tv Institute for Policy Studies Discussion on U.S.- Cuba Relations CSPAN November 8, 2019 4:30pm-6:08pm EST
theemma. thanks for the update. >> watch the c-span networks networks live next week at the house intelligence committee holds the first public impeachment hearings. the committee led by chairman adam schiff will hear from three state department officials starting wednesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span three. the top u.s. people met in ukraine william taylor and deputy assistant secretary of state george kent will testify. and then on friday at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span two former ambassador will appear before the committee. read witness testimony from the deposition and find the transcripts at c-span.org/impeachment. a discussion about current u.s. relations with cuba. we hear about the impact of the u.s. embargo, changes in the country over the last five years , and how cubans perceive
foreign policy in the united states. hosted by the institute for policy studies, this is one hour and a half. >> the institute for policy studies, for those who don't know, and i should know, but sometimes the wording is a little hard to remember, is a progressive think tank dedicated to building a more equitable and ecologically' sustainable and peaceful society and turn policies into action.
that is where you are. events coordinator here at the institute for policy studies. i will also mention a couple of relevant applications outside. and the , and nowonal community that the cuban five are free, we work for the end of the u.s. blockade against cuba and normalizing relations between the united states and cuba. also, i'm an organizer in the black alliance for peace, which stands against all unilateral sanctions. today, you will hear a presentation that will unpack the current relations between the u.s. and cuba. a lot of misnomer's and popular misconceptions about cuba that are a result of many reasons and strained relations.
and then we also want to hear about the benefits of a normalized u.s.-cuba relations for both the people of cuba and the people of the united states. to so we are -- i'm going turn it over to miguel who will give this presentation. it will be great. i'm sorry. a lot of people know why that mistake happened. it used to be something for so long. since 2014, it is an official embassy. so i'm going to turn it over to him. he will give a presentation and then we will open it up for questions and answer for a half-hour and then we will be done. let me say that miguel was appointed its in june 2014 to the then cuban intersection. since 2006, he has worked in the ministry of foreign affairs in the north american divisions and the office of the minister. he served at the cuban embassy in canada as a member of the
people's power provincial assembly of the city of havana and graduated summa come latte from the university of have been a faculty of law. he also has a masters of science and with foreign relations. .o let's give it up for miguel [applause] >> good afternoon. thank you so much for coming today. it is a pleasure for me to be here. i really believe this is very important. today is a historic day. there is a vote in the united nations right now about this. about the u.s. blockade against cuba. 2015, came in 2015, june i started saying we were in the best moment in the relations in almost 60 years. now in 2019, i cannot say that anymore unfortunately. but i will explain the history, the past, the present, and what we want for the future between both countries. this is a presentation i have been doing here in almost 46
american universities. i'm trying to go everywhere to talk about u.s.-cuba relations. my passion. i believe we should have better relations. so this is something that people recognize of course, washington memorial here in washington, , d.c., but this is a memorial in havana, cuba. you will see how similar they are. we have the same colors in our flags. there is a lot of history between cuba and the united states. we kind o cannot change that. we cannot change the past. we can work for a better future. so i am going to start right now. i have some opening questions. what do you know about cuba? i believe this is very important. when i start with this question, people come with different answers and take cuba is famous because of cigars, rum. i say, what else? people say music. ok, what else?
people remember the missile crisis. that is the 1960's. what do you know about cuba? this is my first point. i really believe that there is not enough information about cuba. and there is a lot of information about cuba. i remember one student, not going to mention the university, that told me, i know about cuba. i said, what do you know about cuba? he said, i know "i love lucy." do you remember the tv series from the 1950's? you missed the last 50 years, and cuba is not ricky ricardo. how many of you would like to visit cuba? that is good. that is what we need. this happens every time. every place i visit, people want to visit cuba. again, for many reasons. they want to see the cars, the cuban history. i say that is my first advice.
go to cuba. see the real cuba. you consider cuba and the united states can have good relations? that is the question. why not? because cuba is a communist country. ok. what about china? what about vietnam? the united states has wonderful relations with china and vietnam. why not with cuba? how many soldiers have you lost in vietnam? according to what i read, 58,000 soldiers. how many in cuba? oh, the problem is cuba has only one political party. ok. united states has relations with countries that don't have political parties. what is the real question? cuba. we could talk about that. i really believe the sanctions are the main violation of the rights of the cuban people the united states put for more than 60 years. have you been in cuba? you can raise your hand. ok. this is a good group. you can see the difference.
i have been to 46 american universities. when i asked, would you like to visit cuba, they also yes. but when i ask if you have visited cuba, they have not been able to go to cuba. why? cuba is the only country in the world you need a license to travel to. of aries are in the middle war right now. your enemies in the middl right now, but you need a license to go to cuba. why? i'm going to start with this. ok. what do you know about cuba? of course, it is not "i love lucy." not scarface, not 20 montana, not what you see in the movies. you remember these movies from the 1980's or 1990's. according to this movie, the soviet union invaded cuba. it is not what happened but it is in your mind sometimes. this is "a few good men."
we can talk about guantanamo. you occupied guantanamo. it is part of the cuban territory. you have a base that nobody wants. according to this movie, when toni kroos arrived to guantanamo, he is dressed in white and somebody says don't dress in white because they will shoot you. try to find one time that cuba has shot the u.s. side. we have examples of u.s. soldiers shooting cuban soldiers in the 1960's and people dying from that. another example. you say, this is old. this is a navy survivor. it is a tv series. now it is on netflix. you can see it. according to the president, the delegation wasn't to cuba and that delegation was captured by guerrillas. news, there are no guerrillas in cuba. this tv series,
they believe it is true. so if you want a good recommendation, a good movie thet cuba, i recommend -- idea that the mafia was try to create a new havana was true. bautista, the former dictator of cuba, trying to open the door for the mafia, was true. the golden phone, you can see it in havana. you can see the golden phone that was shown in "the godfather," the second part let's start with this. why the cuban revolution? i believe there is no country in the world, including any local economic where humiliation and exportation were worse than in cuba during the bautista regime. i will even go further to some extent because there were a number of things on the part of
the united states. now you have to pay for those things. in the agreement with the first cuban revolutionaries, that is perfectly clear. i was asked, do you know who says that? the majority do not know. very easy. president kennedy. 1963, one month before he was assassinated. so people believe at that point he was trying to improve the relations. president howard cut the diplomatic relations between the u.s. and cuba 70 days before president kennedy took office. it was a disaster. sentia organized that and to the president this is going to be easy, this is going to be easy. we will take power. the cuban people will be with us. it was a disaster. we have later the missile crisis. what happened? president kennedy was able to
negotiate. we avoided a nuclear disaster. at this point, he was clear about the situation in cuba. reason we made the revolution. what is cuba? i have to be brief. cubans are known for long speeches but we are against the clock. this is cuba. we are 11 million people. the population of ohio. we are smaller the pennsylvania. this is very important. because every time you compare cuba, it is not fair. we have the same resources. by the way, this all comes from the world bank and also from the united nations. so you can check all these numbers and this data. most important, if you don't believe me, go to cuba. i really believe it is important. according to the world bank. , this is our labor force.
right now, more than 10% of the labor force in cuba is in the private sector, and that is a huge change from those tha. for those that say cuba does not change, what about the private sector? recognizing the new cuban constitution that was approved in a referendum. by the way, i did not read that in the news unfortunately here. for mormore information about cuba. let's go to the other one. yes. life expectancy. 78 years old. mortality rates. immunization. 99% of the children receive the vaccines for free. 8.2ave, and this is huge, for physicians per 1000 people. 44% of the state numbers report less than one physician, and we have 8.2. for that reason, we have doctors
in more than 60 countries around the world. not only venezuela like the media says. not now. we started our collaboration since the 1960's. we have more than 400 doctors in haiti. not when the earthquake happened. before that for many years. also, and this is data from cuba. we produce 52% of the medicines that we need in cuba. we don't produce enough food. i'm going to talk about that later. we produce 62% of the medicines that we need. 100% of the cubans know how to read and write. but look at the world. more than 700 million people don't know how to read and write right now, according to the united stations. tocourse, 95% have access improved water sources permit 92% have access to improved sanitation facilities.
this is how much we spent on education. 12.8% ofee we spent our gdp. the highest on education worldwide. we have spent 12% of our gdp on health. we only spent 2.9% on military. we know our priorities. we don't have enough resources. yes? that is good. and don't give it too much time. not to a lawyer. this is very important. remember our gdp. people say, why don't you have more things? because we don't have all the resources we want. we spent a majority of the resources on education and health care. we have many things we are proud of, as i showed. let me say something here that
is very important. i don't come here to say that we are perfect. i don't come here to say that we are the best country in the world. no. i come here to say we are proud of many things. we are a country that works. but we don't deserve the regime. we can work together. not only with all the countries. with the united states. we can do many things together. we need to learn from each other. we are living in the same world. we are facing similar challenges. we are neighbors. all the people want us to be partners. we can be friends. to be very honest, after four years here, i saw a lot of respect for the cuban people. love for cuba. for many reasons. i really believe we should have better relations. it is what the majority i believe wants.
more information about cuba. that is poverty. we are humble. again, not the things you have here. a social justice system that provides people what people need. this is something for me that was very interesting. the bloomberg global health index 2019. you can see cuba has a better place than the united states. we have 74 points. you have 73 points. we are in place number 30 out of 169. according to bloomberg, we have the better health system. again, my point is not to compare with the united states. it is not my point. the reason is i'm showing this because you are not going to read that in the media.
all the things you are going to read about cuba is bad things. cuba is one of the worst countries in the world. for that reason, the u.s. government tried to justify the sanctions against cuba. this is something that is not cuban propaganda. it is what the world recognizes. i love sports. of course, i cannot talk about winter sports because we don't have any winter in cuba. but in the summer olympic games, we have 78 gold medals. you know how expensive these ports are. -- the sports car. before the cuban revolution, we did not have -- we probably have less than 10 gold medals. the majority of the metals come after 1969. the opportunity to practice the sport. it is not about money. it is about passion. the nationals won this year the world to reasonably believe because they don't have good player like bryce harper.
it is not about money. it is about passion. so i put this because this was part of the new moment between the united states and cuba. cubans and major league baseball is nothing new. cubans in major league baseball is nothing new. you can see the first player came and played in 1871. 213e that time, we have cubans playing in major league baseball. everyplace you visit, there is a history of cuban players. you know? for that reason, we were number three on opening day this year. we have 4 cubans. i have been there three times. amazing place. a lot of history. we have 4 cubans. but you know what? it was a threat if they wanted to play in major league baseball get you are a russian player,
you don't play in the national hockey. if you are chinese, you can play in the nba. if you are cuban, you have to defect to play major league baseball. unfortunately, as you can see, cuba signed an agreement with major league baseball. the given baseball federation signed an agreement with major league baseball and the union in major league baseball. unfortunately, the new administration canceled that deal. can you imagine? 30 teams agreed to sign an agreement with cuba. it was about a sports. it was about to avoid human traffic. because the majority of cuban players have to defect. they are part of the human traffic. so why they cannot play major league baseball? in the future. more information about cuba. this comes from nasa. you can see nasa put a tweet saying "happy birthday" to the
first latin american and first-person of african ancestry in space was a cuban. cuba is the only country in the world to meet the criteria for sustainable developing. according to the world health organization, cuba is the first country in the world to syphilis and hiv. again, it is a country that works. it is a country that is proud of many things. we can do better. yes. we can improve many things. yes. but we don't deserve sanctions. for more than 60 years. you can call it an embargo. you can call it a blockade. at the end of the day, the sanctions are hurting the people of cuba for over 60 years. so, this is about hunger. this is united nations. you can see. cuba is not a concerned about this.
you can see that right now, 800 million people go to bed hungry in the world. it is not the case of cuba. i really believe that there is a lot of misinformation in this country about what is the reality of cuba. but this is the united nations. it is not cuba propaganda. i also put this. women are very important. we really believe in that. cuba is the number two with more women in our parliament, ou r national prominent. cuba is number two. 53% of the cuba parliament. we are talking about women that are members of the national parliament. you can see how many things we are proud to say about the women in cuba. gaprding to the global report, 2018, cuba was 23 out of 149 countries. what that means, we are perfect?
no. we can improve many things. yes. but this is a reality. critics aboutead cuba, i say, why don't you help to improve? so my internet. i remember when i came in 2015, people say why don't you have internet in cuba? i said we have internet in cuba. it is expensive, it is slow, but we need more technology and resources. but you know what? now we have internet for everybody in cuba. again, it is still expensive. it is still slow. we start with 3g. now we are opening for 4g. it is not about will. it is about resources. we spend resources in health and education. but look at this. this is the united nations. ,ast year, for the first time 51% of the cuban population was
able to access internet. so the problem is not cuba. it is everywhere. you can see 57% again according to the united nations are using internet in 2017.united states 87%. can we compare the gdp and resources? again, it is not that we don't want to open the internet. we did it. because in our case, it is important for the education. so we believe it is an important tool. let's save the questions for the end. thank you. so why i put this? because people say, wipe? who are you? which countries are the most important for you? we have good business with all the countries of the world. you can see and export, canada is our main partner. this comes from the congressional research service.
again, everything comes from american sources. you can see venezuela, china, and spain. when people come to our embassy and take, i want to visit with cuba, what can you say to us? i say, ask the canadians. we are doing business with everybody. , beforesee, 2016 for th the new administration changed what president obama did with cuba, we received in cuba all of these business delegations. we have people here who want to do business with cuba. but the obstacle is the embargo, the blockade, the sanctions that you have for more than 60 years. everything isy because of the embargo? no. we don't say that. but we say the blockade is the main obstacle for our development. we can say that. i want to talk more about that. this is also very important. cuba is not isolated.
190 onerelations with countries out of 193 united nations member states. diplomatic missions in cuba. that is huge for a small country like you but we have 1222 cuban embassies and nations abroad. that is huge for a country like cuba. you can see many countries that don't have so many. this is something we are very proud. i mentioned before, collaboration. we believe in that. it is not only venezuela. we have been doing this with all the countries in the world. we work together. we were together with the united states against the evil epidemic when president obama was in office. we sent doctors to some countries in africa to stop the ebola epidemic. we did it in collaboration with the united states. the united states provided some facilities and resources and we provided physicians.
we have a lot of that. have been helping. tohelped 10 million people leave things behind in 30 countries. as you can see here how many students have graduated in cuba. from 157 countries in all these 60 years of the cuban revolution. and we have this. the latin american school of medicine. we trained doctors, physicians for 103 countries. united states is part of that. we have graduated more than 100 doctors, physicians for free in cuba. so let's go to recent history. december 17, 2014. both presidents, obama and
rubble, announced they will start a new moment between cuba and the united states. that was big news, breaking news. everybody was talking about that. i like to say that we did not see the armageddon after that. we are still here. nothing bad happened, you know? werehe reality is that we more suspicious in cuba. i'm in the united states, trying to find one media that put the cuban speech. times" see "the new york put fidel and not raul who was the president. this is part again of what happened in our common history between cuba and the united states. after that, you have to go i believe more quick. why this happened? i really believe this happened not only because two men want to. i believe this happened because the majority of the american people, the cuban people, and
even the cuban-americans support this. 1959, theack in 1960's, 1970's, we have a different history. but if you say right now you don't support relations between cuba and the united states, not part of the majority anymore. i have been told that you love polls here in the united states. you always want to see what people say about something. according to one of the polls, the majority of american people support the relations, but also the majority of the cuban-americans for the first time support that relation. we are very important. this is pew research. in december, after the last presidential elections, we have 73% of support for ending the trade embargo. we have 75% of support to restart the diplomatic relations. in the case of the cuban-americans, you can see the difference. 1991, only 14% support. this is according to the national university, not cuba.
in 2016, 53%. i will tell you about all the generations of the cuban-americans. if you go to the last generation, 1996-2016, it is more than 80% support for relations between cuba and the united states. why? miami is supported. we have cubans over 50 states. we have cuban-americans in alaska. i don't know what they do their because the weather is so different. we have cuban-americans everywhere. but the majority of the cuban americans are in miami with we are talking about probably more than one million. for that reason, this is very important. and the international university made the pole here. again, i have a pulled i will show. this is more recent, 2018 this is the last poll. this question, has embargo worked? 57%, not at all.
26%, not very well. only 12%, worked well. only 5%, works very well. you can see that 80%, more than 80% believe the embargo does not work. we are talking about cuban-americans in 2018 so it is not the last century. but this is also very important. that only 10% of the american people back in 1996 have a good opinion about my country. 54% for the first time. you can see how it is changing. now, 2019, only 44% of the american people. you know what? i don't worry about that. why? because a majority of the american people have been reading bad news about cuba. only bad things about cuba. a lot of propaganda against cuba.
the majority of american people have not been able to talk about cuba. allowing moreto interchange between cuba and the united states, we will have better numbers than in 2016. we will have more support. what happens right now is when americans go to cuba, they go back and say cuba is not so bad. it is not the hell that you say it is. cuba is proud of this or this or this. the current administration is trying to cut every opportunity for you to go to america. cuba. we will talk about that. this is the same poll. opinion of the americans on every country. the first one, canada, 91%. great britain, 87% of support. the countries that are below cuba. you can see cuba has 44. look at all the countries you can see united states, the current administration is open
to sit down with almost every country almost every and not with cuba. don't get me wrong. i'm a diplomat. i believe in diplomacy. i believe we need to sit down and talk. we need to use diplomacy as a tool. but how can you explain you are willing to sit down with the taliban and not with cuba. cuba? it is part of this idea. how can you explain you are willing to sit down with almost every country and not with cuba? this cuba and enemy, a threat? we'll have nuclear weapons. that is the reason. of course, i believe in humor, but it is difficult to explain after two years that we proved we can do many things. why are we going back again? because this is not a new
policy. this is going back to the past, you know? president obama visited cuba. you can see that according to "the new york times," six in 10 americans think restoring plumes with cuba is good for the u.s. .e gain opportunities that was broadcast live throughout the country. of the the president united states, i have called to leave the embargo. the last president that visited cuba and the only president that visited cuba was president calvin coolidge back in 1928. i always say, someone here from 1928? i want to know how that visit was. i remember president obama president last took three days to get to cuba. i only need three hours. so, more information. this is my ambassador.
in cuba, we believe that bilateral relations with the united states will be normal one we are no longer and with nogime specific programs funded to our way of life. what does that mean? is that since we established a diplomatic relationship with the united states. you have the financial regime, you occupy part of cuba and you are sending money to destroy. the cuban government. not to build schools or hospitals. not to help the cuban people, but to destroy everything that i showed before. if you want to understand what is the embargo, the blockade, the sanctions, you can go right now to the state department, and this document is public. it is from the 1960's. communist were a
country. it was a secret document until 1991. right now, it is public. you can see what they say. point number one, the majority of cubans support castro. 50% isow about you, but half of the population. i see governments every day have less support. united states doesn't put an embargo to those. there is no effective political opposition. what do they suggest here? we need to deny money and supplies to cuba to bring about overthrow of the government. that is the official policy of the united states to cuba over 60 years. that is the embargo, the blockade, the sentience. when they say the embargo is an , why dohat cuba uses
you give us one excuse? we don't need an excuse. let's ask. if you believe that we are so bad, you don't need an embargo or sanctions, but that is the policy. other one. the this is president obama and his last stick of the union speech. he said 60 years of isolating failed to promote democracy. that is why we fixed diplomatic policy. you don't have to apply. that is what they did in the house. consolidate our leadership and capability, recognize the cold war is over. release the embargo. the cold war is over. but look at this. this was last year. this is happening again today.
ambassadorthe former to the united nations retweeted this from your embassy in the united nations. every year, they put forth a revolution that brings cuban property, oppression, and lack of freedom on the united states. tomorrow, the united nation will hear what we have to say about that and countries will have to vote between cuba or the u.s. who will vote with us? this is halloween last year. this is united nations. november 1. with 189 votes in favor and two against, the general assembly approved the resolution to end the embargo against cuba. only the u.s. and israel voted against. the resolution received approval every year. this has been happening since 1992. the majority of the world. every year. last year, only you have two votes, the united states and
israel. why? this is something you need to think about. if the majority of the american people want the embargo. if the majority of the cuban-americans don't want the embargo. if the majority of the cubans don't want the embargo. if almost every country in the world does not support the embargo, why is the embargo still in place? somebody told me that is a good question. i say yes, i need a good answer. because the embargo is still there. the embargo is hurting every day our people. our people. everybody in society. cuban society. if you have been in cuba, you understand what the embargo does. this is what the embargo costed cuba. if you have any questions, we can talk later about that. but now, the current administration is not only trying to keep the sanctions, but they are open to new ideas.
bad ideas. they opened the door to this. the act from 1996 allowed people here to introduce a lawsuit in u.s. courts against everybody for using or trafficking properties that were nationalized in cuba back in the or 1961.1959 so when president clinton signed this law, he put a waiver to title iii. so title iii was not in place. and every president since president clinton put the same waiver every six months. .he current administration right now, the united states is in the middle of a conflict with some countries around the world. i put this because it is important to understand that we not only nationalize properties
from the united states. cuba has been able to negotiate bilateral settlements with canada, great britain, france, spain, and switzerland. the only country that refused to sit down to negotiate was the united states. probably because they believe, ok, this is going to be only six months. this is only going to be a few years. but we are still there. it is not that we don't want to sit down and negotiate. we have been doing that with many countries. around the world. so i don't have much time to talk about guantanamo, but this is part of what we believe is part of our normalization problem. if you want normal relations, we need guantanamo back in cuba. it is part of our territory. we don't want the base and you don't need the base to be very honest. you know what? it is not a small piece of land.
it is twice the territory of manhattan. and you occupy that. and according to a treaty that we signed under pressure back in the 1930's, you can be there forever. even if we don't want to. so the treaty says both countries need to agree. imagine that one day you allow more people to live in one room in your house. a few years later, you say you need to go. no. we need to agree that i need to go. that is what happened in the case of guantanamo. this is not about money. you pay every year for twice the territory of manhattan. $4085. twice theyear for territory of manhattan. but look at this. this is again the research
service. between 1996 and 2018, the congress allocated $364 million in funding for cuba democracy force. so for some people, this is a way of life. for some people, this is a business. some people live with this money. it is not a majority. it is a minority. but it is good to see that even congress recognized they are sending money to promote democracy. not to build hospitals or build schools. it is to promote democracy. look at this. ofon't know if you are aware this, but this is a u.s. government-sponsored radio and television to broadcast propaganda against cuba. according again to the congressional research service between 1984 and 2019, you, the american taxpayer, spent $900
million to broadcast propaganda against cuba. canyou imagine what you create in washington to broadcast propaganda against the united states? our are using i will national name. for that reason, a couple years ago, there was a bill in congress that said, stop wasting taxpayer money. you know what? they recognized that they only reach 11% of the cuban population, so they are wasting money. money you can use in other things. what are the opportunities? this is one of the main opportunities that we have. agricultural interchange. every place visit, the farmers want to sell produce to cuba. we are talking about $2 billion market. $2 billion. 80% of thea buys
food that we need. we'll produce enough food. you remember that? we have a good biotech industry but we do not produce enough so to buy 80% of the food we need, we spent $2 billion. unfortunately, it is prohibited by law to give to cuba to buy agricultural products in the u.s.. this is the last number that the agricultural department has. we buy in the united states $300 million in 2014, but we buy in other countries $1.8 billion. you know how much we have to pay for transportation? can you imagine? it is not money that we don't have. it is money that we spend because the blockade, the embargo, the sanctions are there. you can see that since the united states authorized the sales of agricultural produce to we have december 2001,
to buy $6 billion. imagine without the sanctions. imagine if we can have credit. again, try to explain to a farmer in pennsylvania, arkansas, he has the market, but it is almost there. oh, because it is a communist country. what about china? so another opportunity. again, the biotech industry. you probably did not see this in the news but governor cuomo in new york announced last year that for the first time, we are going to create an enterprise between cuba and the united states between roswell park institute and a biotech center in cuba to produce cancer vaccines for the lung cancer. these are things we were able to do because the former administration, they granted a
license to do it. have none if we can sanctions in place, what else we can do between both countries. that is good for both because when we talk about ourselves, i always try to explain, yes, we are going to put more money in the pockets of the farmers here, but we are going to put more food on the table of the cuban people. we are talking about buying nuclear weapons or weapons. we are talking about food. so other things that are also important. according to the state department, cuba was one of the top seven destinations for studying abroad. people want to go to cuba. you know? students want to go to cuba. in all the universities i visit, they want to go to cuba. so probably if you have a question, i can talk more about that. we went to the kennedy center
last year. that was amazing. people enjoyed the ballet, the salsa, everything. we bring the cuban national baseball team to north carolina this year. we signed an agreement with the little leagues. cuba is not part of the little league privet in the near future, we will have a cuban team in williamsport for the world series of little league. that is bad? i don't believe it. you know? but we signed an agreement with major league baseball, and they cut the agreement with major league baseball. this is something that is very recent good people need to know -- recent. people need to know. we signed an agreement. we signed an agreement with all the airliners to fight to cuba. we can have 20 flights per day to have anna. we signed an agreement with all the cruise liners. we signed an agreement with all these companies. we wanted to improve the telecommuting patient between
cuba and the united states. all these companies. airbnb reported $4 million to the bio sector in the first two years. we are talking about the private sector in cuba. so what they did? they cut all the cruise. now you cannot stop and havana for a few hours. according to "usa today," 800,000 americans lost the opportunity to go to cuba. they already had the ticket. now, recently, they announced that they are going to suspend the commercial flights tonight destinations in cuba. -- to nine destinations in cuba but if you take american or delta, you will only be able to fly to havana. the cuban-americans are the ones affected by this permit because they have family not only in havana. why is this happening? if you say you want to help the cuban people.
according to this organization, they say reversing cuban policy will cost the united states economy $6.6 billion in the first four years. more quickly.o we are almost ending. years before the elections. we said we are ready to work with the next president. we don't know who it is going to be but we are ready to work with the next president. our new president came to the united states, united nations last year, and he made this speech. "cuba stands ready to develop respectful and civilized relations with the u.s. government on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual respect. this is the will of the people, and we know this is a shared aspiration by most u.s. citizens and particularly by cubans living here." so we have a new president in cuba that came to the united nations and made that speech.what was the answer ?
cut almost everything. and blaming cuba about almost everything. that the new administration made a promise during the campaign. but at the beginning of the campaign, he said, i want a better deal. that was the first thing he said. but after that, he changed. he has been cutting almost everything. the diplomats tried to put more obstacles. this is very important. he said that he wants the cuban-american vote in florida. i don't know how he does that. inause these are the results broward and miami-dade. you can see the president trump these regions or counties. a close result. so how can you say that you won
the cuban-americans vote? cuba is changing. not because the united states wants. because the cuban people want. we have a new government, a new national parliament. you can see here. we elected a new national assembly. we have a new constitution. look at this. members but i would national parliament and more than 300 are new members. here? there is any castro why people still say it is the castro dictatorship? again, it is the excuse. you need an excuse. if you want one excuse, you will be able to find one excuse. if you want to change, you need to sit down and talk. you know?
why the change? why going back? probably you remember what happened to our diplomat in havana. that was the first excuse. your diplomats were under attack. we received the fbi in cuba several times. probably you see now that nobody is talking about that anymore. they have not been able to show any evidence that something happened to the diplomats in havana. even now, there is a new study from canada that says that probably it is a neurotoxin that caused this. zika.e we have we are trying to avoid that. we do not say this is the truth. we say this is something to consider. because 70 said this is a sonic attack. this is a microwave attack. it was like a spy movie. they did not prove nothing. but they took a lot of measures
to punish cuba and to punish the american people. i have to remember this. september 11, 1980, a cuban diplomat was shot and killed in new york. and nothing happened to your diplomats in havana ever. but we lost a cuban diplomat here, who was shot and killed. september 11. we know what is terrorism. we commemorate september 11 before the united states. you know? almost finished. this is the idea. now, venezuela. responsible for the situation in venezuela. ," they new york times have consistently criticized cuba for the support of the venezuelan government. but the cia has concluded that cuba is far less involved and the support has been far less
important than senior officials in the administration believe, according to a former officer. so the cia -- we do not have a cia in cuba. your cia saying we do not have responsibility in venezuela. but you keep using that. and you can see what the ambassador put on his twitter account. look at this. this is not new. go back to 2000 two permit under the secretary of the state for mr. bolton insisted that cuba was attempting to build a biological weapon program. the national intelligence officer for latin america and the state department disagreed. in a fit of rage, mr. bolton had them reassigned. this is 2002 when he said that. 2019.s "new york times" so making accusations would cuba is nothing new for mr. bolton. but the use that. but you know what?
we are in your president's tweets. if cuban trips and militia do not immediately cease , a thoroughration and complete embargo together with higher-level sections will be placed on the island of cuba. willully the soldiers return to the island. immediately, our foreign minister says advisor bolton is a pathological liar who misinformed trump. there are not cuban troops in venezuela, nor are there any cubans taking part in military or security operations there. only medical staff and he military missions. i strongly reject trump's blockade threat. there was a lot of menace in saying blockade 60 years, what are you talking about. ? but this is serious. this is the president saying something not true.
1962, go back to president kennedy was able to show the missiles in cuba. with today's technology, nobody has been able to show a cuban soldier in venezuela. so i put this in my twitter because ambassador bolton said -- i say, the next time you hear about committee, cuba, but as we look, nicaragua, you should know it is real. nevertheless, the use of an embargo against those real dictators or overthrow the. we had bautista. that was the real troika. nothing happened. but because we are here, i also put this in my twitter days ago. because if you want to talk about terrorism, you should remember what was done in this capital.
according to the cia, that was , hermed to president reagan was behind the bomb that killed. you know what? nothing happened. this is again -- look what secretary schulz wrote to reagan. terrorism,f state . considered to be friendly. can someone say that he was friendly? was a dictator. the united states never put an embargo or a blockade or sanctions against that. future.is for the i keep repeating. this is my ambassador. our foreign is based on principles. no one should expect dramatic change in the way we develop our relations with the united states because it is based on history
and principles. i put also this. cuba has demonstrated that it is not afraid of relations with the u.s. based on respect and goodwill mutual. the u.s. government against the will of the majority of its own citizens have decided to double down and escalate a failed policy. the sanctions continue normalization. i say this because i believe it is important. what is the definition of insanity? it is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. u.s. policy over cuba qualifies as >> so i have the same question for the end. i hope you have more reasons to go to cuba and consider cuba and the united states can have normal relations. i hope in the future we can shape for those with cuba and i
also use this pope francis was important when he visited cuba and the united states after and was important in the communication between both governments. he talked about the golden rule, do unto you there's -- do unto others as you would have them do unto you. thank you but we do not attack the united states. and i like this for the end. so let us not be blind to our difference, but let us direct attention to our common interests, and the means to which those differences can be resolved. and if we cannot and now our difference, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. in the final analysis, our basic common link is we all inhabit this planet. we read the same error. we all cherish our children's future. this is a famous speech of president kennedy at american university. and he was talking about the
soviet union. ? thank you souba much. [applause] a great presentation and we will open it up, this is the best part and you get to ask questions. and we can entertain comments i will helpbrief moderate and take the prerogative to ask the first question. might say cuba is abandoning socialism and the , i will come back to it.
and then if we could see how many people initially have questions or comments? ok we will start with that first round. the idea that we have abandoned socialism? no, i do not believe that i believe the majority of people in cuba support the idea of the society we have and want to have in the future. it is a society based in social justice and equal opportunities for everybody. i think the majority of people in cuba do not leaving capitalism for the solution of the world's problems. what we see in the world right now it only works for the 1 percent but we understand there
is a part we can do and a part that will be more easy if we do not have the sanctions we have faced for 60 years. constitution, if you compare it with the old constitution, we removed the word communism from the text, from the paper. as part of the debate we have in society, the idea was that, we want to include that as part of the project. and that was a constitution that was approved by huge majority 80 , percent of the cuban population by referendum so it is not going to be nothing. it will be what the majority of the people support.
and again this is a society of equal opportunities, social justice. it is not about gender or race or wealth, but opportunities for everybody. about the cubans sitting down with the fbi. and i know this has happened with the fbi cia with terrorism forally trying to appeal the cessation of terrorism is happen against cuba. so there was a sitting down trying to appeal and instead the result was that cubans file being locked up. -- can youto that go into that? >> yes we had about expanse with the fbi in the late 90's because we were -- suffering terrorist attacks and have and -- in havana. aboutivered information
who is behind this, with bombs and he was killing people in cuba when we delivered that information, the fbi was going after not the people going at going after not the people doing this but the people who provided the information. so the cuban six spent years in jail here in the united states which we believe was not fair of course. and what happened now is the united states was saying ok something happening to our diplomats in havana, we believe it is a sonic attack or whatever and we think, come here. bring your experts. your technology. and they came. several times. said wey came back and are going to talk about sonic attack, they did not find evidence about that. otherwise he would see that in the media. and for that reason they changed it. the people using the sonic attack narrative they changed it to say it was a micro of attack. then, the scientific community
also said it impossible to talk about my quite in this case for that reason, you do not listen to that anymore it is not anymore there. probably they are going to use another explanation. every time we more different. and if you could speak out. >> a quick comment. and then a question print my comment is that our -- my commentng is that our misunderstanding of , we have education and land-grant colleges, those are socialized processes and systems. my question is i do not understand why cuba doesn't produce significantly more of its food. themember farmers from pennsylvania association for sustainable agriculture visiting lowing reportsg about the ecological
environment. no pesticides, no chemicals. what happens? >> we still produce food in the right way, ecological. we do not use machinery, we do not use pesticides. the problem is, this is my opinion and thinks i read it i'm not an expert in everything. go to the to university in cuba to become a lawyer or a diplomat, an architect, physician. people do not want to go back to the farm. and we do not have immigrants to do the hard work. and we do not have the machinery you have here. subsidizedure everywhere -- agriculture subsidized everywhere, even here the united states. there are billions of dollars to subsidize that. we do not have those resources in cuba. even when we try to help, and we try to encourage people to go back to produce... we have all
the money we want, we really need leave we need to produce food as part of our independence , to not depend on others. but that is the situation we have now. my father was a farmer and i am a diplomat. my father is not able to go to the university and i was. of what we have now . the majority of the food we produce in cuba is healthy and in the right way. because we believe it is important. care system cuba, we need healthy people. because summit is paying for that. it is not free at the end. if you want to people do not need to go to the hospital, you need to provide healthy food and talk to people about exercise and that is what we do. thank you for the question. >> a few days ago denouncing pressure put on let american
countries. [indiscernible] i enough you saw the results, it was 187 countries with cuba, and u.s., israel and brazil columbia upstate and. i wonder if you could comment on the pressure being applied. >> it is in a port question and thank you for asking that. i did not know about the result because i was talking here. but 187 countries is a huge victory for cuba. [applause] [applause] i [applause] people whoe honest defend and save is not real. have the u.s. ally the european union voting in support with cuba. is not because of solidarity.
it is because they recognize the blockade is real and they want to do more business with cuba and they are not able to because the sanctions are there. so yes, the united states every year puts a lot of pressure in many countries. in the past, we have an africa that leave the room before the vote. can you imagine, because this is having interesting. i have been in congress talking about this and people say i do not believe in the united nations. i say wait a minute, yes, we have a lot of divisions in the united nations and sometimes you have to rich countries and poor countries. but in the case of the blockade, in the case of the embargo everybody is together. do you believe that brazil does not support cuba? no. it is the president of brazil that doesn't support cuba. and it is a change for him. so i believe people in -- shame for him. i believe people in brazil are feeling shame for today's vote.
as diplomats you have limits and they put a lot of pressure on other countries and you can see the result. i really blake today was a huge victory. but it is not to say we win or victory, it is to say that it is not fair. and whoever supports the sanctions does not have the majority anymore and needs to recognize this is not for the good of the human people, needs to recognize this is only to hurt the cuban people. thank you. >> my question is about internet access. part of the issue is you cannot import the technology. so for to messick access where's the technology coming from? access, where's the technology coming from? >> we signed agreements with
to provide technology we signed agreements with google to improve access to the internet. because in the past we only have access to the cable running through the island. and then not satellite. and then willie had internet at the university. when i was a student for the first time i saw internet. and a few computers. but right was vertical. internetology for the and tv and all the improvements we are doing and technology come from china. ? also the u.s. companies do not receive a license to do business with cuba. measure there is a new
that is about cuba cannot get nothing with more than 10% of american components. imagine, in a global society, everything is american or chinese or whatever. we are in a global economy and if you need a license to bring something to cuba with more than 10% of american components, it is too difficult for us to acquire that. and sometimes too expensive. >> thank you. >> i was in cuba two years ago. some of the prevailing theories i still hear is that we have cubaa hard policy on because of the cubans in florida who are basically republicans who had land confiscated during the revolution who represent a
big voting and donating block. and florida is a swing state and that is why almost one of the main reasons we have that policy. would you comment on that? time,an say that every according to the information we see, i do not know about the money, because one family can boats.for many other but the cuba issue is not what was in the past. when you see the boats, and i mention 2016 but you can go to 2018. in the one header 50 congress we have three cuban-americans and florida congressional delegates have one.ally why? yes i do agree there are there who don't want the
relationship and have a lot of power but they are a minority. , so i really believe is if somebody opens a relationship with cuba, they will have more support. and we are talking about without the blockade. because of president obama, we were not able to do more because the blockade was there. if you remove the blockade, you're going to see more opportunities that are going to be better. i really believe that. that cubapart is also is not a priority. you have many things. when i go to the hell to talk with people in congress, there dealing with -- when i go to the hill to talk to people in congress, they are with many priorities. cubans who areny going to vote next year for president cutting the opportunity for them to send money to cuba or to help cuban families or to visit cuban families. can you imagine how much they
are going to spend to visit someone in santiago or santa clara because they cannot fly directly? was truebelieve that in the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's and 1980's. but in the recent histories to change. a real change. probably is going to see that very soon. thank you. i confess that i'm no expert on cuba. but i am well-informed of u.s. policy and its history. i would suggest to you that it is not possible for you to have normal relations with the united states. for over 100 years it is been principleand cardinal of american domestic and foreign policy, to oppose socialism or anything like it. wherever that
appears. this will not change. in my opinion, it is only the fact that you can mobilize a million people in a popular militia that has prevented the united states from invading. your country thus far. thank you for your comment. >> sounds like a lot of work for people inside the united states to do. notice in your plan you have statistics about many thing, but not racial changes. to be very honest i only put statistics from what we received i recognizeack here
some people use the racial issue also. but again, is not a perfect presentation and i do not have all the information. sometimes i do not have all the information i want. i do not use cuban sources. i want to use international sources. that is the reason. in the future we can improve that. thank you. i don't have all the information either but racism is a result of centuries of colonialism. no country on earth can be a post-racial society. they can make advances like universal things like healthcare to benefit everybody but there's a lot of things you cannot legislate. you have to change mentality that is a complicated question. i would just offer that there are obviously issues with color
everywhere. in fact with europeans in africa. that's a complicated question and i would say no just because it's very complicated. how [indiscernible] maintaining opposition to u.s. policies? >> thank you for the question. i'm only 40 years old. [laughter] i read what happened in 1959 and the history of cuba. i'm only one person in 11 million.
i believe we made a social revolution and we are still there. because we have the support of the majority of the cuban people. it is very interesting. in 1959, they say it is only a few months, they're going to collapse. there's no way to have a social revolution in latin america in 1959. we had the bay of pigs and it was a disaster. we had the missile crisis, imagine, the president of the united states sang were not going to invade cuba anymore. and people say the problem is the soviet union. the soviet union is there. but in 1991, the sub union disappeared. minority,e people, saying the problem is fidel castro. fidel castro is there. the day after fidel they will collapse. but fidel was no longer in power in 2006 and he unfortunate pathway in 2016. the same people, all the problem
is raul castro. raul castro is there. raul castro's no longer the president of cuba. ? what is my idea what is my point? they do not want to recognize that it is the cuban people, that the majority of the key people support what we have. that does not mean we would do not want other things. and for that reason, what we say about the private sector and private property, and the reason we change the constitution is because there is consensus and support. i believe the cuban revolution is going to disappear the day we do not have the support of the majority of the cuban people. imagine such a special. in cuba. in 1991 and the soviet union disappeared and we lost 80% of our trade overnight. i've never the states. in 1991, i was a kid in cuba. we had blackouts for 12 hours. we do not have enough food.
we do not have enough transportation. and you say why, you're still there? because the majority of people were able to keep fighting, keep saying this is what we want. cooperation of the people. the economy we open to other countries and allowed foreign investment. that is the way canada and spain entered print so when people say are you opening the door to the united states, we say no, we opened the door to everybody. the united states is one of the countries. and of course we are close. if we buy, for example chicken in brazil, why not in the united states? probably we are going to spend the same amount of money and we are going to have work taken because it is closer. or united states is claude -- closer at 90 miles than brazil. mobile, alabama is 32 hours by
sea to havana. we can buy it today and have it tomorrow. we opened the economy. we do not open the door completely. the ideas we want to have something that is good for both sides would also good for cuba. >> thank you. georgetown we learned something important. thinking back to the slide with the fiu result. a perception was does the embargo work or did the embargo work? i would say if you read the political geopolitical underhanded objective of the continues toad and work well to the point that it is seamless. at that more people are not outraged that it is not been lifted yet. have some ideas, having got to cuba and in conversation with you. i would be interested to hear
what else is the blockade represent. obviously the small island of cuba is doing something that is underneath the skin of this society. is that a direct threat to capitalism? is it the international solidarity? what is the embodiment of it? third i would like to respectfully decline that gemina front of me who says it would never ever change because i think that is a conceited attitude. the embargo is not just a concept, it is never of human lies being affected. some of the sake of cuban people , this is an issue we see an indigenous faces. africans in this country and everywhere, we must not have that attitude. and things can change. >> humanist things change here
and we actually can get a foreign policy to cuba that we want or anything else, that would change. no country in the world needs regime change more than ours. we will take the last two questions. >> i work with a network of people trying to introduce health equity into spaces internationally and we are really interested in cuba and trying to share information and examples. and the cuban model. trying to think of examples and collaborations we could have with health researchers in cuba now. could you speak to that and what
sort of collaborations people might be looking for cuba. >> sure. >> yes place. please. >> on a note of hope i would like to say cuban girl i heard from on public radio loud and clear. andmade a recent [ppoll. apparently millenials in the and not so i open do logical about socialism. it seems that the coming up of tone and representatives... calling himself a socialist have brought up a question and those that are going to the dictionary are finding out that socialism is not the people they thought it was. [laughter] so at least there is hope.
on another note. the day before yesterday open to sharese of brazilian oil which nobody wants to recall, the offer sank. [laughter] and finally, for the last 20 years, i have been studying a topic. i'm a social scientist. a topic i undertook to because i was looking for a change in research interests. i found out that nobody that was a social scientist in the u.s. was studying this. that has to do with occupational health, because i'm interested in labor studies. microwaveed the radiofrequency syndrome.
this is... since 1974, between scientist in the u.s. and europe and the former soviet union. how to generate such information. there had been a big debate over west -- over whether this exists and whether people get sick. now there's the question in the more cautious. there a lot of developments indicating there is such a thing as a microwave sickness. i have not researched the whole thing and the background of the sonic attacked and have anna -- but ittack in havana. would point out that in the i do not know how many of you are aware that in
the united states, the framework for telik medications that uses micro wave radiation is changing from g3 and g4 to g5. understand what that framework for the telecommunications is going to be. very few people. so, g5 in the background of that, should alert us to look into it. because there is a radiofrequency sickness. and some of the symptoms described too much those of radiofrequency sickness. in sum, not all of them.
what in the background of this change, the g5, there are a lot of health issues. they should be looked at and studied. if you want my published work i would like to make an opportunity for you. i will try to remember. about the blockade. i think it is important to understand that 70% of the acumen population was born after the blockade was in place. imagine, 70% do not know another reality. for that reason, i believe a lot of cubans do not think about the blockade. even when they have all these difficulties, they do nothing about the blockade. daily think, how we can do better. how we can improve our lives -- they only think, how we can do
better, how we can approve our lives. if we have to use buses from , buses from belarus, which are not good for the caribbean weather, no problem. it is about that, the mentality of the country that does not surrender, that always is trying to improve their lives, that is trying to build a biotech industry in the 90's when the soviet union disappeared. and people say why are you going to spend all this money on a biotech industry? and people say is important to do it now. we are not going to be able to do it later. blockadely believe the and sanctions affect cubans, all the cubans on an everyday basis. every time that you see, why do we have this and not that. why do we only have access to one source.
again, people do not think about that. depressed.do not get they say what can we do, how can we improve the relationship? morethink the question was why is the u.s. persisting in the blockade, under the skin >> . that's all right. >> this is my personal opinion. sometimes as a diplomat you have to be careful. i believe that cuba is not a believe that cuba is not a threat to the united states, but it is a moral threat. how can you explain that with a blockade in place and a sanction in place we can show all this to the world. so the question about collaboration, we can talk more later. the question about collaboration. after four years here i realized that we have opportunities in almost every area. almost every area. cultural interchange, sport interchange, academic interchange, agricultural.
i feel opportunities for everybody. of cuba, i feel there's something really important. go to cuba and you see that cubans do not see americans as the enemy. nobody's going to say are going to attack you because you come from the united states. are going to find opportunities to engage. say you're from washington, d.c. and people are going to say congressional's -- congratulations to the nationals. people are overspent to engage in a most every area. we have to see in the future the areas that are really the priority. right now we think about agriculture. but there is opportunity from most every thing. idea, will we stays we need to work together to know what happens in havana. but you cannot use that for political purposes. cannot blame a country and put
more sanctions or obstacles. something honest, similar happened in another country. i'm talking about china. your diplomats, some of your dip let's claim they suffer the same in china. even 60 minutes -- some of your diplomats claim they suffered the same in china. on 60 minutes. cuba it is a small country but you do not see the same reaction against china. again, what we have said since the beginning as we are not behind this and we did nothing wrong. we protected the discipline -- protected the diplomats always heard not only u.s. diplomats, all the different mats. if something happens we have to work together. not using it for political purposes. thank you so much. [applause] >> we have to end. thank you for your questions. enhanced the learning process.
thank you and i hope we leave here wanting to do something about normalizing u.s. cuba relations, and ending the blockade rate and not just sitting on the information. thank you all for coming. i studied the literacy campaign and it is such a model. it would be a wonderful model for this country. >> thank you so much. [applause] point for thed documentary. phil makers in the audience. -- filmmakers in the audience. [applause] [conversations]
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departed for atlanta, president trump met with reporters on the white house lawn. he spoke about the transcripts of the first and second calls to ukraine and whether or not he will endorse jeff sessions who is running for u.s. senate. this is about 25 minutes. >> i just told them i have to come over and see the fake news. [indiscernible] >> the deposition and are you concerned. >> i'm not concerned about anything, the testimony has all been fine. for the most part i've never even heard of these people. i've have no i? they are. there are some very fine people. you have some never trumpers.