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tv   Our World  BBC News  October 7, 2017 4:30am-5:01am BST

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to free contraception. employers and insurance companies can now exempt themselves from providing birth control on religious or moral grounds. civil rights groups say they'll fight the move. spain has apologised to people injured during sunday's disputed referendum in catalonia. the catalan government could be just days from declaring independence from spain, but its former leader has warned the region's not ready to go it alone. vigils have been held in las vegas for the victims of the deadliest mass shooting in recent us history. police say they've followed up more than a thousand leads, but still don't know the motive for the attack that left 58 people dead and hundreds injured. now on bbc news, our world. his is probably the most recognisable face in latin america. perhaps one of the most iconic images in the world. synonymous with youthful rebellion, with socialism, with revolution.
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but today, 50 years after the death of che guevara, what does he mean in a fast changing cuba? as the communist run island evolves, some see his example as more relevant than ever. others see a different future ahead. one that breaks with the indoctrination and intolerance of the past. i've spent the past few years living on this fascinating island at a period of great upheaval, and want to know what el che means today. it's the start of another school day in cuba's capital, havana. and the seconds are ticking down
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to assembly at nicolas estevanez primary school in the city's vedado district. it's one of countless schools across the island in which the memories and achievements of the country's independence heroes are marked every day by children in their distinctive uniforms of the socialist pioneers. but there is one revolutionary who has a special place reserved in the education of these cuban children, whose name is repeated in unison every day, and has been for decades. that's not the first i've seen the morning assembly in a cuban school. and it's funny because on one
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level, it reminds you of when you were at school. but, of course, there's something here, something about the declaration towards undying commitment to communism and saying that you're going to be like che guevara that is purely unique to cuba. 50 years after his death, che‘s image still adorns the corridors of the primary school, as he does in schools across the country. for the headteacher here, wilder ladron, who exactly was che? camila granado was a pupil at this school herself before training as a teacher and returning three years ago. che looked down on her as she studied in these same classrooms. just as he still does on a generation even further removed from the original.
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ernesto guevara was a guerrilla commander, an experienced doctor, a man of the people. and right—hand man to fidel castro as he seized power in cuba in 1959. crucially, unlike some of those in the guerrilla army, che guevara was a committed marxist from the very start of the cuban revolution. and to this day, he remains a colossus in his adopted country's self image, as a bastion against imperialism and injustice. his last resting place, a beacon for tens of thousands of visitors and pilgrims every year from the world over. fascinated by a life documented by iconic photographs and projected as the epitome of romance and rebellion. ernesto guevara was born into middle—class buenos aires family and studied to be a doctor. but an adventurous streak saw him travel the continent. influenced by examples of us intervention in the americas, hejoined a group of exiled cubans
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led by fidel castro in their bid to remove the military regime in havana. the men under his command began to call guevara che. the argentine slang for friend. against the odds, after two years of guerrilla warfare in the sierra maestra mountains and in the cities, the bearded revolutionaries were victorious and took power in cuba. che‘s supporters saw in him the embodiment of the so—called ‘new man in socialism', the very driving force of the revolution. but to his opponents, he was ruthless and brutal. che might have settled down. but instead, he took the revolutionary struggle abroad. entering countries in disguise. who would have guessed that this smart businessman is in fact che guevara, preparing to reach congo to launch a guerrilla campaign. but che‘s enemies finally caught up with him and in 1967 the revolutionary icon was killed, fermenting rebellion against the us backed militaryjunta in bolivia.
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terrorist to some, the image of christ—like martyrdom to others. only five made it back from bolivia. and his fallen comrades are buried alongside him in this tomb in the town of santa clara. luis monteagudo fought with che in cuba and again during the revolutionary war in congo. still, today, he's under the spell of his comandante, che. what do you feel when you see your friend here? che was not alone in giving his life to international revolution. more than 2,000 cubans died fighting in conflicts around the world. and those who survived still revere him.
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what was che like as a leader and as a friend? if a young person from europe, from the united states or from africa was to come to you when they were visiting this space and say, well, what has the revolution achieved, what did it do? what would you say to them? but cutting dependency on the us came with repercussions. an economic embargo was imposed, which, together with a planned socialist style economy, has left enduring scars. in the country, empty roads cut through swathes of underdeveloped agriculture. while in havana,
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many homes are crumbling after years of underinvestment. the classic 1950s and soviet era cars aren't only iconic, they are a symbol of an island economically trapped in the past. but today, cuba is beginning to change. not least in its fractious relationship with washington. i have come here to bury the last remnant of the cold war in the americas. applause. recently, president trump has begun to roll back on that policy. however, the most obvious benefit of the new relations, a boost to tourism, so far seems unaffected. ironically, much of the tourism features the great marxist revolutionary himself. central to the island's brand, on every street corner, on every t—shirt. it's an irony that doesn't worry some, though. among them, che‘s son. who, as well as his distinctive features, also shares his father's first name, ernesto. along with an argentinian investor,
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the ernesto guevara runs a motorbike tour company named after che‘s famous bike of the motorcycle diaries, la poderosa, on which he toured north america in the 1950s. does his son sense the irony of building a capitalist enterprise on the life story of a marxist icon? with so many new tourists to the island, business is booming for la poderosa, and ernesto is a busy man. ernesto rarely talks to the media, but has invited me to ride with him to experience havana by motorbike. in its 3—year existence, la poderosa has taken advantage of new laws allowing private enterprise in cuba. previously, most private businesses were banned. today, la poderosa is gathering pace. it's close to paying back the initial foreign investment and operates a small fleet
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of the few harley—davidsons available on the island. on our tour, we'd arrived at a place of particular relevance to the story of el che — la cabana fortress. but la cabana is synonymous with another part of che‘s history. over his six months in charge here, dozens of men and women received summary trials and were sent to the firing squad. the decades have come and gone. so have the us presidents. but 50 years after che‘s death,
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his portrait still assumes place of honour at the nation's annual demonstrations. the late fidel castro stood at this podium for countless marches in his signature fatigues and peaked cap. today, his younger brother, raul, presides over proceedings. but with raul announcing he will step down early next year, it is perhaps as important as ever to demonstrate stability will reign on after the castros in cuba. this is the image that the cuban government want to project of cuban youth. loyal, dedicated and faithful. young people turning out to pay homage to the socialist project. this boy has been participating in the event since he was small. and he's clearly a committed revolutionary. many don't share his passion, though.
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in santa clara, beneath the mausoleum of che guevara itself, lies a poor neighbourhood known simply as the hole. the residents never had permission to build their wooden shacks and breeze block homes, so aren't legally recognised by the state. and with no formal address, the community can't receive basic services. gladys was born in this neighbourhood and has lived in it her entire life. but despite their proximity to one of the revolution‘s heroes, she says they've been ignored by the government for decades. the well worn strains of the song
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that immortalises che guevara, sung by the cuban bard silvio rodriguez. considered one of the revolution‘s most emblematic voices. the song is known off by heart by millions of cubans and encapsulates how the cuban state would like people to remember el comandante che. but that vision isn't shared by the singer's son, silvito el libre. his reality is very different. silvito‘s the cuba you don't know takes a hard look at the island, raising the kind of issues that the authorities prefer to keep under wraps. violence, social decay and police control. despite his uncompromising lyrics, silvito insists he is no opponent of cuba. but silvito‘s candour has brought him problems.
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he says he's been detained and his friends have been intimidated by the authorities. it's led him to move away from the island to tampa, florida, where he is free to follow his career as a rapper. do you think that fear is one of the legacies of the generation of el che, and fidel castro and raul castro? few know that better than the island's dissidents. among those calling for a new political system in cuba are the ladies in white. originally formed by the wives
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of political prisoners, their weekly protests to call for free elections are often broken up by the police and state security. the organisers, arbitrarily detained. they say they're calling for greater human rights on the island. the cuban government accused them of being mercenaries funded by right—wing anti—castro groups out of miami and washington. certainly the cuban government allows them no room to operate. this was their protest on the eve of a visit by president obama in front of the world's watching media. when our cameraman tried to film a weekly protest outside the lady's house, the police intervened. he was told he couldn't film there. and the police removed the camera from the scene as the mood began to heat up. what happened next was predictable and swift. a number of women were detained that day.
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it's a side of cuba thatjars with a new hip image of the island in the eyes of the rest of the world. in some cases, even the image of che guevara no longer appears sacred. his revolutionary beret and olive—green fatigues drained of ideology and deployed for striking effect on chanel models at their recent fashion show in havana. critics thought the show was condescending to ordinary cubans. flaunting the worst of capitalism's excesses in front of them. others thought it refreshingly reframed cuba as a global cultural icon for the 21st century. that's exactly what people like gabriela domenech would like to see. herfashion magazine, garbos, is only available through a revolutionary idea called el paquete, with very little internet permitted on the island it distributes global but not overtly political popular control via a semilegal system
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of downloading using hard drives. she is optimistic about the magazine's impact. in spite of all the difficulties we are facing in cuba, i think that young people, entrepreneurs, are very optimistic. all these kinds of people want to find their own way here in cuba. they are trying to find a way to make a different country with new ideas, new projects. there is a lot of optimism in cuba at the moment. i can't help but wonder, 50 years after his death, how che would feel if he viewed the island today. as the conversation turned back to che guevara, gabriela had an extraordinary revelation about her family for me. my grandfather died with che guevara. in bolivia. and he died struggling for the revolution, for the freedom of cuba.
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so i grew up with this feeling in my family and this is what the young people have now. this legacy and this force for struggling to get what we want. gabriela's grandfather, she told me, was orlando pa ntoja, a guerrilla who fought alongside che in bolivia exactly 50 years ago. he died in the battle in which che was captured. i was interested how gabriela's family connection to the world famous revolutionary influenced her life as an entrepreneur in today's emerging cuba. do you feel like you are inspired by the sacrifices of your grandfather and his generation or are you growing away from what they built? in despite, of course, i feel inspired by this legacy. he was struggling by what he wanted and i'm doing the same right now. having died so young, today che guevara is all things to all people.
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adored and reviled in equal measure around the world for his socialist legacy. but inside cuba his image has assumed almost spiritual significance. ever present in people's daily lives and struggles. as the island redraws its future, the uncertainty is tangible. amid the transition, che guevara is a source of continuity, even as today's cuba becomes further removed from the one he helped to create. hello there.
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we've had a treat over the last couple of evenings. some amazing sunset pictures and this was one of them actually from friday evening. beautiful colours there, all because the sun was setting underneath this bank of high cloud that's been streaming down from the north—west. another picture there, this time from coventry. you can see the layers of cloud. that cloud has been thickening and it's been bringing with it outbreaks of rain from the north—west. that's spilling down across england and wales. the rain not amounting to very much, but it does mean it's much more difficult to see the moon at the moment. a lot of cloud as we head into the weekend. throughout the weekend we'll continue to feed in cloudier skies, and probably on saturday you're more likely to catch some rain. should be drier across more of the country on sunday and probably that bit brighter as well. this is early saturday, though,
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and it's a dull start across southern parts of england, perhaps south wales. a bit of rain and drizzle around here. a little bit brighter, though, as you move northwards for a while. in other parts of wales, the midlands, already some showers feeding in on those stronger west to north—westerly winds. a lot of showers to begin the day in northern ireland. in scotland, these showers to the north of scotland could be rather heavy for a time. most of the showers in scotland and northern ireland will be in the morning. in the afternoon they become fewer and lighter. eastern scotland should see some sunshine poking through, a bit more shelter here. improving in the afternoon with some sunshine in north—east england. in between these drizzly rain bands that are moving towards the midlands and this rain that's stuck in the far south—west, we may get some unreliable breaks in the cloud for central, southern england, perhaps south wales. temperatures getting up to 16 or 17 degrees. not quite as warm as that, though, for the super league grand final. that's at old trafford. there will be some rain around here.
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it's going to be quite a dull and damp weekend on the whole across manchester. although this weather front is taking the rain away from the english channel. around the top of this flat area of high pressure, we're again drawing in a lot of cloud. so it's staying pretty mild overnight. we'll still have some of these drizzly showers around on sunday, especially in western scotland. a few running in across wales perhaps into the midlands. many eastern parts of england and scotland, perhaps southern england and south wales, much drier and brighter. a little sunshine, temperatures similar to those on saturday. into the early part of next week and we're going to find all our weather coming in from the atlantic. moving on more quickly over the coming few days, these systems weakening as they run across the uk. this is bbc news. i'm duncan golestani. our top stories: america's battle over birth control — civil rights groups vow to fight the trump administration's
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new rules blocking access to free contraception. catalonia's government could be just days away from declaring independence from spain, but its former leader warns the region's not ready to go it alone. vigils in las vegas for the victims of the deadliest mass shooting in recent us history. police say they've chased more than 1,000 leads, but the motive‘s still not known. a group campaigning to abolish nuclear weapons is awarded this year's nobel peace prize. and 30 years after the chernobyl disaster, sweden's wild boars are still contaminated with high levels of radiation.
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