tv Sino Tv Early Evening News PBS November 26, 2010 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
>> very warm welcome to the "journal" here on dw-tv. no letup in the korean crisis as china issues in the warning over a u.s. military exercise with the south. russian prime minister vladimir putin visits berlin with a vision of big trade and economic cooperation. and more pressure on europe's single currency as markets ask -- will portugal be next on the bailout list? north korea has warned that joint u.s./south korean military
exercises in the yellow sea planned for sunday could put the peninsula "on the brink of war." china, the north's sole major ally, also warned against any military activity, repeating its opposition to the scheduled war games. p'yongyang has been holding its own war drills with in the south korean island it shelved earlier this week. >> south korean soldiers are on high alert, keeping a close watch on their counterparts across the border. on friday, signs of artillery fire on the northern side spread fears of a fresh attack, attackseoul said no rounds landed on territory. south korea had increased troop numbers after its military was criticized for what some called a weak response to the incident. it has also changed its rules of engagement to allow a more forceful response in future. two south korean soldiers and two civilians were killed in the attack.
the president has now appointed a successor for the defense minister who resigned on thursday. the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff will take over the role. meanwhile, most of the island's residents have fled to the mainland. some say the recent events are a chilling reminder of the country's bloody past. >> it breaks my heart that a tragedy like the korean war is happening again during my lifetime. >> those who fled the island are now in temporary shelter. many say they will not return home. russian prime minister vladimir putin has called for the european union and russia to link up in a single free-trade zone. he put forth that idea here in berlin where he is holding talks with chancellor angela merkel on trade and economic issues. putin says an economic community with russia could ultimately lead to a free-trade zone or even more advanced forms of integration.
>> at the german chancellery, the russian prime minister again laid out his vision of a free- trade zone stretching from lisbon to vladivostok. >> a free-trade zone like this is a complicated project, but the idea should be allowed to rise and into a practical realization. so i called for negotiations on this to start as soon as possible. >> in a careful reply, chancellor merkel showed she is at least open to the idea. >> i think that is right. europe and russia our strategic partners. but the cooperation can certainly be expanded. >> but the chancellor emphasized that import tariffs and other trade barriers would first have to fall. russia still employs high import tariffs to protect its domestic car makers from foreign competition, for instance. earlier on friday, putin met with german business leaders.
they also support closer cooperation. [applause] >> all we can do, whether by investments, a show us that we have a common destiny, but also in the sense of creating an area in which we can strengthen trade and step back from behavior that is counter-productive. >> vladimir putin's ideas go beyond closer cooperation with europe. he suggested russia could be joining the world trade organization next year. [applause] >> for more on this, i spoke earlier with our political correspondent who follow us conference between the two leaders. i asked if this apparent dispute over russia's vision of a free- trade zone that would stretch across europe and russia has been settled. >> well, not really settled, brian.
chancellor merkel described the idea as an important vision for the future, but she did appear to pour cold water on an earlier by pointed out that russia has introduced tariffs and protectionist measures that german exporters struggle with, and another problem with the idea is that russia is also building a free-trade zone with cause extent and belarus, which chancellor merkel said made it more difficult, but she said the first thing russia has to do is make sure that it does going to world trade organization, and mr. putin believes -- repeated that he believes that will happen next year. >> what else came out of this press conference? >> both leaders talk about strengthening economic cooperation in a lot of areas, simplifying these other arrangements between the eu and russia, as one important area, and they seem to have got some sort of agreement on that. both leaders talked about the possibility of a common
currency, but as always at these meetings, energy came up, very importantly. the europeans' reliance on russian energy supplies, and they want russia to modernize its infrastructure. >> simon, thanks for the analysis and insight, as ever. simon young for us. >> as many thought possible, it is not just greece and ireland that need a bailout. how many eurothe zone countries will? inquiring minds want to know. -- how many eurozone countries will? portugal is now being pushed to accept a rescue, and after greece and ireland, the logic is that a quick intervention will lessen the likelihood that a bailout will become necessary in spain. as europe's fifth biggest
economy, there are fears that spain might just be too big to bail out and that a spanish crisis could possibly spell the end for the european single currency. >> traders on the financial markets continue to view the eurothe zone bailout's with skepticism. bond rates hit record highs as investors speculated on the credit worthiness of ireland, portugal, and spain. this month, the country's risk premiums, as shown by their 10- year bond yields have shown a steady increase. that means it is becoming more and more expensive for them to borrow the money they need to stay afloat. although the three countries are suffering high deficits for different reasons, their financial problems are seen as a threat to europe -- eurozone stability. it is thought that the three
countries have a combined debt of eight trillion in euros. the safety net is currently set at 750 billion euros, but analysts at the hamburg institute of international economics have suggested pouring another 500 billion euros or more into the pot to cover future crises. -- it is thought that the three countries have a combined debt of a trillion years. italy is also being targeted because of its high burden, though its economy is far more robust. with brussels opted to bail out troubled states rather than allowing them to default, investors are speculating on further such action in the near future, which is in turn causing more instability on financial and stock markets. >> for more on the uncertainty plaguing the euro and the eurozone rescue fund, we spoke with our correspondent and asked if the mixed messages european leaders have been sending this week have worsened the message. >> there is no doubt they are
exacerbating the situation. we are in a repeat of what happened earlier this year with grease. anything that any senior politician or economist said triggered a market jump or fall depending on what was, and there was total frustration in brussels on all institutional levels about some of the things being said, not least by the german chancellor, who is being accused of having triggered the irish crisis, even, by her remarks a few weeks ago about bondholders ought to be made to carry the accounts and put up the costs even further, and some people are actually saying the immediate crisis they are in now was triggered by her saying that. she then went on to say that the euro is the european union, and if one collapses the other collapses. all these messages are feeding into the speculative frenzy, which as we have just said, is now moving on already from ireland to portugal, so there is a sense of total frustration about people saying things that are moving markets one way or the other, and now, people are
openly talking about whether the euro can survive. is driven by rumor and counter- rumor, and it is making clearing up the irish mess even more difficult. >> on friday's market action, german shares fell on the final trading day of the week, amid ongoing jitters over the health of economies in southern europe. our correspondents and as the summary of the day's trading action from the frankfurt stock exchange. >> the shares were among those to help the dax recover in the course of this trading friday. the reason was that the stainless steel division is soon going to be restructured. also, the biggest steel maker of germany will present its newest earnings report early next week, and many people here are betting on strong numbers. the concerns about the euro, of course, also worried traders on
this last trading day of the week, but the dax does not look too bad on a weekly scale. it even ended the week a few points on the upside. >> in frankfurt, where we can stay for a closer look at friday's closing numbers. the dax index fell by about 15%. euro stocks 50 index slipping by a full percentage point to close the friday session at 2736. in new york, shares traded lower in a holiday-shortened session. the dow jones finished lower at on currency markets, the europe trading sharply lower at a value of $1.3244. germany's largest bank, deutsche bank, says it has finalized its take over the country's leading retail bank. shareholders have accepted an offer of 25 year rose per share. it has the largest network of
branch locations throughout germany, and deutsche bank expects the acquisition to help strengthen its business with private customers here in its lucrative home market. that is your business update now. back to brian. >> that is a lot to debate at the german parliament. they have passed a budget for next year. germany has weathered the global downturn better than most countries, and the deficit looks set to be less than originally anticipated, but net borrowing is still at a high, and criticism against the government saying germany puts itself at risk by guaranteeing eurozone sovereign debt. >> the german finance minister had only a little bit of good news for people concerned about germany's budget deficit. new borrowing will be lower next year than previously expected. he originally, the government had forecast a shortfall of 57.5 billion euros, but now, it expects to need to around 48
billion euros. public debt is still set to reach new highs, and it remains to be seen what effect bailouts for ireland and other eurozone countries could have. the finance minister says he is not willing to make predictions. >> the speculation and uncertainty we are seeing on international markets right now do not contribute to economic and financial stability in germany, europe, or the world, and that is why i'm not going to add to it. >> the opposition accused the government of lacking european support for key reforms. >> they have not secured a financial transaction tax or stronger banking supervision, and they have not answered fundamental questions about the future of the euro. >> germany is expecting clarification on the financial aid package for ireland this week in. if the your safety net has to be widened, there are likely to be implications for germany's deficit as well. >> stayed in germany, new
research shows a marked increase in cancer rates near a nuclear waste storage facility in the north of the country. the social administrator of hanover says the have doubled the national average of leukemia cases among men, and cases of thyroid cancer among women tripled between 2002 and 2009. many residents believe the blame lies with tens of thousands of barrels of radioactive waste stored in the old salt mine there. >> the russian parliament has for the first time officially blamed joseph stalin for the world war ii massacre of 22,000 polish officers. in a rare combination of the soviet dictator, the state passed the resolution saying documents of secret archives show that stalin had indeed ordered the mass executions. communist deputies opposed the declaration. for decades, soviet propaganda blamed the nazis for the crime appeared at the end of the cold
war, moscow acknowledged the killings were carried out by stalin's secret police, but this is the first formal statement indicating the soviet leadership in such explicit terms. >> a new exhibit in the german city combines works by two very different american artists. duane hanson, who died in 1996, is best known for his life-size human cultures, while the photographer gregory kurds and has made a name for himself with images of american homes and neighborhoods. the combination offers a serial take on the american dream. >> the exhibition does not open until saturday, but it looks as if visitors have already begun arriving. that populate this basis if they were real museumgoers. baffling lifelike, these cultures could almost have originated from these pictures. photographs. the works are connected by the
bleak, that is on it, and by the emptiness of life. >> what you notice right away is that the people are sitting very still, and through this expressive sense of inner emptiness. at first glance, it is pretty eery. because you do not know what they are doing there or what has happened to them. >> like here, a dining room, dinner on the table. who are they waiting for? it wouldn't have an. inside, a young mother and her newborn -- a wooden cabin. they draw the viewer into the daily despondency of american life. it is easy to imagine her in having this neighborhood depicted in one of the photographs. both documents of aspects of american reality.
>> elcome back. eegypt is holding a parliamentay election this sunday. the government has rejected charges the boat will not be free and fair. the country has refused to allow international observers to monitor the poll. there are also concerns that the ballot could, like previous elections, be disrupted by violence. some media outlets, bloggers, and opposition groups have criticized the government harassment and censorship in the run-up to the ballot. >> egypt -- a land of ancient history, beset by some very modern problems. the country has an increasingly young population with every third inhabitants under the age of 15. most egyptians have only ever know one man in charge.
that have been in power for a generation but have shown no signs of wanting to pass on authority. emergency laws have been in place which allow exceptional powers since 1981. critics say those powers allow the president to stifle political dissent, and nobody doubts that his national democratic party will win the election. >> we look forward to free and fair elections monitored by the electoral commission and egyptian civil society. the biggest possible participation of voters has been assured. >> the electoral commission, however, is a province of the interior ministry. this came about as a result of a constitutional change backed by a referendum three years ago. that makes the election fast in the eyes of the opposition parties. and they are putting their hopes on this man, the former head of
the united nations atomic watchdog. he has called for a boycott of the upcoming vote. several parties support him, but not all opposition groups will be ignoring the poll. the outlawed moslem brotherhood is running candidates to achieve by democratic means their goal, turning egypt into an islamic state. to get around its official ban, the brotherhood is fielding candidates of independence. they complain they are being unfairly targeted by the authorities and harassed by the security forces and the police. >> the muslim brotherhood is under siege. several of our rallies have been disrupted by police and more than 1000 members have been detained. >> there are 508 seats up for grabs in sunday's elections, and 64 of those reserve for women, a
first for egypt. yet, perhaps just a small concession from egyptian leaders, who looks set to come out of the vote as powerful as ever. >> earlier, i spoke with a representative of the german institute of global and area studies, and asked if she thought the election would be free and fair. >> well, it is very likely that these elections are going to be rigged. in fact, reading has already started in the run-up of the elections. the question has been, of course, why hold elections if they are going to be rigged anyway? the answer lies in the nature of the egyptian political system. this system is an authoritarian system, but it is a liberalized form of authoritarianism, and that means that there is a certain space of political freedom and political pluralism. however, this space is severely limited, and as soon as its borders are crossed, this is met with the power of the space. and it is very typical for such
a system that there is a mixture of repression and liberal legacies such as targeting the elections. >> is there likely to be violence as there was in 2005? >> well, there have -- opposition candidates have been bullied, have been threatened, and even some of their supporters have been beaten up. >> just how strong is the opposition in egypt? >> what is interesting here is that the official legal opposition parties -- they are very weak. instead, the most important and the strongest opposition is the illegal muslim brotherhood. the reason for that is that the state has systematically week and the political parties -- systematically weakens the political parties. that means they have traded their political voice for economic rewards, and this has, of course, bird and their
credibility amongst the people. >> what role exactly does the muslim brotherhood play, and why is the government so very afraid of them? >> repression on the muslim brotherhood has been increased. especially since 2007, and then again now in the run-up to the elections. the reason for that is that the brotherhood is actually the strongest opposition is force in egypt. the biggest opposition as a bloc in parliament, even though they had a weird legal status. officially, they are banned, but in officially, they are targeted. the reason why the region is so afraid of the moslem brotherhood is that it is the only political force which it has not been able to corrupt. in addition to that, the brotherhood is not only at political actor, but also a social and religious organization that runs a dense net of social services, and that provides the brotherhood with a big grass roots space, and that, of course, frightens the regime
in a sense. >> thank you so very much for the analysis. >> secularists, radical islamists, and members of the muslim brotherhood, which is moving into the political mainstream in spite of its oppression, all have been using global technology and social networking sites to organize demonstrations. one group is also planning to use the internet to keep tabs on any attempts to rig the vote. >> he rarely slows down to take a break, and he never goes anywhere without his cell phone. he uses it to planned and organized political opposition in egypt. his work has pitted him squarely against the regime, and for that, he has often ended up behind bars. on april 6, 2008, the 29-year- old use facebook to call for a general strike as a show of solidarity with striking workers in the north of the country. news of the facebook page spread quickly, and soon, he had thousands of dollars.
the group is fighting for more democracy, and they rely on social networking sites to spread their message and avoid censorship. >> what is important is that they did not forbid everything. it is impossible for us to go on the streets of egypt. it is a red line for us. activities on the street are dealt with with great violence. yet, facebook is allowed, and independent press is somehow allowed. it is like a vintage in orders to get out anger. facebook, 20 is a means for that. -- facebook, twitter is a means for that. >> the hold workshops to explain how to use social networking tools, how to plan a s to organize activists using a text message, and how to plan an escape route at a protest. the government does not ban websites, but security officials keep a close watch on any activity. the facebook group is planning a demonstration, officials are
aware. >> sometimes, they arrest people. there were a couple caught last week. sometimes, they close in on us, and then we change our plans spontaneously and is something surprising. >> the activists who took part in the april 6 demonstration are getting ready for the elections. thousands of them are planning to stand in front of police stations on sunday so they can gather important information -- in front of polling stations on sunday. it will keep track of who was allowed to vote, where there are irregularities, and where they have seen violence. all of the data will be posted on the website. members know their actions could put them in danger. >> we tried to protest peacefully, and date threaten us with physical violence and more aggression, but they will not break us. we have a goal, and we will not give up. >> they're determined to take to the streets on election day, despite the risks involved. >> that is our "in depth" as
>> hinojosa: long after the iron curtain collapsed and china and vietnam embraced free markets, cuba's communist system continues. 50 years after the revolution, is cuba ready for change? a conversation with former havana bureau chief from the associated press, anita snow. i'm maria hinjosa. this is one on one. anita snow, you spent ten years living in havana as the bureau chief for the associated press. in fact, you opened the office there. prior to that you lived for several years in mexico. but let's talk about havana. rare opportunity that we get to
talk with somebody who's lived in havana for ten years. so, hard to sum up ten years, but what was it like? >> well, i think it was the most interesting period of my career, and challenging, and ultimately satisfying, but it was really the hardest for many different for many different... >> hinojosa: because? >> well, to open the bureau there was quite a challenge. the ap hadn't been... hadn't had a permanent presence in cuba for almost three decades. so basically it was my job to find an office space, furnish it... >> hinojosa: hire the people. >> hire the people. and you had to hire them through the cuban government employment agency. >> hinojosa: how long did the whole process take? >> about two years. >> hinojosa: just to open the office? >> well, no. i mean, we opened the office, but it took... probably took about two years until it was all outfitted. >> hinojosa: okay, so your biggest misconception about... because you had spent some time,
you had covered... you and i both were there when the pope was there in 1997. but what was the biggest misconception that you had about what it would be like, as a journalist, to live and cover cuba? >> i thought it was going to be easier. >> hinojosa: really? >> yeah, i thought it was going to be... i had no idea how hard it was going to be. >> hinojosa: so what was so hard about it? >> once we were set up, it was hard to report, because access was really limited. >> hinojosa: well, a lot of people find that one of the things why you are such a rock star in international journalism, if you will, is the fact that you, anita snow, for ten years were essentially able to keep your chops as a solid fact-based journalist, but you were also able to be essentially critical of the cuban government and stay employed, keep your... you know, your bosses satisfied. it's... a lot of people just say, "how were you able to
please, you know, the cubans so they didn't kick you out, and at the same time be a really strong reporter?" >> well, i just... you had to walk a pretty straight line. and it's the one thing the ap does the best. i mean, it kind of sort of balanced balanced reporting and neutral language. when the cubans would get upset with our reportage, which happened occasionally, it was usually because of the tone, or because... or if there was an error of fact. i mean, if there was error of fact we always corrected, obviously. but the tone seemed to really kind of be a key... a key problem for them. >> hinojosa: now, a lot of americans, you know, are like, "well, what do you mean, the cubans would get upset?" so you actually... you'd get a phone call, and they would say things like, "ms. snow, we need you to come down to the press center, because we need to talk about that last piece you wrote."
>> yes. they call that a convocatoria. >> hinojosa: there's a name? >> yeah, you were convoked. >> hinojosa: you were convoked. >> to come down and have a chat about your story. >> hinojosa: and they'd have your story in front of them. >> they'd have your story, and they'd have it, you know... >> hinojosa: highlighted. >> they would have it highlighted, and we'd talk about it. which was fine, you know? i figure if i sign a story or somebody in my bureau writes the story, we can talk about it. i mean, i think we have to be responsible for what we sign our name on. so i was happy to talk to them about it. i didn't always agree with them, and if i didn't agree with them i told them, you know, "i disagree." but we'd talk about it, you know? and i think they appreciated that. i mean, i think they appreciated that i wouldn't get defensive and i wouldn't get ornery, and i was willing to discuss everything. >> hinojosa: so did you have a situation where you were, as a journalist, kind of being watched? did you think, "okay, if i go
out and i interview this person, there's a chance that the cuban government or officials will come and clamp down on this person because they spoke to a reporter"? was that kind of your daily... or was that not how you operated on a daily basis? >> it depended on who you were talking to and what you were talking to them about. for instance, when we'd go interview elizardo sanchez, who is a very well-known dissident, and he's a veteran human rights activist, there's a guy who sits in a car right out in front of his house. >> hinojosa: really? >> yeah. he's, like, right there. >> hinojosa: oh, my god. >> and i remember going to see elizardo, and i'd see the guy, and i'd say, "hey, how's it going?" and he would, like, look at me like this, right? but it's... i mean, it was really obvious, at least with the dissidents. now, we assumed that we were being monitored too, but in our case it wasn't so obvious. but we'd just have to assume that they were keeping an eye on... >> hinojosa: well, let's talk about what that's like. because if you're an american, american living in cuba, and if
you're an american journalist living in cuba, you were being watched. you were being spied on. >> we assumed. >> hinojosa: i mean, you assumed. >> we assumed, yeah. >> hinojosa: what does that do to you, when you're thinking, "okay, well, this guy is parking my car, but is he really just parking my car, or is he..." you know, or, "the woman who's cleaning my house, is she really cleaning my house, or is she picking up..." did that... did you let that get into your head, about the fact that that's your life in havana? >> well, i mean, i was cognizant of it, and quite frankly i did see a lot of people write down my car license plates at different parking lots and stuff. they would... you know, that was sort of a matter of course. i mean, i remember going to the clinic, the health clinic for foreigners, and every car that was parked down there they'd write down their license plate, every single one. >> hinojosa: we talked about the fact that you assumed that your phone line was being tapped. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: but when you think
about what's happening in the united states, or what was happening during the ten years when you were living in havana, and now you kind of come back and you're like, "hmm, americans were being eavesdropped on by their own government, too." >> i was being... actually, when i was in mexico... i actually got proof that i was being bugged when i lived in mexico when i was covering chiapas. i had a guy from telmex check it out for me, and he said i was being bugged from three different sources. >> hinojosa: so how do you operate as a journalist like that? >> well, you can still make your calls and do reporting. i don't really care. i'm not doing anything wrong. they're already going to know who i talk to, because i'm going to publish the stories. and if they want to listen to all my boring conversations with my sister, you know, whatever. i mean, and then just after a while you just get used to it, because if you worry about it, you waste a lot of time worrying about it. >> hinojosa: okay, but is there a psychological... now that you have a little bit of distance... you left havana several months ago. now you're living in cambridge. with a little bit of distance, do you look and say, "wow, i
really was affected by my time in cuba"? or are you thinking, "wow, i really miss cuba," you know? i mean, what's the balance for you? >> i think i was really affected by my time in cuba, just kind of worn out. >> hinojosa: can you tell me about that? >> yeah, you know, i came here... you know, i came to cambridge for this fellowship at harvard, which is fantastic. >> hinojosa: the nieman fellowship. >> the neiman fellowship. and, like, the first few weeks i was here i slept all the time. i was just exhausted. you know, because it was a lot of hard work for a lot of long years. >> hinojosa: there was, like, an emotional, a psychological exhaustion? >> yeah, i think that was part of it, too. and physical, you know? it's just like... i don't know. covering a place like cuba, you're kind of waiting for the big story all the time, you know? you know, we're watching fidel,
you know, because everybody's like, "when..." you know, "when fidel dies, it's going to be a big story." the problem is, it's not an adrenaline story. it's not like going to afghanistan, or covering a story where you have adrenaline that keeps you going. so it's a little bit... it becomes wearing on you. i mean, you don't have the adrenaline to keep you going, so after a while you start getting kind of burned out, really. >> hinojosa: and you as a reporter took some amazing challenges. i mean, again, you are a rock star in terms of international reporters. >> oh, thank you. >> hinojosa: but there are a lot of people who also can't stand anita snow. >> that's true. >> hinojosa: huge critics. one of the things that you did was in the year 2007, you decided to live on the same exact food rations and salary as if you were a regular cuban. paint that picture for us. what does that look like? like, help americans who are watching this understand what that looks like. >> well, you know, i had thought about it for a while, you know?
and i remember talking... you know, we talked about it. some of the other reporters, we talked about it. and a lot of people were afraid to do it, because they were afraid they were going to be criticized, because they knew, you know? and i thought about it, but i thought, "you know, wouldn't it be interesting?" because the thing is you can't really appreciate... and i don't pretend to appreciate totally how a cuban lives. but i think it was the one area of their life where you could try to get kind of a sense of what a cuban has to go to to eat every day. and it's not easy. >> hinojosa: just being a regular cuban who's not... who doesn't have access to dollars coming in from family, so just surviving on the cuban peso and trying to eat every day. you spend how much of your day, let's say, on a daily basis, dealing with, like, "where am i going to get it, how am i going to buy it, where am i going to find it?" >> well, i did it for a month, and i spent a couple hours every
day at this. you know, because you have to go to lots of different places to get stuff. >> hinojosa: it's not like you can go to the corner grocery store. >> no, there isn't a corner grocery store. i mean, there might be... there might be a small store with, like, some of the stuff you need, but not all of the stuff, you know? and then you have to go to the farmers market, and then you ahve to go to the... you know, the place where you would get your ration. actually, that's in a couple of different places. >> hinojosa: you go with your little book. >> uh-huh. >> hinojosa: and they check off... >> well, i didn't have a book, but that's what cubans do. >> hinojosa: right, right. and they just check off what they gave you, this much rice. >> exactly. >> hinojosa: so were you hungry? >> i don't know if i had real hunger, but i had yearnings for lots of different things i wasn't eating, including meat, because didn't eat hardly any meat for a month. and eggs get kind of boring after... eggs and beans. >> hinojosa: but the whole food thing in havana... i mean, one of the things that makes it hard for you also is the fact that you had... even though it was hard work as a journalist in
havana, you had an okay life. you lived in an amazing penthouse that looked over, you know, the ocean. it was your kind of getaway. but how do you really, then, understand the lives of cubans, who would say, "bye, anita, i'll see you later," and you knew that they were going back to, you know, an apartment where maybe six people were all crammed together, where their futures were completely unclear. how'd you deal with that? >> i don't think a foreigner could ev fully understand the life of a cuban, unless they move into their house, i suppose. >> hinojosa: and are cuban people... there's a lot of talk about... you know, there's a tremendous amount of joy in cuba, and there is. but also in my notes i wrote down, "what about depression of the cuban people?" >> cubans are pretty cheerful people generally. they're very sort of a musical people. they sing a lot, and, i mean,
just walking down the street, it's just a very musical society. the music there is fantastic. >> hinojosa: did you find the cuban people to be open and welcoming? >> oh, yeah, they're very open. they're very curious about foreigners. you know, strangers will just come up and start talking to you and want to know all about you and stuff. >> hinojosa: and on the whole, would you say that the cuban people... hard to generalize, but on the whole, would you say that they are well educated, very well educated, you know, not so well educated, aware of the world? >> i think they're pretty well educated. i think they... you know, a lot of cubans now have access to illegal satellite tv. and of course they're in contact with their relatives abroad, so they're pretty well informed. >> hinojosa: in fact, this is from one of your articles. you said that the cuban government faces a kind of opposition of sorts from rappers, gays, dissident
bloggers, private satellite dish installers, and women with tattoos and belly pierces. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: there's this undercurrent of... what would you call it in cuba? is it resistance, is it... what is it? >> well, there are people who aren't totally with the program. they're not really dissidents per se. i mean, in our society we might just consider them normal people, really. and they're people who want a... they want something more. >> hinojosa: they're essentially tired of seeing... >> they want some options, i think. i think that's really what people want. they want some options. they mostly want economic options. >> hinojosa: and it's not like they're all looking to leave cuba as soon as possible. >> no. >> hinojosa: people like their country. >> yeah. i mean, i think they'd like to be able to leave and come back. i mean, it's not like everybody's scrambling to get out of there and never come back ever. i mean, i think they'd like to be able to leave and see their
family in miami, or wherever they may be, and come back, and leave and come back, and leave and come back, like any other country. >> hinojosa: so what's the more important story that you're kind of following now? is the more important story what the obama administration is doing in terms of opening up relations with cuba, or is the story what's happening internally with cuba? when will fidel pass away? what will happen when he passes away? what will happen to raul castro and who kind of succeeds him? so which are you kind of watching most right now? >> i actually think the obama administration has the power to promote change in cuba more quickly than perhaps even raul castro by its policies toward cuba. perhaps opening up travel to all americans, for instance, which is now banned. the obama administration has made good on his campaign
promises to open up travel, full travel, for cuban americans living in the united states to visit their family. >> hinojosa: which is extraordinary. >> which is extraordinary, which is actually more important than i think a lof of people realize. but most americans still can't travel there. so i think if more americans started traveling there, that could create an impact. >> hinojosa: so when you were in havana, you saw a lot of americans in havana and the rest of cuba. who are they? what kind of americans are going down to cuba? >> well, there were more coming... there were more going there during the clinton administration, and a lot of people came. a lot of people came. they came with little league groups, they came with alumni groups from universities, they came... they came on tours of... you know, architectural tours,
salsa dancing classes. they're just people who are interested in seeing the place. >> hinojosa: and when you have these groups of americans going into cuba like that, i mean, it seems kind of simple. it's like, "well, you know, a little league comes." can that change? can that help actually transform what's going on in cuba? and how? >> well, i think the contacts between cubans and americans. i remember even watching some of these little league teams play, and it was incredible. like, they would make friends. the little boys would make friends, and they'd trade t-shirts, and they'd talk to each other. and cubans got a sense of what americans are like, and kind of what our ideals are, perhaps. as far as i know, americans were never prevented from going to soviet union or east bloc countries. now, i may be wrong about that, but i... as far as i know, that was never a problem.
>> hinojosa: so, the embargo. there are a lot of people incubs lifted, that would be a huge problem for the cuban government. because what you hear in cuba day after day, and you saw it with the big posters that are everywhere in the streets of havana, which, you know... el bloqueo, the embargo, is the worst thing that the yankee imperialists are doing to cuba. what would happen if president obama just said, "you know what, the embargo's gone, free trade between these two countries"? >> it would remove the communist government's excuse for all the problems that exist. i think that's the biggest thing it would do. now, once it's gone, or once... if it's gone, the cuban government can control the trade. they can decide whether to import and export, obviously. but if the bloqueo, as they say, is gone, their biggest excuse for all their economic problems
is gone, too. >> hinojosa: and then what happens? >> well, then everybody's going to say, "but why is there a problem?" >> hinojosa: like, if we can't... >> "why are there shortages? why can't i find toilet paper," right? and then you're not going to have an answer for that. yeah, they aren't going to have an answer for that. >> hinojosa: now, cuba is... i mean, a lot of people have this fascination, and it really is extraordinary, and i've been lucky enough to have gone to havana several times. one of my top five favorite cities in the world. people have an image of a place that, you know, is kind of in this moment in time, hasn't transformed. you've got the 1950s automobiles. but in fact, there's a lot of stuff that's happening. you have international businesspeople in cuba, they're making a killing, essentially-- the brits, the mexicans, the spaniards, the germans, the canadians, the australians. everybody except for the united states. >> that's true. i mean, there are... well, actually, i do know a few americans there, and i'm not quite sure how they've been able
to get around that. >> hinojosa: who are doing a little bit of... >> yeah. >> hinojosa: ...business situations. >> yeah, i was always curious about that, like, "how's that possible?" yeah, there are foreign business folks there. there aren't that many. and of course, you know, the cuban government can control that, too, because it can control foreign investment, you know? it has lots of ways to put brakes on stuff. i mean, even if americans are given carte blanche by the us government to travel to cuba, the cuban government can control that as well with visas. it doesn't have to accept every single american tourist who wants to get on a plane or a boat or... >> hinojosa: all right, so what do you know of in terms of raul castro, who is now in power, 76 years old. you and i both... >> 78. >> hinojosa: 78 years old, oh, my gosh. boy, that was fast. okay, and you and i both, as journalists, equally upset about the fact that raul castro gives
his first interview to an american, and it happens to be sean penn. but what is raul castro.... what's his plan? i mean, is there going to be a difference there or not? >> well, he's done a few things. they've been relatively minor. i get the sense that he would like to open things up a little bit econom... you know, in the economic arena. he's said to admire the china model, or perhaps even the vietnamese model. but i think that's been stopped by the presence of his brother, fidel castro, who's still alive, and then the old guard, which kind of back up fidel. but he has done a few things. i think one of the things that's sort of been overlooked, which i consider to be extremely important, was when he got rid of this ban on cubans being able
to stay at hotels, tourist hotels and tourist resorts, because that was a really sore point for a lot of cubans. >> hinojosa: well, because it was like apartheid within your own country, right? >> right. but that's gone now. in fact, in the first few weeks, there are a few journalists who have offices over at the hotel nacional, and one of them went to chat, and about half of the people staying at the hotel were cubans. >> hinojosa: oh, my god. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: just because they could, they wanted to stay in the hotel nacional. >> "oh, let's go stay in the hotel now." >> hinojosa: so this image, fidel castro passes away, and there's havoc in havana, and, you know, the cubans who live in the united states are going to rush back into cuba, this is a picture that is not real. >> no, that's not real. >> hinojosa: what's it really going to look like? >> it's going to look like a big state funeral. it's going to look like a big state funeral, it's going to be a lot of heads of state. it'll be very sort of dignified
and formal. and... >> hinojosa: but no protests out on the street, like... >> no, cubans don't do that. they just don't. they don't get out pots and pans. they just don't do that. i mean, this idea that people have, it's not real. >> hinojosa: and the relationship of the cuban people to fidel, i've always found this very interesting. it's like they're tired of him, because he's been around for so, so, so long, they dislike a lot of things that he represents, but they also don't necessarily walk around saying, "i hate..." i mean... >> well, they don't walk around saying, "i wish he was dead." well, a few people do. not that many. but he's... you know, he's like their dad or their uncle or their... you know, their annoying uncle. you know, the guy you see at christmas, you know? like... >> hinojosa: again and again. >> you know, sometimes he gives you a a headache, but he's your uncle, you know? you don't say, "oh, i wish uncle jorge would die." i mean, nobody does that, right?
>> hinojosa: i suppose not. so it's hard to predict, but give a sense... okay, fidel passes, raul castro, 78, passes. then what? >> oh, that's a good question. i've been thinking about that a lot lately. there's no one person i see. i think the military might start taking a bigger role. >> hinojosa: and what does that mean? i mean, is that a positive thing? >> it could be. >> hinojosa: really? >> yeah, it could be. i think there are some reforming elements in the military. the military plays a pretty big role in the economy now. and the companies some of these former military guys run are run extremely efficiently. but i'm not sure, like, what form the government would be in. i mean, i don't know if it would necessarily be a military junta.
but i do think the military would take a stronger role. i mean, the military is really the strongest institution that exists in cuba. more so than the communist party, i would say. >> hinojosa: all right, so we've got one minute left. let me ask you this question-- you think of cuba, do you think of optimism, potential, hope, you know, creativity, possibility, or do you think of cuba and think, "another decade or two of really rough times for the people there?" >> oh, i'd like to be optimistic for the cuban people. you know, i'm really fond of the cuban people. i spent a lot of time there, and i just... i mean, i don't think it'll happen as fast as a lot of people would want, but i think it's going to happen. i do think things are going to open up there eventually. you know, and i think people deserve a chance, people deserve some options. >> hinojosa: all right, and we'll see if anita snow makes it back to havana or not. thanks for joining us, anita.