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tv   Charlie Rose  WHUT  April 12, 2010 9:00am-10:00am EDT

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>> welcome to the broadcast. we begin this evening with the retirement of justice john paul steven and reflections on the man and his legacy from jamal greene who teaches constitutional law at columbia law school and was a former law clerk to justice stevens. >> he had a certain gentility about him. a certain just basic decency that i think is just tends to be lost these days. and just in terms of his jurisprudence i think your intro was quite right that he is an independent thinker. i think he talked of at the liberal line, the liberal icon on the court but he really does, i think, approach each case on a case-by-case basis. he really does have an independent streak. >> rose: we continue with a look at the future of latin america with john coatsworth dean of columbia university international and public
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affair, kevin cassas zamora of the brookings institution and former vice president of costa rica, greg grandin at new york university and michael shifter, incoming president of the interamerican dialogue. justice stevens and latin america, coming up. >> funding for charlie rose has been provided by the coca-cola company. supporting this program since 2002. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is chaálie rose. >> justice john paul stevens today announced his retirement from the supreme court. he had been on the court 34
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years. he was known as the leader of the liberal wing. he is the fourth longest serving justice in u.s. history. he was appointed by republican president gerald ford but he was hardly beholden to conservatives. "the new york times" wrote that he may be the last justice from a time when the independence rather than perceived ideology were perceived a identification for seat on the court. he dissented in the famous case of bush versus gore saying although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear, it is the nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law. today speaking from the rose garden, president obama praised justice stevens contribution to the court. >> he has stood as an impartial guardian of the law. he has worn the judicial robe with honor and humility.
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he has plyed the constitution and the laws of the land with fiddleity and restraint. he will soon turn 90 this month but he leaves his position at the top of his game. his leadership will be soarly missed. >> the president also said that the search for successor had begun. >> while we cannot replace justice stevens' experience or wisdom, i will seek someone in the coming weeks with similar qualities. an independent mind, a record of excellence, and integrity, a fierce dedication to the rule of law, and a keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the american people. it will also be someone who like justice stevens knows that in a democracy powerful interests must not be allowed to drown out the voices of ode citizens. >> joining me now is professor greene teaching constitutional law at columbia law school and previously clerked for justice stevens. i'm pleased to have him ear on-- here on this program. tell me about justice stevens.
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>> justice stevens is an amazing person. he is from a different era. and i think you get that sense the second you meat him. he has a certain gentility about him, a certain just basic decency that i think tends to be lost these days. and just in terms of his jurisprudence i think your intro was quite right that he is an independent thinker. i think you know he talks of as the liberal lion on the court, the liberal icon on the court but he really does, i think, approach each case on a case-by-case basis. he really does have an independent streak. >> he had an influence beyond one vote. >> i think so. i think that's absolutely. he has been on the court for 34 years. and i think even some of the conservatives on the court are able to respect that. there is a very strong seniority on the court and
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he is the most senior justice by a country mile. and just the kind of institutional knowledge he has is respected by judges on both sides of the court. and of course all the current kind of liberal block of the court where we are talking about justice ginsburg, justice brier, soto myers to are the last three appointees so they are the most junior members. they really look up to him i think as someone who is a real leader. >> how will he be missed mostly? >> you know, i think it is actually going to be inside baseball. i think one of the real serious ways in which he will be missed is a-- crossing, this is the process where the court decides which cases it is going to accept and justice stevens, he and justice alito are the only two justices who are not part of a pool where all the clerks for the other justices are in the pool decide or they write memos for each of the cases that where people are applying to get their cases
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heard at the court. and justice stevens and justice alito are the only justices who read, chambers read each of the pitches himself. one of the things that does is it gives you an independent mind about each of the petitions. i actually think you know even apart from his jurisprudence which i think is something that is going to be missed in the court. i think a lot of the behind the scenes going on at the court in terms of how cases get accepted is one of the ways in which he actually, his absence will be felt quite strongly. >> in terms of his jurisprudence where were his passions for what issues? >> certainly national security issues, terrorism cases. he is a world war ii veteran. he was a law clerk to wiley rut lige who was a major dissenter in some of the cases from world war ii involving detention of what we now call enemy combatants. and i think that experience had a profound effect on him. he has a basic sense of
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justice. he thinks that his job is to have a basic sense of justice. and those cases present issues of justice in the starkest possible terms. these are not sympathetic characters we're talking about. but he's able to see through that. and i think he really does have a passion for those cases in part because of the way his experiences have informed his jurisprudence. >> what are the three or four cases that he wrote that were most renowned in which he wrote the majority opinion. >> over the long career, 34 years, i think you have to say the hamdan decision which is recent decision involving the ability of the president to establish military commissions without congressional approval. and the opinion basically says you need to get congress's backing here it is a separate of powers type opinion. the opinion that gets decided the most, the most sided opinion written by justice stevens by far is his opinion in chevron which is an administrative law case which tells what the
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basic standard of review is when an agency and administrative agency is interpreting a federal statute so that is a major opinion he's written. a third case, you know, he's actually known for writing a lot of dissenting. >> rose: that would have been -- >> and so he wrote a powerful dissent justice term in citizens united which is the case involving corporate campaign contributions, where the court says first the corporations have a first amendment right to engage in election expenditures. he wrote a long dissent in that case. he wrote a dissent a couple of years ago in a case called dc versus heller, a second amendment case involving gun rights, first time the second amendment gets interpreted by the court in 60 years. and he writes a sort of point by point rebuttal of justice scalia, his long time antagonist on 9 court saying you know the original understanding of the second amendment was actually mill
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itcha related, not related to an individual right to bear arms. and so those are two of certainly the most recent opinions he will be remembered for. >> rose: where was he pronounce approximated in terms of an attitude about government separation of powers, individual liberty. >> well, i think one case that really stands out is actually an opinion that he didn't write himself. lawrence versus texas which involved the constitutionality of a sodomy statute in texas. court overrules a precedent from 17 years oold. -- ago, written by justice kennedy. one of the ways in which you sort of see justice stevens' influence and some of the other justices, justice kennedy writes the opinion but he says going back to bowers, justice stevens wrote a dissenting. he said justice stevens is write and this should have been the governing law for the last 17 years. that is an instance where justice kennedy is drawing on the wisdom of just citie cities-- justice stevens from before justice kennedy
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is on the court. and indeed the same passage quoted in that opinion is drawn basically from an opinion justice stevens wrote in 1975. >> rose: how did he feel about the perception of him as a liberal judge? >> you know, i think he has already thought of himself as basically a conservative person. and i think-- . >> rose: he described himself that way. >> i think that's right. i think, i don't know that i would say that that is right as a philosophical matter in terms of jurisprudence of the court it is right as a matter of a conservative judge is one that takes each case one at a time. doesn't approach cases ide ideaologicalically. and i think that is what he means by conservatives. >> rose: so who is the most likely judge to retire next? >> i think most people would say justice ginsburg. she has had a history, she has been having bouts with cancer. as far as i know she is very vigorous on the court. so i don't think that she is-- my sense is that she is not particularly eager to leave the court but if i had
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to put money on it that is what i would pick. >> i ask the question because constitution law thinks about these things. is what judge, what changed either from retirement or death could shift the balance in the courts so that decisions would have a different end. >> well, certainly justice kennedy would be the first person you think of. he is the-- . >> rose: as with justice o'connor. >> he replaced justice o'connor as the swing justice on the court. the term i clerked on the court which was 2006 to 2007 year on the court, justice kennedy was never in dissent in a 5-4 decision. so in a close case he's always in the majority or most of the time in the majority. so all these close cases we always hear about, all the close cases that come out, come up during the confirmation hearings, these are the cases where justice kennedy is really deciding which direction the court goes in. so he is really the swing justice on the court. although i do think justice stevens as the senior justice of the so-called liberal block, he is the one who assigned opinions to the other justices when he's in
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the majority. and so the assignment of opinions actually can have an impact on the way an opinion is written. and who you actually get to sign on. you know if you assign on an opinion to justice kennedy and he is kind of on the fence will write the opinion in a way that makes sure he stays in the majority. so that is a little bit of the strategy behind opinion assignments. >> has most of the mystique gone away now that we have had books written by people who have lots of evidence and testimony from clerks and the like? >> you know, i think some of it has gone away. although i think there is a way in which we tend to idealize courts from the past as if they weren't the same kinds of controversy. the supreme court has been the subject of political controversy for most of its history. and so that's no different. and it actually remains the case that if you compare it to the presidency and congress, you know, more people trust the supreme
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court. more people believe in the supreme court, have feels of goodwill towards the supreme court. and other political institutions. so political scientists after bush v gore which is considered the death nell to supreme court independence and integrity, you know, it took a year or two for opinions to go back to where they were about the court. so i think relative to other political institutions, the court is actually doing pretty well. >> rose: thank you. pleasure to have you on the program, swramal greene is a professor at columbia university where he teaches constitutional law. a graduate of yale law school. we turn now to latin america which has long been called the continent of the future and by many measures it seems the future may be now. brazil has a booming commodities market. colombia has posted record economic growth rates. and chile is on the brink of first world status. despite these significant stride, latin america remains in many places
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crippled by poverty and crime. secretary of state hillary clinton recently visited mexico city where she met with leaders to revise a war on drug strategy. >> we know that the demand for drugs drives much of this i lissity trade. that guns purchased in the united states as we saw some of the examples outside, are used to facilitate violence here in mexico. and the united states must and is doing its part to help you and us meet those challenges. >> rose: several weeks ago i sat down for a discussion about latin america's new path and its implication for the united states with john coatsworth, dean of columbia university school of international and public affairs, kevin casas-zamora, senior fellow at the brookings institution and former vice president of costa rica. greg grahnin, professor of latin american history at new york university and michael shifter, incoming president of the interamerican dialogue. here is that conversation. >> rose: where is latin
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america today? >> latin america is in an odd point in its history. it has survived for the most part through the great recession. less damage than united states. mexico has suffered a lot because of its closer ties to the u.s. but the rest of the continent seems to be recovering rapidly. at the same time, latin america is much less dependent on the united states and its relations with the united states, more independent if you will than in the past two centuries. so it's at a point where it is defining its own future. looking for institutions that can embody it and its relationship with the united states is becoming much more complicated. >> also latin america is more than ever i think is going in lots of different directions at once. brazil and chile are ascendant globalizers. other countries are looking more inward. some of the politics, there is much more confrontational in some countries, more consensual in other countries, there is advances in the social agenda in some countries, less so in other countries. i think globalization has lead to divergent paths for
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latin america so it is increasingly difficult to againize about the region. what we can say is that there is greater distancing from the united states politically of all countries even though some like mexico, central america are very integrated economically but politically they want elbow room. they want breathing space from the united states that is happening all over and there is a greater focus on the social questions, social agenda. >> there are three or four big stories in latin america up to date. one is the emergence of the brazil as a world power. that is one that is very obvious. the second story is about latin america becoming more worldly. the number and the diversity of alliances that latin america is forging with the world is much greater than ever before. >> then you have a third story which is less which is expansion. the huge expansion of the middle classes. places like mexico and brazil that has all sorts of political and economic
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implications. and i would say that there is a fourth, less benign phenomenon which is the huge crime and drug trafficking problem that is affecting the region which is really threatening to unravel the whole social fabric in latin america. >> and i would agree with that. i would agree with all three of my fellow panelists said. i would be more specific in terms of the electoral trends over the last ten years what we have seen over the last ten years is this remarkable emergence of a center left political coalition across the region and one country after another really trying to map out, their own way, latin america's own way very distinct from the united states and dissenting in very keyways from what is traditionally been u.s. policy in latin america. latin america was early on a dissenter of george bush's militarism and unilateralism. we saw dissenting from the war on-- the invasion of iraq and a number of other moves to institutionalize
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unilateralism. we also saw latin america take the initiative in trying to move beyond this extreme deregulation that crippled latin america in many ways during the 1990s. economic deregulation. when you see in other words, is latin america really grappling with the two problems that in many ways derailed the u.s. in the last couple of years. the militarism that took shape during the bush administration and the extreme economic deregulation. the united states is now just coming to terms with those two. latin america has had a year of trying to work through them and i think they have been paging enormous strides. >> rose: all of you are saying it is pulling away from the united states. why is that? >> i think there are a number of real structure reasons, global reasons you see. the united states no longer the sole creditor and source of capital for latin america. they now have capital in china, deepening relations with china. >> and latin america is much less dependent on external capital than it was just 10 or 15 years ago. >> exactly.
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there is much more integration among latin american countries with which is a new thing. >> with each other. >> in terms of economics. >> in terms of economics that is a relatively -- >> but even countries that had very deep connections to the united states economically and after all migration, mexico, central america were so interconnected cultural and economically but nonetheless most countries are still pulling back politically. they want to assert themselves. they want to be treated on different terms in the traditional kind of reflex tutorial, paternalistic. because the differences in power are so great. and that's lead to a kind of patronizing attitude. and the united states doesn't have patience to deal with countries that are kind of standing up and trying to assert their own autonomy and that lead to some strains. even though the economics are very tight and the culture is very tight and we have remittances going back and forth. families are sending $65 billion remittances to their families from the united states back to latin america, a big source of foreign
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exchange in many countries in latin america. but the politics and the attitude is still one of taking a little more distance. >> latin america does not necessarily feel that they are being ignored even though that is often the perception here. i would argue that there is actually an inverse relationship between the sense that latin america is not talked about. and its historic importance to the united states. latin america in many ways served as a check and balance on u.s. foreign policy. the number of the most successful foreign policy instruments, liberal, multilateralism, for instance, a recognition of the sovereignty of other nations comes out of struggle out of latin america. latin america forcing the united states to match a little bit more, it's deals with its actual superpower action. and in many ways, latin america has often time after time saved the united states from its own worst instincts. the good neighbor policy, for instance, under fdr, that becomes the model for liberal multilateralism that fdr puts in place on a global scale.
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panamericanism is basically the model that woodrow wilson brings to paris in 1919 for the versaille conference, the 14 points, the 14th point of the 14 points is modelled on panamericanism. latin america has played a shadow role in u.s. history that i think it's importance is inversely correlated to the degree that people, that it's not talked about in u.s. political culture. >> we're in a different moment, though. i think now i think all of these good neighbor policies, alliance for progress, that is of the past. what we are confronting now is a set of opportunities in latin america and the caribbean. an agenda that has to do with drugs and security and energy and economics and immigration and environment and climate change and all these things. where it is in the u.s. interest to cooperate. and it is in latin america's interest to cooperate. the task is how do you neerbt that. >> let's focus on that.
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if, what if you were sitting at a table with the president and the secretary of state, what would you be suggesting is an appropriate reset of latin american policy? >> look in the long run, the united states faces a fundamental issue. and that issue is how do we create international global institutions that function effectively and will continue to function when we are no longer the world's only superpower. and latin america is that part of the world because it has mostly democratic regimes. and a long history of relationships with the united states that can be built on which if there were a foreign policy that was not focused entirely on current threats, but on long-term goals, the united states could construct, could sferment constructively in ways that might have implications fors larger foreign policy. and we're to the doing that. >> is it international organizations or regional organizations or is it a series of bilateral relationships. people like henry kissinger would argue here that what the united states has to do
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in asia, for example, is really form a series of relationships that suggest it wants to be part of asia's future, without dominating because it knows. >> i think it has to be both. braz sill fundamental, mexico is nult. s soso those are the two big countries and the united states is to the going to get anywhere on an agenda with latin america without a good relationship with those two countries. >> rose: no dow the most powerful country is brazil in terms of the perception of the world, not mexico but brazil. >> anything the united states wants to do in latin america will be infinitely easier if it does so in collaboration with brazil and more difficult if brazil is not a part ferr. >> my impression is that to some extent the u.s. has accepted the brazil will play a very dominant role in south america and is willing to accommodate that. one of the things happening in latin america is all diplomatic roads lead through brazil. partly because of brazil and partly because of-- which is a different conversation. it would be interesting to see whether that remains the
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case after-- i think it will. >> how do you explain lula's success. >> the main thing about lula is he was able to be, he was able to go to davos and world economic for em. >> right. >> to be with the poor and the grass roots communities and also deal with the business that he was able to bridge these different worlds. i think that was his political genius. and his own personal story is very compelling as well. so it is just an enormously charismatic. >> right. >> and i have the impression that with regards to the u.s. in particular, lula has developed a sort of good cup bad cup routine. lula knows that there is a greater tolerance of the u.s. to whatever he does because he is the acceptable face of the left. >> right. >> for the u.s. and for much of the world, quite frankly.
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>> chavez. i mean what is his impact. what is his future. >> they work very well together. lula and chavez have pretty much presided. i think the changes were taking place anyway. i think the diversification of capital, of credit integration, diversification of markets that lead to this new autonomy, for the political dissent was happening anyway and will continue to happen even beyond lula, beyond chavez. i do think they work together in a way that played off of each other's strengths. in ways chavez provided cover for lula. the u.s. would have been a lot less tolerant of brazil. a lot less tolerant of mitchell bachelet and in par gay guy if it wasn't for that greater threat. i think they have presided with chavez being more rhetorical in his way and chavez being more, and lula being more cautious over this autonomy that we've been talking about, this diversification, this pulling out.
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>> you know, in the way they've managed their own countries, they couldn't be further apart. >> the contacts, chaff easy came to power in a complete collapse. >> this is a collapse but has governed now on its 12th year in a very confrontational, conflictive way. lula is the con sum mat negotiator and union leader. he knows how to dialogue. chavez's strength is not dialogue. and it's hard to govern in this day and age in a complex global economy and in a complex society if you don't bring another people and try to build a consensus. that's not chavez's strength. he does deserve credit, i think, for putting his finger on a legitimate grievance in venezuela and much of latin america which is social injustice and social inequality. but he hasn't been able to come up with a viable alternative. >> hasn't that been a strain of latin american politics in every country one way or the other both social justice and nationalism. >> he really was, i think he really championed that. after a period of the 1990s
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where there was a neglect of the social issue. there were economic milestones. he really came in and said this a real problem. we are not paying atension. he was very forceful and his rhetoric resonated throughout latin america. the problem is you can't solve the problem. i don't think the record of hugo chavez after 11 years is very, very impressive. >> his historical accomplishment was to destroy the old venezuela political system that was widely viewed as infinitely corrupted. and selfish. and indeed undemocratic. but once once having done that and accomplished this with a new constitution and new set of policies, he's found it extremely difficult to govern in a way that fulfills the promise. >> and you argue this is, that if you look at latin america, a variety of places ar world war ii, that because of the cold war and the u.s. soviet conflict, we failed because of our fear
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of communism to nourish democratic, nationalistic forces making a real case for social justice. >> there were moments of enlightenment, you know, when the alliance for progress was in vogue, i mean you had a chance. and then it fizzled out. and it fizzled out amongst other things because all of a sudden a lot of the elites in latin america became very suspicious of the u.s. they are all of a sudden found a streak of anti-americanism in them. >> well, i would also say the alliance of progress had different sides it did have an developmental aside where it was promoting land reform and tax reform and a vision of keynesian economic development. but on the other hand t was also forth tie tooing the right hand of the state. the security forces, the intelligence agencies, the police that actually were responsible for many of the coups and overthrows that john talks about. >> and one country after
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another. >> rose: john kennedy in the '60s yes. >> yes, the depaid of-- decade of the 190s there were nine military coups all overthrew democratic regime. the most horrific period for democracy, with the exception of the coup in 1968 in peru. >> a lot of suspicion when we talk about courting democracy. the memorys are still there of that period so it is very difficult for the u.s. to make a convincing case. >> late inamerica forgets nothing. >> in 1963 the first of the military coups that transformed latin america took place in honduras. when the kennedy administration refused to intervene, refused to condemn, and ultimately recognized that regime, the next coup was in the dominican republic, then brazil and the rest followed. so the shock of seeing military officers take a president, an elected president out of his bed in his pajamas and put him on a plane out of the country,
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brought back not just memories of the 196 0s, '70s and '80s but brought back that historic precedence. >> and why brazil has been in the lead in demanding, in trying to force a return of democracy in honduras and why the obama administration's waffling and fumbling of this has been a disaster among latin american countries. >> rose: why have they failed not to see disaster? >> i think part of this is the sense of distraction. that they-- they didn't-- . >> rose: there is no special envoy to latin america. >> well, it there wasn't at the time because it was being held up by -- >> the team was not in place. >> rose: exactly. >> and of course that's an in-- . >> rose: meaning that the president and his administration have not been able to select and get confirmed through the senate a lot of people at the ambassadorial level and assistant secretary level.
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>> we haven't had an ambassador for brazil for 11 months. >> there was no ambassador in this and president obama came in, called lula my man. he was going to be his man, at the g-20 meeting. then 11 months there is no ambassador. it is tough to make progress with no ambassador. >> both are connected to hon dur an coup because halts were placed on them by the senator from south carolina, the republican, and he only removed his hold on those nominations and allowed them to go forward when the administration backed off its position on hor dur as. >> the ability of the domestic paralysis and politics to paralyze the u.s.'s foreign policy was on full display with shanon progress. thomas shannon was bush's secretary of state with latin american. a republican but respected. he's considered, he's considered a real diplomat not an idea log and obama appointed him to be ambassador to brazil indicate og bama has a sense of how important brazil is. first his nomination was held up by chuck grassley because shanon suggested that they actually lower
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tariffs on brazilian ethanol and chuck is from eye way, the state of monsanto. and that was-- and he put a hold on it. then jim demeant over honduras and all of the politics around honduras froze his nomination. and after that the senator from florida, the countriesth appointed, lemieux, he froze shannon's nomination over cuba. which even if obama was to come up with a vision, a positive vision of hemispheric diplomacy which you could imagine what it would be, normalizing relations with cuba, dialing down the drug war, immigration reform, all sorts of things, applys as an equal partner with brazil, what stops them from doing that is nothing that happens in latin america, it is domestic politics. it is the cuban lobby, it is thing aro industry, it's the nra which won't allow a
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renewal of the assault rifle ban which mexico is demanding. every possible initiative that obama could take to modernize domestic relations, the obstacles and opposition come from domestic politics. it really is kind of a -- >> i would add though that i think domestic politics scores batt ways. latin america has its own interest and its own domestic policy. and honduras or the view of column barks the. is base if colombia or cuba there is also a constituency in latin america. and sometimes it makes it more difficult domestic pressures here and the domestic pressures in latin america, going two different direction. it goes both ways. >> to give you an example if i may. part of what is happening between brazil and iran, that has so many people in washington has to do with domestic politics. the fed poking the eye of the u.s., always plays well with the political base of ruling this case.
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>> and it irritates washington. >> rose: ahmadinejad came to brazil, did he not. >> yes. and hugo is going to brazil in-- to iran in may. he is in brazil. >> ahmadinejad his 9th visit to latin america. american presidents have not spent that much time in latin america. >> rose: and what are these visits about, selling iran oil or. >> oil and trade. >> agriculture. >> rose: so it is not there, not trying to just stick his figure never america's eye but a byproduct. >> it is a combination of economic interests. >> it must be said that barack obama is enormously popular personally in latin america. so there is a-- there was an opportunity to move beyond that. there was a pig popular push. >> the phenomenon of barack obama more so than either ideas or policies. >> his first, his debut in latin america was last april in trinidad and to being ao, at the summit of americas and his speech was really
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received. >> when he got the book from thomas. >> the famous book and the handshake and all of that. >> then they put castro on the stable as well. where are we with respect to kuba. >> really it turns out that the same domestic politics would disagree but the same domestic politics of electoral votes in florida is just, i mean 2004. >> they are allowing some to go back. >> some loosening up. but they are not, they still oppose the entrances of kuba into the oas. >> i guess the we are back to the same old game of the demanding tit for tat concessions. >> the reality is that cuba, if they rest on american contract or there is a dissident, imprisoned dissident who dies from hunger strike that will make it more difficult. that is the political reality.
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>> and so what is the consensus view if there is one among people who have some access to good information about fidel. >> there a tragedy. fiddle's influence over the conduct of every day policy in cuba has diminished steadily. the raul castro government began to make significant changes. he announced a series of pilot programs that were designed to see whether the market could function well. they labor ralized land legislation. they are allowing private farmers to rent state lands. they decided that they interest going to stop feeding 800,000 people a day in public restaurants where they work. and they are going to give them a little extra pay and let them go out in private restaurants will be allowed. they are thinking about other kinds of reforms that would move cuba in the direction of a country that relies more on the market. not a fully chinese model but something that would move in that direction? and they were so enthusiastic about moving it there, that they scheduled
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for last december a new party congress, party congresss in cuba occur only when there are major changes of policy to be announced and ratified. so there was immense hope in cuba that if there were some gesture on the part of the united states that went beyond allowing cuban americans to travel more often, just something that had to do with the embargo w trade. >> give me an example of a specific thing that would have given an indication that would have served the purpose. >> the united states. >> what could the president have said or done. >> lift the travel ban for americans to travel there with the collaboration of people in congress that were perfectly happy to do it. take more steps to lift the embargo. not a full lifting of the embargo but steps in the direction that would indicate to the cubans there would be a response if they took steps of their own. not link every improvement in american relations with cuba to releasing political prisoners which they will do eventually but they will not do it under pressure. do something that would give some indication to those cubans and there are many within the communist party and in the government that
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the united states would respond or constructively if they began to change their society, move it in the direction of a more open economy. >> when a group like human rights watch putting out a report that human rights has gotten worse under raul castro then fiddle castro, just the way it plays in washington, congress and it is not just republican, it's democrats are going to resist. they are just not going to move forward on, make these steps if politically there is a sense that it is even more repressive today than before. that just the reality. >> rose: what happens when castro dies? ness. >> major question that cubans will face on the day castro dies is whether what is the time-- this not a regime that feels itself. >> rose: explain that to me. what is the time of -- >> that cubans don't feel, and i think would be utopian and silly to expect many things to happen that would change the regime. so no one in cuba expects anything to happen.
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>> rose: no one is going to wake up and say in the headline says you know, fiddle dead and say ah, let's march. they are just simply going to say what time is the funeral. >> one thing we have learned in the last couple of years since fiddle got sick is they prepared pretty well for a post fiddle cuba. >> rose: but can it stand? >> i think-- . >> rose: the question whatever their preparation, can it stand. >> i think if they make the changes on the economic front there is going to be inevitably an opening up but i think politically the controls are in place. and they have a bureaucrats that are there and the communist party and military and i think it is pretty strong. >> columbia, uribe was george bush's favorite latin american -- >> right, they were close buddies they were close buddies. and he is going to be out of office as of august 7th. there is going to be a new president. the elections is on may 30th. and so the constitutional court ruled that he cannot go for re-election. and so-- .
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>> rose: and will listen the constitutional court. >> he has. he has. he respected the constitutional court, the decision. it is under way, a very interesting campaign. we will find out who will be the next president. >> rose: who likely. >> there are two leading candidates right thought. curiously both of them are uribist, santos, the former minister of defense and the other is saline of the conservative party with former ambassador in spain and united kingdom. and there today in the lead, santos has about 30%, saline about 22%. then if they win they go to a second round in june or august. >> argentina. >> (laughter) >> that is what i wanted. >> argentina for a half century has waivered back and forth between periods when the vero nists were in power and they taxed their
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pex port sector to support a middle class that needs to be subsidized if it is to live. and when that creates inflation and declining exports because taxes are too high in the export sector, either a military coup occurs in the old period. or they get voted out and somebody else comes in. and now in the period where they are trying to subsidize urban life. the budget deficits are being concealed. inflation is rising. they are trying to use political means to keep inflation under control. and it's not working. so something has got to give. so the country is at a point where criticism of the government is escalating and making it more difficult for criticism to be heard. the they have last the last round. and probably when the next presidential elections come, the alternative will come to power. >> and how is their economic. >> their economic situation is not desperate but is not as good as it should be. >> they are not in good terms-- .
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>> rose: right. now in peru you had the shining path. >> right. >> rose: where is that kind of organization as a force in latin america. >> in columbia there is the fark insurgency which is very involved in the drug trade but also has the thee logical history and origins as well so they are the only remaining insurgency. >> for all practical purposes, i mean in different shapes and ways, democracy is the only game in town in latin america. >> is the only game in town. >> pretty much. pretty much it is understood in different ways. >> would you consider venezuela a democracy. >> that is the big discussion. the big discussion. for some people the definition of democracy comes from the way the leader acquires power. some of the people say that the role of checks and balances is just as
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important. so there is a-- that is one of the big discussions raging in latin america at the moment. >> there is a different balance of what democracy means in latin america for a lot of people. in the united states it tends to mean just limited to political rights and individual freedoms. and latin america is more of a tension between individual rights and political rights. and some form of social justice. some form of economic justice, that democracy is actually fulfilled by social welfare. that those two things are actually, you need to have both. and i think that we receive the emergence, the return of the left in latin america over the last ten years. the left, center left is this return to a conception of democracy that goes back, that rained that prevailed in the 1940s, 1930s, even in the united states, that you need not just freedom but some form of equality or at least some form of social welfare and i think that that. >> rose: some form of larger role for the state. >> this is a hugely positive story. in the last 20 years the
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latin american right which historically has been deeply suspicious of democracy has acquired a democratic vocation. you don't find rightests plotting military corp.s most of the time. honduras to the contrary notwithstanding. and the left is discovered that orthodox economic policy or nearly orthodox economic policies that involve fiscal responsibility, low rates of inflation and the right benefit their constituents, the poor, better than the policies that populist regimes in the past have followed. and there is a kind of a center in latin america that didn't exist before. and part of the reason why that is the case is because the united states is not persecuting the left. so it, when the left gets into power it knows that it must perform because if it doesn't, it will be thrown out in the next election. and since that's the case the right feels that democracy is working for it. >> if i may say something, there is this story about the latin american's turn to the left. but the fact of the mat
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certificate that as important as that story is, there is another story which is that most of the latin america became vegetarian. i mean it's a soft speaking left, most of it. and that was not the case in the '60s. >> and beyond politics. beyond the political level, americans are kind of an inspiration. oftentimes social scientists, we talk about how to account for the fragility of democracy. i think you have to turn that question on its head and account for the strengthened persistence of democracy considering all the violence and coups and overthrows that were visited on democratic movements throughout the 20th century, social movements in latin america, via mental movements, feminist movements, gay and lesbian movements, it's inspirational. it is really on the vanguard of local democracy, the movements for indigenous rights in the andes and mexico and central america. and we see in bundest ares m in arg stina, chile, expansion of gay and lesbian rights, even a rightist who just won in chile.
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he has had to make his peace with the modern world and accept some degree of sport for gay rights. we see in mexico city the legalization of civil unions if not marriage. >> every latin america country is a much better place than it was before precisely because of these social movements, the rise of a civil society in which citizens are now engaged. and a free press that has become quite vital, so vital and interesting that their efforts by governments to be, to try and restrict it. so i think where latin america is isn't a very good place. >> what's necessary for it to take off to realize its potential. >> the education system, improved justice systems, despite the progress of social movements and so forth. justice systems are extremly weak in latin america. corrupt in many countries. this was always the prompt once we had elections, the end of military regimes, elections, then justice
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would be strengthened, political parties would be strengthened. hasn't happened. and that is an education is dismal in latin america. the quality of education, people have access to education but the quality they are getting is low. so there needs to be a real commitment to improvements in institutions like the education sector, like the justice system. those are the pending challenges i think in many latin american countries. we have to educate the poor, tax the rich and grasp finally and completely the concept and importance of institutions in latin america. >> and a strong middle class. >> and i would add promoting macroeconomic policies that allow countries to experiment and foster and develop value-added industries. not macroeconomic policies that are just geared toward the financial sector. so and whatever those are, but allowing countries to experiment and find their own way and develop as opposed to washington which
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since the ends of the cold war, even before the cold war has promoted an economic reg seem kind of hemispheric economic policy that was really geared toward the financial sect. making sure latin america was locked in and sending rents and interests and debt to first world banks. what we saw what we see in the last ten years, different countries doing it different ways, some with greater or lesser success but trying to find ways to promote value-added industries. whether it be in bolivia, whether it be chile's diversification of its agricultural sector or whether it be brazil's enormous pharmaceutical and aerodynamic sector. but trying to find ways in which each country could promote value-added industries that are not completely subordinated to a kind of global financial regime. >> for me the big chall seng political. i mean the big challenge that this generation of latin americans have is how to reform political
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institutions, to nurture more cohessive and inclusive society was destroying democracy in the process. without destroying checks and balances in the process. >> you have to fix the social deficit but you can't do it in a way that simply pulls people in on the basis of their political affiliations but instead creates institutions that protect and property and civic rights of everyone. that will also mean an end to privileged access to government favor from elites that have created economies that are much less competitive than they should be. and but it would also mean to revive the dynamism of small and medium sized business in ways that would create employment and dynamism that don't exist now because many people who have opportunities or face opportunities and could contribute to economic growth in the region face an uncertain institution in the legal and political environment in which they don't know that their rights will be protected. >> i would just go back to the importance of human capital and the lack of that in latin america.
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latin america wants to be competitive and it very difficult global economy. it's going to have to improve the quality of its education. and really begin to take that seriously. >> and the quality of its leadership. >> well, the quality of its leadership i think is mixed. an i think the leadership has to-- has to deal with the interests that are standard in the way of these kind of reforms. it's very hard to make these justice reforms, education reforms because there are people that benefit from the statusco. and real leadership means taking them on. because for the benefit of the country and to be able to be successful, they really are going to have to fundamentally change these institutions. even in countries that have been successful like brazil and like chile these are pending challenges, i think. >> looking at sort of the power of nonstate actors in mexico, how is that going to -- >> you mean the drug cartel. >> yes. nonstate actors. i think this speaks to a larger issue. >> that actually a phrase i
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stole from someone. >> that we didn't touch on that is the mill terization of the u.s. anti-narcotic policy and brookings institution has done great work, it is a consensus emerging in latin america across the political spectrum that the war on drugs and columbia's one particular instance of it but this war on drug, he spent over a trillion dollars over the last, since may 1989 and it has been a complete disas trer. it is militarized and forecloses on other solutions. it leads to core rums. it leads to crime it leads to violence. just column-- colombia alone this comes back to mexico and central america. it has done nothing to stop the production of cocaine. it broke up the transport cartels. but it just telegraphed the violence and crime up through the is muss into central america and mexico and it has been compounded with particular decisions that philippe calderon has taken but the u.s. war on drugs has been the single
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most disastrous policy that washington has. >> whether it is mexico or colombia. >> wherever. it is time to end the drug prohibition regime and find some alternative to it that is more sensible. >> that is the problem. everybody knows that it's not working. but politically there aren't a lot of profiles in courage in washington on this issue that are willing to stand up and say. because they are worried that politically it is very, very difficult. >> and it is about ending the prohibition to think about it. >> more than anything. >> that is the first step. >> you can't even use the term harm reduction if you are an official in the u.s. government because it's too scary. you will get too many congressman coming after you. and that's the first step that has to be taken. >> in the meantime mexico is going through a very rough period and they need help. i mean you know, this is, i think this is the long-term solution, reframing the drug issue. but it's to the going to happen tomorrow. and mexico is facing an
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urgent crisis. and so they need to be also immediate support. >> mexico has another crisis that is looming and it may be even more important than the days headlines about the drug wars. and this is this is a country that is trying to run a modern economy and society on 13% of gdp it can't be done. not only that 40% of its tax revenues come from a declining petroleum sector because oil production is going down. mexico needs to tax its wealthy. it needs to tax its middle class. it needs to create sources of income that will allow it to address the social deficit, education and all the other things a modern society has to have. and until it does that, it's going to face lots of problems that are -- >> does latin parker have something to learn from asia? >> some some of these reforms, education reform and so forth that they have really made a lot of progress on that. i think latin america-- . >> rose: power an technology. >> yeah. >> science, technology, education, value-added. there have been taxes.
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>> taxes. >> taxes is the big pending issue in latin america. >> rose: the president, should he go and make a major speech on latin america, is it time for a major speech. >> there is no shortage of presidential speechs about latin america. every president makes a speech about latin america. it is what it is able to match words to deeds. >> always a risk of raising expectations. >> if you can't deliver and he's not committed to delivering. >> you can send an ambassador to havana, decide to change policy on several issues that are irritants in u.s.-brazilian relations including agriculture subsidies and prohibition of ethanol imports. you can approach other issues in central america and in the caribbean with a more constructive attitude toward the drug war. >> rose: thank you very much for a very interesting conversation. long overdue. so i thank you for coming. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> rose: thank you for joining us. we'll see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications
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captioned by media access group at wgbh
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