tv Democracy Now PBS April 24, 2018 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
04/24/18 04/24/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> these are your victories. these are your great achievements. slaughtering children and women. these are your traits, you criminal. amy: yemenis condemn the rulers of saudi arabia after a saudi-led airstrike hits a wedding party in northern yemen killing 20 people. we will get the latest. plus, we go to memphis where a prominent latino journalist, manuel duran ortega, faces deportation after he was arrested while reporting three weeks ago at a protest against
immigration policies. >> this protest is going to be let me taket of -- the purpose of this demonstration. as you can see, everything is getting ready. amy: and we will look at the future of cuba as a new leader castro. raul plus, we will look at how an abc journalist's secret liaison with fidel castro changed the course of the cold war. all that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in yemen, a u.s.-backed saudi-led coalition airstrike tore through a wedding party late sunday, killing at least 20 people. most of the dead were reportedly women and children who were gathered in one of the wedding party tents. the bride was also among those killed. medics and residents said more than 30 others were also injured in the attack in the bani qais district in northern yemen. at the scene of the attack, one
man lashed out at saudi arabia. >> they always target weddings. they kill children and innocent people, so we can only complain to god, not in human rights or any country in the world. amy: more than 15,000 people have been killed since the u.s. like saudi led coalition intervened in yemen in march 2015, backed with u.s. intelligence throw weapons, and munitions. saudi-led airstrikes have devastated yemen's health, water and sanitation systems, sparking a massive cholera outbreak and it is believed one million people have color in yemen. and pushing millions of yemenis to the brink of starvation. we'll have more on the latest attack and the crisis in yemen after headlines. in toronto, canada, a man driving a white van barreled at high speed through busy downtown streets monday, swerving onto sidewalks and seeming to aim at pedestrians, leaving ten people
-- 10 people dead and 15 others injured. police say the driver, 25-year-old alek minassian, was apprehended without a shot fired after he told officers he was gearing a gun and then shouted "shoot me in the head." the officer would not shoot him. he left behind a path of injury and destruction nearly a mile long. canada's federal public safety minister said investigators were still searching for a motive, but did not believe there was a national security motive behind the attack. in tennessee, police have arrested the gunman lead to be responsible for sunday morning's mass shooting at a nashville area waffle house. it left four people dead and four others wounded. 29-year-old travis reinking was apprehended early monday afternoon not far from his apartment complex. he was gearing a -- carrying a backpack containing a pistol and ammunition. he was arraigned on four counts of murder. last year, reinking had his firearms license revoked by
illinois police at the fbi's request after a string of erratic behaviors, including trespassing at the white house. the guns were then turned over to his father, who allegedly returned them to his son, including the ar-15 semiautomatic assault rifle used in sunday's attack. on capitol hill, the senate foreign relations committee voted on -- unexpectedly monday to recommend mike pompeo be confirmed as secretary of state. the surprise move followed a last-minute reversal by kentucky republican senator rand paul, who's criticized pompeo over his support for torture and for the invasion of iraq. pompeo's nomination had been widely expected to advance to the full senate without a favorable recommendation from the senate foreign relations committee. but his bid was aided after at least three democrats -- senators joe manchin, heidi heitkamp, and joe donnelly --
said they will vote to confirm pompeo. pompeo also has a long history of ties to islamophobic organizations, and the national iranian american council has warned pompeo's confirmation would threaten the iran nuclear deal and increase the risk of a u.s. attack on iran. meanwhile, more than former top 100 u.s. military officials have signed a letter to senators, asking them to oppose president trump's nomination of the central intelligence agency's deputy director to replace mike pompeo as cia chief. the letter reads in part -- "we are deeply troubled by the prospect of someone who appears to have been intimately involved in torture being elevated to one of the most important positions of leadership in the intelligence community." according to the "new york times," haspel oversaw the waterboarding of prisoner abd al-rahim al-nashiri at a secret cia black site in thailand in 2002. times," haspel oversaw the
she also later advocated for destroying videotapes of another prisoner's waterboarding. members of the senate veterans affairs committee are in talks to delay wednesday's planned confirmation hearings for dr. ronny jackson to become veterans affairs secretary, amid reports of unspecified allegations of improper conduct during parts of his career. jackson is currently serving as president trump's personal white house physician. he has no leadership experience heading a vast government bureaucracy like the v.a., the second-largest agency in the u.s. government. president donald trump and the first lady welcome french president macron and french first lady to a formal state days.-- kicking off three today macron is expected to press trump and face -- face-to-face talks to get the u.s. in the iran nuclear deal. to mark, president macron will
address a joint session of congress. the state visit comes after france's lower house of parliament advanced an immigration bill introduced by macron that would toughen france's immigration and asylum laws. the bill would shorten deadlines for migrants to apply for asylum, while doubling the time that authorities can detain them to 90 days. it would also allow for a one-year prison term and fines for migrants found to have illegally crossed into france. children could also be jailed with their families. the bill also continues a policy under which french citizens face fines and prison sentences for helping undocumented migrants, so-called crimes of solidarity. this is french parliamentarian matthieu orphelin. >> i think it is unbelievable that in 2018, a citizen who acts in solidarity with a migrant or asylum seeker to help them during a health emergency, for example, can be convicted of that today in france.
i think it is completely anachronistic and this crime of solidarity must be profoundly modified. amy: in greece, a mob of far-right militants attacked a crowd of asylum seekers sunday night who'd gathered for a peaceful demonstration on the island of lesbos, throwing stones, bottles, and flares, and sending at least a dozen migrants to the hospital. the violence erupted after some 200 migrants gathered for a sit-in protest to call for improvements to squalid conditions in their refugee camps. they were attacked by members of the mytilene patriotic movement, who chanted, "burn them alive" and "throw them in the sea." after anti-fascist activists intervened, fighting broke out for several hours before riot police used tear gas to clear the crowds. at least 100 people were arrested. lesbos has been the arrival point for thousands of migrants who've made the perilous voyage across the mediterranean from north africa seeking asylum. it is currently home to about 10,000 asylum-seekers. the white house sought monday to defend a presidential tweet being blasted by immigrants rights groups as openly racist. the tweet was one of many recent april 18 attacks by president trump on sanctuary cities that
seek to protect undocumented immigrants. it read -- "there is a revolution going on in california. soooo many sanctuary areas want out of this ridiculous, crime infested & breeding concept." this is white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders being questioned monday by reporters jim acosta and april ryan. >> he used the word "breeding." was he making a derogatory term about latinos in california that they breed a lot or are prone to breeding? >> no, he's talking about the problem itself growing and getting bigger. >> what is breeding me to the president? when you think of breeding, you think of animals breeding. >> i'm not going to begin to think what you think. certainly, i think that a lot of things to a lot of people. but the president is talking about a growing problem. i don't have anything else to add. amy: in tucson, arizona, a federal jury has acquitted border patrol agent lonnie
swartz on murder charges, nearly six years after he shot and killed a 16-year-old mexican teenager. jose antonio rodriguez was unarmed and walking along a sidewalk on the mexico side of the border in nogales, sonora, when swartz fired on him through the border wall from the u.s. side. an autopsy shows rodriguez was shot 10 times, with two bullets in his head and eight in his back. swartz was cleared monday of second degree murder, while the jury deadlocked on two lesser manslaughter charges. prosecutors said after the trial they were considering whether to bring a new manslaughter trial against swartz. following the verdict, scores of protesters marched from the courthouse and blocked busy intersections in downtown tucson. in armenia, thousands of people flooded the streets of cities around the country monday after long-time leader serzh sargsyan resigned in the face of a popular uprising calling for an end to his rule. the celebrations capped nearly two weeks of anti-government protests that followed sargsyan's appointment to the newly powerful post of prime
minister after he held power as president for the maximum of two five-year terms. he came under added pressure to resign after members of armenia's military, in uniform, were seen joining recent protests. his resignation came as several opposition leaders were released after their arrests in recent days. and george h.w. bush has been hospitalized and is in an intensive care unit with sepsis, after an infection spread into his bloodstream. a spokesperson for the 93-year-old former president said bush is responding to treatments and appears to be recovering. bush's hospitalization came one day after he attended a funeral for his wife, former first lady barbara bush. saturday's funeral was also attended by other former presidents and first ladies -- george w. and laura bush, bill and hillary clinton, and barack and michelle obama. first lady melania trump also joined, but president trump remained at his golf resort in mar-a-lago, where the white house says he watched the funeral on television.
that weekend, he posted a tweet storm of something like 24 tweets. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. at least 20 people died sunday when a saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a wedding party in northern yemen. most of the dead were reportedly women and children who were gathered in one of the wedding party tents. the bride was among the dead. medics and residents said more than 46 others, including 30 children, were also injured. video footage released by the yemeni tv station al-masirah showed a young boy clutching his dead father who was surrounded by rubble. the boy was shouting, "i swear i won't leave him." the attack on the yemeni wedding
party was one of at least three airstrikes over the weekend that killed yemeni civilians. a family of five died in an airstrike in the province of hajja. and 20 civilians died on saturday when fighter jets bombed a bus near the city of taiz. amy: meanwhile, yemen's rebel houthi movement said senior leader saleh al-sammad had been killed in a saudi-led coalition air strike last thursday. the rebel group warned that sammad's killing was a crime that would "not go unanswered." sammad is the most senior houthi official to have been killed since the western-backed coalition intervened in yemen in march 2015. more than 15,000 people have died since the saudi invasion, while u.s.-backed saudi-led airstrikes have devastated yemen's health, water, and sanitation systems, sparking a massive cholera outbreak and pushing millions of yemenis to the brink of starvation. earlier this month, it was said
yemen had become the worst committed during crisis. >> every 10 minutes, a child under five dies of preventable causes. uprly 3 million children from the women or lactating women are known or rushed. nearly half of our children between six months and five years old are chronically malnourished suffer from stunting, which causes development delays and reduced ability to learn throughout their entire lives. amy: to find out more about the situation in yemen, we go now to shireeno speak with al-ahdeemee, a yemeni doctoral candidate at harvard university. her recent piece for in these times is headlined "trump doesn't care about civilian deaths. just look at yemen." welcome to democracy now! can you talk about what you understand happened with the saudi bombing of the yemeni wedding party that resulted in
at least 20 deaths, many of them women and children? where did this happen? >> thank you so much for having me. what happened a couple of days ago in yemen is not unusual. this happen in a northern province, nor near the front lines. this was a civilian wedding. weddinguck the men's first, the men's wedding party. then as rescuers were trying to attend to the injured, they went and bombed the women part of the wedding. this is a double cap airstrike that is very common in the saudi-led war on yemen. 33 or reported to have been killed and several more injured. included in this list of people who were injured. this is a wedding. this is supposed to be the happiest day of people's lives. his dead, the bride was killed, the groom was injured and 70 guest were killed as well.
who don'tpeople understand, since this is a war that saudi arabia is waging, how important is the american support, the u.s. support for this war? obamarting with the administration and continuing into the trump administration, the saudis have enjoyed extensive support from the u.s. army. from day one, march 20 6, 2015 one saudi arabia begin bombing, the u.s. was right alongside helping them with targeting, logistics. they help maintain and update their vehicles. most important, the u.s. reveals saudi jet midair, jets that we sold to them, just that -- bombs we have sold of them. but we also help operate them. as they are bombing civilian targets in yemen, u.s. army helps refuel those jets midair. u.s. support of the saudis is extensive. u.s. claims that we are there to help them with precision targeting, but the fact of the matter is, civilians bear the
brunt of this war. you mention 15,000 people have been killed. that is just the number killed by airstrikes. we also help maintain the blockade that has killed 113,000 children in 2016 and 2017 alone due to mount attrition and disease. water is very limited in the country. foodi imports 90% of their in it has become difficult for people to afford or to find. many people are on the brink, but many people have already been killed and lost their lives because they can't find food and forr and medicine preventable diseases like cholera. amy: can you talk about the crown prince of saudi arabia who has overseen the saudi strikes on yemen? can you talk about his recent, with a call, charm offensive throughout the united states from washington to houston to hollywood? talk about the significance of this, when president trump met with him at the white house last
month. he held up posters of recent saudi weapons for justice from the u.s. and said "we make the best equipment in the world." >pres. trump: saudi arabia has been a great friend and a big purchaser of equipment and lots of other things. some of the things that we are now working on and that have been ordered and will shortly be started in construction and delivered, that system, $13 billion. hercules,nes, the great plain. $3.8 billion. tanks,dley vehicles, the $1.2 billion. poseidon, 1.4 billion dollars. so we will make the best agreement in the world. there's nobody even close.
saudi arabia is buying a lot of this equipment. , theshireen al-ahdeemee posters that president trump was wholly, almost like high school presentation, a map of the united dates. as he talked about the weapons, these weapons were sourced to places in the united states in the united states. can you talk about this? human rights groups warning thet the weapons that massive arms deal that may make the united states complicit in war crimes committed in the saudi-led bombing campaign in yemen. >> right. saudi arabia does not manufacture its own weapons. they rely on countries like the u.s. and u.k. and even canada to supply them with the weapons needed to wage this incredibly disruptive war on a country that really posed no threat to them. yemen does not even have an air defense system. it is not even able to defend itself. they have in purchasing these ofpons simply further sake
trying to assert control and dominate and trying to win this war that is really unwinnable in yemen. trump was being transparent about why mohammed semi on was in the -- mohammad bin salman was in the u.s. is one thatg this is based on how much they can pay for our services. i mention the logistical training. million per$129 month. money.making a lot of the u.s. is making a lot of money with a relationship with saudi arabia. human rights groups have warned these weapons are not being used for any reason other than to target civilians. countries like germany and the netherlands have recently stopped selling weapons to the united arab emirates in the saudi arabians for this very reason.
was -- werming, he protested his visit here in boston at m.i.t. come a but places like m.i.t. and harvard and people like opera and the clintons and president trump, they've all met with him and they have all -- he went unchallenged when he was doing interviews here in the united states. he is not just anybody and the royal, is the architect of this war. he is the crown prince. this war began under his command. this is somebody who has caused extreme suffering and a country. the u.n. says yemen is the world's worst humanitarian crisis. he has caused this and we're helping him perpetuate this, yet he was virtually unchallenged while in the united states. juan: obviously, the united states continues to justify it support under the continuing war on terrorism and also the attempts to hold back supposed iranian influence on terrorist
groups. what about the situation with isis and al qaeda and other international terrorist groups within yemen? could you talk about that as well and also the iran issue? >> right. congress has said, has declared the role of the united states in yemen and helping saudi arabia in this war on yemen is not covered under fighting terrorism. so it is unconstitutional, unauthorized by congress. like you mentioned, the u.s. is in yemen on two different fronts. on the one hand, they're trying to target anybody suspected of being al qaeda or isis. and that is largely done through drone strikes that began or really escalated under obama's administration and have continued through the trump administration. the other front, and authorized by congress, support this -- this blanket support of saudi arabia and its war on yemen.
they mention it ran as a cause, as a reason to intervene in yemen. the fact of the matter is, there is very little evidence that iran is interfering in any significant in yemen. there is a land, air, the blockade of saudi arabia and the united states imposed on yemen. doctors without borders have trouble bringing their medicine, food, personnel, their doctors into the country. u.n. ships have trouble bringing food into the country, but we're somehow they do believe that iran is able to smuggle missiles or other source of weapons to yemen. for yemenis, it is absurd to think their fighting iran. there is no evidence of any iranian soldiers on the ground in yemen. the houthis interest have some sort of relationship, but it is relationship. karen is not involved in yemen in the same degree that saudi arabia has been claiming. to pull the dried
united states out of yemen, recognizing it is unauthorized. bernie sanders recently introduced a bill in the senate tabled ineventually the senate. they did not even vote on it. that was attempting to extricate the u.s. out of hostilities in tabledyemen by invoking the war resolutions act. amy: and the significance of yemen's houthi movement saying a senior political figure had died in an attack last thursday. sammad? >> for houthis in partnership with the prior president, who maintain significant control and yemen, they formed a political counsel that governed northern areas that they control. the juan gonzalez s control a small portion of land, but about 80% live there. they still maintain large control over the land
along with isis and al qaeda and other groups. they formed this political counsel as a way to govern. sammad was the head of that political counsel. saudi arabia took him out in an airstrike. there is video posted online yesterday of that attack will start it is an assassination, essentially. i don't know what comes next. for ais no hope really peace process is leaders like that are going to be executed by saudi arabia. i am really not sure what comes next. amy: shireen al-ahdeemee, thank you for being with us, yemeni doctoral student at harvard university, speaking out about the role of the united states and the saudi led war in yemen. we will link to your piece for in these times is headlined "trump doesn't care about civilian deaths. just look at yemen." when we come back, there is a power transfer in cuba. we will talk about it significance. stay with us.
amy: cuban legendary musician silvio rodriguez speaking like in central park summer stage last year. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to cuba, where for the first time since its socialist revolution toppled dictator fulgencio batista, a president who does not have the last name castro has taken power. miguel diaz-canel was sworn in as president last thursday. he succeeds raul castro, who served two consecutive five-year terms in office. castro is now 86 years old and will remain head of the communist party. fidel castro handed over power to his brother raul in 2008 while his health deteriorated, and fidel castro died in 2016. thursday's session was held on the 57th anniversary of cuba's 1961 defeat of a cia-backed
cuban exile invasion known as the bay of pigs. diaz-canel began his term on with a promise to defend the socialist revolution led by the castro brothers. >> i accept the responsibility for which i have been elected with the conviction that all cuban revolutionaries from the position we occupy, from the work we do, from every job will be faithful to the exemplary legacy. historic leader of our lower pollution andhistoric leader ofr pollution and also faithful to the example, the courage the teachings of army general raul castro, current leader of the revolutionary process. and you go on saturday, the newly sworn in cuban president received his first official visit by a foreign leader the venezuelan president nicolas maduro. >> cuba and venezuela are on the best conditions to unite forces.
we have done it before with great results. every time we took a step toward, the enemies of our motherland said "you can't postpone and we always showed, "yes we can." for more, we go to washington, d.c., where we're joined by peter kornbluh, who directs the cuba documentation project at the national security archive, at george washington university. he is a new cover story for politico an extensive back channel diplomacy with cuba headlined "my dearest fidel: an abc journalist secret liaison with fidel castro." kornbluh is also co-author of the book, "back channel to cuba: the hidden history of negotiations between washington and havana." peter, welcome back. first of all, talk about the significance of what has just taken place. the stepping down of raul castro as president and who has replaced him. >> in many ways, it is a historic moment because there aren't going to be either fidel or raul castro prominently being the face of the cuban revolution any longer.
and this is, innocents, the first step toward the post-castro era. the truth of the matter is, even of the conventional wisdom in the mainstream media is the castro europe has ended, raul castro the stepping back but he is stepping down from power. remainspointed out, he the highest official in the cuban military. is one of the highest intelligence officials in cuba and is certainly an important figure to be reckoned with air. it is important that raul castro is still head of the still secretary-general of the communist party because he really was not able to complete his agenda. and his disciple, miguel diaz-canel, who readily admits
to being his disciple, has to continue to push cuba ford. he can only do that, since he has no legitimacy of his own as a historic figure in the cuban revolution, he can only do that with the support of raul castro. it is important that role is sort of -- raul's staying in the game. amy: who is miguel diaz-canel? the reality is, over the decades, there have been many supposed successors that emerged in the cuban government to the castro brothers, but they all sort of fell by the wayside in different carries of time. could you give a thumbnail sketch of who is? s wereother potential purged along the way for various problems that arose. when it was clear that neither fidel or raul castro are ready to anoint the next generation of leadership. miguel diaz-canel is the next
generation of leadership. he has risen set of glee through the commonest -- steadily through the communist party. in electrical engineer by training but he went into party politics and became the provincial leader of santa clara during the special period after the collapse of the soviet union, gained reputation of being accessible and kind of an everyman. .e rode his bike to meetings people were able to talk to him. he encouraged debate. he was an accessible person. he was kind of picked for the success of that to be minister of education in 2009, and then anointed first vice president in 2013.-- and he was the designated successor. that is where we have arrived today. cuba faces a lot of significant challenges.
the fact that nicolas maduro was there, obviously s fraternal support. is, venezuela is in the midst of its own economic crisis and unable to truly support the cuban economy now. the cuban economy is in a significant crisis. this is what miguel diaz-canel in the next generation of cuban leadership is going to have to address. on wednesday, president trump told reporters "we love cuba. we're going to take care of cuba." other now or was later asked to clarify trump's comment. "weoday donald trump said love cuba. we're going to take care of cuba. we're going to take care of it." does that mean the u.s. can actually work with the new president? >> as you know, we maintain diplomatic relations with thecut continues that we can surly be
disappointed with elections that we don't see to be free as fair. we also recognize there are strong people, ties between cuban-americans, and also businesses that take part in the cuban economy as well. >> so this doesn't mean the trump administration is going to -- back any kind of >> i'm not aware of any changes on our policy. i think the president was just recognizing some of the people ties we have. and ago that was the state to permit spokeswoman. peter kornbluh come if you can talk about the status of u.s.-cuban relations. on itng with obama's name president trump wants to push back. he said he was ending the dog relations with cuba. what actually has happened? >> limited is a two things. one, the state department statement that you just broadcast really should be considered somewhat moderate given trump's rather hostile rhetoric over the last few
months. and trump's and we're taking care of cuba, we're going to take care of cuba, is kind of ironic because he is saying it on the anniversary of the vfx anniversary which the cubans chose deliberately and symbolically for this transfer of power, the day that one of the small countries in latin america defeated the colossus of the north in april 1961. amy: under president kennedy. >> under president kennedy. cuba has proven since that time he can take care of itself and it does not need the united states to take care of it. this transition of leadership does not change that in any way. cuba will continue to take care of itself. it should be clear donald trump has completely changed 100% the civil tone of relations of barack obama said. but he has done a fully changed for even significantly, in my opinion, changed the actual policy. we still have diplomatic relations.
there are a number of issues with the embassy being kind of that are veryff significant for our kind of daily interaction and for cubans to be able to come to the u.s. they can no longer get visas in havana itself. trump has scared u.s. travelers away from going to cuba with travel alerts about the so-called sonic attacks in cuba andkind of tweaking restricting the way we go, the licenses that we need some of the categories we travel under. in this has had an amazing impact on travel. american citizens are traveling less to cuba. this is having a significant impact on the private sector of cuba, which had gotten geared up for the tourist sector. it is an important issue. even of the policy has not really changed, even just the hostile rhetoric and the tweaking is that in impact on u.s.-cuban relations.
juan: can you talk about your new cover story for politico? it is an amazing story of this former anchor on abc news lisa howard and her relationship to castro. >> this is an important historical topic because in this day and age, we are still looking for what lisa howard back in 1963 called an honorable rapprochement with cuba. it appeared barack obama had achieved this, and now president donald trump is sabotaging that. with barack obama sort of back channel efforts to find common ground with the cuban revolution, really in some ways starts more than 50 years before with this pioneering abc news journalist named lisa howard. nobody remembers her today, but she was the first female correspondent, full-time correspondent for abc news. she was the first woman to have called serious news show
"lisa howard and news with a woman's touch." it was sponsored by pure x. it was geared, as abc put it, for women by a woman. was a really tenacious reporter. she set her sights on getting an interview with fidel castro, and she finally scored one in the spring of 1963. this was very important. an advantage, fidel was us dismissed as the devil incarnate, communist in the caribbean. she went down there and talk to him and put them on the air and try to introduce him and his issues to the american public. of course she asked about what he wanted with u.s.-cuban relations. he said, we think we can have better relations with president kennedy. from that point on, she, secretly, pressed the issue with u.s. officials, first in the kennedy administration and then the johnson a administration, of improving ties.
she became castro's and kennedy's and johnson's's -- she established direct medication to the oval office. this is a history that is really not very known. now i've written the fuller story based on her personal political magazine. it is quite a story. i think it has great relevance to today. we're still looking for what she called that honorable rapprochement. and go to turn to an excerpt of her 1963 interview with fidel castro which aired on abc news. thinkdr. castro, do there's any basis for a return to normal relations with the united states and cuba with you as prime minister? and to you desire such a rapprochement? >> i think it is possible the
united states government, in agree to, we would speak and to find a basis. amy: that was lisa howard interviewing fidel castro in 1963. before that she had interviewed christian. she was a soap star the 1950's. she was on "the edge of night and put itng light" all down and said "i care more about the world." ultimately, would commit suicide. is that right? >> yes, she died on independence day 1965 from an overdose of orbit to its in the hamptons -- barbiturates in the hamptons. flamed out., she she had some personal setbacks. she had a miscarriage. she had been fired from abc news for kind of openly posing robert kennedy's run for the senate from new york because he was a
carpetbagger and she and the other liberal democrats in new york thought that this was crazy that he should come into their state and decide he could represent them. and she did that somewhat openly. as a tv news anchor, abc tried to restrain her from being so overly political. when she would not cooperate, they terminated her address on the show. amy: you only found about her personal intimate relationship with fidel castro because of the documents that have since come forward yet though she nor he ever talked about them, the relationship? >> the declassified u.s. documents you see this tension because u.s. officials don't want it really does user as -- they think she's a prominent's personality. she was one of the most famous is personalities in the united states of america and early 1960's. they were worried she would go on tv one day and talk about this act channel diplomacy that was going on and break the story and embarrass them.
so they were very reticent to deal with her but she tenaciously pushed it. she repeatedly told him she would be -- as discrete issue was, she took the secret of this relationship with castro, the interaction, the secret diplomacy to her grave. castro himself also never really spoke about it publicly. luckily for us, she did record her interactions with him and her conversations in personal loads that i was able to obtain some years ago from her widower. we have this important history. it is one of those great examples -- two things. one, this local foundations of the need to normalize relations with cuba and the fact it has been tried before and it is a great story. and two, she wasn't -- she self appointed her self as a secret and mr. between cuba and the united states.
it is really up to us americans to be that type of civil diplomat and conduct our own diplomacy. amy: peter kornbluh, thank you for being with us directs the , cuba documentation project at the national security archive, at george washington university. we will link your piece about lisa howard in politico "'my dearest fidel': an abc journalist's secret liaison with fidel castro." peter kornbluh is also co-author of the book, "back channel to cuba: the hidden history of negotiations between washington and havana." when we come back, we go to memphis, tennessee. a well-known reporter there is arrested by police and handed over to ice. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to the story of a prominent latino journalist in memphis detained by immigration officials after he was arrested while covering a protest against immigrant detention outside a county jail. manuel duran, who was born in el salvador, is a well-known reporter on spanish radio stations in memphis. he also runs the online site memphis noticias. this is duran beginning his coverage of the protest on april 3. >> this protest is going to be
held in front of -- let me tell you the purpose of this demonstration. as you can see, everything is getting ready here. this protest is happening because of different reasons. one of them is that according to the demonstrators and the organizations participating in this march, the reason for the protest is that due process is not being respected. reporting livean on facebook. the 15 minutes later several , other journalists covered demonstrators crossing a street bound together in chains, police stepped in to arrest an activist. several officers then turned to duran and ordered him to get out of the street. this is footage from duran's phone. >> get out of the street. get on the sidewalk. get on the sidewalk. get back. amy: that is what officer sang "get him, guys," before duran's phone falls to the ground. this confrontation between police and activists escalates, with two women trying to protect durand shouting, he's a reporter.
this is footage from another camera. >> he is a reporter. he is a reporter. he is a reporter. juan: duran was arrested and held in shelby county jail. on april 5, the state dropped criminal charges against duran, but he was then detained by immigration and customs enforcement agents. he was quickly transferred to the lasalle detention center six hours from memphis in jena, louisiana. local immigrant groups are calling for his release. amy: welcome a for more, we are joined by three guests. in memphis, we are joined by melisa valdez, manuel duran's long-time partner. mauricio calvo is executive director of latino memphis, an immigrant rights group. and kristi graunke, senior attorney with the southern poverty law center, joins us from raleigh, north carolina. of manuel duran's lawyers. onelet's begin with kristi graunke. where is he? on what grounds did they arrest
him and then hand him over to ice? >> he is now in lasalle detention facility in louisiana. -- he was team alleged to be blocking the roadway in memphis and to be engaging in disorderly conduct. of course, those charges were dropped but, unfortunately, he was turned over almost immediately in very rapid fashion to ice and taken immediately to the lasalle detention center in louisiana where he is right now. , could youcio calvo talk about the importance -- his importance in memphis to the latino community and what his role has been over the years? >> absolutely. we believe every person is important. manuel duran is not the first one, the only one come or the last one at will suffer the consequences of the trump duplication machine. it may well has played an
important role. he's a journalist for community that often does not have somebody who sounds like them or looks like them or talks like them on the media. he plays a very important role, reporting everything from government issues to cultural issues. he was really and truly the voice of the latino community in memphis. know thisa valdez, i is extremely hard for you as your partner is now in jail in louisiana. el'syou talk about manu life and his passion and covering, particularly these kinds of protests? >> yes. he was very passionate about his work. he is been doing journalism for a very longtime, almost since he was a kid back in el salvador and he brought it all the way to the u.s. when he immigrated here.
he was very passionate. he would get up in the morning peopleout and try -- would reach out to him and say, ok, look, this happened to me, i need you to try to investigate, ask the police why this is happening. you would then bring the news to everybody else. audience ony large social media and also on a personal level. amy: have you seen him in jail? >> i have, yes. amy: what are the conditions there? >> well, he looks -- to be honest with you, he looks miserable. he has never been locked up like this for this amount of time. he is just trying to stay strong, i guess. sowants me to stay strong, he is trying to fake it. sometimes he feels. him take a breath and
try to calm down while he is inside. actually, last time i saw him, it was a monday morning. he almost begged me not to leave. he was like, i know you need to take a rest, but when you coming back? i was like, i will be back soon. don't worry about it. juan: kristi graunke, can you talk a little bit about his legal status in terms of immigration, when he came to the country was he -- was the original here legally and then a status that was not legal? inso he came to the country 2006. and shortly after arriving, was presented with papers by immigration authorities alleging that he was not in the country lawfully. he was then subsequently removed to what we call in them center, which means there was an
immigration hearing held. he did not attend. he did not get proper notice of that hearing. so in the absence of him actually being able to present arguments as to why he i be entitled to immigration relief, he was summarily ordered deported and that has been on the books since 2007. what we're trying to do right now is reopened that case. story is incredibly important on an individual level, but it highlights serious issues with due process for of next are nearly high process of immigration orders are these in abstention orders. do not show up at one hearing to present their argument, they can be ordered deported. reopened thato reorder danger,would face great particularly practicing the type of journalism that he practices
if you were deported. you lay out certain first amendment protections because of his journalism here? >> that's right. we're proceeding on try to reopen his immigration case and get him the fair hearing he never got in front of an immigration judge. and then an opportunity, chance to present his arguments as to why he is entitled to immigration relief. the other petition we filed is with federal court in the western district of louisiana, which is the area that jena, the lasalle detention facility is located, and where contending his continued attention violates , fourth, amendment fifth, and 15 the minutes to the u.s. constitution because his arrest was clearly without probable cause and without a war and it was also retaliatory. this is a man who is very prominent in the press, and the local community, speaking out against the police department and ice, particularly the collaboration between the two.
it is notable he was the only journalist arrested at that protest. he was arrested when he was try to comply with police orders. arrested on assault charges. those charges were dropped. byn he is rapidly ice taken -- rapidly taken by ice. those are striking facts and we're arguing his detention is unlawful and unconstitutional on those grounds. amy: want to read from a statement that manuel released last week. he writes -- "through this experience i have learned first hand details about the treatment our immigrants receive before they are deported. how they keep the lights on day and night and you have to sleep with a towel over your eyes. how they make you lie in bed for 45 minutes, in what seems to be at random after roll calling, and you cannot use the phone or the bathroom during that time. how they would not let you know your attorney is on the phone. how you get paid dimes for work and you are on your own if you have no one outside adding funds to your commissary. how the visitation hours and
your recreation hours happen at the time so you have to choose between seeing your family and getting some air. how the phones in the visitation room do not work and you have to scream through the soundproof windows." then i want to read ice request if statement. eyes officials issuing the statement about the case saying -- i want to ask mauricio calvo about his relationship with the public officials, the police in the community. he is a well-known reporter in memphis. hardly a fugitive. hardly hidden away.
that is the wrong adjective to call some of the a fugitive. people make mistakes. they need understand immigration law is not a criminal law. if you was a fugitive, he would be at the office of many officials or he would have been arrested before. this is absolutely false. this is politically motivated. as soon as immigration saw the opportunity to go after him, they are going after him and want to make a case. we are one of make a case that we're not when you let ice or anybody else walk over our constitutional rights of people. that is what we partnered with centererty center -- law to make sure every americans rights are protected by the same rules. juan: melisa, in your private discussions and talks with manuel, did you ever discuss the issue of the more public he was, given the fact he had a deportation order that he might
be picked up? obviously, he felt it was more important to report the news than to worry about his personal safety. >> yeah. i mean, being an immigrant here in the u.s., that is something you think about every -- any event day. risk.w it was a he took it will stop he loved his work more. definitely on our minds at all times that deportation is a possibility. it is not just him. it is everybody i know. i know a lot of people who are in the same situation. it is on our mind. amy: what is the relationship between the latino immigrant community in memphis and the
police? >> for the most part, memphis is a very welcoming community. and the police, even though this was clearly a mistake, for the most part they have tried to make ties with the community. in fact, manuel has been in conversations with police and other officials on how to stretch those relationships. that localhere is cannot fix the immigration problem by themselves but they can suddenly make it worse. this is a perfect example of how they can make it worse. it was a chain of events and ever thing starts from a state law that mandates that the sheriff will hold people for ice . this is one of those issues that makes no sense. crossing jurisdictions. was the sheriff having to enforce immigration law? some may say, the law is the law. it is not.
you would not think a police officer would play you over and ask you questions about your tax return. the irs law is enforced by the irs, not by local police department. why? because local police department's need and want to have relationships with all of their citizens because they have a duty to protect them but also because if they ever become victims, they want to have the freedom and the certainty that they can report a crime without fear of deportation or relationship with ice. for the most part, memphis has been a very welcoming community. this is an example of something that slipped through the cracks and we're all going up to work to rebuild that trust between law enforcement and the local community. amy: we want to thank you all for being with us. mauricio calvo is executive director of latino memphis. melisa valdez is manuel duran's long-time partner. kristi graunke is a lawyer representing manuel duran and a senior attorney at the southern poverty law center. that does it for our show. democracy now! is accepting applications for our paid year-long social media