tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC March 22, 2016 7:00am-8:01am PDT
they yielded, the names they learned, the heavy weapons they found. it's chilling stuff. and those house-to-house searches came as a direct result of the paris attacks. here we are at 10:00 eastern time. 7:00 a.m. on the west coast. 10:00 in the east, and here is what we know. at least 31 people have been killed today. 11 killed at the brussels airport. 20 more killed at a subway station. the mayor of brussels is reporting at this hour, best they know, 106 people have been injured. the first incident took place 8:00 a.m. local time in brussels. that was 3:00 in the morning east coast time, while america slept. a security source says one of the airport explosions happened near check-in desk number four, departure hall one, for those people familiar with the airport
in brussels. then less than a half hour after that, an explosion hit a subway car at maelbeek station near the eu headquarters building. the prime minister has called this a dark moment for the nation. there's been no formal claim of responsibility. at this hour, here's how the associated press is putting it. explosions, at least one likely caused by a suicide bomber, rocked the brussels airport and subway system on tuesday, prompting a lockdown of the belgian capital and heightened security across europe. a spokesman for the brussels metro saying 15 people were killed, 55 injured. we have had those numbers updated. we are at war, french prime minister says after a crisis meeting called by the french
president. quote, we have been subjected for the last few months in europe to acts of war. that's where we stand. the other big stories going on we'll get to president obama in a moment. our chief foreign correspondent richard engel has been with us following it all from washington. richard. >> well, if you remember the paris attacks, they took place over several days. and that is a concern in this case as well. is it over? how big is the cell? and i was talking earlier today to a u.s. counterterrorism official, and they said that american officials are looking at this question very closely right now. are there other people? how big was the cell? how do you know that the cell is -- has been deactivated? so it's not clear that this was an isolated incident in brussels. and there are fears that there could be other kinds of isis attacks elsewhere in europe.
those are some things that u.s. officials are watching right now. going back to comments by malcolm nance, and others on your program, yes, this does seem to be a strategic campaign by isis. isis hasn't claimed responsibility formally. there has been one claim that nbc news has been unable to verify so far, but many isis supporters have come out and been cheering this attack and threatening more to come. the suspicion certainly, if you listen to the comments from european officials, is that this was an isis attack, and they're combining it and describing it in the same kinds of terms as they did to the paris attack and to other attacks, frankly, that have taken place. >> richard, we're all hoping that about the kind of extended attack stretched over time is wrong. and we're hoping this was a
single incident. though dual bombings. a single act of violence on a single day. you have to wonder how much that city and country can take. they have been on edge since the paris attacks, after all. >> well, the paris attacks were launched primarily from brussels, from this neighborhood where the metro bombing took place today. maelbeek. that is one of the hearts or the isis strongholds in europe right now. certainly not the only one. and it's not surprising that the several of the paris attackers came from there and that earlier or last week, four days ago, that the authorities in belgium went back to that same neighborhood and captured the remaining paris attack fugitive. so things seem to be concentrated right there, and
many officials have been criticizing belgium saying why wasn't security stepped up? why aren't -- why are these networks still allowed to operate there? how is it you had a terror suspect, a fugitive, captured in ma maelbeek, and days later, you have a suicide or a bombing, one witness said there may have been two times at the same metro station. why isn't more security poured into that neighborhood when that neighborhood keeps coming up time and time again? as a place where fugitives can hide, where recruits can be found, and today, where a terrorist attack can happen. >> you raise nothing but good points. richard engle, thanks, and stand by. we're going to go to havana, cuba. where the visit of president obama continues. it will end today, but one of the highlights of his trip is an address he is going to give to
the cuban people. it will air, translated in spanish across cuba. this is the kind of split screen day we're having. we haare guessing the president will begin by talking about this situation in belgium. just as the french president did the same in the last few hours. he was at a business conference, and devoted the top of his remarks to the loss of life in neighboring belgium. andrea mitchell is covering the president's visit, covering this opening to havana. andrea. >> and the president is going to address it at the top of the speech. the white house had been meeting this morning, national security council meetings, informally with susan rice here in havana.
secretary kerry also here. them talking to the president, rewriting that speech. that speech was really the baby and the brain child of ben rhodes, the deputy national security adviser, and he was the point person for the secret negotiations with havana, brokered by, of course, pope francis, none other than pope francis himself with the help of cardinal ortega here in cuba. all of this was more than symbolic, but now, everything is focused on the terror attack in brussels. the president will not adjust the schedule so far, but will be giving his reactions. and as we have been reporting, brian, as you know so well, back in november, the president did not respond very quickly or forcefully to the attacks in paris. and has acknowledged to jeffrey goldberg and to other print reporters who have been interviewing him in the last couple months as he reviews his foreign policy and talks about his legacy going forward, he
acknowledges now that he did not realize how important the paris attacks were to america, and how americans responded with a great deal of fear to the terrorism in western europe. it was very immediate to them. you know how intensive our coverage was at the time and all of the other networks. so that's why he's going to be responding today as he speaks in havana. >> all right, andrea mitchell. we will keep an eye on that scene on the right. the podium where the president will be speaking. though judging from the crowd looking to the back of the room, it is quite possible that word has spread the president is getting close. we'll go to it when he begins. first, we want to talk to duncan guardm, a journalist who specializes in security analysis and more than that, can speak about the business of securing
european airports. he's with us from london, and duncan, what's the first thing you wanted to know when you heard the news today? what's the first thing you would look for and at? >> well, the first thing that sprung to mind when i heard about this was, you know, who are these guys? and how have they struggled to track them down, even though they obviously have a handle on some of the members of this cell? they're having made arrests on friday, and an appeal yesterday for further members of the cell. so the real questions were, you know, what kind of explosives. what kind of communications, what kind of cell are we talking about here? and just how large is it that they have been able to slip under the radar even with so much concentration on trying to track them down since the paris
attacks last november. and we know now that these guys have perfected the making of quite a potent form of explosives called tatp that they have developed detonators to set off the devices and they have been able to communicate through encrypted devices and burner phones that make them incredibly difficult to track down. but also, that they have a very large support network. there have been dozens of arrests across europe, which mean that there are serious concerns about just how many people have been influenced by this group that grew up in a suburb of brussels. >> and duncan, don't you worry that this was carried out with all -- without all of that much effort? >> well, it might appear that way. but making the explosives and making the bombs does take some
effort. but the point is that they were obviously ready and primed to go, so when abdeslam, one of the key logistics guys was arrested in brussels on friday, they were able within a few days and knowing that the authorities may well be coming after them next, to then launch these attacks o significant transport hubs. and i think we have been seeing larger and larger terrorist cells or guys influenced by the terrorists traveling out to syria. far larger than we're used to seeing in the al qaeda days. and that's not just the cell in brussels, but we have seen elsewhere in europe as well and in the uk as well. >> i guess that's what i meant, and you obviously concur that this was in effect in response to his apprehension? >> well, we can't be for
certain. we can't be certain about that, brian, but i think, you know, it's got to be an assumption. when you put out a public appeal like that, as they did yesterday, for one of these individuals whose dna had been found on the explosive devices, and in the properties, then you've got to be concerned that that individual might decide that the best thing for him to do is to launch a pre-emptive attack. >> duncan, thank you very much for being with us. security expert and analyst. duncan gardham. while we wait for president obama in havana, and again, he will devote the top of his remarks and what is otherwise billed as a speech to the cuban people, he'll devote the top of this remarks to this tragedy in belgium. let's talk to the governor of ohio, and gop presidential candidate john kasich. he joins us by telephone. governor, we've been talking tan
gentally about the race for president all morning, meaning this is going to necessarily splash up against the debate we're having in this country, and let's hope, perhaps, it makes us serious up the debate a little bit. >> well, brian, it certainly shows that we have to have somebody who is going to lead this country, who is not going to need on the job training. look, i mean, the challenge here is we clearly have big gaps in -- for the west, at least, when it comes to counterintelligence. i would hope what the president would do, brian, and perhaps they are, is i think he ought to return home. he ought to work with the heads of state around the world. they ought to assemble teams and they need to examine these vulnerabilities we have. because without effective human intelligence, without coordination and cooperation among all the civilized nations,
we have these gaps and the gaps get exploited by these people who are intent on killing civilized people. >> governor, it was a little chilling to hear the belgian ambassador to the united states talk about what their house-to-house searches had yielded, the names they came up with, the heavy weapons they discovered. it is -- i'm afraid there are some staggering numbers that the free world are up against in europe. >> well, you know, with this migrant crisis, and the ability of people to pour across the border, and we don't know exactly, at this point, who these folks are or where they came from, but the radicalization of people in -- the radicalization of people in the islamic community is obviously one -- the greatest threat we have today. and so the only way to deal with this is the way we deal with
this in the united states. that is the issue of counterterrorism. it doesn't mean you're going to catch everybody, but it means that you have a better chance of being able to disrupt these operations. and in addition, i think it means that we've got to act quickly against isis. both in the air and on the ground, with a coalition of not only people from the west but our arab friends in the middle east. i think it's two-fold. one, we have to deal with that problem, and secondly, that crisis, and take care of it, and secondly, begin to develop the better counterintelligence we need to disrupt these things. >> a few moments before the president begins his remarks, governor. how would your stance toward the muslim world differ from the well chronicled stance that your competitor, mr. trump, has taken? >> well, look. i think we have taken a pause, and i have asked for a pause in terms of the number of syrian
refugees to come in because we don't know if we can properly vet them. but this war is a war against radical islam. everyone who is a muslim is not connected, obviously. the vast, vast majority of them are peaceful people just practicing their religion. what we don't want to do is to label an entire religion as radical as at war against the west. it's simply not true. and frankly, we're going to need their cooperation as well. those who want to fight against the radical islam, that we need to pull them into this as well, because, you know, take the egyptians. they hang, in some respects, by a thread against those radicals that would like to destroy their government. so cooperation is important among all nations in the civilized world. i talked about that yesterday at the aipac conference, about the fact we need to strengthen these relationships with people who have our shared values. >> we carried your speech and all of the aipac speeches live
on our air last night. governor john kasich of ohio, thank you, sir, very much for joining us by telephone today. >> thank you, and good luck, brian, to you. >> thank you, governor. you, too. governor kasich, as you heard, taking time from the campaign trail, as we have been saying all morning long, this will no doubt be among today's topics out there, and we're going to hear from the president. you may have noticed in the corner of the screen, the live picture of this venue in havana, the president's aide came out with his remarks. the seal has been placed on the front of the podium there. and against the flags of cuba and the united states, we should be hearing and seeing the president shortly. president castro has taken his place in his seat.
his entrance was applauded by everybody. they turned around and gave him a standing ovation. the president has further travels to argentina. we learned from andrea mitchell this morning. but this is a big part of his schedule there. the once unheard of live address by an american president. and here he is. >> thank you. thank you so much. thank you very much. to president castro, the people of cuba, thank you so much for the warm welcome that i have received, that my family has received, and that our
delegation has received. it is an extraordinary honor to be here today. before i begin, please indulge me. i want to comment on the terrorist attacks that have taken place in brussels. the thoughts and prayers of the american people are with the people of belgium. and we stand in solidarity with them uncondemning these outrageous attacks against innocent people. we will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally, belgium, in bringing to justice those who are responsible. and this is yet another reminder that the world must unite. we must be together, regardless of nationality, or race, or faith, in fighting against the scourge of terrorism. we can and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world. to the government and the people
of cuba, i want to thank you for the kindness that you have shown to me and michelle, malia, sasha, my mother-in-law, marion. [ speaking spanish ] in his most famous poem, jose marti made this offering of friendship and peace to both his friend and his enemy. today, as the president of the united states of america, i offer the cuban people e el saludo de pas.
havana is only 90 miles from florida. but to get here, we had to travel a great distance. over barriers of history and ideology, barriers of pain and separation. the blue waters beneath air force one once carried american battleships to this island. to liberate but also to exert control over cuba. those waters also carried generations of cuban revolutionaries to the united states where they built support for their cause. and that short distance has been crossed by hundreds of thousands of cuban exiles. on planes, in makeshift rafts, who came to america in pursuit of freedom and opportunity, sometimes leaving behind everything they owned and every person that they loved. like so many people in both of our countries, my lifetime has
spanned a time of isolation between us. the cuban revolution took place the same year that my father came to the united states from kenya. the bay of pigs took place the year that i was born. the next year, the entire world held its breath watching our two countries as humanity came as close as we ever have to the horror of nuclear war. as the decades rolled by, our government settled into a seemingly endless confrontation, fighting battles through proxies. in a world that remade itself time and again, one constant was the conflict between the united states and cuba.
i have come here to bury the last remnant of the cold war in the americas. i have come here to extend the hand of friendship to the cuban people. i want to be clear. the differences between our governments over these many years are real, and they are important. i'm sure president castro would say the same thing. i know because i have heard him address those differences at length. but before i discuss those issues, we also need to recognize how much we share. because in many ways, the united states and cuba are like two brothers who have been estranged for many years. even as we share the same blood.
we both live in a new world, colonized by europeans. cuba, like the united states, was built in part by slaves brought here from africa. like the united states, the cuban people can trace their heritage to both slaves and slave owners. we have welcomed both, immigrants who came a great distance to start new lives in the americas. over the years, our cultured have blended together. dr. carlos finle's work in coupa paved the way for many doctors in cuba, including walter reed, who drew on his work to help combat yellow fever. just as marti wrote some of his most famous words in new york, earnest hemingway made his home in cuba and found inspiration in the waters of these shores.
we share a national pastime. and later today, our players will compete on the same havana field that jackie robinson played on before he made his major league debut. and it is said that our greatest boxer, muhammad ali, once paid tribute to a cuban he would never fight, saying he would only be able to reach a draw with the great cuban. so even as our governments became adversaries, our people continued to share these common passions. particularly as so many cubans came to america. in miami, or havana, you can find places to dance the
cha-cha-cha or the salsa, and eat ropa vieja. they have sung along with sell yeah cruz or gloria estefan and listen to now pit bull. millions of our people share a common religion. a faith that i paid tribute to at the shrine of our lady of charity in miami. a peace that cum cubans find. for all of our differences, the cuban and american people share a common values in their own lives. a sense of patriotism and a sense of pride. a lot of pride. a profound love of family, a passion for our children, a commitment to their education. and that's why i believe our grandchildren will look back on this period of isolation as an aberration.
as just one chapter in a longer story of family and of friendship. but we cannot and should not ignore the very real differences we have about how we organize our governments, our economies, and our societies. cuba has a one-party system. the united states is a multi-party democracy. cuba has a socialist economic model. the united states is an open market. cuba has emphasized the role and rights of the state. the united states is founded upon the rights of the individual. despite these differences, on december 17th, 2014, president castro and i announced that the united states and cuba would begin a process to normalize relations between our countries.
since then, we have established diplomatic relations and opened embassies. we have begun initiatives to cooperate on health and our agriculture. education and law enforcement. we've reached agreements to restore direct flights and mail service. we have expanded commercial ties and increased the capacity of americans to travel and do business in cuba. and these changes have been welcomed. even though there are still opponents to these policies. still, many people on both sides of this debate have asked, why now? why now? there is one simple answer. what the united states was doing was not working. we have to have the courage to acknowledge that truth. a policy of isolation designed for the cold war made little
sense in the 21st century. the embargo was only hurting the cuban people instead of helping them. and i have always believed in what martin luther king jr. called the fierce urgency of now. we should not fear change. we should embrace it. that leaves me to a bigger and more important reason for these changes. i believe in the cuban people. this is not just a policy of normalizing relations with the cuban government. the united states of america is normalizing relations with the cuban people. and today i want to share with you my vision of what our future can be.
i want the cuban people, especially the young people, to understand why i believe that you should look to the future with hope, not the false promise which insists that things are better than they really are. or the blind optimism that says all your problems can go away tomorrow. hope that is rooted in the future that you can choose, and that you can shape, and that you can build for your country. i'm hopeful because i believe that the cuban people are as innovative as any people in the world. in a global economy, powered by ideas and information, a country's greatest asset is its people. and the united states, we have a clear monument to what the cuban people can build. it's called miami. here in havana, we see that same tale talent. in cooperatives, in old cars
that still run. [ speaking spanish ] cuba has an extraordinary resource, a system of education which values every boy and every girl. and in recent years, the cuban government has begun to open up to the world and to open up more space for that talent to 35. in just a few years, we have seen how they can succeed while sustaining a distinctly cuban spirit. being self-employed is not about becoming more like america. it's about being yourself. look at sandra, who chose to
start a small business. cuban, she said, can innovate and adapt without losing our identity. our secret is not in copying or imitating but simply being ourselves. look at papito, a barber whose success allowed him to improve conditions in his neighborhood. i realize i'm not going to solve all the world's problems, he said, but if i can solve problems in the little piece of the world where i live, it can ripple across havana. that's where hope begins. with the ability to earn your own living, and to build something you can be proud of. that's why our policies focus on supporting cubans instead of hurting them. that's why we got rid of limits on remittances so ordinary cubans have more resources. that's why we're encouraging
travel, which will build bridges between our people, and bring more revenue to those cuban small businesses. that's why we have opened up space for commerce and exchanges, so that americans and cubans can work together to find cures for diseases and create jobs and open the door to more opportunity for the cuban people. as president of the united states, i have called on our congress to lift the embargo. [ applause ] it is an out dated burden on th cuban people. it's a burden on the americans who want to work and do business or invest here in cubcuba. it's time to lift the embargo. but even if we lifted the
embargo tomorrow, cubans would not realize their potential without continued change here in cuba. it should be easier to open a business here in cuba. a worker should be able to get a job directly with companies who invest here in cuba. two currencies shouldn't separate the type of salaries cubans can earn. the internet should be available across the island so that cubans can connect to the wider world. and to one of the greatest engines of growth in human history. there's no limitation from the united states on the ability of cuba to take these steps. it's up to you. i can tell you as a friend that sustainable prosperity in the 21st century depends on education, health care, and environmental protection. but it also depends on the free
and open exchange of ideas. if you can't access information online, if you cannot be exposed to different points of view, you will not reach your full potential. and over time, the youth will lose hope. i know these issues are sensitive, especially coming from an american president. before 1959, some americans saw cuba as something to exploit. ignored poverty, enabled corruption. and since 1959, we have been shadow boxers in this battle of geo politics and personalities. i know the history, but i refuse to be trapped by it. i have made it clear that the united states has neither the
capacity nor the intention to impose change on cuba. what changes come will depend upon the cuban people. we will not impose our political or economic system on you. we recognize that every country, every people, must chart its own course and shape its own model. but having removed the shadow of history from our relationship, i must speak honestly about the things i believe, the things that we as americans believe. as marti said, liberty is the right of every man to be honest. to think and to speak without hypocrisy. so let me tell you what i believe. i can't force you to agree. but you should know what i think. i believe that every person should be equal under the law. every child deserves the dignity
that comes with education and health care and food on the table and a roof over their heads. i believe citizens should be free to speak their mind without fear. to organize and to criticize their government and to protest peacefully. and that the rule of law should not include arbitrary detentions of people who exercise those rights. i believe that every person should have the freedom to practice their faith peacefully and publicly. and yes, i believe voters should be able to choose their governments in free and democratic elections. not everybody agrees with me on this. not everybody agrees with the american people on this, but i believe those human rights are universal.
i believe they are the rights of the american people, the cuban people, and people around the world. there's no secret that our governments disagree on many of these issues. i have had frank conversations with president castro. for many years, he has pointed out the flaws in the american system. economic inequality, the death penalty, racial discrimination, wars abroad. that's just a sample. he has a much longer list. but here's what the cuban people need to understand. i welcome this open debate and dialogue. it's good. it's healthy. i'm not afraid of it. we do have too much money in american politics. but in america, it's still possible for somebody like me, a child who was raised by a single mom, a child of mixed race, who did not have a lot of money, to pursue and achieve the highest
office in the land. that's what's possible in america. we do have challenges with racial bias in our communities and our criminal justice system and our society. the legacy of slavery and segregation. but the fact that we have open debates within america's own democracy is what allows us to get better. in 1959, the year that my father moved to america, it was illegal for him to marry my mother, who was white, in many american states. when i first started school, we were still struggling to desegregate schools across the american south. but people organized. they protested. they debated these issues. they challenged government officials. and because of those protests
and because of those debates, and because of popular mobilization, i'm able to stand here today as an african-american and as president of the united states. that was because of the freedoms that were afforded in the united states. that we were able to bring about change. i'm not saying this is easy. there are still enormous problems in our society. but democracy is the way that we solve them. that's how we got health care for more of our people. that's how we made enormous gains in women's rights and gay rights. it's how we address the inequality that concentrates so much wealth at the top of our society, because workers can organize, and ordinary people have a voice. american democracy has given our people the opportunity to pursue their dreams and enjoy a high standard of living. now, there's still some tough fights. it isn't always pretty, the
process of democracy. it's often frustrating. you can see that in the election going on back home. but just stop and consider this fact about the american campaign that's taking place right now. you had two cuban americans in the republican party running against the legacy of a black man who is president while arguing they're the best person to beat the democratic nominee who will either be a woman or a democratic socialist. who would have believed that back in 1959? that's a measure of our progress as a democracy. so here's my message to the cuban government and the cuban people. the ideals that are the starting point for every revolution, america's revolution, cuba's
revolution, the liberation movements around the world, those ideals find their truest expression, i believe, in democracy. not because american democracy is perfect, but precisely because we're not. and we, like every country, need the space that democracy gives us to change. it gives individuals the capacity to be catalysts, to think in new ways. and to reimagine how our society should be. and to make them better. and there's already an evolution taking place inside of cuba. a generational change. many suggested i come here and ask the people of cuba to tear something down. but i'm appealing to the young people of cuba who will lift something up, build something
new. [ speaking spanish ] and to president castro who i appreciate being here today, i want you to know, i believe my visit here demonstrates you do not need to fear a threat from the united states. and given your commitment to cuba's sovereignty, i'm also confident you need not fear the different voices of the cuban people and their capacity to speak and assemble and vote for their leaders. in fact, i'm hopeful for the future because i trust that the cuban people will make the right decisions. as you do, i'm also confident that cuba can continue to play an important role in the hemisphere and around the globe. and my hope is that you can do so as a partner with the united
states. we've played very different roles in the world. but no one should deny the service that thousands of cuban doctors have delivered for the poor and suffering. [ applause ] last year, american health care workers and the u.s. military worked side-by-side with cubans to save lives and stamp out ebola in west africa. i believe that we should continue that kind of cooperation in other countries. we have been on the different side of so many conflicts in the americas, but today, americans and cubans are sitting together at the negotiating table and we are helping the colombian people help resolve a civil war that has dragged on for decades. that kind of cooperation is good
for everybody. it gives everyone in this hemisphere hope. we took different journeys to our support for the people of south africa in ending apartheid, but president castro and i could both be there in johannesburg to pay legatribute the great legacy of nelson mandela. and in examining his life, and his wurbdz, i'm sure we both realized we have more work to do to promote equality in our own countries. to reduce discrimination based on race in our own countries. and in cuba, we want our engagement to help lift up the cubans who are of african desent, who have proved there's nothing they cannot achieve when
given the chance. we have been a part of different blocks of nations in the hem fear, and we will continue to have profound differences on how to promote peace, security, opportunity, and human rights. but as we normalize our relations, i believe it can help foster a greater sense of unity in the americas. from the beginning of my time in office, i have urged the people of the americas to leave behind the idealogical battles of the past. we are in a new era. i know that many of the issues that i have talked about lack the drama of the past, and i know that part of cuba's identity is its pride in being a small island nation that could stand up for its rights and shake the world. but i also know that cuba will always stand out because of the
talent, hard work, and pride of the cuban people. that's your strength. cuba doesn't have to be defined by being against the united states any more than the united states should be defined by being against cuba. and i'm hopeful for the future because of the reconciliation that's taking place among the cuban people. you know, i know that for some cubans on the island, there may be a sense that those who left somehow supported the old order in cuba. i'm sure there's a narrative that lingers here, which suggests that cuban exiles ignored the problems of pre-revolutionary cuba and rejected the struggle to build a new future. but i can tell you today that so many cuban exiles carry a memory
of painful and sometimes violent separation. they love cuba. a part of them still considers this their true home. that's why their passion is so strong. that's why their heartache is so great. and for the cuban-american community i have come to know and respect, this is not just about politics. this is about family. the memory of a home that was lost. the desire to rebuild a broken bond. the hope for a better future, the hope for a return and reconciliation. for all of the politics, people are people and cubans are cubans. and i have come here, i have traveled this distance on a bridge that was built by cubans
on both sides of the florida straits. i first got to know the talent and passion of the cuban people in america. and i know how they have suffered more than the pain of exile. they also know what it's like to be an outsider and to struggle and work harder to make sure their children can reach higher in america. so the reconciliation of the cuban people, the children and grandchildren of revolution and the children and grandchildren of exile, that is fundamental to cuba's future. you see it in gloria gonzalez, who traveled here in 2013 for the first time after 61 years of separation. and was met by her sister.
you recognize me, but i didn't recognize you, gloria said after she embraced her sibling. imagine that after 61 years. you see it in melinda lopez, who came to her family's old home. as she was walking the streets, an elderly woman recognized her as her mother's daughter. and began to cry. she took her into her home and showed her a pile of photos that included melinda's baby picture, which her mother had sent 50 years ago. melinda later said so many of us are now getting so much back. you see it in christian miguel, a young man who became the first of his family to travel here after 50 years. and meeting relatives for the first time, he said, i realized that family is family no matter
the distance between us. sometimes the most important changes start in small places. the tides of history can leave people in conflict and exile and poverty. it takes time for those circumstances to change, but the recognition of a common humanity, the reconciliation of people bound by flood and a belief in one another, that's where progress begins. understanding and listening and forgiveness. and if the cuban people face the future together, it will be more likely that the young people of today will be able to live with dignity and achieve their dreams right here in cuba. the history of the united states and cuba encompass revolution and conflict, struggle and sacrifice, retribution and now
reconciliation. it is time now for us to leave the past behind. it is time for us to look forward to the future together. and it won't be easy, and there will be setbacks. it will take time. but my time here in cuba renews my hope and my confidence in what the cuban people will do. we can make this journey as friends and as neighbors. and as family. together. thank you. >> the president of the united states concluding his speech live to an audience in havana, cuba. and for broadcasts in cuba as well. as history making as the rest of the visit, there is president castro up in the first balcony.
sadly, for the rest of the world, it's the scene you have been seeing on the left-hand side of your screen that lends this day the kind of a split-screen imagery, the terrorist attack. you see the latest death toll, 31 in brussels. happened in the middle of the night, u.s. time. start of the work day in brussels. while we've been covering the president's speech, our folks have been continuing their reporting, among them, pete williams and tom costello. we'll begin with our justice correspondent pete williams in our washington bureau. pete. >> brian, a couple things about this. first of all, their initial reports suggest that the bomb at the airport was two separate devices. the belgian ambassador has told reporters here in the u.s., the belgian ambassador to the u.s. has told reporters here that the
explosion at the airport involved a package or possibly a suitcase, and then separately, a suicide bomber. we know that there were two bomb attacks in the airport. and that's the initial word. whether both were set off by someone or whether one person set off both devices, that's beyond what we know. but that's the early word on the explosion at the airport. we haven't heard anything further about the nature of the explosion on the underground train, the metro. in terms of the u.s. response here, we've seen now as the hours play along here, a number of american cities aggressively step up security, not surprisingly, the most visible as it usually is in these things is in new york. in the new york/new jersey area. port authority police, new york city police, with many more visible patrols on commuter trains, subways, at the airport, and also at bridges and tunnels
that's come into the new york city area. but also much more visible security of armed police on the metro in washington, at the airports here, also in chicago and los angeles and miami. amtrak says it has a robust security out today. so that's the kind of thing that you're seeing in the u.s. all these decisions made by local authorities. not at the direction of the federal government, because in the u.s., all of these facilities are in the hands of local officials. the federal responsibility, the department of transportation, or rather the homeland security administration, that begins at the secure check-in point well into the airport. but at the kind of airport areas that were attacked, the kind of subway that was attacked, those are all in the security is all in the hands of local officials. we don't know of any directive from the federal government coming out today telling them to do more, because there isn't any intelligence that any of the facilities in the u.s. are under
any kind of revised threat. so this is a matter of simply the federal officials passing along to local authorities what they're learning from their counterparts in europe. frankly, brian, a lot of the messages we have seen are passing along what has been publicly reported, telling them the nature of the attacks, what kind of injuries, where they were placed, how they believe the devices were placed and so on. >> all right, pete williams with the update on his front. as justice correspondent. over to aviation we go, and tom costello. tom. >> got a couple moving pieces here. to begin with, part of my dual role as the moment is to also monitor flemish television, thanks to a wife who speaks fluent flemish. flemish television is reporting that investigators believe that the explosives used in this device may be tatp. which is a common type of explosive that they believe may have also been used in the attacks in paris.
tatp is what they are at the moment thinking may be a prime explosive suspect. they are looking now for a man last seen wearing a white s sweater or a white overcoat of some sort. they believe he may have been involved in the attack at the airport in brussels, and he may have gotten away. they're still working on that and trying to identify him. and they have also put out an apbf you will, of sorts, to all of the media in belgium, asking them to refrain from reporting on police tactics, movements, or other activities including their presence. there are multiple activities under way in belgium. they're asking for the media not to report on where the police are at any given moment because of the terror emergency. the mall, which is a building that houses a european union headquarters and complex down in downtown brussels, has been evacuated. as you would expect, police
forensics teams are on the scene along with, they have a unique situation in belgium and france in which the prosecutor's office is also immediately involved in an investigation. investigators from both offices are on the ground at the metro station at maelbeek as well as at the brussels airport. speaking of which, the brussels airport just put out a note saying it's not at all clear when they will reopen because of the extensive damage and the forensics investigation that is under way. you know, initially, within i would say a couple hours of the attacks this morning, somebody suggested they reopen in the morning. clearly, that's not going to happen. anybody who is familiar with that airport knows it has been significantly damaged. an areas of it utterly destroyed. i think it would be hard for them to reopen this week at the earliest. but we'll see how that plays out. and there is also this, i wanted to pass along, the brussels fire service, which houses both fire and ems in brussels, reports 212 wounded and 30 critical.
and we have heard from several doctors reporting significant shrapnel wounts including nails and some amputations as well. >> tom, for our viewers, repeat the significance of the explosive, if confirmed? >> tatp is -- is pete still online? pete, are you still online with us? >> i am here. >> i would ask pete to weigh in because he has the expertise. pete, the tatp connection. >> tatp, i don't think, is going to say a lot, because it is probably the most commonly used explosive by terrorists. it's become the staple of suicide bombers in the middle east. it has long been used by jihadists inspired terrorist. it was what was in richard reid's shoe bomb. of more immediate interest is tatp was thought to be used in the paris attacks last year, and belgian authorities have said in their raids, in the police raids
in the last couple weeks in brussels, they had found traces or quantities of tatp in the residences of some of those people they have been arresting. so it certainly is consistent with the paris attacks, with the people they were going after in brussels, and elsewhere throughout france and belgium, but on the other hand, it's so commonly used that i don't think it's going to narrow things down any. >> okay. so it wouldn't be a surprise to you, pete, if we -- if the forensics and chemical testing came back that it was in fact tatp? >> to the contrary, brian, i would say it would be a surprise if it isn't. it's just how common it is now. it could be, you mentioned the forensic evidence. it could be there are different formulas and that will tell them something, but i think the most useful thing will be if they in fact did find an unexploded device, as had been earlier reported but not confirmed. that the key thing. they'll look at how the