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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  August 14, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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amazing and everybody that knows them know they are great, and they don't deserve what has come upon them. >> and gamrat also denies participating in the scheme. the cuban people may not get starbucks, but will they ever taste freedom? i am jake tapper live from havana and this is the lead the world lead stars and stripes over cuba. the united states re-opens an embassy that still had calendars on the walls from 1961. we are live in havana cuba with all of the developments on this historic day. of course one american flag does not solve every problem or release the castro brothers' grip on the people here and we will speak to those that
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continue to speak out on democrat and risk their lives in the process. we have a clinton and a bush and why not complete the '90s with gore. hello from havana, cuba. i am jake tapper coming to you live outside the u.s. embassy in cuba on this day of history and controversy. the last time the american flag flew on the flag behind me was seven months before president obama was born and president dwight eisenhower cut off relations with the island nation and angered with castro's relationship with the
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soviet union. he said our sympathy goes out to the people of of cuba now suffering under the yoke of a dictator. the castros out lived eisenhower and the embargo, that lives on and has not been lifted and today hoping there will be change where the previous policies did not, and the president who was born not even when this all began is making a high stakes bet, and president obama sent john kerry today to havana to become the first secretary of state to step foot on the island since 1945. kerry tried to turn the page to a new chapter in u.s. cuban relations. >> clearly the events of the past the harsh words, the
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provocative and retaliatory actions, and the human tragedies, all have been a source of deep division that diminished our commune humanity. there have been too many days of sacrifice and sorrow and too many decades of suspicious and fear and that is why i am heartened by the many on both sides of the straits who whether because of family ties or a simple desire to replace anger with something more productive have endorsed this search for a better path. >> so now here we are, and the american flag flying freely in this land that is still decidedly not free. cuba still cracks down on dissidence dissidence and people were protesting castro's iron grip
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and earlier i spoke with three senators who hope that's wrong, and they are men's of the u.s. delegation in havana today, and i asked them what are they doing to assure the cuban people that this new era will not just reward the communist-run government. >> i have been here several times this year, and people will come up wearing t-shirts with american flags on it and say it's about time and is it going to be perfect? no. will it be better than it has been? yes. it will require getting used to by both the united states and cuba but it's going to be better for the people of cuba and that's why i and the others have fought so hard for it. we fought that hard because we want it for the people of cuba. >> senator flake i don't need to tell you a lot of your fellow republicans are very very wary of the step today.
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why are they wrong and how did you come to occupy this unique position in your party? >> i should note there are a number of republicans that are working on this policy, and i am not alone. i am the only one here but there are a lot of republicans working on this and i would say for those who are opposed, just like pat said it's not going to be perfect but the issues where we have grave concerns on human rights and democracy issues will be far better able to press those issues with diplomatic relations and increased travel and contact with cuban people. it's a good step. >> you were speaking to some butter industry individuals in minnesota who were excited about this. why were they excited about this? >> i don't know how their butter will survive in this heat but i think the point is that this is going to open up markets for u.s. businesses as well. once we establish these relations, and the next step is to lift the travel ban so americans can come and lift the
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embargo that we are all working on so we can finally get american goods come into cuba and that will be good for everybody. >> what is the likelihood senator leahy, that the embargo will be lifted by congress? >> if the embargo is put to a vote by the whole country it would be lifted immediately, the vast majority of america want it lifts and those that say stand tough, they give the same advice to eyesen hower and everybody else and it has not worked. let's try something new. >> they say this is all around beyond president obama wanting something in his legacy this is about business about americans wanting to make money, rich americans wanting to make more money and it's not about the people of cuba. what is your response to those cynics when they say it to you? >> that's not it at all. when americans travel here
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increasingly they are staying at bed and breakfast or private homes and the number of cubans working outside of the state is increased exponentially in the last couple years, and that benefits the average cuban and not the government. as more business comes here as the infrastructure they need investment let's face it, and they will have to make changes, and have more transparency and rule of law and contracts. >> you must be concerned, because i know you as the other senators are concerned about human rights issues and you hear somewhere between 90 and 100 dissidence protesters were arrested a few months ago, that must fill you with ambivalence about this move although you are in favor of it. >> this has been going on for years and the same policy has not changed anything and the idea where we have a personnel
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and personnel can travel freely and meet with the dissidence and the pope is traveling here and will have a human rights message, and there's a lot of poverty and i know a lot of americans want to say the beautiful building and old cars and we have to remember there is nothing romantic about poverty, and the way you lift them out of poverty is by showing a different culture and move up from here. >> the excuse that the castro brothers have as to why this country is the condition it's in will be gone once the diplomatic relations are established and the embargo is gone and then really the blame lies at the feet of the castro brothers do you agree with that? >> i think 15 years ago we were having dinner one night with fidel castro, and he started in about the -- our embargo, and i
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said heck the embargo is the best thing you have going for you. he said what do you mean? you have a failed economic and political system, and you can blame it all on us and, he gave me a look and turned to my wife who is a registered nurse and said i will talk to you, you are the humanitarian. the united states has a lot to offer with human rights and all of these things can be so helpful. let's get rid of the excuse of the embargo, because that's simply an excuse to say, no when the cuban people want to say yes. >> i always thought if you want to punish the castros, make them deal with spring break once or twice. >> my mind is racing. we'll leave it there. thank you so much. you have a lot of things to do and we really appreciate it. and today marks a new beginning between the united states and cuba, and others are not so
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welcome back to "the lead," i am jake tapper. let me show you one thing we have that is interesting. the u.s. embassy that was the u.s. intersection they used to have a news ticker and then the cuban government retaliated by putting up dozens and dozens of flags and they would block the
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view so people could not read the ticker, so the intersection and cuban government came up with an agreement that the flags would come down if the ticker came down. let's talk more. the two countries here that have spent the last half centuries as arch enemies took a major step in normalizing relations, and amidst all the pop and circumstance there are many dissidence here on the island that believe their day-to-day lives are filled with economic hardship and oppression and human rights abuses that that's not going to change. not everybody here is celebrating. antonio is part of the pro-democracy dissidence community, and brave and vocal critic on the island that dares to criticize the castro
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government. he has hosted the dissidence community at his family home. >> we want to talk about it. >> their campaign has come at a significant cost. they are routinely rounded up and arrested as they make their way to mass at the local church. and the women there dressed in white bear silent witnesses. >> does the government retaliate against you? >> yes, they used to organize like a kind of police operation around the house to arrest the people that were -- they were coming here. >> just for what? for coming? >> exactly. they don't want that kind of activities. >> have they arrested you and physically hurt you?
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>> yes, i have been arrested several times, and also i have been beaten and in jail for days and in the last time the situation has been changing for worse. >> it's getting worse? >> yes. >> this is what happened in july when he was arrested on his way to church put in the back of a police car and beaten with handcuffs. >> president obama and secretary kerry, they argue, look we have tried it with an embargo and blockade for decades and nothing has changed and maybe by doing this there will be more human rights and democracy in cuba. do you agree with that? >> i do not agree. we really are upset because the american government doesn't want to put any condition for that political process, and the cuban government is taking a lot and they are not giving anything. >> as the american flag rose over the u.s. embassy in huh van
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wrau today, there were no dissidents there, and instead he was invited to a private ceremony with the secretary of state in the afternoon, but he declined their invitation. >> do you think obama and kerry doing this hurt the cause of people like you, people fighting for freedom. >> they feel more free to oppress us and at the same time the signal for the people fighting the government making a huge confusion, because right now people don't understand who are their friends that are supporting the changes for the democracy, and who are the people supporting the government. >> even though so much here seems stuck in 1961 there are
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some small yet historic changes, some that you and i might take for granted. we asked the bureau chief to demonstrate one of those changes. >> one of the most disconcerting things for a american for somebody such as myself in cuba there is no internet not at the airport or down the street and we are at a new wi-fi hot spots that the government has set up in the last few weeks, and cubans are gathering and logging on. what am i supposed to do with this? >> buy the card, and you are supposed to go through a government office and sign a form very likely saying you are not going to put anything or you can come to the black market and pay $3, and you are online. they have never been able to do
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this in their lives. >> the crowd would never be this crowded? >> this park used to be empty and it's full here. cubans are joining a revolution. >> the black market salesman a new career that start a few weeks ago in cuba we will have much more from havana, cuba, right after this.
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there at the bay of havana. i wonder what it's going to look like in ten years? welcome back to "the lead." i am jake tapper. after 54 years, the u.s. flag the american flag was raised at
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the newly re-opened u.s. embassy. coming up we will have much more about the historic and controversial day, and what it means for both countries going forward. first, let's talk about the united states and the politics lead with hillary clinton's e-mail server in the hands of the feds. today mrs. clinton woke up to chatter about another challenge, and it is looking less and less like a lock each day. we go to clearlake, iowa. i woke up and i heard this. al gore? >> reporter: there has been chatter in democratic circles with al gore and will he get in. the chatter here is about the democrats in the race, and a lot of people from martin o'malley supporters here, and hillary clinton as well, and all democratic candidates gathering on the same stage, and it's a reminder there could be another wrinkle in the democratic race. tonight the field of democrats
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will take the stage in iowa. there's hillary clinton, and bernie sanders, and martin o'malley and more. but other hopefuls may still be waiting in the wings. vice president joe biden called more supporters and asking advisers to start making a plan if he decides to run. even friends of al gore wonder if she should jump in and something his spokeswoman quickly shot down. another gore and bush rematch? >> he's qualified. >> it was the topic of conversation. >> we have something for bernie sanders, and jim webb and is there room for another person in the race do you think? >> well look at the republican side. obviously, i hope we don't get to that level but there's always more room. several people say they hope joe biden jumps in and it will give them a good choice and more
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depth. i'm truly undecided. >> clinton holds an edge in iowa leading sanders by 19 points but not all democrats are convinced she's the one. >> i'm not sure i -- i don't know. as much as i would like to see a woman in there, definitely i don't know about her being the one. >> o'malley is trying to win over voters one by one, taking time out to hit the giant slide with two of his kids. >> you are very optimistic that in six months voters are still open minded. >> after we get rolling around in our summer of anger people will look at the candidtes and evaluate which of us is a new perspective of a new generation that can govern and get things done. >> governor o'malley believes he is the candidate of the future. it's important to remember, hillary clinton still has a
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strong lead in iowa and got an endorsement from senator tom harkin but half of the voters are still undecided. >> on the republican side today, it was jeb bush's turn to convince iowa voters he's fully committed to competing there as polls show many iowans seem to be giving up on him. and they are making their pitches before they get trumped tomorrow. and we have a correspondent live for us in the state of new hampshire. sun sunland? >> reporter: tomorrow these small shifts in his campaign strategy comes as he is set to
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make his eye wow landfall tomorrow. riding high in the polls, donald trump will make a dramatic landing. on saturday trump will land on his trademark helicopter for his trip to the iowa state fair and he will take supporters up for free rides. while it may all seem like fun and games there are small signs trump may be trying to mount a more serious campaign, and beefing up security and policy specifics, but when asked for some of the substance, trump said not yet. >> i don't do a plan i go in and get it. too much talking and not enough action. >> reporter: meanwhile a much more reserved entrance today in iowa for jeb bush. >> i like the way we did it from the hampton inn across the street and walked in. >> reporter: trying to win over voters from the fair. >> i am a republican and
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conservative. >> reporter: still trying to find his own footing and his brother's legacy continuing to trip him up on the trail. after finally saying he wouldn't have gone into iraq based on today's facts, bush is now seeing this. >> i will tell you taking out saddam hussein turned out to be a pretty good deal. >> and trying out the serving and sampling of his own red meat. going after president obama. >> it's time we have a president accepting responsibilities of the duty of the president, and if there's a problem don't say the dog ate my homework. >> and hillary clinton -- >> i gave out my e-mail address, and i am writing an e-book about my e-mails, and we need more transparency in politics today. >> reporter: bashush has a lot of ground to make up. >> no last time around there were candidates that were winning at this time that never
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even made it to the starting line. >> reporter: jeb bush later went on to say slow and steady wins the race and the one thing that will slow down donald trump, he has been called for jury duty monday in manhattan. jake? >> thank you so much. a little fact check, and governor bush did not release all of his e-mails but he did release a number of them as required by law. and today's events have been a long time coming and you saw the flag raising at the u.s. embassy behind me, and inside a. time warp. we were granted exclusive access into the building and we will take you inside and show you what it looks like next. kind of like mute buttons equal danger. ...that sound good? not being on this phone call sounds good. it's not muted. was that you jason? it was geoffrey! it was jason. it could've been brenda. [meow mix jingle slowly and quietly plucks] right on cue. [cat meows]
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in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries. and steven in the crowd tonight, senator obama. >> the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration is ridiculous. >> that was then senator barack obama laying out his rational for engaging a rogue regime such as cuba, and now here we are today in havana eight years and change later where u.s. secretary of state, john kerry, officially ushered in a new chapter in relations by reopening the american embassy behind me, and shuttered more than half a century ago. and let's bring in patrick, and he has been here for years
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reporting. you were granted access into the embassy. >> when we started to film inside the building and we were running off a generator, and it's daunting and for the diplomats, it was a race against time to get the embassy ready and they let us follow them each step along the way as they did that. >> welcome to the new embassy. >> words that for over half a century, the diplomats in cuba were able to say. the day cuba and u.s. officially restored diplomatic relations officials at the embassy greeted their colleagues with hugs and american flags. cnn was granted exclusive access to the reopening. members of the cuban staff marvelled that the cold war
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hostilities have been overcome. >> did you think you would work here and see the change that we have seen in the last six months? >> no i never thought i would see this in my lifetime. >> the head of the embassy say he and his staff are taking part in history. >> it's a privilege to be part of all of this and it's a privilege to be part of an administration that has made a courageous decision to make this change and it's also a privilege to be able to lead this mission as it transitions from an intersection to an embassy. >> that transition is more of a sprint as staff get everything ready for secretary of state john kerry's visit. >> they will use the spanish feed -- >> and then planning for every contingency. >> and then justin should be around holding spaces. >> a long list of challenges in a country where few things ever
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seem to go right. >> this is where we keep everything running. >> management officer takes us to the basement to get a first look at the sign and the seal that will go in the entrance to the embassy. >> pretty cool sign, isn't it? >> what i am walking next to is something that has not been seen in 54 years in cuba, and it's a sign for the u.s. embassy in havana. >> she says reoepg the embassy is the high point of her career. >> this is fantastic. there are so many foreign service officers that waited to be here and i think i am being envied by a lot of people who say this is the culmination of the work of a lot of people. >> nothing is left to chance. the marines even practice raising the flag. but as the big day arrives, american diplomats say the u.s. embassy in havana is ready to step back into the spotlight.
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>> jake the diplomats in the building behind us should not expect to get any rest in the months or years ago, because now begins the process of normal normalalization normalalization, and that's going to be more complex than anything they have done so far. >> yeah raising the flag was the easy part. noticeably absent were cuban dissidents that have been critical of the castro regime and its painful record of human rights issues and there are many on both sides including marco rubio, a florida republican. i asked rubio, who is the son of cuban immigrants what he would ask the cuban government if given a chance. here's what he had to say? >> i want to know why the people of cuba are the only people in the western hemisphere, and why are the people of cuba the only
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people who did not have free and unfettered and unrestricted access to the internet, and why are the people of cuba not allowed to watch any television station they watch from anywhere else in the world, and why they have been isolated by their own government for almost six decades? >> joining me to talk about the monumental shift in cuban relations is a retired cuban diplomat. thank you for being here and appreciate it. the first question marco, senator marco rubio had, and i know you couldn't hear it but his first question is why are the people of cuba the only people in the western heplmisphere hemisphere -- >> that's a lie. we have elections. >> do you have to be a member of the communist party? >> you have to be a member of the communist party.
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you have town halls where the candidates are there, and there's only one candidate, and that's wrong, and i think that will change and we will see -- >> don't you think there needs to be more than one party? >> no just more than one candidate. the parties, it's not an issue now, i think. >> the other question that senator rubio had is how come the people of cuba are the only ones in the western heplmisphere do not have freedom on the internet or tv? >> you have walked through the street and see all these guys connected on their wi-fi? >> the wi-fis for the last few weeks. >> well it's moving. things are not status. things are not frozen.
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things are changing. >> why are the people of cuba not allowed to watch any tv station from around the world? >> that's a good question. why should we? we have the cuban television network. i would like to see more television networks. >> it seems like the government is afraid of exposing people to ideas. >> no, i don't think so. i am a member of the board of the skwrerpbl that produces ideas and we are on facebook and internet and on twitter and youtube -- >> i mean other ideas. >> well every time we have this meeting we invite everyone and everyone can express their ideas there, and we invite them. >> i hope progress comes and i hope people of cuba get the government and freedoms they deserve. >> we have the freedoms we deserve, and we will be freer, don't worry about that. >> thank you for coming here and answering my questions. >> thank you. we are following another major world lead.
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there are claims of isis using chemical weapons. how could this change the plan to destroy the terror group.
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welcome back to "the lead." i am jake tapper live in havana cuba. another part of the island guantanamo, and the pentagon is saw sesing facilities in the u.s. that could potentially house the detainees currently behind bars in gitmo. we are told the defense department is currently evaluating the u.s. disciplinary barics in kansas and in charleston south carolina. 116 gitmo detainees are still locked up at the detention facility. breaking news just in to cnn. u.s. military and intelligence officials confirming isis terrorists used a chemical weapon in an attack carried out in syria. this comes on the heels of another investigation in what officials describe as credible
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claims that isis used the same weaponized gas on kurdish troops in northern iraq, and both incidents raising serious concerns the terrorists group could use those weapons in a mass casualty attack. barbara, if confirmed do u.s. officials have any sense of where they may have obtained these weapons? >> this is one of the many questions that the u.s. right now is scrambling to answer. the patients came to the northern iraqi hospital with blistered skin and respiratory distress, and the kurds say isis fired mortars at them with an agency. the u.s. is investigating and will test samples to find out if it was mustard agent, a chemical
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agent that officials tells cnn. >> when you do that you have a real issue in skau curing. >> it was confirmed a mustard agent was used. officials hope more testing will tell them if mustard or chlorine was used again. kurdish fighters have proven capable against isis but a chemical weapon would make their task more difficult. >> they are much more exposed and at risk so this is for them very dangerous and could really hurt their ability to fight.
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>> the question now, from where could isis have obtained the mustard agent. a secret stockpile from bashar al assad that was somehow not destroyed in 2014 under an international agreement, or did isis manufacture the agent on its own? president obama once threatened military action if the syrian regime used chemical weapons. >> a red line for us is we start saying a whole bunch of chemical weapons use or move around. >> i think it's important for us to send a signal not only to the kurds but to isis as well that we are going to support the kurds in any way we can conceivably can. >> activeist groups there's a
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lot of confusion here and the u.s. is trying to sort it all out. when it comes to syria and iraq there's a long history of concern about the intelligence possibilities about chemical weapons. jake? >> indeed. barbara starr live for us at the pentagon. today marks the first time in 70 years appear u.s. secretary of state has visited cuba. john kerry is here in havana. cnn spoke with him moments ago. what he had to say about today's historic and controversial event next. it's so shiny. i know, mommy, but it's time to let the new kitchen get some sleep. if you want beautiful results, you know where to go - angie's list.
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monumental that's the monument right there, and there used to be an eagle on it and the head of the eagle is
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supposedly with the body in a cuban museum. i am told officials say they will put it back when an american president visited the island. just minutes ago we sat down with the secretary of state, john kerry, and she asked him what the new normal looks like for cuba. what did he have to say? >> clearly he is looking to increase opportunities and, as you said to improve the refreshen and poor economy here but the main question is is the human rights situation going to improve, and he argued the increased engagement will lead to human rights for dissidents and some of them didn't want to come today because eight months in detentions continued and lack of freedoms on the island and secretary kerry said eight
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months isn't enough and this is going to take time. here is what he had to say. >> if eight months isn't long enough how long is it until you can have the phezmeasurable amount of success? >> the announcement was made eight months ago that we were going to move towards this policy but we have to negotiate for many of the months on the actual process itself. i don't think, you know we're not there. today we raised flags and opened embassies and you have to give us a moment for us to have our committee sit down and confront the issues and come up with a road map that makes sense, and we will confront if they challenge their own citizens on the issue of human rights you will hear us loudly and clearly taking them on with respect to that. >> the problem is jake with
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all the pomp and circumstance for the cuban government it seems to be business as usual. a lot of symbolic history today, but the u.s. has a long road ahead in terms of trying to get the cuban government to improve upon that. >> and finally today from havana the flag is flying high and while today's events are symbolically very important, still a long way to go before americans can enjoy the island much less the cuban people enjoy freedom. some of the remaining '50s charms exist, and cigars and businesses are still run by the dictatorship of the castro brothers. in the coming months we will see if this thaw of the relationship 54 years frozen in time will lead to a break through that benefits people here and 90 miles away in the u.s. follow me on twitter and
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facebook. i am jake tapper. that's it for " the lead" here. happening now, breaking news isis chemical attack. the u.s. confirms forces used a mustard agent on the battlefield and other chemicals weapons as well. historic sight. the american flag flying in cuba above the newly re-opened u.s. embassy for the first time in half a century, but tensions remain as washington and havana re-establish relations. can they move forward with the u.s. embargo still in place. bin laden warning. a chilling message believed to be from the son of the notorious al qaeda founder unseen since he was a child, and now he is calling for