tv Today NBC November 26, 2016 5:30am-6:18am MST
good morning. breaking overnight. the death time can dictator dead at the age of his brother raul making the lenn >> as?[ celebrations into ti:$che streets of? little havana. castro's3io? half century reign forced their lives and brohthe u.s. and?4 cuba ba to war in the '60s. he presided over 11 presidents in power. now the u.s. and cuba are enjoyi better relations, what
a look back at the htory and what is to come. today, saturday, november 26th, 2016. >> announcer: from nbc news, this from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. >> good morning. welcome to "today" on saturday i'm sheinelle jon alongside ww?d dylan dreyer?< and we have hall jackson here with us. happy to have you here on this side. >> nice to tak?v??!e sitting with you after stuffing myself for two days. >> and we start with a busy new. let's get to it. the top story is breaking news overnight. cuba's long time former leader fidel castro h??pas died at thee of??i>6doh 90. castro inwy power for nearly wa years. his brother, raul castro announced his death.
life. >> reporter: to his followers, he was commander or fidel. to enemies, a dictator. one of the world's last communists. the illimf a land owner. he graduated wh a law degree and doctorate. tried running for the assembly until power seized. in 1953, castro led a coup. castro ended up in jailafter it/ in q6mexico, castro regrouped wh his brother raul and fellow revolutionary. the three led a force back to cuba in 1956 waging guerilla
day, they marched into havana. at first the young leader promised democracy. telling the u.s. he was not a commune communist. meet the press in 1959. >> i am not communist. >> later, he went on the tonight show with jack carr. >> you can ask all you want for the public opinion states about anything you want. >> reporter: almost from the start, castro took the wealthy and silenced newspapers and nationalized oil refineries and signed a pact with the soviet union. in 1961, president kennedy ordered the cia tonvade cuba at the bay of pigs using exiles. >> on wednesday, resistance ends.
consolidate power. by then a declared socialist, he improved health care and lit literacy. also accepted nuclear weapons. union, cuba's economy imploded. on makeshift boats, thousands fled the regime. >> his legacy is a complicated one. there is no for getting how many cubans left the island under duress. >> reporter: in the 1990s, a ruler courted business men and court tourists. he welcomed john paul ii in
cuban trained doctors and exporting medicine. in 1999, a custody battle over 6-year-old elian gonzalez. months later, a federal court ordered the child removed from miami. elian returned to his father and h hero's welcome in havana. l exhaustion in 2001. tripped and broke his knee and arm three years later. the bush administration tightened sanctions cutting off travel. castro arrested hundreds of dissidents. cu cuba's econo was pumped up by oil from venezuela.
turned over power to his brother raul in 2008. then he???g commemorated the revolution and had a celebration of the 80th birthday. fidel castro did not attend. two years later, he stepped down. he wrote columns about his life experience emerging for a pope benedict visit in 2012. and for president jinping in 2014. he never commented on the president obama break through to normalize relations. fidel was absent when his brother welcomed home three cuban spies. to the end, castro insisted his revolution would out-live him. >> if i die tomorrow morning, there would be no problem of any sort.
leaders. >> reporter: he never tolerated dissent. his legacy may be holding power for half a century. longer than any other modern leader. >> and andrea joins us now. good morning to you. we are reading this morning. you interviewed him a number of times. in 2002, you interviewed him that went until 2:00 in the morning. >> that is what happened with fidel castro. you would stay up fully clothed waiting for the call from the presidential palace. they would summon us and we go at midnight or 1:00 in the morning. sometimes i have to confess, it was difficult to stay awake during his lengthy answers. we timed one of his answers of one of my questions at 45 minutes. >> wow. what do you remember about him most or your time with him?
well red. he was on the internet every night. he once took me to a cabinet meeting that started at midnight.rogated all of the people until the very end. he was very popular with?5 the young people. he would have a student leader who was an accolade and then would rise through the ranks of he had the repressive police. that was the other key to power. a totalitarian regime. still is to an extent. there are some in the obama white house are concerned that the opening will not last. obviously executive orders can change and it does require an act of congress to lift the embargo fully.
beloved by the people in the country. how do you see his legacy unfolding after his death? >> he is one. iconic figures of the last century. was clearly in failing health in the last decade. the legacy is already eroding that raul castro has instituted some market reform. still the social services and health care, health care he exported america and africa to angola, that is part of a legacy. fundamentally, a strong man, totalitarian man and no free elections at all as the passage of power to his brother and soon to be designated leaders. they call them elections. they are not elections in cuba. >> i think a lot of people are wondering how drastically things will change for the cuban people with his death. >> i think things won't change
he was at this point fundamentally symbolic figure. only heard from rarely in columns he would write for the communist newspaper. that said, once raul cast passes power to the next generation, tha is going to be a moment where you see some changes. raul has been revolutionary in his own way. he has reached out to the united states and has accepted some mark reforms. we see used. some telephone communications. there's postal service for the first time in more than half a century between the united states and cuba. also airli service as well. there have been changes, but not changes in terms of free expression and democracy. >> very interesting. andrea, thank you. a lot ofcuban-americans celebrated as soon as they heard the news. spilling out in the streets of miami. live havana lighting up with
spots. nbc's kerry sanderin miami this morning with more on that and reaction from around the world. kerry, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, hallie. one of three people who lives in the greater miami area is a k cu cuban-american. not all of them refer to this as home. their political exile. still refer to cube cuba as home. their properties were taken. some why imprisoned and to tortured. that is the back drop why people would come and celebrate a death of a head of state. they say it is a long time and coming. miami's little havana erupting in joy as nearly six decades i the making. generations of cuban-americans devoted the of the ctro regime. now they are hopeful that the
change to cuba. >> the years of repression. >> reporter: a similar feeling. a new beginning can dawn on cuba. international leaders are more likely to see castro as a statesman who left a mark on the 20th century. india's prime minister called him an iconic personality. the former soviet union supported cuba. vladimir putin said fidel castro was a true fri russia. back on the island today, many mourn a man whose life will be synonymous with cuba. many cuban-americans gathered here have never been to cuba. they were born in the united states. they learned about the castro
grandparents. none referred to fidel castro as they used terms like the vampire saying he sucked the life out of the country of what they believe could have been. sho sheinelle, hallie. >> we should note the funeral will be on december 4th. >> you mentioned kerry in the report. let's bringn a congresswoman from the statef born in cuba and forced to flee with her parents when she was 8 years old. thank you for talking with us. >> thank you so much. i think it is interesting to see the different perspecves from world leaders who did not have to suffer the injustices of fidel castro rule and the commu. i feel humbled to represent because we bear the scars of the dictatorship and what it can do
so much as people are optimistic that this will usher in an opportunity for freedom and democracy for the cuban people. a tyrant is dead, but a tyrant is still in power. president-elect trump said he will rollback the concessions that president obama made. we are optimistic that those sweetheart deals will benef somehow the people of cuba. that never materialized. it benefits the dictatordictato. >> congresswoman, given your story and journey from cuba. what was your reaction? who was your first phone call? >> caller: i first thought of my dad. i was born in cuba. i came here when i was 8. my dad, just like many of his generation came here and continued the fight for free cuba in a different way.
the historic exile figures who wished they with respere around this day. i don't think they will meet my father in heaven. i don't think castro's going to heaven. he is a man who executed a lot of family members of my c constituen constituency. his legacy will be one of how you can hang on to power when you are a you control every aspect of everybody's life where you live and work. you stay home and operated with few exception. that is how you remain in power. like kim jong-il and kim jong-un, his son, it is not a big feat. he has been out of power for a number of years. that transition from one dictator to the other has taken place. now we see what changes this
power, there is not much hope for change. >> that is interesting. that is what i would ask. your change for the people with his death. >> caller: we hope the changes come with the u.s. policy change that we will not dole out all this hard earned money to the dic dictator dictatorship. everything is run by the tyranical leaders there. hotels and hospitals and airlines. everything is state-operated and controlled. that's why it is so difficult for human rights activists to really break out in cuba and have their voices heard because they get jailed and they get trampled upon literally. the ladies in white who peacefully marched through the streets of havana with pictures of loved ones who are or have been in jail. their reward is they get beaten
it is a real harassment atmosphere against anyone who wishes to express an opinion contrary to the totalitarian regime in power. >> as you are talking, we are watching that reaction coming in. thank you for your time. >> caller: thank you. >> his death comes at a time when the relations with u.s. and cuba are starting to thaw. what happens now? we have nbc's ron allen at the white house with more. >> reporter: good morning, sheinelle. we are hearing statement from the president or white house administration later today. nothing imminent right now. they have been silent as this has been breaking overnight. the obama administration policy toward cuba is one of the most significant foreign policy initiatives that the president has undertaken during his time in office. the question is what will remain when he leaves office? we heard president-elect trump saying he wants to reverse what happened.
there. historic visit in matcrch of th year. all he has done is there regulatory changes and executive order. now there are commercial flights between the united states and cuba. it is easier for people to travel. tourism is up 12% on the island. what the obama administration is trying to do is to get businesses to invest in the island. they want to make these changes, what they say, irreversible. so the next president that comes in will be hard pressed to essentially dismantle the relationships that have been established during the past few months and past year or so. the question is how permanent will those changes be? we expect to hear from the
make. i imagine he will be sensitive to concerns of what happened on the island. listen to reaction around the country. the unanswered questions of how much changes the president has initiated and how much of that will remain going forward under a donald trump administration. sheinelle. >> ron allen, thank you. you heard ron talk about this. what happens next between the u.s. and cuba soon in the hands of president-elect trump. he has been critical in the past of nbc's kristen welker is near his home in florida. >> reporter: good morning. donald trump is on a working vacation in palm beach. i anticipate we will get some reaction later on today. the critical question is what does this mean for u.s. and cuban relations? as ron was discussing, candidate trump talked about reversing the actions that were put in place by president obama.
take a listen to what he said in september. >> baut all of the concessions that barack obama has granted to castro regime were done through executive order. that means the next president will reverse them. that i will do unless the castro regime meets our demands. those demands include religious and political freedom for the political prisoners. >> reporter: now because the actions that president obama took were executive actions, president-elect trump can roll them back if he so choses. this comes against the back drop of the president-elect trying to pick a secretary of state. rudy giuliani, a hard liner and loyalist. mitt romney, antagonist and
in line with president-elect's views with cuba. back to you. thank you, kristen. we will have more on fidel castro's death throughout the morning. people are heading home after the long thanksgiving break. dylan, what is the travel forecast like? >> it looks okay for most of the country. the west coast is where most of the trouble spots happen. a storm onshore and heavy rain and snow in the mountain passes. we are watching a storm system m if we look at where we can see airport delaytoday, think it is seattle and san francisco with the largest delays because we are looking at the possibility of seeing some poial for heavy rain, low level clouds, fog. that reduces visibility. if you are traveling by road, we could see some troubles in the mountain passes. that's where we might end up with 2 feet of snow. across northern new england on i-95 up into maine, we could see
it just didn't. >> say that 20 times fast. dylan, thank you. still to come, our most talked about stories. including this incredible basketball shot from nearly 600 feet from above the hoop. that doesn't go in? and stars are just like us. how a-listers celebrated thanksgiving. but first this is "today" o
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filled witheoplceleating. because they were exiled from ?vy4 he took nabusinesses.e.e was rentl in cuba. went by the small town where fidel castro was born. when you s begiings from where he came, little home there. an old car that's?r underneath?e ho there are some thatch cta?ges nearby where started t agriculture coopiv that isart of his revolution in the cotr??
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lady ? >> known for her role in "the the brady bunch" florence henderson passed away in los angeles. >> she got her start on broadway and on tv with the "today" show. henderson continued to appear on tv in a variety of shows. and in 2010, at age 76, she stars." work on donald trump's administration progressed with new appointments and the narrowing of candidates. >> what we want to do is -- >> transition sources tell nbc news president-elect trump asked south carolina governor nikki haley asked to be the ambassador to the united nations. >> i did vote for him. i was thrilled to see him win. >> secretary of state.
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>> and the first major snow storm of the season hammered the northeast. >> more than 2 feet of snow has fallen in parts of ?z??upstate york. crippling cities. >> we woke up with all this. whoa. >> a star sptudded group of 21 with the medal of freedom. the highest civilian honor. >> president obama hosting the 21 distinguished americans who each on the nation's fabric. >> extraordinary americans who lifted our spirits. >> the 90th annual macy's thanksgiving day parade ushered
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breaking ovnight. ofidel cast. the formeruban dictator celebrations on the streets of miami's world leaders quick to act. he ruled with an#l iron fist fo nearly 50 years. leaving many in fear a fleeing for safety. the dictator had a relationsp with 11 u.s. presidents and brought the nations to the brink of nuclear war. now as the relations are starting to thaw, what will happen? we are live with it all today,
>> good morning. welcome back to "today" on saturday morning. i'm sheinelle jones withe halli jackson in for craig >> we begin with the breaking news. the death of fidel castro. the dictator hadn't been seen the last few years. he died at the age of 90 last night. we have nbc's andrea mitchell with a look back at his life. >> reporter: he was commander or
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