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The Return of the Orange Revolution?; Future of the Rainbow Nation; Imagine a World
Aired December 2, 2013 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour.
"This is not a protest; this is a revolution." That's the message from Independence Square in Ukraine's capital, Kiev. And these are live pictures of the square right now, where a demonstration about an E.U. trade, an integration treaty, has escalated to a movement to depose the president.
Crowds have been gathering and growing since Viktor Yanukovych failed to sign the trade deal with the European Union at a summit in Vilnius last week in favor of closer economic ties with Russia.
By some estimates more than 300,000 protesters have turned out in Kiev and in other parts of Ukraine, the biggest since the pro-democracy Orange Revolution nearly a decade ago. Protesters have blockaded government buildings and they are calling for a national strike.
This weekend, government forces cracked down with truncheons and tear gas. The next day, some of the protesters were seen with weapons and burning items, even using a tractor to bust through police lines.
Forty journalists have been injured in the Kiev protest, according to their union. This cameraman from euronews was hit with clubs while filming the police. The police have since apologized for injuring journalists.
Now the world heavyweight boxing champion, former champion, Vitaly Klitschko, is a respected opposition politician in Ukraine, and he's called for, quote, "complete regime change" in Ukraine. But he's urging peaceful protests.
While much of the country clearly sees its future in Europe, the E.U. is now calling for restraint on both sides.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSE MANUEL BARROSO, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: We already said very clearly that Ukraine authority should respect, of course, democratic freedoms and the right of people to demonstrate. At the same time, we have made an appeal to demonstrators to show restraint. Of course, this comes as a result of the fact that many, many Ukrainians see their future in Europe .
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now just as a way of some context, the 2004 Orange Revolution was sparked by a disputed election. The man the protesters blamed for stealing that one is none other than the current president, Viktor Yanukovych, embattled once again.
CNN's Phil Black has the very latest from Independence Square in Kiev.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is still a pretty big crowd here in central Kiev in Independence Square, it's been building steadily through the day, not the huge numbers that we saw over the weekend, but 100,000-plus or so.
But this is growing; it is by the thousands and there is no doubt they are determined that conditions here are not conducive to spending lots of time outdoors. It is very cold; it's been snowing, raining. But as I say, this crowd has still been building through the day and then digging in, a lot of them spent the night in tents on their square.
They have also set up barricades around all the points where police could potentially enter to try and remove them. So it shows a determination to stay and determination to challenge the authorities because what these people are now talking about is not just getting the Ukrainian government to change its position on getting closer to Europe.
What they're talking about changing the government, the cry that we've been hearing from the square behind us throughout the day has been revolution, revolution, Hala.
HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: All right. So just to remind our viewers, this started out because the government moved away from this E.U. trade pact. And the belief from protesters was that this was because of pressure from Russia.
Are these demonstrations likely to have any impact on the government's decision not to sign that E.U. trade deal?
BLACK: Well, that's certainly what they were hoping to do through all of last week. Then what we saw over the weekend was some of that pretty strong police reaction, which you showed. And that is what has really hardened the opinion of so many people in Ukraine, hardened against the Ukranian government and President Viktor Yanukovych. That is why they want them to go.
Will it make a difference? Well, what they're hoping for here is a repeat of history, back in 2004, the Orange Revolution. That's exactly what happened. Huge numbers occupied this square behind us and they successfully overturned what many believed was a largely false presidential election result. That is the sort of outcome they are hoping to achieve once again.
AMANPOUR: Well, that, of course, Phil Black in Kiev, talking to my colleague, Hala Gorani, a little while ago. And what he was referring to was that disputed presidential election back in 2004, which sparked the Orange Revolution.
At the time, the protest brought to power the charismatic leader, Viktor Yushchenko. He became the first democratically elected president. And our guest tonight is Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who served as Yushchenko's foreign minister. And he's called for the dismissal of the current government. He joins me now from Kiev overlooking Ground Zero for that current uprising.
Thank you very much for joining me. Let me start by asking you, how did this suddenly morph from a protest into a revolution, as the protesters are calling, look to topple an elected government?
ARSENIY YATSENYUK, UKRAINE OPPOSITION LEADER: Good to hear you. We in Ukraine have a peaceful protest. People are fighting for the civil rights and (INAUDIBLE). What actually triggered this, it's not just the riot police, but violently beating young Ukranians in the region, at least (INAUDIBLE).
This is a certain kind of consecutive role. This is the corrupted government, corrupted president, no reforms in the country, and huge hand that this president made from the European Union going back to Russia.
AMANPOUR: OK. Mr. Yatsenyuk, what is the next move, then? What happens? Is there negotiations with the president? Is this standoff going to continue? What do you expect is going to happen?
YATSENYUK: In any case, we have the key demands for today's to pass a non-confident policy in the House. If it goes in the right direction, we can get some kind of political compromise in order to fix this political crisis.
Otherwise, the situation could be not as stable as today. And it much depends on this president, whether is he ready to negotiate and whether is he ready to reach the compromise.
The ultimate goal of the opposition is next presidential and parliamentary elections. But he was very clear. This president was very clear, saying today nothing in his state of the union. So he said that everything is going fine and no protests in Kiev and he respects the right, but he is not ready to make any moves to handle this process and to fix this political crisis in the country.
AMANPOUR: Well, let's talk about -- you mentioned a whole lot of grievances when it really did start because of the E.U. trade deal. These protests did start; that's how we've become aware of them.
So why do you think it is that this president did not sign it yet? I mean, he's backed away from it.
Many people say it's because Europe, the European Union, didn't actually give him as much as financial incentive to be able to do it without being hurt by Russia trade sanctions.
YATSENYUK: This is a very important question. My feeling that it was the block from the start. This president has nothing to do with the European values. He probably has something to do with the European value, but it contradicts to the real standards of democracy in the -- in Europe.
So it's not just only about Russia; the thing is that the European Union was very clear, saying that if you say, if you sign an association agreement ,this is not the bid auction. You can't sell the country to the European Union or to Russia. This is the way how to reform the country, but not how to get an additional financial resources for the corrupted government.
He turned the tide.
AMANPOUR: Let me just very -- yes; sorry. It's certain noisy where you are. Obviously it's a little bit of a party right there behind you with all that music.
But let me ask you this as well. Look, there was a -- you remember the Orange Revolution; we all covered it. I interviewed eventually Viktor Yushchenko and you remember back then he had been poisoned. We still don't really know how or who or what.
But the promise of him becoming president and then teaming up with Yulia Tymoshenko, who's now in jail on politically motivated charges, many people say, you didn't deliver -- the Yushchenko-Tymoshenko group did not deliver. There was so much infighting and that center of the political world seemed to paralyzed.
I mean, are the people fed up by politics on all sides?
YATSENYUK: Yes, and people were really frustrated with this. And for today, a new trust and credibility reemerged. And you asked a very important question, and we need to deliver this. We need to deliver these changes.
And these changes can deliver a new president, a new government and a new parliament which is to sign an association agreement with the European Union and to make real reforms and real changes in this country, because people still believe in their future, in their European future.
AMANPOUR: But so as we look for the next few days -- and we've been surprised by how the crowds keep gathering and growing, do you think it's going to be, you know, Orange Revolution 2?
YATSENYUK: It's like a legacy of the Orange Revolution. Due to the Orange Revolution, people have the spirit of freedom in my country. And this is ongoing process. And I believe that we will definitely reach our target, a prosperous and free European country.
And it's not an easy job. I want to be absolutely frank. It's not an easy job to topple to government, to change the president, to sign an association agreement. But this is our agenda.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Yatsenyuk, thank you very much for joining me from Kiev this evening.
YATSENYUK: Thank you so much. Thank you so much.
AMANPOUR: And of course, the pent-up urge for a government of the people isn't just exploding on the streets of Kiev. Protests turned deadly in Thailand this past weekend, as riot police there fired tear gas at demonstrators, leaving at least three dead and dozens more injured. It's a new violent phase of what's been called a people's coup.
The protesters are hoping to overthrow the current government, accusing the prime minister of being just a puppet of her older brother, who spent the past five years in exile after his conviction on corruption charges.
Now after a break, another nation in transition; the incredibly important South Africa confronts its own charges of corruption and there is another fight, the fight over life and death against AIDS. I'll ask America's ambassador to South Africa, is the Rainbow Nation winning this fight?
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
Now to encouraging news in the global battle against AIDS. This Sunday marked World AIDS Day, with the United Nations reporting that more and more people have access to anti-retroviral treatment. New infections globally were estimated at 2.3 million in 2012, which the U.N. says is a 33 percent reduction since 2001.
As a continent, Africa is affected by AIDS more than any other region in the world. And more than two-thirds of all people infected with the virus live there.
My next guest is America's ambassador to South Africa, where more than 6 million people or 10 percent of the entire population are infected with HIV. The United States is a big financial backer of AIDS treatment programs there, and South Africa has the largest anti-retroviral program in the world.
Still, there's work to be done. More people are living with HIV in South Africa today than 10 years ago.
Now Ambassador Patrick Gaspard joins me from Johannesburg.
Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much for joining me from Johannesburg.
PATRICK GASPARD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH AFRICA: Thank you so very much for having me on, Christiane, at this important juncture in our relationship.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me just go straight to the AIDS situation. You know, as you know very well, many people around the world were not so keen on President George Bush's popularity or his foreign policy.
But the one thing many people gave him credit for was PEPFAR, the AIDS-related help that his administration spearheaded.
And obviously we've seen a lot of reaction from that now.
In South Africa, since President Obama came to office, PEPFAR funding has gone down and people with HIV are going up.
Why now? Why are we reducing PEPFAR funding to South Africa?
GASPARD: Well, Christiane, first I'll acknowledge the history. You're absolutely right, that, to his everlasting credit, President Bush led a bipartisan effort to bring extraordinary relief to the African continent. And of course Americans are always called to do extraordinary things against great odds.
And much has been accomplished. And I will tell you, Christiane, that over the last few years, President Obama has initiated ambitious goals for PEPFAR; for instance, he declared a few short years ago that we should try to get 6 million individuals on anti-retrovirals and that we should attempt to get 1.6 million pregnant women access to care as well so that they don't communicate their disease to their children.
And I'm proud to say that we've reached the president's goals; we've exceeded those goals. And here in South Africa, where the U.S. has invested over $4 billion over the last decade, we've managed to bring the new rate of infection down 32 percent and only 3 percent of HIV-positive pregnant women are transmitting the disease to their children.
Without any intervention, that rate would be over 30 percent. So much was done at the inception of PEPFAR and President Obama has continued that commitment.
AMANPOUR: You're absolutely right. The commitment continues, but let me again tell you the statistics, that under President Obama, the funding has decreased; and yet, the number of people infected has increased quite dramatically in the last decade.
So I just -- just trying to figure out why, why now?
GASPARD: Yes, yes. You know, that's not -- that's not quite the story, Christiane. If you look at the commitment globally, the United States represents 64 percent of all contributions to HIV/AIDS programs globally, 64 percent. And look at what's happened here in South Africa.
You're right that the United States' investment has declined slowly and will continue to do over the next few years. But that's only because the government of South Africa has assumed its full responsibility. And right now, the South African government has taken on ownership of 80 percent of HIV/AIDS funding in this country. So it's only natural that the U.S. contribution would go down.
But as a result of what we're doing together, South Africa and the sub-Saharan region has actually become a model for innovation on HIV. We've managed to bring down the cost of delivering ARVs to an individual from $100/month to $10/month here in South Africa.
That has profound implications for this economy, for the regional economy and it's a model that countries all around the world are beginning to study and emulate.
So our commitment here is steadfast; it's deep and we're transitioning from providing frontline care to providing long-term infrastructure for health care throughout this country.
AMANPOUR: Well, again, we will hopefully see those numbers of infections come down.
But let me move on to a bigger picture. South Africa is --
GASPARD: They've come down 34 percent, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: OK, OK.
Mr. Ambassador, there are 5.26 million people infected with HIV in South Africa today, compared with 4 million a decade ago.
But let's not argue over statistics; let's just move on. I want to ask you about the transition that's happening there right now, and you're there at an amazingly important time.
First and foremost, does your administration, do you feel that once the inevitable transition, the heroic and inspirational and moral leadership of Nelson Mandela, you know, passes on when he eventually passes on, do you believe that the current politics can cope with all the amazing challenges that there are in South Africa right now?
And there are a lot of problems, you know, not least the massive inequality between rich and poor that seems to be getting bigger.
GASPARD: No doubt that Nelson Mandela, who's in our thoughts and prayers right now, was an extraordinary and informative figure.
But, Christiane, if you're here on the ground in Johannesburg or in Durban or Cape Town, you'll find that there's a vibrant, thriving democracy throughout the country. There's a probing civil society. There's an active and engaged and critical media. So I would say that democracy is alive and well here in South Africa. It will continue to be for future generations.
And that's why we're seeing the kind of economic stability, security and growth here in the region as well.
I'd also add that in a few short months, South Africans themselves will be able to litigate this question in their national elections next spring. And I dare say that they're going to have a vibrant debate about the question of where things are going.
But just for a second, Christiane, to go back to your broader question about AIDS and statistics, you're right. Statistics don't tell the story. I think the story is better told through stories like the story of a woman I met in --
GASPARD: -- who lives in (INAUDIBLE) --
GASPARD: -- who, in 2005, went on retrovirals because of PEPFAR and now she's raising children who are graduating from college, who are contributing to this economy.
So there's much work to be done; you're right about that. There's so much extraordinary accomplishment.
AMANPOUR: You're absolutely right. It is incredible how many lives have been saved.
Let me ask you precisely about that economy.
When President Obama was in Africa not so long ago, a few months ago, he spoke in South Africa and elsewhere about another great necessity, and that is the necessity to fight against corruption.
Let me play you what he said when he was in South Africa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Know that progress is uneven. Across Africa, the same institutions that should be the backbone of democracy can all too often be infected with the rot of corruption.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, Ambassador, that's clearly a problem in South Africa. We've been reporting on it for a long time. And as you probably know, you know, there's been a lot of talk and a lot of criticism about President Zuma, particularly over this big estate that he has and a huge amount of money has been used for that.
He's said that it's just for security, but there have been many instances where it has been the money used, taxpayer money, for other issues.
What can you say to that? What can the U.S. do to encourage your partners in South Africa, the president, this party right now, to really fight and lead by example against corruption?
GASPARD: You know, I'm happy to see here, Christiane, that there's actually a thriving debate inside of the ranks of government and in the majority party, the African National Congress. On the question of transparency, accountability and all that needs to be done to push back the scourge of corruption.
On the question you asked, the public protector in this country has yet to issue a final report on that question. But we should be encouraged by the fact that there is a public protector in South Africa who operates independently of the presidency and the legislature. So there is checks and balances that exist here, that are healthy, that are robust and that are elevating all of the right questions.
And there's also a deep foundation, a deep reservoir of democratic principles throughout South African society. President Obama is, of course, right, that an economy cannot thrive with corruption; a people cannot thrive with corruption. That's a challenge that exists here in sub- Saharan Africa. But as you well, know, that's been a challenge in the United States as well, that we rise to meet every day.
AMANPOUR: Well, we looking forward to continuing this conversation.
Thank you, Ambassador, for joining me. We look forward to having you on again.
GASPARD: Thank you so very much.
AMANPOUR: And South Africa's iconic leader, we said, Nelson Mandela, helped lead the fight against AIDS, not just as the father of the Rainbow Nation, but as a grieving father. When his eldest son died in 2005, Mandela was open about the cause of his death.
He said, "Let us give publicity to HIV/AIDS and not hide it, because the only way to make it appear like a normal illness, like tuberculosis, like cancer, is always to come out and say somebody has died because of HIV/AIDS, and people will stop regarding it as something extraordinary."
And certainly the world has come a long way since that time in confronting AIDS head on.
And after a break, imagine a world on the brink of a world war, with thousands of children marked for death. A narrow escape back in history that still inspires. That's when we come back.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, this is World Kindertransport Day. It's the 75th anniversary of one of the great humanitarian missions of modern time.
Imagine a world where 10,000 children were rescued from the Holocaust by the kindness of strangers. In November 1938, just months before the start of World War II, Adolf Hitler unleashed the dogs of racial war in his own country in a series of pogroms forever known as Cristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass.
Nazi storm troopers murdered and arrested Jewish citizens. They burned hundreds of synagogues. They destroyed thousands of Jewish shops and homes, including a Jewish orphanage in Berlin.
Immediately a plan was launched to transport Jewish children and other young people at risk from the Nazis' group in Germany, Australia, Czechoslovakia and Poland. Children bid wrenching farewells to their families and eventually set sail for sanctuary in Britain, even though boatloads of adults and other refugees were turned away from ports in the United States and other nations and sent back to Germany.
The children of the Kindertransport, heavier, were greeted warmly and taken by double-decker buses to shelters and camps. They found foster homes in Britain and some of the older ones even became soldiers and joined the Allied fight against the Nazis.
After the war, many settled in their adopted country for the rest of their lives, 1.5 million Jewish children died at the hands of the Nazis. As we remember, the 10,000 who were saved by the Kindertransport, we also remember the families they never saw again.
And that's it for our program tonight. Remember you can always contact us at our website, amanpour.com, and follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks for watching and goodbye from New York.