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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  August 14, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell live in cuba to witness a moment in history that millions of americans did not believe they would live to see. the united states flag flying once again at the reopened embassy here in havana. the latest sign of an evolving relationship between america and a decades long adversary only 90 miles to the south. joining me here in havana on this this special day is a special guest, carlos gutierrez, former commerce secretary. secretary gutierrez was bornd in cuba. family left for miami in the summer of 1960. he was 7 years old. this is your first day back. your first trip back. >> it is. my first day back. >> well, what were the emotions going through your heart and mind? you were standing right over there, as guest of the state department. >> well, you know, i woke up this morning. i didn't know i would feel. if i would feel sad, how. i woke up feeling joy. i woke up feeling happy to be
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waking up in havana. you know, we get this picture of havana in the u.s. which is this old street and old havana city. this is a grand city. and it's still -- you can still see the grandeur. so it's an honor to be here. it's a privilege to see our flag going up. and i just hope we keep going, that we don't stop this process. >> your own views have changed. even as we've talked over the last few months, we talked last year and we talked in panama when the president met with president castro. what do you now see as the possibilities despite all the problems, despite the human rights abuses and all of the criticism of both u.s. policy for not recognizing the dissidents strongly enough today in a position of honor here at the opening as well as, of course, the castro regime. >> i think this is a government-to-government official meeting. and my understanding is secretary kerry is going to meet
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with some dissidents today. change is going to happen gradually. but what people need to understand is that cuba is changing. whether they agree with it or not, cuba is changing. and we need to change with it. raul castro's government is different. he is laying the groundwork for economic reforms. you see small businesses everywhere you go. things that you would have not seen 10, 20 years ago. houses being repaired. people selling things. people selling houses. actually went to see a house the other day, just yesterday. so there's commerce taking place. there's economic freedom starting to take hold. cuba is changing. and we have to change with it. >> as long as the embargo is still in place, is this only change along the margins as far as american u.s. investment?
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>> yes. unless the embargo is lifted this can be somewhat symbolic, a little bit superficial. until we go all the way, there won't be a normal relationship. it's hard to come here and meet people, meet average cuban people and not feel like, my gosh, what are we doing? why do we have this policy in place? because those are the people who are hurting. i just hope more people come down to havana, to cuba, and get a feel for it themselves. >> you're going to, i think, go back and try to find the home that was taken from your family, that your family had to leave here in 1960. >> we're going to go back tomorrow or this afternoon to look for it. i'll take some pictures of it. i've got the address. it's the house where i was born. so that will be -- that will bring back some memories as well. >> is there any disagreement in your immediate family, any of your relatives who are still alive who --
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>> my parents are no longer alive. i would expect that i would have had a very strong debate with my father. he was 40 years old at the time. you know, you have to understand how he feels, and i respect that. but reneed to look for the future. we need to look ahead. we can't continue to be stuck with what we did to each other 40 years ago or 30 years ago. maybe that policy was right. maybe it had to be in place. but the policy needs to be adjusted for future conditions. we've got to look forward. >> that would be your message to jeb bush and marco rubio have spoken out forcefully today in statements and in a speech by marco rubio criticizing the administration for doing this. >> well, and you know, here's the thing. you hear that, boy, you know, we open up the embassy and we gave up so many concessions and so many things are happening and it's all in favor of the cubans and they haven't made any changes. people are showing very little
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patience with this new policy. but they've been very patient for 55 years. and that's the part that is hard to reconcile. i would just say what do we want the relationship to be in the future? we can't control politics from the future. cubans hear are going to decide their politics. we have to decide whether we want to be friends with the cuban people and whether we want to help. and now that they're changing and they're opening up their economy, my goodness, we can help. >> this is a republican former commerce secretary perfecting the view of a lot of people in the business community and certainty the chambly the chamb commerce. thank you for sharing very personal side of this. >> appreciate it. thank you. join mg we now live in havana is my colleague nbc's gabe gutierrez and in miami's little havana, the neighborhood which of course has been famous for so many decades.
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my other colleague, mark potter. gabe, to you, whole generation of young cubans who don't have the bitter memories. they live under a difficult regime and with a lot of shortages, a lot of blame for the u.s. as well for that, as far as the cuban government having a scapegoat to the north. what are they thinking and the people you've been talking to for all these weeks that you've been down here? >> well, andrea, as you know this has been a very complex relationship between these two countries for decades. and the reaction among young people is also complicated. but from talking with them throughout the past several days in our previous visits here they are ready for a new chapter in the relationship between the u.s. and cuba. they see this as a bridge to really a better economy. and when you think, andrea, of just how far this country and the relationship between the two countries has come in just the past few years at one point this u.s. embassy behind me was referred to by fidel castro as a nest of spies.
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yet now over my shoulder you see the u.s. flag flying here. it was a historic moment to watch, especially from this vantage point overlooking the embassy. john kerry saying that he has no illusions about that this relationship will be perfect, that it won't happen overnight. but he does say in his speech, he said that the u.s. no longer looks at cuba as an enemy or a rival but rather as neighbors. so young people here in havana that we've been speaking with say that, listen, there are some are skeptical that this relationship will improve in the very near future but they do see this as having a positive effect on cuba overall. andrea? >> and i'll be talking to one of those -- a young woman here coming up shortly. but first, mark potter, there's also change in miami, generational change and other kinds of changes in the attitudes. not for everyone though. >> well, andrea, there has been
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a major change in this time from where i came here 40 years ago, 1976, to envision this day would be absolutely impossible. and yet, here we are. we are standing you side a restaurant which as you know is sort of the traditional place for cuban exiles to come whenever there's a political matter. but even it has become a bit of an acronyms, people are not coming here anymore. there are only probably two dozen protesters here today. some holdouts really from the l elian gonzales 15 years ago. if this was 15 years ago in miami we would have hundreds of protesters here, maybe thousands. but today not even two dozen. so there's a split in this community over what has happened in havana. the people who are here very clearly are opposed to the flag going up and the embassy opening. that's very clear. that's a wide spread feeling in miami. it's exemplified by a man i
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enter feud today, nicholas gutierrez, president of the national association of sugar mill owners in cuba. these are businesspeople who lost their mills to the people of cuba during the revolution. of course they're angry. let's listen to what he has to say. >> this marks a very dark chapter in the history of the united states towards latin america. the castro regime is still systematically violating the rights of its own people. it has not conceded anything of substance to the americans. and yet the americans are conferring the very valuable diplomatic recognition on this bloody tyranny that it is by all reports unreformed. >> but throughout the rest of the community there is a more nuance view, a split view. polls show it. editorials show it. published opinions and comment show it. many people here do believe that this is the right way to go. what's happening now, it is, as you said, andrea, a generational change. there is still a very deep hurt
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in this community among the older cubans who lost their homes, their families, their businesses. the younger generation respects that but is not as passionate politically as their parents were. and that's why we're seeing the changes here in miami and why there are so few people here at the restaurant where normally in past years there would be so many. andrea? >> thanks to mark potter and gabe gutierrez before that. and coming up next, three senators who were here today fighting for this day and are now here in havana to see it unfold in person. my conversation with senator and patrick leahy and jeff lee coming up next, but first, it's a new day for cuba and for the united states. a look back at how we got here. >> today the united states of america is changing its relationship with the people of cuba. the most significant changes in our policy in more 50 years. we will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to
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advance our interests and, instead, we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries. >> it's great to be back. really. >> all of these people have supported you for so long? >> it's been a heck of a trip. and i -- it really did bring great comfort to me knowing that i wasn't forgotten. >> i think if we can build on this spirit of mutual respect and candidness, that over time we will see not just a transformation in the relationship between our two countries but a positive impact throughout the hemisphere and the world. ♪
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the people of the united states sincere? are they -- the united states are very nice. i see in cuba, i see here, you are -- newspaper, report, everybody really, really nice people. that is my impression. if i would think another way, you can be sure i would -- i would say here. >> fidel castro on "meet the press" 56 years ago. his first of two visits to the
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united states that year. ahead of events by both the cuban and american governments that would radically change the relationship between both nations. just moments ago i spoke with six lawmakers who have played a critical role in america's changing relationship with cuba over decades. already the republican candidates and certainly marco rubio and jeb bush have spoken out forcefully, have condemned this. >> right. >> you're a republican. why are you here today? >> this is the right thing to do. obviously we have issues with the cuban government, human right, democracy issues. we can be in a much better position with diplomatic relations to press issues. we've had this policy for 50 years. hasn't worked. try something new. >> is there any way the congress would lift the embargo which is the main issue? >> i think initially we'll continue to remove elements of the travel ban and i think soon, within months, that will be a relic of the past. as that ends, certainly the rest
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of the embargo will be much easier to lift and it will happen. >> what are your emotions today? >> well, when i saw the three marines bring the flag that was lowered over 50 years ago, being here to see it raised, i have to admit, i had tears. tears coming down my face. what is said was why didn't we do this years and years ago? but i applaud president obama and president castro for doing it now. >> there's criticism that secretary kerry is not meeting with dissidents here at the ceremony, that he's doing it without any press, privately. it's called a lame excuse in the "washington post." >> i don't know -- they criticize everything we do in cuba. they ought to be aware of what the american people want, which is normalization to cuba. we've all met with dissidents. i've met with them many, many times. i've been here many, many times. but i've been here for three or four days at a time. the secretary is here for three
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or four hours. his mission is to open our embassy. he cares very much about human rights. he said so in his speech. that word is going to get around. and we're not going to be able to do anything about human rights here unless we have normalization between the two countries. >> is there any way the congress would lift the trade embargo? >> i would really like that to happen. you think so much interest in the united states today and for the last year and coming to cuba. i can't tell you how many people say they want to come. that will be great if we lift the travel embargo, but we can't end there. we have to lift the embargo so we can start selling stuff to cuba. otherwise a year from now, americans that visit, if the travel ban visits they're going to stay in spanish hotels and eating food, once they amass, that will be a steady investment and we would like american jobs, we would like american companies to be able to export our goods here to cuba. so that's why i feel so
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strongly. we have 21 co-sponsors. it's bipartisan. every week i add a new sponsor for lifting embargo. so i think it's going to happen. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. . >> what do you say to all the critics especially the republican candidates this year? >> well, first of all, i think for cuba to be 90 miles away from the united states there's just no reason for us not to have a relationship with the island and i think this is a tremendous breakthrough. it was wonderful to be a part of history and to be here in this moment. >> congressman mcgovern, you've worked very hard for this for a long, long time. your emotions today? >> i'm really excited. i've been wait for a long time for this day. but you know, for those who hugging to the status quo i would say they're on the wrong side of public opinion and the wrong side of american history. majority want a better relationship with cuba. majority of cubans want a better relationship with the united states. we can achieve more if we engage rather han isolate.
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and so this is an important day and i'm just thrilled to be part of it. >> and congresswoman, what about the dissidents who are, they say or at least the critics of this say the dissidents are not having an opportunity to attend this ceremony and to be seen and heard with the american media? >> first of all, andrea, this is a historic moment and there are many issues that the united states and cuba must work through. we're here for one day. i know good and well all the issues around the dissidents and the human rights are on the table for discussion and negotiation. i think today is the day we raise the flag. i've been coming here since '77. this is probably my 24th or 25th time here. it's a day we raise the flag and we are honoring the relationship between both of our countries and the peoples of the united states and cuba. >> thank you all so much. >> thank you. and coming up, destination cuba. what the diplomatic changes will mean for american travelers who come here, just ahead.
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but first, the stars and stripes are waving over the u.s. embassy in havana for the first time in more than 50 years. a symbol with a very personal meaning for three marines who lowered the flag back in 1961. >> it is with that healing mission in mind that i turn now to larry morris, priesty, and mike east, 54 years ago you gentlemen promised to return to havana and hoist the flag over the united states embassy that you lowered on that january day long ago. >> i think morris might have said, do you want to stay out here and fold the flag, because there's a certain way to fold it. we could have wrapped it up and marched? >> someone said, hell, yes. so we folded the flag.
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>> i never thought i would be going back. >> i'm going to love seeing that flag go back up. >> yeah, i think about it every night now, see that flag go back up. it means a lot. >> larry, jim, and mike, this is your cue to deliver on words that would make any diplomat proud just as they would any member of the united states marine corps. promise made, promise kept. thank you. taking charge of
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>> the perspective of three americans in havana today to witness the history being made. now for a cuban perspective, i'm joined by dr. carlos who is an historian and former cuban diplomat and writer about all things in this relationship. >> yes. >> it's great to see you again. so six months a ago when we first talked we were looking forward and it took six months to get to this stage. fits and starts. what are the biggest challenges going forward? >> i think the biggest challenge right now is to respond to the question if this is only a change of tactic from the united states or we are really seeing a big change of strategy in general. because the issue here is will the united states -- well, right now the issue is being told the united states is creating the cuban government as a legitimate government. okay? now, is the united states continuing -- going to continue undermine the cuban government?
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there are programs that exist, funding, the embargo. so all of these things have to be dealt with. but i must say, seeing secretary kerry here, knowing who he is, how important he is, i think the signal that the administration is giving to the cuban government is we're serious act this. we're about to do something. >> how concerning is it to the cuban government know that we're in the middle of an election campaign and that all of the republicans have a very different point of view, so if there's going to be real change it would have to be under the next president and the next president could shut all this down. >> as you said, i am a hisselfer to historian. i like to see things in the long term. i think it will take place. maybe there are some bumps in the road. maybe if a republican is elected president we will have problems. i don't know. who knows who is going to be elected. maybe he's rand paul. rand paul agrees with the policy of president obama.
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we will have a problem if marco rubio or jeb bush are elected. but remember, things have changed the united states. now a policy of hostility towards cuba is not popular in the united states. people don't support that kind of policy. so a conventional over american politics is if you want to win a presidential election you are to win florida. if you want to win florida you have to win the cuban-american vote. if you want to win the cuban-american vote you have to take a had line on cuba. i wonder if that will be the way to go for any candidate. maybe candidates now won't like cuba to appear in the election because maybe they have to take a stand which will be popular. >> now, just as the u.s. government has some real challenges as to how it addresses the embargo and whether congress does do something in the future, the cuban government has real challenges on free elections, fair elections, open society, civil discourse, the internet.
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>> well, we discuss this the last time. cuba is changing. before we talk, after we talk, the cuban government announced that it's going to open an internet by 2020, we will have internet at home. for me i would like to have it tomorrow. but anyway, i take it that things are moving. things are moving here in cuba. not exactly the way that many people outside cuba expect. but if you look at raul castro, this guy has said the best decisions come out of a deep and strong discussion of different policy options. does that sound antidemocratic? of course not. so we are doing things. and we -- i am member of a editorial board of journal that has public discussion of publications every last thursday of every month. by the way, we started doing it in miami. in june i did it in miami. i moderated the debate. >> that couldn't have happened just a couple years ago. >> so change is in the area. >> certainly is.
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>> cuba is changing and cuba is changing in its own way. and that's good. change from the outside has never been a good idea. >> it's always good to see you. thank you for your perspective. >> thank you. >> good to be here as well. and this morning, how cuban-american poet found the words to express the changing tide between the united states and cuba. his ancestral homeland. he joins us next. >> caught up in the middle of tug of war between the united states and cuba. only a year after that ordeal i spoke to cuban president fidel castro and elian gonzales' family here. >> juan miguel gonzales would not let reporters visit his family since a return home took me to the elementary school where we found elian in the middle of morning recess. a year ago he was in the center of an international tug of war. then only 5, shipwrecked for
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three day, the center of a media circus in miami. finally removed at gun point by federal marshalls. >> he looked so scared. took him out of that house. does he ever talk about that? >> no. he never mentions it, nor has he ever been afraid. >> castro met me at his office where's he typically works all night. during the elian crisis that meant orchestrating the campaign to get the child back. but castro insists the boy's father was free to stay in the united states if he wanted to. >> he made the decision about where to live and returning to cuba? >> translator: absolutely. absolutely. seamlessly blends with leading shades, even salon shades in just 10 minutes. for natural looking color as real as you are. show the world your roots with root touch-up.
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barefoot and bare souled and when the soar and dive of sea gulls cry, today the sea telling us the end to all our doubts and fears is to gaze into the lucid blues of our shared horizon, to breathe together, to heal together. >> that is cuban-american poet richard blanco reading his poem" matters of the sea" which he wrote for this historic day. he actually was not born in cuba. >> nope. >> you were conceived in cuba. richard blanco join mess now. richard blanco who also read from his poem at the second obama inaugural. what was the emotion and the feeling behind this day for you? seeing the flag go up? >> it was an amazing moment. for so many reasons and so many
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complicated layers, you know, it's something that's been a question in my mind individual and collectively in my community this idea of being split between two cultures, between two countries, between two identities. and to have this moment sort of an opportunity and symbolic moment but i guess a rar veal one simp the sizing those two pieces of myself not just for myself but my generation that i represent as well as to serve a moment of great hope and future that i won't have to be cuban-american but i can lose the hyphen maybe some day and these two things are coming together in ways that i've always dreamed huh as a kid and i think that my parents have always dreamed up of. >> as we were just talking off camera you were born in 1967 and your mother conceived you in cuba and you were born in madrid. >> correct. 1967. 1968 february i was born in madrid. >> born in madrid and came here -- came to the united states. >> 45 days old. >> and then you were raised in
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miami after coming -- >> pretty much, yeah. >> you really understand all of these cross currents. is that what you were trying to express in your poem today? >> yes. there's a lot of growing up as the son of the exiles and we kind of have, you know, we have a sort of a more balanced perspective and we're sort of watching what's going on since i was a little kid, the question of home and identity and homeland and what was cuba was something that was floating around since i was a toddler. and so i feel that most of my life's work in my poetry and my literature and my memoirs has been about trying to think about what is that emotional embargo, which is really what art focuses on. we've all talked about the economic embargo and politics and all the rest. but i was always curious as to see how human beings are effected in the cross fire emotionally with all this things that happened. >> you think it will now be easier emotionally easier for people of your generation to go
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back and forth? >> i sure hope so. i think that's one of the things that we need to take up, nep my generation. we need to sort of step up a little bit more in some ways the baton has the emotion of baton has been passed on to us from our parents and grandparents to sort of see, you know, that these changes on the horizon, that they happen in a way that is with honest conversation and i think, you know, there's a lot of things that still haven't been talked about. a lot of stories that haven't been told. i think if we begin on that base, if we begin that conversation on that emotional honest level all the rest of the conversations that we can have and discussions and arguments about perhaps the changes ahead and the negotiations and whatever else this blossoms into can be much more fruitful. >> it can begin with a poem. >> yeah. >> thank you so much, richard blanco. >> my pleasure. >> pleasure for me. as americans try to start traveling here in greater numbers than they have, where will they stay? we'll talk to the cofounder of
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airbnb coming up next. first, a symbol in the sky today over havana. last seen in 1961. a time when fear and mistrust fueled the height of the cold war. >> to halt this offensive build-up, a strict quarantine on all equipment under shipment to cuba is being initiated. >> castro called it the act of a pirate. he said cuba refuses to disarm, that all of its weapons are for defense. he pledged that his men would repulse any american aggression. >> in the year since he took power fidel castro has become an enemy of the united states. in the eyes of washington, a threat the united states security and the caribbean. >> this doesn't mean that we should or will forget the past. how could we, after all? at least for my generation the images are indelible. and we are certain that the time is now to reach out to one
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limited edition for $189 a month after a $1000 bonus. for me it was really important to see it change and more importantly to show it to my kids. >> the phone hasn't stopped ringing. it's a sense of adventure, visiting the forbidden land. >> while many restrictions still remain on official tourism american travel to cuba is on the rise. a 54% so far this year alone. airbnb, a website for short term apartment in room rentals launched in cuba in april. since then the number of listings has more than doubled. juliet arosa and her husband rent out their renovated home in havana. >> in the last three months or so it has been crazy because i have received so many phone calls, so many requests through our web page, our airbnb either,
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because people is getting always more curious about cuba. we feel flattering because everyone wants to come to see our country. so it's great. >> and join meg now is airbnb cofounder and chief product officer joe. thank you so much. >> andrea, thanks for having me. >> it seems to me for people who want to see what havana really is like, this is kind of perfect for your product line. >> well, airbnb was founded on the basic hospitality principle of people care for each other around the world. we also believe that people want a chance to empower themselves. so the embassy opening in cuba for airbnb means that first time american will have a chance to come and stay with cubans and get to know them. and we can also offer cubans a new form of empowerment that is really igniting the entrepreneurial spirit that already exists in cuba. so the embassy opening here in
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cuba, for airbnb means we can in a small way help americans and cubans start to feel like they belong together in the world again. >> but how does this work under the trade embargo? do you have under the treasury department an exception so that you canning a chully pay money to cubans? >> well, in early 2015 the treasury department did open up regulations. so we've been working in the lock step with both u.s. government and the cuban government to make sure we follow and are consist tent with the regulation and compliance. >> one of the things that is still lagging behind is the internet. they're pledging some additional, you know, hot spots for the web. but it is different when you come to cuba. you have to be prepared to or very different experience. >> that has been one of the challenges we face is the re reliability of the internet here if way our hosts have gotten around that given that airbnb is a community they help each other. the host that do have access to the internet are able to work with other hosts to help them manage their listings. >> what do you see as the growth potential here in cuba?
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>> it's been four months. and we've seen exceptional growth in cuba. just to put it in perspective, many of our biggest cities around the world took us three years to get to a thousand homes. in cuba, it took us only 60 days. the growth has been incredible. hosts are making an average of $250 per booking. for the average cuban, that's significant income. >> until now most of the people involved in the tourest industry had to be coming as party members and lead status even to work in any fashion in hospitality. are we confident we will be able to reach out to people who don't necessarily have political sway? >> absolutely. we're able to be back on check on host to cuba and americans who want to come here have to comply with one of the 12 categories for a travel to cuba. >> so they have to be educators or people who are coming for humanitarian mission, journalists, one of the other categories we all checked it off on the airplane coming? >> that's right.
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>> joe, lot of luck to you here. adventurous to be starting something new. >> it's exciting. for the first time in 50 years americans and cubans are coming back together for the first time. when people want tone gauge with each other, that's where we want to be. they can stay with each other and get to know one another. i think what we need most right now is to allow cue bans and americans to get to know one another. that's our vision. >> thank you very much. today marks a big change for cuba obviously but coming up, what does the future bring for the next generation of cubans? we talked to many people since we've been here. but first, america's natural past time baseball is not just a past time, it's practically a religion here in cuba. the greatest love in sports for baseball. i found out all about that on a trip back here in 2012. it's a hot topic daily in havana's corner. >> who is the better team? >> impartial. >> oh.
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>> i'm a journalist. >> do people here argue about baseball all day? >> oh, yeah, cuba, cuba is baseball. baseball, boxing is -- could be another one more, but boxing, baseball. >> we love baseball. baseball. >> number one. >> baseball number one. >> number one.
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if we can travel, if we can do other things that normal people do, it's good. >> the change may influence the personal life of every young person that wants to do something real with their future. >> everybody is expecting for something. something that actually we'll know what is coming. but something is coming. >> despite a lot of uncertainty of course about what is going to come to cuba, change is giving a younger generation here new hope, new hope for the future. joining me now is cillizza, an
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actress, recent graduate from the university of havana. with family in miami as well. this is such an hois. >> terry: historic day for reamericans, what about cubans? >> such good news for us with this change abt to come. we are making history today actually. and i feel the change is coming for good for all of us. it will give you a lot of opportunities. >> it will give you opportunity as a young person either to work here and to have acting roles in the united states as well. >> i dyes, of course. >> looking back as a child, what was your view growing up of the u.s., the u.s. government, the u.s. policy? >> it's so different right now because we never expect something like this. at least something happen so quick, like it happens. you know. we don't expect this. and even if we know it's still a process and we have to go step
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by step, it's great for us. for me to be able to here today and make part of this big change is amazing. >> did you ever think that you would see the american flag -- >> oh, my god, no, never. no, not at all. >> what do you hope happens next? what would be the important evidence that change is real, not just symbolic? >> already you can feel the change because you have seeing so many people who come here, want to make films here, want to talk about what is going on in cuba. there are real story, documentaries. everything just happen right now, right here. so much energy. so many things going on right now. it's great. it's great for us. >> there's such a rich culture here in the arts, in painting, in music, dance. obviously in sports. a lot of that is not known in large parts of the united states because of the trade embargo.
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>> we have so much learn of the world, also, so this change is going to be huge for us. >> as a person of your age, how frustrating is it that the internet is still not a reality in most places for most cubans? >> i was in miami actually when someone talk to me and say, hey, we have wi-fi in the street of cuba and i was like, what? really? and they sent me pictures and i saw people on the street talking with his friends, his family from facebook, chat, twitter, whatever. and it was great. so we have been seeing a little bit, but we have seen a change. >> you want to see a lot more of that, of course? >> of course. i'm grateful to be part of this. >> lots of luck to you. thanks for being willing to
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share it with us today. meet so many friends today because it's part of history. it's great to be here. thank you. >> thanks to you. that does it for this very special edition of "andrea mitchell reports" ha-ha vana. i will be back for "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. for now we leave you with some of the sights and sounds of this historic day here in the cuban capital. >> thank you for joining us at this truly historic moment as we prepare to raise the united states flag here at our embassy in havana, symbolizing the re-establishment of diplomatic relations after 54 years. [ drum roll ] ♪
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♪ today on "msnbc live," a new chapter at relationship between the united states and cuba. secretary of state john kerry in havana for the raising of the american flag and newly reopened u.s. embassy. we will have a live report from cuba and live reaction from miami coming up. happy friday. good to be with you. i'm francis rivera. we begin with bush versus gore in a battle of political headlines. jeb bush is trying to get some mojo back while new speculation about al gore, joe biden in the 2016 once again under hillary clinton's perceived enthusiasm
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gap. we'll get to the democrats in a moment because just a short time ago jeb bush attempted to do what front runner donald trump is expected to do tomorrow, wow the crowd in iowa. bush received a few applause lines on his stances on the iran deal and fixing washington. however, it's his problems answering the legacy of his brother on iraq that return to plague him today. >> the iraqis want our help. they want to know that we have skin in the game that we're committed to this. >> 2011! >> excuse me? >> we had to get out in 2011. >> we didn't have to get out in 2011. >> your brother signed the deal. >> it could have been modify and that was the expectation. everybody in iraq and everybody in washington knew that this deal could have been expanded. and now what we need to do -- >> a bad deal sclal. >> now we need to do something else. >> joining me now is kasie hunt in des moines, iowa. kristen welker in washington and ron reagan, son of the late president ronald reagan

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