tv NBC 6 South Florida Today at 11am NBC March 21, 2016 11:00am-11:30am EDT
this is a wonderful sentiment this is going in the right direction. we have an expert with us, professor richard tapia from miami-dade college. professor of political science and he's talking a lot with us this morning about really what this means, more importantly what it possibly could not mean for the people of cuba. so many questionstill surrounding exactly what is going to happen from this day forward and especially looking at -- we're looking at a change in presidents here in the united states too. you know, with new faculty takkg over, a strong foundation laid now could take us many, many years down the road in term of a positive direction with our relationship. >> certainly, if you are watching this, if you are a cuban or cuban american, it has to be pulling emotions, whether it's outrage or a sense of hope. we have jackie d jawann who have been there several days now and talking to folks there and getting a sense of how they are feeling and how they are taking this trip in. i believe we have them in the phone with us.
actually able to see what we see here in the palace of raul castro and president obama shaking hands and talking to each other and meeting with local dignitaries and congressmen. what can you tell us that people are saying there? >> well, i'll tell you one thing, first of all, other than the presidential visit, the biggest story of the day here is the wind. it's really windy and cloudy and rainy here today, but, of course, president obama, a big day for him today, especially what just happened a few moments ago, shaking hands with raul castro at the palace of the revolution and also this access that the media is gettingto the president, it's really unprecedented how close they are getting to president obama, jawann. >> absolutely, jackie. going back to your question, sheli. there's a split. there's definitely still a divide whether it's in south florida or here on the i'll. here on the island, many of the people i spoke wiwi especially, some of the stories that we've
that there's hope, hope for a better tomorrow, for a better future, if t for them, for generations to come, so that's theay they see this whole thing. going back to the video of jackie, that jackie was talking about there, what you guys have been witnessing, it's just monumental. seeing the president here on the island, you have to understand, this is something that's been 88 years, almost 90 years. i mean, this is incredible, jackie. >> yeah, president coolidgeho came 88 years ago, came on a shift. president obama said it took coolidge three days to get here and it took him three hours. we talk about this last night when air force one landed at the airport, jose marti airport. it was rainingngats and dogs and raining all night. this morning, not raining as much, but it's still very cloudy as the president made his way to lay the wreath at jose marti
we're here at march 13th park and right behind us is the museum of the revolution. they are palace of the revolution, right now. they are going to be having their official meeting, of course, president obama and raul castro, at the same time michelle boem -- obamaill be meeting with cuban girls here to get their take and of course, both daughters came as well, sasha and ma leah. we've been seeing pictures of raul castro, the cuban leader here alongside president obama throughout havana. you are taking a live look at both leaders sitting down as the ceremony continues. what you witnessed a little bit earlier, you witnessed president obama shaking hands with raul castro. there have been some questions as to why the leader did not come out to greet president obama at the airport. a lot of us have wondered about that.
castro shaking hands with president obama. that!s what you are looking at right now, as the two leaders are side by side, along with secretary of state john kerry. >> if you hear from the administration, they say that wasn't part of the plan, to have cuba's leader raul castro at the airport to greet him. a lot questions surrounding that decision, b he was there for the pay pal vit -- papal visit and other dignitaries arrived. they played first the cuba natiool anthem and our national anthem and president obama with his hand over his heart, a very moving moment to hear our national anthem being played at the palace of the revolution, certainly another monument tal moment here in cuba. we mentioned it's going to be a very busy day, including a state
dignity dignitiaries. we're see the secretary of state here as well. significant, all of the first moments that we have seen from that shaking of hands between both leaders here in havana, to the wreath-laying ceremony, to the air force one landing at jose marti airport. many firsts here today. >> definitely, and, of course, getting back to the divide here and the way that some feel about the president's visit because yesterday was a very contentious day here on the island with many arrested, jackie. >> we saw that firsthand, as a matter of fact. there's a little church here in havana and the ladies in white were protesting and it was a peaceful prqtest and yet they really rounded them up and they detain many of the women that were there, and also men as well, because we interviewed several dissidents. sanchez had been detain right
so it has been a crackdown on dissidents on the island. we have not seen this in some quite some time and of course with the presidential visit, i think they want to keep everything separate and that's why this is happening here in havana. >> not only in havana but in south florida as well with the cuban exiled community. laura rodriguez did a story on that last night. she was talking about how many of them are very upset with the president's visit here on the island. but again, an histsric moment, a lot of firsts that we did not think we would ever see maybe in our lifetime and a lot of things that have transpired in the past 14 months since that annououement was made about restoring relations with cuba. >> some of the dissidents i spoke with yesterday they had hoped there would be a meeting with president obama. of course, we have heard that administration officials will be meeting with the dissidents. they expect to meet with president obama himself, so -- to tell him theirtory and what is hapning here and what they
expression, the diversity, and the way people think to be accepted in havana and these are very important points that they want the message to be clear to president obama. in this normalization of relions that happened in december 2014, now, there hasn't been much change in terms of trickling down to the people and the basic human rights. we have seen a change in terms of them talking to us. if we ask about them, how they feel about the relationship, this new-found relationship between the u.s. and cuba, they will express themselves freely. that's something we hadn't seen in the past. so that is a change. but other than that, it's been very slow from december to today, so it will be interesting to see how this presesential visit will impact what happens to the people here in cuba. >> definitely not something that is going to happen overnight as far as change is concerned. many people will hope for speedy change, but that's something that's going to take years to possibly happen.
big bunesses coming in here to cuba. we heard the big announcement about starwood hotels coming in and wegre talking about three hotels beingngstablished by the end of the year, and, of course, the first american business to coco in since the revolution. also, okay, so also right now you are taking some more -- taking a live look at some of the pictures now still happening with the ceremony that's taking place right now. >> we're seeing video of what happened as he was laying the wreath down at jose marti memorial and throngs of media surrounding him. this is access that quite frankly we haven't seen from president obama and how close they were abab to get to him really unprecedented. interesting to see if this was ploorntd, but as you were talking about, the president will be meeting with business leaders and i know that joe areola is here, carlos sol de
phillip is here. it's interesting to see what happens as these conversations transpired. many are trying to get into cuba. carnival cruise corporation is trying to get a business here. it was a british company and we saw a lot of passengers getting off that cruiseship and walking down old havana, spending their money in littleafes and bars and little gift shops. so a lot of amican businesses that are trying to get in on the action here inhavana as well and that will be a big part of the discussion today with the business leaders and president obama. >> so right now you are taking a live look it the pictures and you see that president obama is signing some documents right now, and it's hard for us to see these images out here where
back to some of the things that jackie said, ain, these are some slow changes that are king place right now, but we have seen some of these changes. we saw a money machine. it wasn't a u.s. atm machine, but it was a money machine and to you it was something -- wow, a money machine here on the island, that's something that you didn't see before. >> important to note, not american banks. you can't use your visa, your master card or your american express in these machines. they are european banks. so we cannot use -- we cannot use those atms, but we're going to stay here. we're in march 13th park in old havana. we're going to be coveng this historic presidential visit but for now we're tossing it back to the studio. zwr thank you so much. wonderful job covering this historic visit by president obama and a lot still to be discussed. a lot still to be talked about and there are political@
political implications. this is an emotional thing. i asked jackie, as a cuban american, what do you feel right now? there was so much celebration. it was a long pause. they she said it was mixed emotions. as a cuban american you want to see the best for the people of cuba, you want to see their lives improve. there's no reassurance that's going to happen. you don't want to forget what generations in the past havegun through under the castro regime. a very emotional mixed bag of emotions hehe. >> moving, surreal andou have folks who now are starting to feel more comfortable when you talk to these cubans in cuba, you notice the younger generation talks more often than the older generation. talking to many cubans there in cuba, they will not reference them as raul castro or fidel, they say the brothers, or the government.
>> it says a lot. >> it says a lot right here, raul castro listen to the "star-spangled banner" standing next to the united states flag. >> they mentioned cruise ships and atms, these are things they are taking notice of. especially jackie who has been there. this is commonplace here. theseare things going on in cuba that hopefully are signs that president obama and the obama administration has been pushinin for the last two years. we will continue with our coverage. when we come back from a quick eak, we'lll have live pictures with this historic meeting
the easy way for touchably soft feet. suits me and my new shoes. new amop\ pedi perfect wet & dry. amop\. love every step. >> welcome back, everybody, and our continued live coverage of president obama's historic trip to cuba. in cuba, we're looking live in havana cuba right now. esident obama spending his first full day in the island beginning at the plaza of la revolution, where fidel castro delivered a lot of speeches denouncing the united states and a lot of other countries. >> you saw video in our newsroom minutes ago, the commander in chief getting swarmed by reporters moments after a wreath-laying ceremony. unprecedented right there. >> unprecedented that reporters
this. that's not something that has happened on any dignitiaries ooer visits to that nation. not everyone is praising the historic step. you are looking at video here taken in the last 15 minutes. a small group of protesters is what you are looking at. they have gathered for a second traight day in little havana. >> thanks for joining us and nbc 6 is everywhere. ckie nespral and jawann strayeder. what can you tell us about what the sentiment is at this point? >>le with, there's definitely a divide that is going on here, whether it's on the island or in south florida wh the cuba exile community, but again we are live here in havana as the president and the first family continues their first full day here on the island nation after
>> it's an historic day, an historic trip for president obama and the first family. as you can see it's a very windy day here in havana. after the front came through yesterday. it was raining all nigig yesterday. we woke up to cloudy skies and a lot of wind. were situated in old havana. behind us is the museum of revolution. that's where we're at. very close to where president obama is and, of course, we saw historic-making today with a wreath laying ceremony. >> yes, we did. >> ceremony, paying homage to jose marti. you saw president obama and ul castro shake hands as well as listening to our national anthem and the cuban national anthem as well. >> very poignant to hear our national anthem here in havana. a very poignant moment. they continue to have a busy
of course, he continues with talks with raul castro and other dignitaries here in cuba. of course, he will meet with some business leaders and mrs. obama will meet with cuban girls here in havana, tonight it's the state dinner at the palace of the revolution. a busy schedule for the president and first lady before they take off for havana. >> what do cubans on the island think and feel? there's another side of cuba, the other side of cuba that some say that thee president will never see that exists here. i spoke with a family about their day-to-day struggles. take a look. >> driving through cuba, you see paved roads and what looks like clean streets of well-kept neighborhoods. maybe a different image the cuba government wanted to portray to president obama on his visit to the island, but this is the other side.
] a wake up call forsome. cubans living in deplorable conditions. homes made of crumbled brick, rotted wood and bathrooms you won see in an american prison. this man welcomed us into his home and introduced us tois family. they live in a neighborhood whe they struggle to live day-to-day on about $30 a month. he goes on to say what i can tell you here that a pair of shoes are very expensive. a worker here for example, minimum salary 800 pesos. it' not enough to buy a pair. they showed us other areas of their small community split-up into several homes made up of aluminum panels and wood planks. >> wow. >> if you lived on the second floor, that meant climbing a broken ladder to get to your home.
bad as some of the homes below. >> this is the bathroom right here. this is pretty much the kitchen. along with a room, somebody is sleeping right now. >> the roof on some of thmse homes with little protection from the weather. now, here is a look from above that gives you a better idea of just how small and unsafe many of t tse homes are, and even in their daily ssuggles, many of the cubans here still have their faith, the outside of this door reads in spash, god protect our home. but despite the struggle, many here are still joyfyf, happy about life, family, and something they always carry with them, hope. and hope is what they beleeve president obama brings to the cuban people on the island. >> translator: yes, i believe it. i think he will change this life we're living. >> i think after that we should go to my package. now, the family in that
expected to move from that home and to another home. the government will relocate them. they just don't have a date or time just yet on when this may happen. later on, we'll hear from the story. we'll hear alittle bit more about that hope that she has that things will get better, not only maybe r her but for generations to come. >> jawann i'm so glad we did this story. in our avels in cuba, as we walk the streets, we've seen a lot of those conditions for the cuban people. not too many people see that side of cuba. we don't know if president obama will see that. something else that's happening we've been talking about. protests on the island as well as in miami, for that wre going to go to steve lits who is at versailles with some of the protests at havana. >> reporter: hi jackie, a little
take a look. there's street paving machine. protesters out here, you can see putting a mr. obama's picture and then rolling right over it with tha of heavy equipment there, just one way they are expressing their anger out here, as to how upset they are that this day is actually happening. these protests out here, we're live outside versaillele out here in little havana. these happen on a regular basis. sometimes even weekly. day, they have stepped up their efforts today. all of these people we talked with, just keep on talking about and they are very loud about their opinions about how they think it is just flat-out wrong and mr. obama is in cuba today meeting with raul castro, let alone warming relations and doing business with the castro brothers. you know, it got a little tennis -- tense here a little earlier today.
wearing a shirt and walked through this area with a man and boy, they got the attention of protesters out here. she had a trail of protesters following her, screaming at her, of course, the man was -- the woman wearing the jake vagara shirt, they started following her and screaming at her. that is the c cor out here, guys. we expected protests. the street sweeper, that was elaborate. 99% of the people is are the opinion that today is a horrible day. i did talk to one woman on the other side of the street, she
today. live in little va hannah, i'm steve litz. thank you. a lot of anger, a lot of people upset in the cuba exilil community about the president's trip here. >> you can't talk about this historic visit without talking aboul the dissidents movement here in cuba. it has existed since the cuba revolution. they have been around protesting. these are strong people that have come out against the government, but there's also a new movement of dissidents and they are making their voices heard and they are making their voices loud, and we talked about the state of the dissidents movement today here in havana. >> you can't report on the normalization of relations wii cuba without talking about position from the old timers, sanchez, and the ladies in white to the new dissident movement.
of people have a great fear to be here and joining us in this march because they know what are the outcomes. >> at a small church in havana, a peaceful demonstration. >> president obama in previous months sa he wouldn't visit cuba if human rights didn't improve. >> the obama administration is expected to meet with key members of the opposition movement. >> if the meeting take place, i would tell president obama that it is important that fundamental rights and the freedoms need to be in the main position. >> they have received prison sentences for their message but fear is not a part of that vocabulary. >> they can't scare me anymore. i've been livng in fear for 48 years. it's useless. i don't have the capacity of sensing fear. >> he was on a hunger strike that ended with the release of over 100 political prisoners and what will be their message to
>> translator: i would like president obama to talk about human rights, freedom of expression, bipartisanship, talk about democracy and tolerance of diverse ideas. >> that is the message that the dissidents hope to be able to get to president obama. of course, they want to meet with him personally.. the administration has told us that administration is going to meet with the dissidents. it will be very interesting tomorrow to see i in fact president obama or who in his administration meets with the dissidents, but certainly that is their hope, that they can make a difference with these talks with the president. >> it definitely shall be interesting. >> for jackie nespral and i'm jawann strader. thanks so much for your coverage. we'll check in with you at 5:00 for more. such a fascinating thing happening out there. so much has happened in 50 years. so few people have gonenen and
you this midday out of havana, cuba. >> two disturbing incidents happening out ofusic festival. one of them a rape investigation. we'll have that coming up. >> i'm ari odzer, the rape investigation concerns an employee who allegedly raped someone here. sunshine trying to return to our skies but as for a warm-up, not happening. what a transition we've made with temperatures stuck in the lower and mid 60s. i thinkk more sunshine but also more wind the rest of the afternoon. one of the coldest nights we've