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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 23, 2016 12:30pm-1:01pm EDT

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we're going to be resolute, and ultimately we're going to be successful. >> excuse me, but i don't think that it will help in any sense that i voice an opinion about what we are going to find. let's wait, study the documentation, and then we can make comments on it. thank you. >> translator: martine [ inaudible ]. >> morning mr. president. we'll talk in spanish. >> translator: we -- we like to ask you what you think that the role of the dictatorships was in the region? do you believe there should be any self criticism of the united states with regard to the role of the united states during the dictatorships? and i would like to ask both presidents, have you discussed the brazilian crisis during your
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talks together? >> i have spent a lot of time both before i was president and since i have been president, studying the history of u.s. foreign policy, and like the history of any country's foreign policy, there are moments of great success and glory, and there are moments were counterproductive, or contrary to what i believe america should stand for. and, you know, i -- i don't want to go through the list of every activity in the united states in latin america over the last hundred years. i suspect everybody here knows that history at least as well as i do.
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what is true, though, is that in the '70s, the recognition that human rights, how we approached foreign policy, how we approached our diplomacy was as important as fighting communism, or whatever our long-term objective was, that that became much more central to u.s. foreign policy. in both democratic and republican administrations. that there was a growth and a maturation of how we approached our foreign policy relationships, and so if you -- if you look at how
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administrations thought about other countries back in the 30s or the 50s or the 60s, and you compare it to how we would have conversation in the oval office today, and what we would think was appropriate, and what we would think was not appropriate, that has changed overtime. and i think it has changed in a positive way. and i think one of the great things about america -- and i said this in cuba, is we actually engage in a lot of self criticism. there is no shortage of self criticism in the united states. certainly no shortage of criticism of its president or its government or its foreign policy, and there are issues that i work on where i'm sometimes criticized from the left and the right at the same time. although, for different reasons. the one thing that i will say is
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true though, is that everything we do today is designed to take into account transparency, human rights, to -- to speak out on behalf of those issues, even where we don't feel that we can force changes on a government, we're still going to speak out about them. so i made an historic trip to havana, and i said the people of cuba have nothing to fear from me, but you should know what i really believe. i believe that democracy is better than a one-party, or one-person dictatorship. i believe in freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly, and that people shouldn't be arbitrarily detained, and i say the same thing in china or russia, or with some of our allies in ways that are
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uncomfortable. and so i think that it has become a habit and we have learned some of the lessons that we may not have fully learned at an earlier time, and i think our experiences with a country like argentina helped us to develop that more mature and ultimately, i think, more successful approach to foreign policy. in terms of brazil, we didn't discuss it extensively, other than the fact that we hope brazil resolves its current political crisis in a quick way. their democracy is sufficiently mature. their systems of laws and structures, i think, are strong enough, that this will get resolved in a way that allows brazil ultimately to prosper and
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be thing significant world leader that it is. we need a strong and effective brazil for our own economies and for world peace. >> translator: as to the effect on the brazilian people and its effect on trading partners, i reiterate that brazil, i reiterate will emerge stronger from this crisis. because whatever happens to brazil has a direct reflect and effects what happens in our country here. >> reporter: thank you mr. president. president obama in the wake of thu brussels attacks, you
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obviously thought a lot about whether to go ahead and attend that baseball game yesterday in cuba, and to continue on to argentina and complete this trip. but you are catching some flax for it from some political opponents at home. would you walk us through why this is the correct course in terms of optics and message, and what is that message? and finally on the trip, it seems to me in both cuba and argentina, you are seeking to roll back some of the maybe overreach or intervention of the cold war era. i'm wondering now that you are here, whether that is shaping your views on syria, and a plan b? and president macri, president obama believes normalizing relations with cuba will give the united states a lot more leverage around latin america. and i'm wondering if you believe that is true.
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and will you both commit to attending the olympics in brazil no matter what happens to the stability? >> i addressed this issue at the baseball game, but let me reiterate it. groups like isiling can't destroy us. they can't defeat us. they don't produce anything. they are not an existential threat to us. they are vicious killers and murd murderers, who perverted one of the world's great religions, and their primary power in addition to killing innocent lives is to strike fear in our societies, to disrupt our societies, so that the effect cascades from an
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explosion or an attack by a s i semiautomatic rifle, and even as we are systematic and ruthless and focused in going after them, disrupting their networks, getting their leaders, rolling up their operations, it is very important for us to not respond with fear. now as i said that's hard to do, because we see the impact in such an intimate way of the attacks that they make, but we defeat them in part by saying you are not strong. you are weak. we send a message to those who might be inspired by them to say you are not going to change our values of -- of liberty and
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openness, and the respect of all people. and i -- i mentioned at the baseball game yesterday one of my proudest moments as president was watching boston respond after the boston marathon attack. because they taught america a lesson. they grieved. i was there for the memorial. we apprehended those who carried this out, but a few days later, folks were out shopping. a few days later people were in that baseball stadium and, you know, singing the national anthem, and big papi was saying what he felt about boston, boston strong, and how a
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terrorist attack was not going to change the basic spirit of that city. well, at that moment, he spoke about what america is, and that is how -- that -- that is how we are going to defeat these terrorist groups. in part because we're going after them, and taking strikes against them and arresting them, and getting intelligence on them, and cooperating with other countries, but a lot of it is also going to say you do not have power over us. we're -- we are strong. our values are right. you offer nothing. except death. and so it's important for the u.s. president and the u.s. government to be able to work
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with people who are building and who are creating things, and creating jobs, and trying to solve major problems like climate change and setting up educational exchanges for young people who are going to create the next new great invention, or scientific break through that can cure diseases. we have to make sure that we lift up, and stay focused as well on the things that are most important to us because we're on the right side of history, and -- and with respect to how my reading of our history in latin america impacts syria, i think it's apples and oranges. what i have been clear about is where -- when it comes to defending the united states or itself allies and our core
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interests, i will not hesitate to use military force where necessary. when it is -- but -- but how we do that is important. we don't just go ahead and blow something up just so that we can go back home and say we blew something up. that's not a foreign policy. that's not a military strategy. and i -- i do think it is important for the president of the united states and the administration to think through what they are doing so that they can achieve the objectives that are the priorities of the american people. and i can tell you that how i spend my time is thinking through with our generals, our military, our best thinkers, how are we going to most effectively go after isil, how do we most effectively bring peace to syria? we don't just throw some military action at it without having thought it through, and
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making sure that it's effective. >> translator: okay. i'm going to give you my opinion of the -- of president obama's trip to cuba. i tell you, in terms of the u.s., it's great progress, because it has opened doors, and provided tools for those who want to choose, and without renouncing the flag we all aspire to, which is freedom for cuban people to choose their future, and this opens things up and steps up the pace of debate so that cuban youth who are crying out for greater freedom
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know they have partners in the rest of the world, so i view it very favorably, and i think it's going to be very positive over the next few years for relations between the united states and latin america. okay. >> i can hear you. >> reporter: olympics regardless of the instability there? >> i'm going. i'm the neighbor. so i'm going to the olympics. i'm not running. i'm out of shape, but i still am going. [ laughter ] >> but thank you. now we are set. >> we have a facebook question? >> oh, facebook, yes. >> translator: through facebook from [ inaudible ]. we have invited people to ask questions to pose to both presidents, and we have chosen
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the following, which belongs to maria [ inaudible ] from the province of buenos aires. what was your dream when you were elected? and you were successful at making a reality? >> well, you know, i -- i ran for office because i believed deeply in the american people and that our politics did not fully reflect all of the values and the talents and the goodness of the american people. and i thought i might be able to assign our government with our ideals to make sure every child has opportunity, to make sure if people get sick, they can get health care, to make sure that
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we don't discriminate against people on the basis of race or gender or disability or sexual orientation. that we are good stewards for our planet; that we grow an economy so that everybody ben if is and not just a few at the top. and i wrote down a list of things i wanted to do, and i keep it at my desk. and i won't say that i have gotten 100% done, but we have gotten a lot done. it is indisputable that the economy is much stronger now than when i came into office. we created over 14 million new jobs. we have cut our fiscal deficits by two-thirds. we have provided health insurance to 20 million people who didn't have it before.
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we have not only reduced the acceleration of our carbon footprint, but we helped lead the way to gain a global agreement on climate change. on the international front, cuba is just one example of the work we have done. the iran nuclear deal that took away that threat from the world, but also gave iran an opportunity now to rejoin the community of nations. the work that we have done in afghanistan, ending a war, but now giving them the opportunity to secure their own future. work in remote places like burma, where what had been a 40-year military rule is now on the brink of a new era of democracy. so i think our values, the values they felt were best represented america has also been reflected in our foreign policy. and one of the things that i
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learned -- >> and for about the past 45 minutes, you have been listening to president barack obama and president macri of argentina address the press after they had a meeting earlier today. we're going to spend a little time talking about what this trip has been. our correspondent is live in buenos aires argentina. based on whatever the expectations were for this trip, for this meeting, what we have heard in this press conference, have they made any major announcement that are in line with what the expectations were? >> reporter: well, we have seen several bilateral agreements that have been signed between the united states and argentina, including security, drug trafficking, technology, human rights, among other things. but this visit here is not just the announce s that are being made on this day, but also about the implications that this trip
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had. let me put all of this in context. the last time the u.s. president came to argentina was back in 2005 when president george bush came to the america summit. there were dozens and dozens of protests all around the city. there were clashes with the police, and i was a time when latin america had turned towards the left and hugo chavez was leading the fight against what he called the empire. now argentina has turned slowly towards the center, and this government is trying to open up argentina to the world. he has been saying that argentina is now open for business. that they want to have investors from europe, from the united states, among other things, and apparently the world is responding. in the last month we have seen the prime minister from italy, the french president, and now president obama is here.
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so many here are saying it's not just the announcement of this trip, but also about what may come ahead. >> is the average argentinian excited about this relationship? >> reporter: well, argentina is considered one of the most anti-american countries in latin america. it has a long history of love and hate are the united states. let's not forget that the united states at the time supported the united kingdom during the war back in the 1980s. the united states supported the dictatorship that persecuted and kills thousands of political opponents in this country. so many are opposing this visit. human rights groups are saying this is not an appropriate time for president obama to come to argentina, because this thursday is the 40th anniversary of the coup, the 1976 coup that brought the dictatorship to power.
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so there are a lots of people that are opposed, but many say it's time to move forward, turn the page, and that now argentina should not have like a love relationship with the united states, but that they can do business with it. >> having said that, considering there are so many mixed feelings in argentina, why did this trip happen now? is it because of the new president? >> reporter: well, this is apparently what we're hearing. president obama went to cuba, and his last stretch towards argentina was announced at the [ inaudible ] of the whole trip. we do know it generated lots of controversies when it was announced because it is the 40th anniversary of the dictatorship. however, the united states announced it will declassify certain documents during the
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dictatorship time, and at a time we're putting in place what was known as the condor plan which was supposed to persecute and kill political opponents wherever they were in latin america. so even though many resisted this trip, most we have spoken to say it's time to turn the page, and that now the united states and argentina need to begin a new era. >> all right. t -- tesh resa thank you very much. we're now joined i from washington. what expectations did you have for this trip? >> i think most of the expectations were already specified during the press conference as well as the initial speech. i think the core of president
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macri's plan at least for the time is drug trafficking. argentina has been, you know, grappling with violence due to drug trafficking, and it was said that even though el chapo guzman used to have operations in argentina. and argentina has been the hot bed of drug trafficking. so it is important that president obama is in buenos aires to explain how the u.s. and argentina both can be working together towards drug policies and in light of the u.n. special general assembly in april when they will be discussing drug policies across the globe. and many of the journalists were asking questions about the hold outs, because it has been a point of contention when the previous president was
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president, and now this president is taking a friendlier approach to resolve this issue. and lastly there was the question on free trade. argentina is part of a very restrictive market compared to, for example, the pacific alliance. they advocate for market [ inaudible ] whereas brazil which is facing a difficult time, and argentina they protect their businesses, and don't allow foreign investment as much as the other group. so now it's moving towards the center. it is still a right government, macri that is it, but it is moving closer to the center. >> having said that, do you think these two countries can find some common ground? this >> absolutely. i think the fact that macri is giving a 180 degree changes in
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the policies with the united states, i think there has been a -- it has opened the possibility to new -- a new approach, a reproachment between these two nations. i think argentina has realized that their restrictive policies have also effected other relations with other countries, such as spain. remember when the previous president exappropriated the oil company in argentina, and severed the relationship between owe countries. now that the united states has taken a friendlier approach -- and i mentioned this before -- i think president obama has taken this wonderful, golden opportunity to will some influence in the region, now that venezuela influence has dwindled because of oil prices. he went to cuba, and now
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argentina, a country that is distancing themselves from -- from venezuela. so it's very important -- and i think this is such a strategic trip that obama is -- is doing in argentina. so there's a lot of history. there's a lot of connotation, and if you look at the broader spectrum, definitely obama is making this trip to say we're trying to be friendlier, former president bush's policies are vanishing, and we're a good neighbor now. >> president macri was complementary of this trip. how has it played without other
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countries. >> it has played out both ways. i think it's so important now that both left and right leaning countries are welcoming this new approach. i think it's very important. >> robert wonderful to talk to you today. thank you so much for your incite and your time. >> thank you. thank you so much. >> as we were speaking the two presidents wrapped up that press conference in argentina, and we will have much more on that ahead on al jazeera. so do keep it here throughout the day. thank you very much for your time. ♪
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>> police investigating the attacks in brussels hunting for a third suspect whose bomb failing to off. >> more details are emerging hyped the brussels attacks. two of the suicide-bombers have been identified as brothers. as the investigation continues, the mourning begins. thousands gather to remember those killed. >> also ahead in the program the u.n. pulling