled from their country. when he came to power, he took not only power, but he nationalized businesses. he took property. many people were imprisoned. some were tortured. some family members were shot. those that left got out and said that they would return to cuba when fidel castro died. of course, they did not anticipate raul castro taking over the i was recently in cuba. i went by the small town where fidel castro was born. when you see the humble beginnings from where he came, little home there. an old car that's underneath the house. there are some thatched cottages nearby where he started the agriculture cooperative. that is part of his revolution in the country. when you see that, you can
man who came from such humble beginnings was able to go to the sierra mountains and in the mountains, cement a revolution that took over control of the island of cuba which is from key west to havana, only 90 miles away. the celebrations will continue. the police have closed the streets and they expect a much larger crowd as the day proceeds. last night, it w the weather with dylan. >> announcer: "today's" weather is sponsored by american express. founding partner of small business saturday. shop small today.
back down in the 30s tomorrow and on sunday lots of sunshine. highs in the low 50s. increasing clouds on monday and next chance of rain looks to be tuesday and wednesday. highs in the 60s both days. the rain ends thursd and that's your latest forecast. >> dylan, thank you. still to come, a look back at the week's biggest stories. and the gilmore girls you are gonna love this place. i'm more of a milkshake guy. then i'd say expand your horizons. i'm very open-minded! no no, expand your horizons. it's the name of a smoothie. yeah, i see they have bee pollen. two of my favorite allergies. trust me, john grows half this stuff in his own backyard. it's true. two of my usuals, please. add spirulina. is that a... noodle? it's his first time. mmm. that's almost as good as a milkshake. cheers!
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we could end up with over two inches of rain. thanks. we're about 30 minutes good morning. breaking overnight. the death of fidel castro. the former cuban dictator dead at the age of 90. celebrations on the streets of miami's world leaders quick to act. he ruled with an iron fist for nearly 50 years. leaving many in fear and fleeing for safety. the dictaor had a relationship with 11 u.s. presidents and brought the nations to the brink of nuclear war. now as the relations are starting to thaw, what will happen? we are live with it all today,