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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  November 28, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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11/28/16 11/28/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! happening at is the moment. it has changed everything that must change. this complete equality and freedom. and be treated like a human being. it is emancipated ourselves for ourselves and by our own strength. it is challenging the dominant forces inside and outside the country. it is defending our values at any price. amy: fidel castro has died at
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the age of 90. he survived 11 u.s. presidents and more than 600 assassination attempts, many orchestrated by the cia. the cuban government has declared nine days of national mourning. today we spend the hour looking back at castro's life and legacy. >> our duty is to fight until the last minute, even of someone were to say that humidity had only 10 years left. we would have to fight during country,years for our for everyone, and for humanity. that cannot wait, but the situation is difficult, more difficult than ever. amy: we will host a roundtable discussion with bill fletcher, , and kornbluh professorlou perez.
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all that and more, coming up. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the cuban government has declared nine days of national mourning following the death of fidel castro. he died friday at the age of 90. his death came 60 years to the day after he, his brother raul, che guevara, and 80 others set sail from mexico in 1956 to begin what became the cuban revolution to oust the u.s.-backed cuban dictator fulgencio batista. batista fled the island in 1959 and the castros have led cuba ever since. the cuban revolution would inspire revolutionary efforts across the globe and lead castro to become one of the archenemies of the united states. it is said he survived over 600 assassination attempts, many orchestrated by the cia. across the developing world,
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fidel castro was viewed as a hero who stood up to washington and offered support for anti-colonial struggles. this is bolivian president evo morales speaking on saturday. .> fidel is a man fidel is a brother, a great human being. fidel is a politician, a great revolutionary. fidel castro is a great teacher of principles and bellies, a teacher of revolutionaries. his fight has not only been for the cuban people, nor for the people of latin america, but for the people of the world that fought for freedom. amy: sello hatang of the nelson mandela foundation also praised castro. >> to the people of cuba, your pain is ours. fidel castro belonged to you as much as he belonged to us. and we all believe -- we all know that at some point one has to transition to the other world. and i think in his case, he is a
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proud man having helped many struggles around the world to achieve freedom. amy: in a prepared statement president obama said -- "history will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and the world around him." meanwhile, president-elect donald trump tweeted -- "fidel castro is dead!" he later described him as "a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades." in political news, president-elect donald trump is claiming that millions of people illegally voted in the november eight election but offered no , evidence to support his claim. on sunday trump tweeted -- "in addition to winning the electoral college in a landslide, i won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." while trump did win the electoral college, democratic nominee hillary clinton's lead in the popular vote has now reached over 2 million and is expected to grow to 2.5 million.
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on saturday, clinton's legal team said it had agreed to participate in a recount of wisconsin votes after the state's election board approved the effort requested by green party candidate jill stein. stein requested the recount after some computer scientists and election lawyers raised the possibility that hacks could have affected the results. dr. stein: today we filed our petition for a recount, a hand recount of the ballots in the presidential race in the state of wisconsin. so this is very exciting because we are standing up as a grassroots campaign in a grassroots movement, standing up for a voting system that we deserve, that we can have confidence in, that has integrity and security, and that we know is not subject to tampering, malfeasance, hacking,
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and so on. so we are standing up to say that we deserve that in this election -- and actually, in every election. amy: donald trump has tapped conservative billionaire betsy devos to serve as the united states education secretary. devos is a longtime backer of -- she is a longtime backer of charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools. american federation of teachers president randi weingarten criticized the pick. she said -- "in nominating devos trump makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding, and destroying public education in america." devos' father-in-law is the co-founder of amway and a longtime supporter of right-wing causes. her brother is erik prince, founder of the mercenary firm blackwater. meanwhile, donald trump has named south carolina governor nikki haley as the next u.s. ambassador to the united nations. the daughter of indian immigrants, haley is widely seen
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as a foreign policy novice. israel was one of the first countries to welcome her nomination. last year governor haley became the first governor to sign legislation against the bds or boycott, divest, and sanction movement to pressure israel to comply with international law and respect palestinian rights. this comes as donald trump has yet to announce who his pick for secretary of state. former massachusetts governor mitt romney and former new york mayor rudy giuliani are said to be in the running. on sunday, one of donald trump's top advisers, kellyanne conway, publicly criticized romney during an appearance on "meet the press." >> people feel betrayed to think governor romney who went out of his way to question the character and intellect and integrity of donald trump now our president elect, would be given them a significant cabinet post of all, secretary of state. that is a decision only one man
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can make will stop amy: in news from north dakota, the u.s. army corps of engineers has announced it plans to close public access to the site of the standing rock protest camp on december 5. for months, indigenous water protectors have camped out in the area to fight the $3.8 billion dakota access pipeline, which would carry crude from the bakken oilfields of north dakota through south dakota, iowa, and illinois. in a statement sunday, the u.s. army corps of engineers said it had "no plans for forcible removal" of protesters but the agency said anyone who remained would be considered unauthorized and could be subject to various citations. dave archambault, the chairman of the standing rock sioux tribe, said in a statement that the tribe was deeply disappointed by the decision. meanwhile, sunday night, musical legends jackson browne and bonnie raitt performed a benefit concert for the standing rock protesters.
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>> ♪ want to be with our family ♪ amy: jackson browne made headlines last month when he signed an open letter to kelcy warren, ceo of energy transfer partners, which owns the pipeline. warren also owns a small music label, music road records which , once released a jackson browne tribute cd. browne said -- "i do not support the dakota access pipeline. i will be donating all of the money i have received from this album to date, and any money received in the future, to the tribes who are opposing the pipeline." in the press release about the jackson browne tribute album, pipeline owner kelcy warren wrote -- "i don't know of anybody that admires jackson more than me." in news from syria, the united nations is warning that about
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500,000 children are now trapped in besieged areas an off from sustained humanitarian aid and basic services." it is estimated there are 100,000 trapped children in the whichheld areas of aleppo witnessed intense fighting over the weekend. according to the syrian observatory for human rights, two rebel held areas of eastern aleppo have fallen to government forces in what has been described as the biggest defeat for the opposition in aleppo since 2012. in other news from syria, the pentagon has announced the u.s. military has suffered its first combat death in syria. the military said a special operations forces member was killed by an improvised explosive device in northern syria on thursday. with less than two months in office, president obama has quietly moved to expand u.s. military operations in somalia. according to the "new york times," the administration has decided to deem the militant group al shabab to be part of
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the armed conflict that congress authorized after the september 11, 2001 attacks, even though al shabab did not exist as an organization at the time. the move will make it easier for u.s. forces to intensify airstrikes and counterterrorism operations. israel has announced plans to build 500 new settlement homes in occupied east jerusalem in violation of international law. it is the first announcement of new settlement construction since the election of donald trump who has claimed all of , jerusalem as part of israel. palestinian lawmaker mustafa barghouti criticized the move. >> the declaration of the establishment of 500 -- only the beginning of a very dangerous step to legalize more than 30,000 new settlement units in the area of jerusalem. and more than that, the israeli government is planning to legalize and initiate 120 new
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settlements in addition to the 159 settlements. amy: an estimated 1000 indigenous people and allies gathered a plymouth rock, massachusetts, thursday, for the 47th national day of mourning. this year's gathering, the largest ever, was held in solidarity with the water protectors at standing rock north dakota. speakers included the coleader of the united american indians of new england. >> in the spirit of crazyhorse, in the spirit of metacom, and in the spirit of geronimo, but above of all in the spirit of the water protectors at standing rock, let's be sure of this. we are not panicking. we are not conquered. we are as strong as ever. ho! amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. today we spend the hour looking at the life and legacy of cuban revolutionary leader and former
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cuban president fidel castro. he died friday at the age of 90 . the cuban government has declared nine days of national mourning. castro had been in poor health since 2006 and formally ceded power to his younger brother raul in 2008. fidel castro died 60 years to the day after he, his brother raul, che guevara, and 80 others set sail from mexico in 1956 to begin what became the cuban revolution to oust the u.s. back dictator fulgencio batista. batista fled the island in 1959 and the castros have led cuba ever since. the cuban revolution would inspire revolutionary efforts across the globe and lead castro to become one of the archenemies of the united states.
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this castro addressing his fellow cubans in the 1980's. having a senses at the moment. it has changed everything that must be changed. it is complete equality and freedom. it is the treat and be treated like a human being. it is emancipated ourselves for ourselves and by our own strength. it is challenging the dominant forces inside and outside the country. it is defending our values at any price. amy: fidel castro embraced communism -- he called himself a marxist-leninist. washington repeatedly tried to remove him from power with the ill-fated invasion at the bay of pigs in 1961 and a decades-long economic embargo. castro denounced the u.s. blockade of cuba in the 1988 film, "the uncompromising revolution" directed by saul landau and jack willis.
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>> for the first 10 years, the revolution had to survive the blockade increased possibilities of development. in these years, basic progress occurred like eradicating illiteracy. building an educational system, getting schools to remote areas, providing teachers. in those days, we even "improvised teachers" because there were not enough teachers. doctors. of our 6000 doctors, 3000 in of the united states. yet great challenges.
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amy: across the developing world, fidel castro was viewed as a hero who stood up to the united states and assisted marxist guerrillas and revolutionary governments around the world. in the 1970's, he sent cuban troops to angola to support a -- the government over the initial objections of russia. cuba helped defeat south african insurgents in angola and win namibia's independence from south africa in 1990, adding pressure on the apartheid regime. after nelson mandela was freed from prison in 1990, he repeatedly thanked castro. on saturday, the leader of the people's movement for the liberation of angola said castro was like mandela. >> in the world, from time to time, there will be individuals like this who appear, be it in signs or politics. these individuals are like mandela. when they leave us, they leave us with a gap. for some, fidel castro was a
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dictator. for us, he was a revolutionary. regardless of any name, he was also a charismatic figure. even as western enemies respected him. it is difficult for people like that to exist in today's world. amy: many cubans who fled the regime consider castro a tyrant who demanded absolute obedience from the cuban people through censorship of the media and by imprisoning people he deemed antisocial including dissidents, , artists, and members of the lgbt community. 2015, president obama reestablished formal diplomatic relations with cuba after castro's death was announced friday, obama released a statement saying "we know that this moment fills cubans and cuba and the united states with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which fidel castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and the cuban nation. history will judge and record the impact of the single figure
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on the people and the world around him." donald trump tweeted -- prime minister justin trudeau issued a statement that described castro as larger-than-life and remarkable leader -- he also noted that his father proud to call castro a friend. all of this comes as several major u.s. airlines are beginning commercial flights to cuba this week. for the first time in 55 years, the first flight is landing today. today as we broadcast, that flight is leaving from new york to cuba. in april of this year, castro gave what would be his farewell speech. addressing the closing of a
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communist party congress in havana, he defended his record, saying -- "soon i'll be like all the others. the time will come for all of us, but the ideas of the cuban communists will remain as proof on this planet that if they are worked at with fervor and dignity, they can produce the material and cultural goods that human beings need, and we need to fight without truce to obtain them." when we come back, we host a roundtable discussion on fidel castro's life and legacy. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we spend today looking at the life and legacy of the cuban revolutionary leader fidel castro, who died on friday at the age of 90. we're joined by three guests. bill fletcher, jr., is a longtime labor, racial justice
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and international activist. editorial board member and columnist for founder of the black radical congress. his recent piece is headlined, "black america and the passing of fidel castro." peter kornbluh is the director of the cuba documentation project at the national security archive. he is the co-author with william leogrande of "back channel to cuba: the hidden history of negotiations between washington and havana." and joining us via democracy now video stream is lou perez, jr., professor of history at the university of north carolina at chapel hill. he is the author of several books including, "cuba in the american imagination: metaphor and the imperial ethos" and "cuba: between reform and revolution." welcome you all to democracy now! peter kornbluh, let's begin with you. your reaction to the death of fidel castro. >> well, the world has lost one of the most famous leading and dynamic and dramatic
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revolutionaries who ever lived. he is going to have a very controversial legacy, but it is indisputable that he took a small caribbean island and transformed it into a major actor on the world stage -- far beyond its geographic size. he stood up to the united states. he became the david versus goliath, withstood all of the efforts to kill him, overthrow him, and that is what he will go down in history for in many ways. cuba is in a very difficult situation today. in extraordinary transition in terms of the cuban leadership and in terms of the leadership of the united states. it is not clear where the relationship between washington and havana is going to go under .onald trump in that respect, the death of fidel now comes at an extremely
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delicate moment. but the world is going, i think, to remember fidel as someone who really stood for independence and sovereignty and brought a great pride in nationalism to the cuban people. bill fletcher, your immediate response when you heard that fidel castro had died? i mean, he was no longer the actual president. he had handed over power in 2006 to his younger brother raul, then formally ceded that power in 2008. much of what -- as what peter just said, we lost an audacious leader, an outspoken champion of national liberation, national independence. in the mainstream media that are many, many
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criticisms being made of fidel castro -- and there are certainly legitimate criticisms -- but the u.s. media mrs. white is that most of the world mourns his passing. it is not just the morning of a historic figure, but a figure who actually shook up the planet. amy: in what way? -- it is things interesting. he took a country that had been anded into a whore house gambling casino of the united states and gave that country vigor. he turned a country that was poor -- remains poor, into a major location for the production of medical personnel who had gone around the world and made themselves available to countries that could never afford that kind of assistance. he, as peter mentioned, he
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combated the apartheid regime in south africa, but in addition, provided all sorts of assistance to forces that were fighting portuguese colonialism and white minority rule. he helped construct the idea of latin america independence, working very closely with the president of venezuela. this is one of the reasons he has a special place for much of black america, that he stood up to the united states. the united states did everything they possibly could do to destroy him, to bring him down, to bring down his government. and it did not work. aboutou perez, jr., talk your interest in fidel castro and your response to these latest development, the death of fidel castro. >> good morning. what resonates in the world, at
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least as much as fidel castro, is the cuban revolution. the cuban revolution is a historical process that comes out of 100 years of struggle. the cuban revolution represents . culmination of cuban history behind fidel castro, even perhaps had a fidel castro, our people, a people who lead been struggling for and nationalation sovereignty for the better part of a century. fidel castro happens to be the person who had the capacity to bring to fruition the historical of a long process. it happens that this process culminates in the early 1960's at the same time the decolonization of africa and southeast asia and the middle east -- then all of a sudden, cuba comes in with a global phenomenon. worldly no country in the
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is more of an imprint of the american domination more than cuba did in the 20th century. so that fidel castro with 6 million of the cubans assumed the political position of challenging the american presence, of minimizing american influence, asked sounding american capital, of breaking diplomatic relations, and then ofhstanding 60 years invasion, multiple embargoations, and an most of it speaks to the resolve not only a fidel castro, but the resolve of the cuban people. amy: professor, the dominant discussion in the u.s. corporate media is that he was a dictator, that he was a killer, that he killed many and imprisoned dissidents. your response to that description? >> i don't know how to respond to that.
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this is a system that is not reluctant to use repressive means to maintain power. this is a system that has bond a fairly extensive intelligence system, surveillance will step in many ways, i think cuba .ffers as a cautionary tale 30, 40, 50 years cuba has been under siege from the united states. and once that idea of national security enters into the calculus of governance, you are aware that civil liberties and the freedoms of the press and freedoms of political exchange shrink. we are experiencing this year since 9/11. so that cuba becomes a national security state with justification if one believes the duty of a government is to protect the integrity of national sovereignty. so for 50 years, cuba, 90 miles away from the world's most powerful country, struggles to
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maintain its integrity, its national sovereignty. and in the course of these years, increasingly becomes a national security state. ironically, the united states contributed to the very conditions that the professes to abhor. peter kornbluh, yet a chance to meet fidel castro. give us a thumbnail sketch about murphy, of fidel castro. how it was 60 years to the day before he died on friday, he made that trip leaving mexico with che guevara and his brother raul to begin the cuban revolution. >> i did have big store near opportunity to spend some real time, quality time with fidel castro, if you will. we organized two major conferences. one on the 40th anniversary of the invasion and one on the cuban missile crisis.
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what all of the surviving kennedy administration officials officials retired cia and in the case of the bay of pigs invasion, we've brought former members of the cia-led brigade that invaded cuba to sit at a conference room table and discuss this rather extraordinary history with fidel. over the course of time, we had four private lunches and two state dinners. i was able to kind of sit in front of him and listen to the history that he embodied and that he was a part of, and that he changed with the power of his personality and the force of his leadership. historicalt a figure, and with him goes tremendous amount of history that only he knew and only he could share. books the movies and the to come are going to be extremely important for us to
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evaluate and seek more about the history that he helped to make and dominated in many ways over the last 50, 60 years. he was born to a spanish immigrant who become a major land owner in the provinces of cuba. he grew up a relatively privileged life. he became a lawyer. he began to oppose the cuban dictator batista leading a kind on july 26, attempt 1953 at the macabre barracks. that effort failed miserably and he was thrown in jail. he miraculously was released exiled tosty and mexico where, as we know he organized the cuban revolution.
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credit for a lot of sparking a revolution, but lou perez would be the first to say, there is tremendous opposition to batista in the urban sectors, organized independently of fidel castro, but his landing in cuba on december 2 1956 in a small 88 guerillas to go into the mountains started the process going forward in a big way. it was an improbable revolution. the landing party led by fidel was attacked almost immediately and he lost the vast majority of his men. only 12 members of the landing group, the guerrillas who is bringing to cuba, survived. among them, him and raul's brother and che guevara, and just a handful of others.
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but for the force of his personality managed to broaden the appeal, hook up with the urban revolutionaries in opposition and bring about this extraordinary revolution. he survived assassination attempts. he might have actually been killed at the bay of pigs. members of the brigade had him in the rifle sights. he survived there, survived the missile crisis in which the kennedy administration was a most ready to obliterate cuba to take out the soviet missiles. turned hishe way, he country upside down. there's going to be a lot of debates and there is debate right now over the legacy of his repression, his economic decisions, even he later in life acknowledged the model he is set forward wasn't successful in the end for cubans over the long term. but he will be remembered for
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zynga's is on health care, education, and certainly his uncompromising commitment to independence and sovereignty. and the legacy of his discussions with the united states shows this extraordinary commitment. at one point, the carter administration sent a secret negotiating team down to talk to him and they basically said, we will lift the embargo if you get out of africa. he said in response, you know, i don't accept the united states gets to operate by one set of rules and cuba, smaller country, is being told operate by a second set of rules. the revolution meant independence for our governance and are foreign policy, and that is what we are going to pursue. and he pursued that until the very end. amy: i want to turn to the relationship between castro and nelson mandela, of course, the south african president in prison for decades himself.
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in 1991, a year after he was and a few years before he became president, nelson mandela visited cuba to thank president fidel castro. this is when they first met. anything, youay must tell me when you're coming to south africa. >> the sooner the better 11/28/16 11/28/16 .
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>> when are you coming? visited my south african homeland. i love it as a homeland. homeland as i love you. amy: that was nelson mandela imploring fidel castro to come to south africa. in this is fidel castro speaking in south africa in 1998. >> that south africa be a model of the more just and more humane future. [applause]
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if you can do it, we will all be able to do it. amy: that was fidel castro speaking in south africa. and before that, nelson mandela just after he got out of jail, visiting castro in cuba to invite him to south africa. bill fletcher, talk about the relationship of cuba, fidel castro come up with the continent of africa and liberation struggles there. >> is interesting because there was a special relationship that existed between the cuban revolution in africa from almost the beginning. the cubans were very supportive of the algerian struggle against the french, which seceded in 1962. they went on to support the various anticolonial movements in africa, including the anti-portuguese movements.
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they were unquestioning in their support for the anti-apartheid struggle in south africa. it is the angolan struggle that receives a lot of attention. and one of the things that was not understood at the time by many of us in the united states, including many of us on the left, was that in cuban troops went to angola, they did not go at the behest of the soviet union. in fact, the soviet union was not in favor of cuban troops going there. the cubans went there out of a sense of solidarity. they actually believed in solidarity. they went there to stop the invasion that was in the process of taking place between -- by the south african apartheid troops and their allies in the fmla.
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this relationship has been very strong. you could tell in the words of this bond,ndela, this love for the cuban people, the cuban revolution. that bond also translated into filling in black america of the certain kind of bond come the certain kind of support for the cuban revolution, feeling this was a revolution that paid attention to africa, but also paid attention to the struggle around racism within cuba -- although, obviously, the research limitations to that but i would a cuba probably made the greatest advances in the struggle around racism of any country in the western hemisphere. amy: to turn cuba's role in to angola, this is a clip from the 2001 documentary "fidel: the untold story," directed by estela bravo. you hear the narrator vlasta vrana first. >> right from the beginning, cuba's revolutionary ideals not only spread throughout latin america, but also forged strong
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has with national liberation leaders. >> when the regular south african troops invaded angola, we could not stand by and do nothing. when the mpla asked for our help, we offer them the help they needed. >> in 1975, as angola move towards independence from portugal, the cia, along with the apartheid government south africa, tried to bring down the new angolan government. at the request of the angolan president, fidel and 36,000 troops to keep the south african forces from attacking rwanda, the capital. for many cubans, whose ancestors were african slaves, the fight in angola was a way to repair a debt to history.
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in 14 years of war, over 300,000 cubans, doctors, teachers and engineers as well as soldiers, played an important role in angola will stop more than 2000 lost their lives. in 1988, fidel sent in more cuban troops for the decisive battle and directed operations from cuba. the defeat of the south african army drove a large nail into the coffin of apartheid and helped advance the struggle of the south african people. amy: that is a clip from the 2001 documentary "fidel: the untold story," directed by estela bravo. now let's go to the film "cia and angolan revolution." in this clip, former secretary of state henry kissinger explains why the u.s. was concerned about the cuban troops that fidel castro had sent to fight in angola. after kissinger, you'll hear fidel castro himself. >> we thought that the soviet
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union could intervene at such distances, from areas that were far from the traditional security concerns, and then cuban forces could be introduced to rebels but if the west could not find a counter to that, then the whole international system could be destabilized. >> it was a question of globalizing our struggles also vis-a-vis, the globalized pressures and harassment of the u.s. in this respect, did not coincide with the cobia -- soviet viewpoint. we acted. but without the cooperation. quite the opposite. amy: that from the film "cia and angolan revolution." bill fletcher, as we wrap up this section on cuba and africa?
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>> there's a story i heard about what happened in angola on the night of independence. there was panic in the capital. south african troops and their allies were approaching, and no one knew what was going to happen. and then at midnight, people .ent down to the docks and out of the darkness came cuban troops, cuban ships, that then landed troops. and they look on the face of the person who told me the story, who witnessed this, something i will never forget. the sense that they had been saved at a critical moment in an act that had not been driven by the soviet union, but have been driven by a belief in solidarity and a particular relationship between cuba and africa. and that is something that the u.s. mainstream media is completely ignoring at this
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moment. amy: che guevara would be in africa, right, fighting -- leading cuban forces before he would ultimately die in latin america. that is correct. you want to the democratic republic of the congo and was fighting the neocolonial regime that ironically, he was working cabilla in the beginning. but the forces that were poorly organized. they were not really ready to carry out a revolution, and the cuban advisors withdrew ultimately because the conditions were not right. amy: speaking about che, i thought i would turn right now to che guevara. i want to go to another clip from the film "fidel: the untold story," directed by estela bravo. this is fidel castro talking about che guevara filling his execution in bolivia in 1967.
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>> i dream about him often. i dream that i am talking to him, that he is alive. it is a very special thing. it is hard to accept the fact that he is dead. that? i would say it is because he is always present. always present everywhere. amy: in 1997, three decades after he was killed, che's remains were found and returned to cuba. castro talked more about him in the film "fidel." >> i dream about him often. i am talking to him, that he is alive. it is a very special thing.
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it is hard to accept the fact that he is dead. that? i would say it is because he is always present. always present everywhere. amy: that from "fidel." we're going to go to break and come back and talk about the effect of cuba and fidel castro and che guevara in latin america. we look at the life and legacy of fidel he died on friday at the age of 90. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we're hosting a roundtable discussion of fidel castro, who died friday at the age of 90. we're speaking with bill fletcher, who is the founder of the black radical congress, peter kornbluh of the cuba documentation project and professor lou perez, jr., author of "cuba in the american imagination: metaphor and the imperial ghosts." lou perez, jr., talk about the effect of fidel castro in latin america. we just left this conversation .bout che guevara, his death talk about what che guevara was doing there, what he was doing for fidel, and what fidel overall, fidel castro was doing in latin america beyond cuba. >> the power of fidel castro in
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the cuban revolution stands as a theomenon of resisting american push back against a cuban revolution. it is in a region that had been repeatedly intervened militarily , mexico in the central america, central america, political .eddling, economic intervention the example of cuba, especially with the failed invasion of the bay of pigs, which contributed powerfully to the consolidation and centralization of power in the cuban celebrated the bay of pigs as the first defeat of imperialism in the americas. and that projection, that victory, just reverberated across latin america and perhaps more than anything else, the capacity to
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resist intervention, perhaps it was indeed possible. may be and isbans part of the new world, that idea of being able to affirm autonomy, agency, self-determination, national sovereignty just resonated across latin america. che guevara takes the model of the cuban guerrilla war, the idea that a small handful of people enter themselves -- inter themselves in a latin american country, can create the subjective conditions of revolution, and from that would expand a revolutionary movement that would eventually prevail and claim victory will stop che guevara modeled a revolution essentially is a replication of
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the cuban guerrilla war during 1957 and 1958. amy: and talk about what happened with che guevara in bolivia and what that meant to fidel castro in the cuban revolution. >> the capture and execution of che guevara really dealt a body of the the whole idea arms struggle in latin america. it would not be until the victory in 1979 where you do have a triumph of the guerrilla movement. after the defeat and the death of che guevara, the cubans turned more toward domestic issues. these are the years of the big push for the economy. this is the year the disastrous -- and between the death of che 1970, it is possible
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to take a look at those set of years -- really determining moments that alter the trajectory of the cuban revolution. amy: i want to turn to today and the response of the u.s. leaders. you had president obama actually tweeting i believe after donald trump, the president-elect did, first he tweeted "fidel castro is dead!" then condemned the late cuban leader. in a statement issued hours after castro's death, the statement read -- not clear who wrote it or tweeted it -- "the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his people for nearly six decades. firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, denial of fundamental human rights." trump am senior
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adviser, kellyanne conway. >> we're allowing commercial aircraft. pretend we're doing business with the cuban people when really we are doing business with the cuban military. he as been very clear that the major priority now is to make have the same freedoms that cubans here in america have, which is political, religious, and economic freedom. make sure they are finally free and make sure the american fugitives face the law. amy: that is kellyanne conway. you responduh, can to her description and also talk about what this means for today as this all takes place in this period leading into donald trump presidency and what this means? >> i can. but let me just follow up on lou perez, jr.'s point by saying news verynecdote when early saturday morning came in that fidel castro had died, i spoke to a very special friend
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of mine from peru and she said to me, for most of my life, he was a hero to me for standing up to the united states. and certainly throughout latin america and much of the third world, that, i think, was a prevalent thought about fidel's passing. he stood up to the u.s., gay pride, nationalism, self determination, sovereignty, independence to cuba. it also created a model and an aspiration for many other people, many other countries in the third world that had been under the sum of the united states for many years. we're in a very delicate moment right now with the election of donald trump. in september, trump went to miami and tried to garner votes by saying he was going to resend and reverse all of the executive orders of barack obama had made to move the process of normalization in relations with
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cuba forward. and that he would reverse those, that process, unless the cubans gave in to our demands. gave in to our -- made concessions. i can tell you from being in cuba often, the word "concession" is a true four letter word in cuba. at least -- it leaves almost explosive negative reaction will stop that cuba would make any concession to the united states. that is the pride they have in their revolution. what obama has done is not made a bad deal with cuba. he is not made any deal with cuba at all. he is said to the cubans, we're going to move forward in the interest of u.s. policy, and the interest of our relations with the rest of latin america, and in our own interest that we should have a different relationship with you and we think it will have an impact on our society, your economy, and on your politics over the long-term. that we are going to move forward for normal relations. if you wantn us wit
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and if you don't want to, you don't have to. cubans have always had normal relations with the united states. classified history of fidel reaching out to the u.s. and between speeches denouncing imperialist yankees is very clear in the book that rio grande and i did "back channel to cuba." he wanted validation for having a peaceful coexistence with the united states. and as lou perez pointed out, cuba purported not to live in the shadow -- preferred not to live in the shadow from the colossus of the north. they would much prefer not to have the threat of u.s. intervention hanging over them. and that is what normal relations would eventually mean to them. and now we have a situation where trump may want to roll back these great gains, at this very moment with these direct flights to havana and tens of thousands of americans -- amy: landing as we speak for the first time, direct flights. >> this is a dramatic moment and a moment in which u.s. citizens
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and citizens around the world are going to have to really organize to press for continuation of this very important process of peace and dignity and harmony between the u.s. and cuba, which is now being threatened by the position of the incoming president donald trump. amy: and your response to the description of fidel castro as a brutal dictator, peter? >> well, listen, fidel castro was an authoritarian and rolled with an iron fist. there was repression and is repression in cuba. argument, he did it in the name of a different kind of democracy, a different kind of freedom, the freedom from illness, freedom from racism, freedom from social inequality. and cuba has a lot of very
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positive that a lot of countries we don't talk about don't have. dang violence -- there is an gang violence, people are not being slaughtered i guns every day. they defeated the zika virus right away. there is universal health care. and universal education. this is the debate over the legacy of fidel castro. amy: we have to leave it there but i thank you so much for being with us. we will continue this discussion. thank you to peter kornbluh, director of the cuba documentation project at the national security archive. co-author of "back channel to cuba: the hidden history of negotiations between washington and havana." thank you to lou perez, jr. professor of history at the , university of north carolina at chapel hill. "cuba in the american imagination: metaphor and the imperial ethos." bill fletcher, author of
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"black america and the passing of fidel castro." of fidel castro."
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