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tv   Talk to Al Jazeera Carlos Fernandez de Cossio  Al Jazeera  May 29, 2022 10:30pm-11:01pm AST

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into question, the economic stability of columbia is use law market friendly politics em economy. so we're gonna have to see just in a few hours. paul's world closer, we can expect the 1st numbers to permanent quite quickly after that. thanks very much from guitar lesson ran the as your reporting to us, just wanna bring you these newly newly released images showing the level of devastation caused by heavy rainfall and northeast and brazil. on friday and saturday, at least 44 people are now known to have died in the resulting floods and landslides, dozens and missing. most of the deaths reported any parent nam book or sate capital receive fed. it's brazil's 4th major flooding event in 5 months as raise questions about the role of climate change. ah, look at the main stories now and thousands of flag waving israeli ultra
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nationalists of march. they were occupied east jerusalem during a deeply device of parade. the annual flag march organized by ultra nationalists, jewish groups marks israel's illegal occupation of east jerusalem after the war. in 1967, some jewish worshippers pride in the alex. i'm most compound violating. a longstanding agreement, though confrontations between palestinian residents in the old city and members of the ultra nationalists, jewish groups, israeli security forces detained several people there. and it us present. joe biden is in of all the texas meeting families who lost loved ones in america's worst school shooting. and nearly a decade. he's renewed calls for stronger gun control measures. your state department will investigate the police response to the shooting 19 at school children and 2 teachers were killed. talk to al jazeera is the program coming up next, but there before that we leave you with memories of our colleague sharika abil actually
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ah, no, not a yeah . a
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a ah ah. as the leaders of the americas prepared to gather in los angeles on june 6th for their 9th regional summit, the white house has announced it will exclude cuba. arguing the communist lead country doesn't meet the require democratic standards. you as cuba relations have been hostile, ever since fidel castro's 1959 revolution in 2016 president brock obama
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became the 1st u. s. president to visit the island in almost 9 decades. calling his trip a quote, historic opportunity to leave the cold war behind. but then a good president, donald trump, all opportunities were last january 2021. the white house, designated cuba as a quote state sponsor of terrorism and accused it of malign interference and venezuela and the rest of the western hemisphere. and now under president joe biden, relations remain tense as this administration accuses habana of human rights violations against cubans who protested against their government last year. this, amid the largest exodus of undocumented cuban migrants to the united states in more than 40 years. so what's next for the 2 neighboring countries? i'm going to see in human in havana and i've come to the cuban capital to meet with
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the man in charge of us affairs, the deputy foreign minister of the republic of cuba, catalyse hernandez, the conceal talks to al jazeera. ah, mister finance course, he'll thank you for joining us. suppose there's a lot to talk about. but i'd like to start with the surprise announcement by the biden administration. that apparently it does, does not want to invite cuba to the upcoming summit of the americas. what does that imply? we have said that a summit that excludes some countries of the region. it's an exclusive ah summit. it's not a site, not an inclusive summit. it's a summit that arch chooses on a whim which countries could attend and which could not. based on the attempt to perhaps have a foot walbert unity or showing a that you had a meeting that that could be political convenient. but if you're going to have the
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summit, you're going to spend money on it. if you're going to go to the trouble of convening, heads of state and government, it would be to discuss the difficult problems that we have in our region, which are difficult. some of them are controversial and for the summit to be successful. the useful thing to do, and the fair approach to take would be to have everybody in have everybody put forward their points of view, even if you don't like them, if you're going to host or something. but what was cuba planning to bring to the table and that summit, which is supposed to emphasize the migration problems that are afflicting the region. i mean, there is an unprecedented exodus of people from all over the region, including cuba. at this moment, there's an old saying that if develop this not truly begin to trickle south, it will end up creeping north under development will be creeping north. and therefore, if you do not solve the economic and social problems of the region, it is very difficult for the northern countries, in this case, the united states,
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to stop the flow migration, legal or illegal. this is already recognized by the leaders of the united states. the president, vice president, several many members of the government have said that to address the issue migration, you need to tackle the problems, the economic and social problems of the region with cooperation, with investment, with technical and financial assistance. yes. in the case of cuba, the official policy and the policy that is being applied is one of an economic blockade aimed at making life as difficult as possible, as unbearable as possible for the people to purpose with the purpose of diminishing the standard of living of the cuban population that in itself is an impulse for people to migrate to the developed countries above all, the united states, which has a standing policy of invitation. united states stimulates migration both regular,
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but above all irregular migration. and a cuban that arrives to the cuban to the u. s. border. as a difference to the migrant from any other country in the world. we have a privilege ah attitude by the you authorities. it has a high percentage of possibilities or being accept. that doesn't happen to any one else from the region or from other other parts of the world. the figures are over 90 percent of them. if they do reach the border, they end up being accepted in the united states and therefore the cuban migrant. things that if he does reach the border, he has a high possibly the higher than anyone else will be. accept my, if you add to that, the fact that since 2017, the u. s. shut down the processing of migrant visas in havana in the embassy in heaven. and it doesn't grant legal avenues for cubans to migrate united states. then the individual that has a depress economic condition in invitation to go to the united states and no legal
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avenue to migrate. it is a great problem possibility. oh, for that person to take an illegal irregular disorderly manner to enter into that state. that's the problem we're facing the case of que, i'm going to ask you more about the causes of that migration in a minute. but you've just come back from washington where you headed. the 1st official face to face talks between the cuban and u. s. government and for years precisely about migration, what if anything was accomplished i what was accomplished was those, ah, there was a good level of discussion on the causes of this migration. the issues that needed to be solved and a mutual recognition that the agreements that exist agreement, the, the bilateral agreements on migration that exists between the 2 countries i'm talking about basically 199-495-2017 should be implemented fully comprehensively. not in a selective met, there was a mutual understanding in that and a commitment to implement those agreements about what does that mean?
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specifically, it means grant and basically, granting these us in cube to begin to process migration visas again in havana, in a meaningful manner for the united states to fulfill its commitment of a minimum of $20000.00 pieces a year for cuban migrants that has not been been accomplished or fulfilled since 2017. therefore, you have an accumulation of cubans that could have migrated 60 to 80000. that could have migrated, that fall, no legal way to, to get to the united states. and to, and to fulfill the goal, which is to move to united states. so that's an important step. and there was agreement that, that needed to happen. how and when and with which speed is something still to be seen. but there was a commitment to reestablish the migratory processing and to again reached the point of $20000.00 pieces
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a year. and i understand that in exchange for this, cuba would agree to accept deported cubans, cubans that the united states does not agreed to allow to stay or considers ineligible for residence. that's part of the commitment of 27th of the agreement of january 2017. that we would receive people that upon arrival in the united states are considered not to be acceptable. and the u. s. government decides to report them back to you. we agreed to take them, but we fulfilled that part of our agreement until the panoramic began to coven panoramic. but we, we understand that as part of our commitment, what we said, the agreements need to be implemented comprehensively. not, not selectively. as we all know, tuba is undergoing a huge exodus of its citizens right now, the largest since the 1980 is actually why do you think that is? there's a combination of factors. one is the difficult economy conditions of the country
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that are the result of an economic crisis. the pandemic. and also a pullet, a policy from the united states, its official policy, deliberately aimed at making life difficult for the people of the u. s. has an overwhelming influence around the world. so the effect on the cuban population is not only that, that directly comes from not trading or not receiving any financial ah, activity with united states. it is the impact to the united states around the world . financial institutions that do not want to engage with cuba because of fear of the cost was that they could have in gauging, trade or commercial activity with cuba of trade organizations of, of companies that used to export to cuba and the want to export anymore. or companies that refuse to import cuban product to import cuban products. because of the trade relationship that they have with united states. the capacity of cuba to conduct its logical international trade or economic relations are
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difficult and faced obstacles because of us pressures around the world. and this is not something new, it is within the u. s. law, the hillsburg law forces us government. it's an obligation of the u. s. government, according to that law, to pressure the governments of other countries for them to severe the economic relationship with cuba. well, does that part of the problems that we have? we also have, as i said again, what the u. s. calls the pool effect. the invitation by not fulfilling their agreements part of their agreements in 2017 was not to accept anymore. cubans that reached their borders. they stopped doing that and he started accepting cubans. in march of this year, us accepted. $32000.00 cubans in a month. $32000.00 cubans in a month. illegal migrants not just reach the border of the united states. cubans
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that want to migrate and hear that news and learn about it. they say there's an avenue there. there's a way to enter the united states if you use the illegal channel. and yet, panama, which is the, make, the practically the only way out of here to get to another country through copper airlines. so you can get, for example, to nicaragua, which does not require a visa for cubans to make it know what has just implemented or the demand for transit visa. and your government says that that is from pressure. that is the cause by pressure from the united states to, to stop the cubans from coming. so it seems to be a contradiction which the united states does not deny. what we are saying is that this is very unfair to cubans. cubans out want to migrate, want to leave the country. some of them are just travelers. they don't want to migrate, but now they are demanded. and these are discriminatory treatment of humans that the rest of blood, the americans don't have. they are demanding
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a transit visa to go to panama, including cubans that have a residence in other countries. the region chile, argentina, brazil, they require a transit visa to go through panama. that is this discriminant, this treatment of cubans. the result of pressure is by the united states government that the u. s. government has not denied this exodus. you just said yourself more than 30000 cubans have left in just one month. if accelerated, after the unprecedented, the very short lived uprising that took place last year in this country. and i think the only way you can describe it is that the reaction from the government to those who went out on to the streets to demand economic changes. political changes was very harsh. we're talking about prison sentences of up to 30 years for people who threw a stone or broke a window. i would disagree with your characterization of what happened 1st. one of the basic reasons that is pushing migration is people saw that the policy of the
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biting government is exactly the policy that from government which is maximum pressure toward cuba. so they see that their economies opportunities in the country under the great power and the great influence of the united states. it will continue and that there are conditions in queue, but will continue to be difficult. now your characterization of the government reaction to what happened on july 11th. you're saying heart center prison says that how many people went out of the street on that day. 10015008 few 100 were called into question detention or prosecuted. meaning that it is wrong to say that people were punished for peaceably prostate, protesting because a 1000 went out, never saw the inside of a police station. never had to talk with a policeman. they just protested. and that was it. the sentences you qualify them harsh for the for breaking window,
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you don't see any 30 or sentence for any one for snowing, a rock and breaking window. you don't know that. now on that date, there were vehicles that were burnt. there were our tax and police stations that were attacked to a pediatric linux. there was vandalism. all of that in cuba is illegal. anyone who conduct activity in cuba must expect that they will have to face the impact of a law and that they can not live with impunity by doing act of that nature. while i've heard different stories from the relatives of the people now in prison, young people in the vast majority, 19 year olds, who are in prison for 20 years, but leverage you make me remember something, excuse me. you must have spoken with the relatives of most of the imprisoned people around the world, including the united states. and do you take for granted what they say about there were photos, families, and rules. there were photos and films, but there were photos of cars being burned. there were photos of police station
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being in fact there were, there were photos of aggression against civilian there, worse, there were photos of vandalism, of people stealing object, 30 years of peaceful protesting. i didn't say they were peaceful, but let me, what would you remind me of? it's something that president fidel castro, one said, when they were troubles here before he said, i guess a luminous got me in thought. we have to set an example. is that what these sentences meant to do to put, to send a message to cubans that they could not go our massively onto the streets to protest. but that is a huge fabrication publication coming out of the u. s. government that 1st began to say at the protest were for weeks when evidence showed that it wasn't so low, i cannot say that this was true to set an example. this was the implementation of the law in cuba. at people can not do illegal activity and cause harm with empiric any country will react in the way in latin america in latin america,
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where there has not been any campaign by the u. s. government. there are people whose eyes have been taken up in chile, in columbia income in some of these countries that have been dozens of massacres within one year. none of that happened in cuba. none of that. and do you say that when dod 1st in the latin american countries, this is to set an example, was this a qualification only for cuba? cuba has, of course, been at odds with the united states for 61 years. and the embargo of blockades as cuba calls it from the united states has been ongoing fact. it's much harsher now than it was for many, many years. yet that is something that you probably won't be able to change. how can the cuban government, or what can the cuban government do to convince it? citizens do not want to leave on your own merits. not something that depends on the united states. because that's the case i give up. i think you're right,
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there's nothing in the horizon that tells us that the us economic policy to try to punish cuba and to make life as difficult as possible for the cube people is going to change the near future. the current government doesn't seem inclined in that direction in any way, so it is clear for us and our government and our president has been very clear on that, that we need to build our own development. we need to solve equally problems, stabilize our economy, a chief prosperity, and make life here. so like humans, find that their future and their possibilities of improving their living standards is within the country. it's a difficult task. no developing country has achieved it. we think that we can are spoken to cubans who support the revolution. i'm not talking about opponents who, who, who say that they want to, to got returned to a capitalist society. but even people who support a socialist system tell me that they believe that this country needs to open up
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more and be more pluralistic, both ideologically and economically. i wouldn't disagree with that. our government is clear, a government is convinced that we need to open the economy and our constitution, the one we adopted in 2019 offers opportunities of different actors of the economy, were doing a step by step basis, incorporating new actors. you must have read, one must have seen that there are the deal small, medium size enterprises that have be established in cuba in the past 6 months or 2000 of them. those were actors of the existing human to pass. and the relationship between those which are private, small, and medium size enterprise, but also state owned. the relationship between them has to grow, has to be regulated a framework, the blueprint needs to be established for them to grow. but that doesn't stop us. and we also believe that we need more discussion and more open discussion. thank you by different sectors of society,
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of different generations. and we said that and it's been done. what we're not ready to do is to sacrifice a social system in cuba. we're not ready to do is to give an opening for those who want to sabotage a system that for cubans, insures independence, social justice, and the possibility of our country to give opportunities to all. not just for the few and a system that protects cuba from the control of transnational corporations. and what happens in the government, which is a problem that you faced all over the world, including our region, going back to the pressures from the united states government, the embargo, the sanctions, and possibly the exclusion from the summit of the americas. one could argue the cuba hasn't made it very easy for the by did ministration, either to, to ease some of those sanctions. would your government consider, for example, giving an amnesty to some of those people who are incarcerated after the uprising
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in july last year. it's a symbol, it would be strange for the, by an administration to claim that cuba has not been helpful. or even the u. s. government unilaterally stopped implemented the migratory agreements. the u. s. government unilaterally has imposed over 240 horse measures against cube. some of them very drastic, like trying to deprive cuba from the supply of oil. interrupting remitted as that are needed by the people stop title 3 or of halliburton. persecuting governments, and pressuring governments that accept human medical cooperation. all of this has been done unilaterally, on the basis of false pretenses, proclaimed by the trump administration. the current government does not repeat or does not give credit to any of those pretext,
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used by the trump administration. yet it continues to apply the same policy. if all these actions were absolutely unilateral, why would it be on q was side to try to make concessions for the us to do the correct thing? the policy of the us against job in economic turns today is nothing short of criminal. it's a criminal policy to punish the livelihoods of people during cove it. as a result of that policy, many people died that should not have died because we had the medical capability on normal conditions to face that reality. many people die, they should not a day, not only of common, but of all other chronic diseases. i would say, so why would cuba have to make concessions for us to stop applying a policy that is criminal? and that is clearly unfair. what if, for example, donald trump, would it be reelected? it's not as far fetched as it may sound right now. what is key we're going to do
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then? it's a reality that we face and will continue to do what we're doing. what's the difference between donald trump and joe biden, for cuba today? asked the people of cuba industry. if there is a difference between donald trump and you're biting for them, say, perhaps, but record numbers of your citizens are leaving the country. they are tired, they've been hearing for 61 years that they have to resist fatherland or death. some people say it's just too long to wait. it's severe, unfair situation. but it is correct if you look at the nature and the origin of the policy united states against cuba is as to make life is on bearable, if possible, to create a situation of want so that people rebel against the government. is that correct? is that right? we won't change the policy of the united states against cuba. nothing that we do, nothing that we do will change the policy. it's written in law. it's in the helms burton law. it is
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a law or the land with united states. no amnesty. no action taken by q was going to change that. it is a unilateral position of the u. s. government, based on the power is and might, is right. and cuba can not change that regardless of what we do. you're sure about that. i'm sure about that. there's will be any change in the us regardless of what cuba does. history has shown up short of a more pluralistic a political system like a multi party system. and it who says madison interest of the united states, some of the best allies are the united states, are flavin violators of human rights. totally and democratic some of the best allies. there is no record. there's no record today and there's no record in history. but human rights, pluralistic society or democracy are truly a priority of the us government. there is no record to support that notion whatsoever. finally, i'd like to ask you, what would you say to present invite and if you had him on the phone right now,
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about the fact that he doesn't want to invite cuba to the summit of the americas. when that was one of the things that the vast majority of the countries of the region fought for for so many years, the i would say, i doubt that he would speak with me. but i would say that if you're going to call it a summit, you could call a summit of a part of the america. you cannot cali some of the america. if you guys could some, you should not fear having frank dialog, even when there are differences. and there are differences in the region, and there are problems, immense problems or regions, but the countries need to talk about countries of the region are claiming that'd be an inclusive summit. and that cuba being the u. s. should pay attention to it. mister finance is the quasi of thank you for talking 12 with
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