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Interview with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg; Interview with RISE Mzansi Party Leader Songezo Zibi; Interview with U.K. House of Lords Member and 5Rights Foundation Chair Beeban Kidron; Interview with "Relentless" Author Luis Miranda Jr. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired May 28, 2024 - 13:00:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up. Israeli tanks move into

central Rafah against Biden's advice. Are there any red lines? Correspondent Jeremy Diamond has the latest.

And --


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Ukraine has the right to self- defense. And self-defense includes also the right to strike targets outside Ukraine, including legitimate military targets in Russia.


AMANPOUR: -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on changing the rules of engagement to stop Russia's advance in Ukraine.

Then, one of this year's big elections and South African insurgent party leader, Songezo Zibi, hopes to ride the wave of dissatisfaction.

Also, ahead, protecting children online. An activist British baroness is ahead of the game. How Beeban Kidron's regulations are impacting America

and more.

And later --


LUIS MIRANDA JR., AUTHOR, "RELENTLESS": You have to invest in a community if you want those votes.


AMANPOUR: -- Michel Martin speaks with Luis Miranda Jr., author, activist, and father of Lin Manuel, about transformative moments.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. Eyewitnesses report Israeli tanks are moving in on Central Rafah for the

first time since the assault on the city began in early May. This comes after a deadly airstrike there that killed at least 45 people and injured

more than 200, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a tragic error.

Global condemnation was swift. France, the E.U. and other governments call on Israel to immediately halt all Rafah operations as the International

Court of Justice ordered on Friday. The White House calls the attack heart breaking. But will it shut down the flow of offensive weapons to Israel?

Here, President Biden sets out a bright red line when speaking with CNN earlier this month.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: They're going to Rafah. I'm not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with

the cities, to deal with that problem.


AMANPOUR: Correspondent Jeremy Diamond is in Jerusalem and he has the latest. Jeremy, look, President Biden was very clear and it appears that

nonetheless, something is going on inside Rafah. Do you have confirmation of an escalation there?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christiane, what we are seeing today, according to eyewitnesses on the ground, excuse me, is certainly

Israeli tanks further west into Rafah in the center of the city, further west than we have ever seen them so far. And that certainly marks an

escalation or at least an advancement of the Israeli military offensive in that city.

This comes, of course, just days after we saw that strike in Western Rafah that resulted in the deaths of at least 45 people. The Israeli military

today trying to provide some clarity, a sense of transparency about how they are addressing that, saying that they are still investigating that

strike, that this strike was carried out using two small munitions, but they are insisting that it could not have been those munitions alone that

set -- that ignited the blaze that resulted in so many deaths in addition to the explosion itself.

But they aren't providing much information about what else could have caused that blaze other than suggesting the possibility of a secondary

explosion caused by other munitions in the area. They didn't provide any evidence for that however.

What is clear though, from the drone footage that they provided of this strike, is that it took place just feet away from where we know that there

were hundreds of displaced Palestinians living in some of these container- like structures in the as-Sultan neighborhood of Western Rafah.

And, Christiane, what is also clear, beyond the military moves that we're seeing the military make in Central Rafah, is also the kinds of strikes

that they are continuing to carry out. And these are strikes that also carry with them the risk and indeed the reality of additional civilian



Just two days after that strike that we were just talking about, the Israeli military carried out another strike, about 150 meters away in

another area where displaced Palestinians were living, killing eight people. And then there was another strike in the Al-Mawasi area, which has

been designated by the Israeli military as a safe zone, killing 21 people, of which 13 women.

And so, while we are witnessing the Israeli government, the Israeli military, certainly in full damage control mode following that strike

Sunday night and the international condemnation that followed, we are not really witnessing a change in the way in which the Israeli military

operates on the ground, particularly as it relates to these two strikes that happened in just the last 24 hours.

So, now, the question is, of course, as it relates to those strikes, as it relates to these Israeli military operations now hitting the heart of

Rafah, will this cross or will the White House acknowledge that it has crossed the red line that the president set out?

It was certainly a very clear line. It was perhaps a quite a squiggly line, is one way to define it, Christiane, because the president talked about a

kind of all-out military offensive in Rafah. The national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, has tried to describe this as an operation that would cause

a lot of death and destruction in the heart of the urban area of that city.

It's not clear yet whether or not the Israeli military, in carrying out the offensive that it has carried out in the center of Rafah, whether or not it

has crossed that line. We will wait to hear from the White House.

AMANPOUR: Indeed. Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much. Now, Ukraine is also suffering its share of brutal attacks on civilians. At least five people

were killed in Russian shelling across the country today, and five more are still missing after a Russian strike on a large shopping center in Kharkiv

on Sunday, which killed at least 18 people, including a 12-year-old girl.

It is Ukraine's second largest city, it's less than 20 miles from Russia's border, and it's essentially defenseless against Russian air attacks.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg wants that to change at what may be the most critical moment since Russia first invaded. He's calling on allies

to unshackle Ukraine from striking military targets in Russia with the weapons they've provided. And he joined me from NATO headquarters in

Brussels to discuss that.


AMANPOUR: Secretary General Stoltenberg, welcome back to the program.

JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Thank you so much for having me, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: I want to start by asking you to tell me whether you think that this is the scariest, most difficult, dicey time for Ukraine since the

early days of the invasion in 2022.

STOLTENBERG: Yes, it is the most difficult time in this war since the first days and weeks of the war, because after the full-scale invasion, the

Ukrainians was actually able to do something hardly anyone believed was possible, that was to push back the Russians, to liberate 50 percent of the

territory that Russia occupied in the beginning.

And then, they tried to launch an offensive last summer, that didn't work. And now, the Russians are pushing. And the Russians are able to make some

marginal gains. But we don't expect a big Russian breakthrough. Of course, there's always uncertainty, wars are unpredictable, but we expect the

Russians to continue to push, pay a high price.

And therefore, it is important -- more important than ever than -- that we support Ukraine with weapons and with training.

AMANPOUR: OK. So, there's some very important meetings, NATO meetings, defense ministers, foreign ministers, et cetera. And you have essentially

started a conversation about, I'm going to put it this way, changing the rules of engagement. Allowing Ukraine to actually use the weapons and the

long-range artillery to actually target Russian military sites inside Russia, if needs be. Some people would be amazed that that's not happening


STOLTENBERG: We have to remember what this is a war aggression. Russia has invaded another country, invaded Ukraine. That's a blatant violation of

international law. And according to international law, Ukraine has the right to self-defense. And self-defense includes also the right to strike

targets outside Ukraine, including legitimate military targets in Russia.

I have stated that before, but what makes it more urgent now is that the war has changed. Now, the hardest fighting is taking place on the border,

very close to the border in the Kharkiv region between Russia and the -- and Ukraine. And of course, it's impossible -- or at least, it's very

difficult for Ukrainians if the Russians can just be on the other side of the border and then launch missile attacks -- air attacks against the

Ukrainians and they not being able to use their advanced weapons to hit back.

These are national decisions on the restrictions on the use of weapons. Some allies have not imposed any restrictions at all. Other allies have.

And I have stated that I think now the time has come to reconsider whether it's right to have those restrictions or not, because we see the fighting,

especially along the frontline and the board line is almost the same, along the frontline and board lines in the Kharkiv region.


AMANPOUR: So, everybody interpreted what you've said and what you're saying in this regard to mean the United States, because President Biden

has been quite cautious. His national security adviser is quite cautious. But interestingly, his secretary of state in Kyiv just recently indicated

that he also thought Ukraine should be able to, I'm going to paraphrase, fight without its hands tied behind its back and make the best decisions.

Are you specifically urging the U.S., because they're the ones that have the biggest, most important long-range artillery that they're giving?

STOLTENBERG: I think it's not helpful if I start to have, in a way, internal consultations with specific allies on air on CNN. But my message

is to all allies, then we will have opportunities to sit down in NATO frameworks, in NATO meetings to discuss the details.

When it comes to the United States, the United States is by far the biggest provider of military support to Ukraine. I welcome, of course, the decision

to -- in the U.S. Congress to have a supplemental, to have more money, $60 billion extra for Ukraine. And also, the decision to also deliver more

long-range systems, including the ATACMS. This is making a huge difference.

And of course, Russian forces are partly inside Russia, for instance, in the Belgorod region, bordering Kharkiv, where the fighting is going on now.

But there was an occupied Ukrainian territory in Donbas and in Crimea, and there are no restrictions by any ally.

So, again, allies have different restrictions. These are national decisions, but I think the time is right to consider some of these


AMANPOUR: We know the British have allowed them to be used how they want. But for instance, today in Belgium, and President Zelenskyy was in Belgium,

he signed another deal, but the Belgian prime minister went out of his way to say these are only to be used in Ukraine, whether they are aircraft or

anti-air, you know, missile defense systems, et cetera.

And some of the -- people like, you know, the prime minister of Italy and of course, the Hungarians, they're all saying, what is Stoltenberg doing?

What is the secretary general doing talking like this? A, what is your reaction to their reaction? And B, do you feel a sense of urgency now after

10 years of being secretary general and your mandate about to come to an end? And this terrible situation on the frontline?

STOLTENBERG: The urgency is caused by the situation on the ground, because it's very heavy fighting in Kharkiv region, and actually there, the

frontline is more or less the same as the border line, between the two countries. So, if you cannot attack legitimate military targets on the

other side of the border line, it makes it much harder for Ukrainians to uphold the legal right of self-defense. And that's my that's my message.

Then, of course, I fully understand that NATO's task in this conflict is actually twofold. One is to provide support to Ukraine, as we do, and we

have to step up. The other is to prevent this war from escalating beyond Ukraine and become a full-scale war between NATO and Russia. That's the

reason why we are not sending in troops.

AMANPOUR: Are you concerned that even these weapons that are being sent by the allies, including the United States, some very sophisticated ones, the

Russians apparently have figured out how to jam the electronic systems, how to actually neutralize some of these weapons that they're getting?

STOLTENBERG: Well, Russia has, of course, learned some lessons throughout this war. And we need to then adapt to that. So therefore, we are

constantly -- and NATO allies and the Ukraine are constantly improving the equipment, the doctrines, the procedures to ensure that the weapons we

deliver to Ukraine are working as they should. So, we are also adapting what we do, and we're also giving Ukraine a more advanced system also when

it comes to electronic warfare.

There are many concerns, there are many challenges we face, but we have to understand that what NATO allies have done has made a huge difference. They

have been able to stop the Russian invaders, actually liberate a lot of land. Russia has made only marginal gains over the last months. They paid a

very high price.

So, the Russians have put the whole economy on war footing. They have sent in hundreds of thousands of troops, they have paid a very high price and

still they struggled to control Donbas.


So, if we compare to where this war started, what most people expected, the Ukrainians have achieved a lot and we have demonstrated that our support is

making a huge difference.

AMANPOUR: And very briefly, finally, if these rules don't change, what will happen on the ground? In other words, you know, what you're calling

for if it doesn't happen?

STOLTENBERG: It's more difficult for Ukraine to defend themselves if they cannot hit legitimate military targets in Russia, which is then absolutely

their right as they're part of their right for self-defense. But what we have seen is that the skill, the bravery of the Ukrainian forces combined

with substantial support from NATO allies has actually enabled them to achieve a lot. Liberate 50 percent of the land, open a corridor in the

Black Sea, sink many Russian ships, and continue to inflict heavy losses on the Russian forces.

The problem over the last months is that there were some very serious delays, partly caused by the U.S. delay in agreeing supplemental for

Ukraine, but also some delays in provision of ammunition from European allies.

We need to minimize the risk for similar delays and gaps in the future. And that's reason why I have proposed NATO role, a stronger NATO role in

coordinating the supplies. And also, that allies should agree a financial pledge, a multiyear pledge to ensure that we have more predictability, more

accountability in the support for Ukraine that will help them to prevail and to push back more Russian forces.

AMANPOUR: Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general, thank you very much for being with us.

STOLTENBERG: Thank you so much for having me.


AMANPOUR: So, Ukraine is one of those young democracies that needs defending just like South Africa. 30 years ago, in 1994, South Africa

stunned the world holding its historic first Democratic election. It was the end of apartheid. Hope was sky high as Nelson Mandela's African

National Congress won more than 60 percent of the vote.

This Wednesday's election in South Africa could also be historic, but for very different reasons. The ANC could lose its majority for the very first

time, as South Africa endures economic stagnation, high crime, and pervasive corruption.

Now, among the many parties jockeying to supplant the ANC, one in particular is targeting disillusioned young voters by offering fundamental

change. While the RISE Mzansi Party is unlikely to win anything like a majority, it could be a king maker in a new governing coalition. And its

leader, Songezo Zibi, is joining me now from Johannesburg.

Welcome to the program. I wonder what you think is the best you can hope for -- or let me put it this way. Jacob Zuma, one of your previous

presidents, once said that the ANC would rule until Jesus came back. What is your view on that as you sit there on the eve of the next election?

SONGEZO ZIBI, LEADER, RISE MZANSI PARTY: Good evening, Christiane, and thanks very much for having me on. I think Jesus is on the way. Because by

all accounts, certainly if we look at the polling over a period of time, it's clear that the ANC could lose its absolute majority in this election.

But also, as somebody who goes around talking to voters in all nine provinces, it is very clear that people are fed up. They want change. The

question is whether they can get the new leaders that they are looking for.

AMANPOUR: So, you are trying to be one of those new leaders. But what are you particularly identifying as the reason for this crisis for the ANC?

ZIBI: Yes. Rise ANC is offering is to bring in new leaders who are younger and more energetic, who aren't tainted by corruption, but highly capable.

And I think what has brought us here is not only the pervasive corruption that we have seen over the last 20 years in particular, maybe 15 years, it

is also the fact that the leadership that we have under the African National Congress is no longer able to bring different stakeholders and

interest groups in South Africa to work together towards a common goal, even as they continue to disagree on some things.

That's certainly what we had in the first 15 years of our democracy. We've lost it. And as a result, we're not able to deal with the many challenges

that we have. This election offers us an opportunity for a fresh start with a possible minority government after this election, where we can have new

leaders who can build that credibility again.

AMANPOUR: Mr. Zibi, let me ask you, because the current president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is a very close ally of President Mandela, you know,

obviously, you know, before, in the fight against apartheid, and ever since, he has said that corruption has been going down on his watch. It was

his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, who essentially, some people say, made the ANC synonymous with the word corruption.


Is it such -- I mean, how do you get to the root of this? How do you try to end something that is really affecting growth and all the other issues in

South Africa?

ZIBI: Look, I think the most effective way we can begin to end corruption in South Africa is to get the ANC out of power. Because what has

metastasized within and around the ANC are many corruption networks, at provincial level, at municipal level and at national government level, and

it is impossible for any ANC president to ascend to power without the support of those networks.

So, I hear what he says about successes against corruption, but very few people have been convicted of corruption. There are some cases that are in

the courts, but they are moving at slower than a snail's pace. So, we need new leaders to clean house, appoint new sort of senior police officers,

give them better equipment, better resources, and make sure that we can investigate corruption and put people in prison. Otherwise, we're not going

to see the growth and the return of credibility that we're looking for.

AMANPOUR: So, as I said, Jacob Zuma was held accountable, the previous president. But all of a sudden, he's back. He's got another party. And he's

actually contesting these elections, and he does seem to be getting some votes.

First of all, how is that possible and what can you do trying to really sort of mobilize the young people for something new?

ZIBI: Christiane, Jacob Zuma has not been held accountable because he still has not been put to trial. You know, he was first charged before my

son was born. My son is 17 years old. He is still not been put on trial. So, he's not been held accountable.

I think what we need to do, and this is what I and my colleagues at RISE Mzansi have done, have stepped forward, made use of the open democracy that

we have, and all of us need to go around convincing people to vote, to vote for new leaders, to support the political reforms that we are putting on

the table in order to improve accountability, as well as the opportunity for a more professionalized public service that is going to do the work of

the South African people. Neither Cyril Ramaphosa nor Jacob Zuma can do that.

AMANPOUR: And, Mr. Zibi, you have said basically it is time to have the grownups in the room. And you've described your party as a sort of typical

European style centrist party. The big issue in South Africa also appears to be that young people, as you've laid out, are pretty disillusioned and

don't seem like they are ready to turn out at the polls.

Everybody remembers those historic pictures back in 1994, the lines of voters for the first time snaked around for hours and hours. I mean, it was

really quite something. Do you -- what do you expect in terms of turnout?

ZIBI: So, the level of disillusionment that we have seen is such that I believe that in many places you'll get more people turning up to vote in

this election, and many of those will be young people. What we have put on the table is what would be a center left a political offering because we

believe South Africans are social democratic in their soul, the social democratic in their outlook.

And we are very fortunate to rise at RISE Mzansi to have young leaders, to have young activists who are really determined to move with the kind of

electorate that we have. Because, Christiane, over 50 percent of our voters role in this election was born in 1990 or after. So, there is a big shift

coming in this election that I don't think has been taken into account by many commentators.

AMANPOUR: Your party's name means south, right? So south, South Africa. I mean, you're really identifying yourself with your place. And South Africa

once had a, you know, totally booming economy. Things are not so great right now. And the joblessness is very, very high. The rate of

unemployment. What do you propose to do to change that, particularly for young people?

ZIBI: Christiane, you know, our economy is growing at around 9.8 (ph) percent per annum at the moment GDP growth. And the South African Reserve

Bank has for about 11 quarters now, said that if we solve our electricity problem, we solve our national logistics and network and we begin to reduce

crime, that could raise between 3 and 3.5 percent economic growth.

We have not seen economic growth of 4.5 percent for a very long time in South Africa. And that would just be a start. And we believe that is

achievable in 18 to 24 months. But there is another opportunity to turn this crisis into an opportunity.


For instance, and I'll make just one example, if we committed to putting solar panels on every roof that qualifies in South Africa and take -- took

advantage of the climate financing package of $6.5 billion that we're getting from Northern Hemisphere countries, you can build capacity to do

that in South Africa, train young people, employ them to install and maintain the system, make electricity cheaper for families and small

businesses, and put young people to work.

The only reason we have not even accessed that $6.5 billion is because we have a government that is slow, that is ponderous, and worries more about

who's going to benefit from that package rather than doing the work of the South African people.

AMANPOUR: Songezo Zibi, the head of RISE Mzansi, thank you so much for joining us, as you go to the polls tomorrow and your nation does. Thanks a


And next we turn to protecting children in the modern and often dangerous digital world. Britain has recently introduced the Online Safety Act, which

requires tech companies to better protect kids from harmful material, especially on social media.

Meantime, in the United States, nine States have introduced similar bills to improve child safety online in the face of intense lobbying from tech

companies. And there are growing concerns about the lack of legislation around A.I. too

Our next guest is an expert and activist on digital regulation. Beeban Kidron is a member of the House of Lords and an adviser to Oxford

University's Institute for Ethics in A.I., and she's joining me now here in the studio. Welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: So, you once said, and I'm going to read this because I think it sets up your activism, you know, really quite well. You once said that,

about tech companies and how they treated children for years, they boiled kids alive online and everybody is fed up.

What were you saying? And what have you been doing about it?

KIDRON: So, I think the point is this, is that we have a set of childhood norms and somehow the tech companies have come in and they've changed those

norms in plain sight of all of us and we were persuaded for a moment that it was OK. But it's not OK for a child to never have a moment to themselves

because they can't develop their memory or their creativity, and it's not OK to send information to kids saying, here's pornography when you're eight

or why don't you self-harm or try committing suicide? You know, that's not a childhood norm that we accept in any other area of life.

And this is the point, is we've literally allowed this to happen all around and suddenly, all over the world, parents are saying, hang on a minute, not

my kid.

AMANPOUR: And the statistics are dreadful, just what you said about eight- year-old kids and the others, and I'm going to -- I'll read off some of them in a moment. But in the meantime, often the system, the world expects

parents to take care of it. And yet, you're saying, and many other activists are saying, actually, it is the people who produce this, it's the

tech companies, it's the system that allows this, with no regulations, certainly, almost none in the United States.

What were -- what did you do here, and how did you transport it to the U.S.?

KIDRON: So, I think there's two points there. I mean, the first thing is, actually, this is an industry that for the most part, at the moment, is

earning, you know, 90 percent of its revenue from advertising. So, that's a business. That's not other. And I think that they've played a blinder to

sort of say this tech exceptionalism, we are not a business. But I think the first thing is to say, you are. You're making money.

AMANPOUR: They actually seriously try to say they're not a business?

KIDRON: Well, in a way, they say they shouldn't be regulated because of all sorts of issues around the constitution and so on, but actually, we do

take all other businesses, whether it's pharma or transport or military or so on, any other business had rules -- has rules and regulations.

So, the first thing is to deny them this sort of special exceptional status. I think that here, what we did was we had some experience from E.U.

law, we had some experience from the age-appropriate design code, and we brought in legislation. And we said, for children, we need a duty of care.

We need these companies not to provide unsafe products and services.

Now, even when they do provide safe products and services, parents have a role, but the parent cannot single handedly deal with a machine that puts

hundreds of millions and billions of dollars into getting their child's attention and say, OK, put it down now.


AMANPOUR: Exactly. And I mean, years of debate here, the Online Safety Act came into law last October. And the U.K. government says the strongest

protections in the act have been designed for children and will make the U.K. the safest place in the world to be a child online. Platforms will be

required to prevent children from accessing harmful and age-inappropriate content and provide parents and children with clear and accessible ways to

report problems online when they arise.

You've also -- I mean, you're part of making this happen. Are you saying it's not ambitious enough?

KIDRON: I think it's not ambitious enough yet. And I think we've got some fantastic wins. It's a watershed moment, self-harm, suicide, pornography,

all have to be behind an 18 plus age gate. We've got new criminal offences that stop intimate images being shared, unwanted and genitals to phones and

so on and so on. Excellent.

However, I have not seen yet clarity that under 13s will be enforced. If companies say that they have terms and conditions in which young children

shouldn't be there, then children shouldn't be there. I haven't yet seen that some of the live streaming, some of the joining kids to big groups,

you know, broadcasting from their bedroom, I haven't seen that that is categorically age inappropriate.

So, we've got a bit of a way to go. There is a process, but I have called on Ofcom to be more ambitious and --

AMANPOUR: And Ofcom, just is the regulator for communications in this country?

KIDRON: It is the regulator. But actually, we are in election mode here and we are about to call on both sides of the election, in fact, all

parties to put children's safety online, front and center of their first 100 days.

AMANPOUR: And the response from the parties?

KIDRON: So far, and it's early days and we're working on the actual declaration, but so far, Labour has said that they are going to work on

child online safety and make sure it's a priority in their new program. So, we have to see what they're going to do.

I will be writing to the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, because there were some things that were about to pass into law, including data access for

bereaved parents, a new crime of using A.I. files and models to create child sexual abuse, some work around that tech (ph), all sorts of things

that fell in the sudden call for the election.

And I will be writing to Rishi Sunak and saying if he becomes prime minister again, will he bring them back? And to Labour, to ask them.

AMANPOUR: Can I just ask you to compare, and you may not want to, but it appears that you've had success here. And it's very difficult to get any

success in the United States. They endlessly call the tech bros, the tech giants before them, and they seem completely bamboozled with -- from

Zuckerberg on, who say, yes, yes, we'll take care of it, and apparently never do.

And yet, your bill really did get traction in California. I mean, Governor Newsom signed something similar in, how did you manage to do that? And what

was the reaction from the tech company for this British baroness, essentially, influencing what they can and can't do?

KIDRON: Well, I think I should say straight up, a British baroness cannot influence what they do in America, and I think you have to put the American

context into a broader global context in which the African Union has just put forward child safety policies, in which Australia has said they're

going to have the AADC, the Age Appropriate Design Code, in which all over Europe we're seeing moves towards similar things. And I believe that the

A.I. act in Europe will have special provision for children.

So, I think this is a global conversation. And might I say America is behind everybody else.


KIDRON: It's right. It's not what the baroness is doing to America, it's what America is doing to itself in actually giving cover to the companies

but not actually insisting that they behave in a way that is appropriate.

And I think that if you do polling, and I do see the polling from all over the world. If you look at the polling from America, the electorate would

like the companies to act, the electorate would like whichever administration comes in in November to act, and parents in particular are

going to get angry. And I think that we have to -- you know, you're -- you've got an international audience. Let me say to the tech companies that

actually I think that they will ultimately suffer for not taking care of people's kids.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you about education? Because again, this is an election year. And there's been all sorts of talk about, you know, stopping

sex education at certain ages, and this and that.


How does that also compound the problem for children who, as you've said, many of them get flooded with this pornography and what's -- you know, what

they're taught to think is the right thing to do sexually, et cetera, and they don't have anywhere to go to be educated about it?

KIDRON: Yes, I do think it's a real problem. I think that schools are a good place for education and I think that we should have an understanding

of what schools are teaching and then schools should get along and teach it.

And I do remember even when my children were very young, and they are adult now, that actually the school sent home a note and said this is what we'll

be telling your kids tomorrow. And if you've got a problem, let us know. I think that there is a great deal of understanding between parents and

schools, and this is blown up out of proportion. The greater problem, and it is a very big problem, are the teenagers and young adults who do not

know what consent is, who do think that putting your arms around someone's neck is fun for them.

And I'm afraid because in my life, I speak to an awful lot of lawyers who represent an awful lot of children who've got in real trouble, you know,

through not understanding what boundaries look like and what it is that they have a right to reject. And when I say real trouble that sounds coy,

but what I'm saying is they have been hurt.

AMANPOUR: And very quickly, because we're running out of time. Do you believe a next government, whatever it is, is ready to take this even more


KIDRON: Well, I'm calling on the Labour government and I'm calling on the Tory government and the Liberals to make it clear. And I'm actually calling

on the British electorate, I don't get a vote, I'm an independent peer, to actually not vote for anyone who doesn't put this high on their agenda.

AMANPOUR: Beeban Kidron, ahead of the curve. Thank you so much for being here.

Now, our next guest has devoted decades to giving Latino communities a voice in U.S. politics, but many now know him as the father of "Hamilton"

creator Lin Manuel Miranda. Now, Luis Miranda Jr. is out with a new memoir, "Relentless: My Story of the Latino Spirit that is Transforming America,"

which chronicles his journey from young activist in Puerto Rico to influential Democratic adviser in New York City. And he joins Michel Martin

to look back at a lifetime of advocacy at a time when the Latino vote will play a key role in the upcoming U.S. election.


MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Christiane. Luis Miranda Jr., thank you so much for speaking with us.

LUIS MIRANDA JR., AUTHOR, "RELENTLESS": Thank you very much for having me here.

MARTIN: As your son, Lin Manuel says in the forward, this book does a lot of things. I mean, it's a memoir. It's a story of the political sort of

evolution of Latino power in New York, particularly. And it's also kind of a -- I don't know what to say, like a manifesto about how leaders should be

thinking about Latino voters in the current moment. It does a lot of things. What made you want to write this book at this time.

MIRANDA JR.: When I started, it was supposed to be the manifesto part. I was getting increasingly pissed off that I kept reading all of these new

experts of Latino politics that I've never heard of in my entire life. And I have been in this space for 45 years. I know a lot of people in this

space, but they had read a couple of polls and all of a sudden, they were experts.

And I kept complaining to my friends. And my friend said, why, rather than complaining, put them in paper you're 45 years of experience in this area.

So, I started doing that. And as I did that, my family became more and more of a protagonist in the story of politics because a lot of what we do, we

do it together as a family. And then the autobiographical part became an important component of it.

MARTIN: You came to the mainland from Puerto Rico when you were only 19 years old. Why did you choose to go to the mainland? And how did you get

interested in politics?

MIRANDA JR.: I was always fascinated by New York. It was not even the mainland. It was New York.

MARTIN: New York.

MIRANDA JR.: And sort of coming to New York was important to me. So, when I was recruited for the PhD program in clinical psychology, and the

University of Puerto Rico gave me a scholarship to come to New York, it was like the special combo.


I was coming to New York, I was going to study clinical psychology, and I was getting dollars to be in New York, but go back to Puerto Rico, because

the scholarship meant that I would go back to Puerto Rico to teach for a PhD program that they were starting at the University of Puerto Rico. Of

course, none of that happened.

MARTIN: I'm also from New York, you know, born and raised, and I was really interested to read your accounts of like the politics of the time,

the politics of kind of Puerto Rican independence, whether, what's our path forward? Is it just to seek independence, or is it to seek common cause

with other historically marginalized people as a part of the United States? It was really sort of interesting to read that.

And you say -- and I mean, people may forget that there was a lot of -- you know, these conversations weren't all theoretical, some of them were, you

know, violent. There was a whole activist wing that actually believed in using violence as a tool.

MIRANDA JR.: Correct.

MARTIN: And you were very kind of torn between the capitalist vision and the socialist vision. But tell me a little bit more about that.

MIRANDA JR.: When you come to New York from Puerto Rico and in your mind, you're coming back, you're going back to Puerto Rico your life has a leg in

New York and a leg in Puerto Rico.

So, the discussions about what is the role of activists and political operatives at that point, we're talking about the '70s, right after the

young lords, the debate was it's our job to fight for Puerto Rican independence within the United States, or there was an entire group of

people who said, no, our job, because most of us are going to stay here, it's to rejoin other marginalized communities who are our neighbors and

fight for the democratic rights and schooling and housing and health care of all of our communities. It took me a while to get there. But at the end,

that's where I landed.

MARTIN: What is it that attracted you to this public service? And you've had all these different, really interesting, you know, roles that you've

played in the city. What attracted you to that?

MIRANDA JR.: I think a lot was upbringing. I grew up in a very small town in Puerto Rico, Vega Alta, six streets, we're still those six streets. But

my parents were very much involved in the fabric of the town. Very different. It was the Red Cross, the Rotary Club, Lions International, sort

of the kinds of civic organizations that work in small places and that help small places. So, we were always involved in some movement helping someone.

So, coming to New York, I could not see any other way than getting involved. In fact, when my wife and I finished settling in Washington

Heights 43 years ago, for me, it was important to end up in a neighborhood in New York, where it felt like a small town, where people knew each other,

where people will gossip with each other, will fight with each other, but would help each other as well.

MARTIN: OK. So, let's fast forward in your -- you obviously believe in equity. You obviously believe in inclusion, but when it comes to your kids,

you also believe in doing what's right for them. You were very aggressive about making sure if what they needed was to go to a school outside the

neighborhood, you know, then that's what they did.

I think a lot of people, progressives, a lot of people of color kind of face that dilemma, right. And I was just curious about how you thought

about that.

MIRANDA JR.: We work very hard to have opportunities. When we moved into Washington Heights and bought our little house, there was no extra money

for private schools. And our neighborhood, our school district was number 32 out of 32 on math and reading achievement.


So, the goal then for us as a family was, what is out there that our kids can take advantage of? That's how we found out about Hunter Campus Schools

and sort of enrolled Emmanuel in the testing to see if he will be accepted. We found a Magnet school that was outside of our neighborhood. All of this

meant that as my wife and I are working several jobs at the same time, we were juggling how is Lucecita getting to 137th Street, how is Lin Manuel

getting to 96th Street on the east side.

But we always thought that -- and I just think that that's the motto of people who come into this country, that our kids were going to have a

better life than us. I get asked all the time, how do you feel when they call you Lin Manuel's dad? When you have this other life? I'm like, well,

my life, most of my life was, how can my kid do better than me? So, if I became Lin Manuel's dad, I accomplished the main goal in life.

But we could not purchase additional services. So, we went out there and hustled for our kids and our family, and that's how I get involved in the

charter movement as a Democrat in New York when it was seen as a Republican reality.

MARTIN: Well, one of the reasons I was also really interested in that story is if people have seen, you know, your son's first play, Broadway

play in the Heights, that's kind of one of the dilemmas, you know, do I stay or do I go, right? And I was wondering if you think that -- in sort of

subconsciously that that story, in a way, came from your own family's debates about these things?

MIRANDA JR.: Absolutely. And it's the debate that exists to this day. When Emanuel finished Wesleyan and came back to Washington Heights, and in the

Heights becomes a hit. He could go anywhere. Well, he's settled in Washington Heights, where he's still raising his kids.

My wife and I decided, after much debate, we're happy here. We're going to stay here and continue to stick it out in this neighborhood and make sure

that this neighborhood survives. And the people who have gone through the struggles and the bad times stay in the neighborhood in whatever next the

neighborhood is.

MARTIN: So, in the time we have left, I want to talk about your -- the other part of your book, "The Manifesto." What is it that you think that a

lot of the pundits and the experts are getting wrong about the so-called Latino vote?

MIRANDA JR.: I think, first, that as it comes to Latino politics, you cannot analyze Latino politics in the black African American politics,

white paradigm. I think that white politicians decided that because we're not white, we must be black. And so, my parts are all together in the

political arena. And that's not true. Latinos have never voted monolithically for any candidate or party. Just remember, George Bush got

42 percent of the Latino vote nationwide.

The second is that we're not turning Republicans, we are turning into more persuadable voters. The only real Latino poll that has been done, you know

the polls where we're 18 percent. And the error, the standard error is 15 percent. So, you really can conclude very little.


But in an all-Latino poll, support for Biden had dropped from the 66, 67 percent that he got in the election to 49 percent, but Trump's support had

not increased. What happened is that then you have this 17 percent of Latinos who are wondering, what are we voting for? And that's where the

persuadable part begins.

And third, our propensity is to vote Democrat. But we are going to have to fight for those votes, not because they're turning Republican, but because

they'll stay home and not vote for anybody.

MARTIN: You say -- you point out that about a quarter of the Latino community, as you describe it, are Donald Trump admirers or supporters. And

you said that when he speaks about race and immigrants, even his Latino fans can frown, but they also like him. What do they like about him?

MIRANDA JR.: They like that he's blunt. They like that he's entertaining. They like that he seems to know everything. You scratch the surface, 90

percent of what comes out of that demon's (ph) mouth is false. So -- but there is this aura around him that he is powerful, that he's telling the

truth, and that he's telling it as it is.

MARTIN: One of the things you say that's interesting, when he talks about providing honest work instead of a government handout, many Latinos listen.

And for many immigrants, governments are not honest and well-intentioned. And you say that they -- some Latinos are invested in what Trump represents

because they've come from countries that were ruined by corrupt dictators.

So, where do you think that Democrats are getting this wrong?

MIRANDA JR.: That they're treating us as a voting bloc. And we are a bloc but not voting bloc. And you need to understand as Latinos disperse

throughout the country, that where we come from, it's important. The political situation of the country, where we come from, it's also

important. The generation that we belong to, it's important. The geography, it's important.

Where were we born? Two-thirds of Latinos now are born in the United States. So, they are all of these variables that are going to impact our

political reality. And as Democrats, we're not doing that. I'll give you an example. In 2000, we spent Latino Victory Fund, of which I'm the chair, a

lot of resources in Georgia, even though Latinos are only 3 percent of the vote in Georgia, but we knew that they were right in a purple state. Do we

take it?

Because Republicans don't have to win the Latino vote. They just need to corrode and take away enough for us to lose those electoral votes. So, we

spent a lot of time in Georgia. You have to invest in a community if you want those votes.

MARTIN: So, before we let you go, I mean, you've had like how many lives. I mean, you've had a life as a scholar, you've had a life as a sort of a

political activist, as a public servant. You've raised, you know, one of the great cultural figures of our time, you know. And what are you --

what's next for you?

MIRANDA JR.: I had a heart attack in 2017. So, my outlook of life has changed. I would do several things. I want to find a space in doing

documentaries. I just hope it's a great way of telling stories that I care about, where I could do as a short or I could do as a 90-minute.

I want to spend more time with my wife. We have been together for 46 years and always doing stuff and spending so much time. And something that COVID

told us when we were in seclusion is that we actually like each other, and that we like being with each other. And I want to make sure that the next

generation of grandchildren go ahead with a great bang. We love our grandchildren.


So, I want to spend more time with my grandchildren. I want to do many of the things that I haven't done yet.

MARTIN: Well, Luis Miranda, Jr., thank you so much for speaking with us.

MIRANDA JR.: Thank you. Thank you for having me.


AMANPOUR: A great story. And "Relentless: My Story of the Latino Spirit that is Transforming America" by Luis Miranda Jr. is out now.

That's it. If you ever miss our show, you can find the latest episode shortly after it airs on our podcast. Remember, you can always catch us

online, our website, and all-over social media.

Thanks for watching, and goodbye from London.