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President Biden Absolutely Not Stepping Down; Interview with Colombian Foreign Minister Luis Gilberto Murillo; Interview with Venezuelan Conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired July 04, 2024 - 13:00:00   ET



PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is President Biden considering stepping down?



NEWTON: Pressure mounts on Biden. As the fallout from the debate continues, we ask what the president might do next.

And, as Israel and Hezbollah inch closer to war, Columbia knows how difficult the path to peace is. I speak to its foreign minister, Luis

Gilberto Murillo.

Then, a trail of destruction as Hurricane Beryl batters the Caribbean. We get the latest from the ground.

Plus, in a world of turmoil, classical music maestro Gustavo Dudamel tells Christiane Amanpour about the redemptive power of music.

And a very warm welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Paula Newton in New York, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour.

President Joe Biden is absolutely not stepping down. That is the message from the White House following Biden's poor debate performance last week

against Donald Trump. Now, earlier this week, the president privately acknowledged that the next stretch of days could be critical to his

campaign while blaming jet lag and travel for his struggles on the stage.

Meanwhile, more than 20 Democratic governors voice their support for Biden after meeting with the president yesterday. Here's what some of them said.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he fit for office? Do you think he's fit for office?

GOV. TIM WALZ (D-MN): Yes, fit for office. None of us are denying Thursday night was a bad performance. It was a bad hit, if you will, on that, but it

doesn't impact what I believe. He's delivering.

GOV. WES MOORE (D-MD): I think we came in and we were honest about the feedback that we were getting. We were honest about the concerns that we

were hearing from people. And we're also honest about the fact that as the president continued to tell us and show us that he was all in, that we said

that we would stand with him.


NEWTON: So, is this enough to save Biden's campaign and what might the president do next? My first guest today is staff writer for The New Yorker,

Evan Osnos, and he's joining us now from Bethesda, Maryland. And a happy fourth to you and thanks so much for being with us.

The White House has said, look, this man is still running. And today, Biden is at the White House with family members critical to his future. They are

all deciding, apparently, as a family, they are all in it as a family. Is this just damage control, or are there serious thoughts about stepping

aside? What have you heard?


genuine proving ground moment right now, meaning that this is an unresolved issue. It is a live issue, Paula. I mean, this is what we -- what has

happened and this is all as a result of the last six days, as a result of the debate performance, is that something fundamental has changed in the

race, which is that the theory that the Biden campaign had was to make this campaign, make this election about Donald Trump.

Make sure that you could keep this anti-Trump coalition together. It's one of the reasons why they wanted this debate, was they thought that would

produce a thousand soundbites of Donald Trump saying he would pardon insurrectionists and he was proud of overturning Roe v. Wade. But because

Biden's performance was so poor, the result has been that this election is now about Biden, and that's a very hard thing to change.

NEWTON: And we are nearly a week out from that debate already. I have to talk to you about the role of the first lady here. Jill Biden, you know,

she appears to be very, very central to every decision. Why wouldn't she be, right? But apparently, she is the one who's very supportive of him

staying in. I know how much you follow this president and this family, have you seen any indication that the strength behind him, the family, that they

are starting to think it is a better decision for him to step aside?

OSNOS: So far, what we're seeing is that they are actually invoking some of the history of the family, the scar tissue, frankly, that is there. They

talk about and they remember moments like 1987 when he was running for president, there was a plagiarism scandal, you'll remember, and he ended up

leaving the race.


But the feeling to Jill Biden and to others in the family was that he was driven out, that he was, in a sense, choices were made for him. He felt

like he had no option. And that has been a source of resentment that has lingered for a long time. And same thing in 2015, you remember, after Beau

Biden died of brain cancer, there was this moment where the family was trying to decide whether they could go forward with a campaign for

president. Biden ultimately decided he couldn't, but he felt like there was very strong pressure pushing him out of that race. And that also didn't sit

well with the family.

So, in some ways, you know, that is what you're hearing when you hear them say -- you hear him say, I will not be pushed out of this. It is -- and one

of the strategic questions in the minds of Democrats who want him to leave is, how do you do it in a way that allows him to feel that he has made a

dignified choice of his own making that he hasn't been pushed out? That's a tricky thing to balance.

NEWTON: Yes, and I guess the question is, are they still in that choosing round though? Because outside of what we're hearing, it still seems like

there is no debate inside the family or inside the White House. Do you think that's true or do you think they really are weighing it?

OSNOS: Well, you have to divvy it up a bit. The family is one thing. It's a very small, very self-protective organization, understandably. And, you

know, remember, he came through an embarrassing night last week. And so, it doesn't surprise me that you have members of the family rallying around him

to support him. That sort of makes intuitive, sentimental sense. That's a separate question from the strategic question that his advisers have to

take up.

And more importantly, perhaps people outside of the White House who he trusts, who have credibility people like Jim Clyburn, people like Nancy

Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Hakeem Jeffries. He's going to get different views from them than he would from members of the family. And he is -- I think

it's safe to say, he is open to this variety of opinion. He's not just relying on the family. You have to circle the -- widen the aperture a

little bit to understand the different inputs that he's getting.

NEWTON: Yes. Both your historical perspective on the Bidens and what they're at right now is very important as is the president and his health

right now. Evan, you sat down with the president six months ago. You've already said that was not the man that you saw on the debate night. Do

Americans deserve a medical explanation for all of this?

I mean, the White House told CNN that Biden was examined by a physician a few days after the debate, they've now corrected just in the last little

while to say it was really just a check in, a checkup. They didn't want to portray it as a very thorough exam. What do you think the White House needs

to do now as it pertains to his health?

OSNOS: I think you're right, Paula. I think people are expecting more detail here. They want to understand what happened because, as Nancy Pelosi

put it the other day, it is a legitimate question to understand if this was an episode or a condition. That's a fundamental difference.

And if the White House and the president are confident that this was an episode, then talk to us more about it. I think Americans do need to hear

some of that. And I think you're likely to get -- hear questions brought to him on Friday night when he gives this interview, which is a very high

stakes, very important moment. Because it's not enough to simply say he had a bad night. It was such a profoundly bad night that people want to see

greater precision in answering that question.

And, you know, some of this, there's going to be bad faith attacks to say, well, he's disqualified himself completely. That's a separate question from

saying he had -- give him a chance to answer that question and to demonstrate that, in fact, that was an aberration. And that's not something

that he's seeing -- that they're seeing every day.

NEWTON: As far as you're concerned, though, he is quite a different man. Because you had really juxtaposed the man that you've known for so many

years and even said during that interview that he had already changed.

OSNOS: Yes. Look, what I saw in January was completely different, frankly, from what we saw on that today's stage the other night. What I saw in

January was somebody who had sort of physically -- his gestures were slower. His voice was thin. It was clotted. But his answers to questions,

his decision-making process was essentially the same as it had been when I talked to him in 2020.

But what we saw on Thursday was something quite different. It was somebody who was really not able to answer questions in a coherent way. And I think

that's where we need to understand the state of play now more vividly. And that's up to the White House and to the president to make his case and to

say, look, I hear you. I understand why you're concerned.

And then, he kind of gets the idea that if he is substantiating his own argument that the democracy is on the line and that it's up to a Democratic

president to prevent Donald Trump from coming back or a Democratic nominee, he needs to make an eloquent case that he's the best person for that right


I remember one of the things he said, Paula, in January was, you know, if you thought that you were the best person to prevent Donald Trump from

coming back and fundamentally altering the nature of this country, wouldn't you run? And in a way, the question now is, does he still believe that he's

the best person?


And I think, in the end, whether he decides he is or isn't, this is -- right now, he has lashed himself to the historic responsibility to make

that choice, and to make the right choice. I think that's what's weighing on him.

NEWTON: And he has to crucially convince Americans. When we look at polls, they're getting worse. Biden's every move is now being watched. There's

obviously a lot of anticipation ahead of that ABC interview with George Stephanopoulos. You know, but the new New York Times/Siena College poll

says Trump is now leading Biden, 49 to 43 percent among likely voters. Just to keep everyone informed here, that's a three-point gain for Trump from

just a week earlier.

You know, it's also the largest lead Trump has recorded in that poll since 2015. Think about that. Now, I know you're going to tell me that, look, the

Bidens, the Democrats may not be looking at those polls specifically, that it depends how he's doing in swing states, but those aren't looking very

good for him either.

OSNOS: No, the poll is a sign of a clear problem. You know, they try not to be overly persuaded by a poll. You know, they've been expressing for

months. There's suspicion that some of the polls don't capture the full spectrum of opinion. But "The New York Times" poll was quite clear. You

know, he's now trailing, as you say, six points among likely voters and nine points among registered voters. And in order to be able to turn the

tide, and that's really what would have to happen, it has to be about the performance that he is able to put on, of course, over the next few days

and weeks.

But I think what's really hard here, Paula, is that this question of his fitness, his capacity to do the job, not only to finish this election and

win, but then to perform the job for the next four years, beyond that's not going away now. That is now what this campaign, what this election is going

to be contending with every day.

To go back to this first point I made today, they wanted this campaign to be about Donald Trump. They thought they could win that choice. And now, it

is about Joe Biden. And getting it back to that original strategic intent is going to be very difficult, if not perhaps impossible. That's why so

much is riding on how he does. And, you know, he's starting to say as much to people around him, as we've seen in the reporting in "The Times," and

that's really crucial.

NEWTON: Now, if we have to talk about perhaps him stepping aside, we should again speak about what happens afterwards. Our Jeff Zeleny is

reporting that, in fact, among some Democratic operatives there is already a plan, and that plan seems to be that the vice president, Kamala Harris,

would step in, that he would encourage his delegates to vote for her, she would get the money, the campaign machine. Will that fly with Democratic

voters who might want more of a contest?

OSNOS: You know, I am hearing that him putting his support behind Harris is very much the most likely scenario. I think for a couple of reasons.

One, there are some logistical advantages. Obviously, she would inherit, in effect, the campaign infrastructure, the campaign funding. And then, also,

look, she's also been thoroughly vetted as a course of the period of both coming into the vice presidency, and now she's been in the job for the last

three and a half years.

I think for him personally, there's a certain logic to it. It validates his first big decision that he ever made as the nominee in 2020, who he chose

as his VP, and it would also allow him to say that he had created the opportunity, advanced the possibility for another historic presidency, the

first black woman in the job, the first Asian person in the job. It would be profound.

There will be, I think, in some inevitably and perhaps there should be, a conversation about whether she's the strongest candidate. But I think that

what's likely to have -- and there -- look, there are some people who want her ultimately to prevail in that process, but they also think there should

be a kind of mini primary, give her a chance to get up there and contend with another group of Democrats who are strong options. And so, that's a

scenario that you could see.

But I think it's very likely that if he does step aside, he's going to signal his strong support for Kamala Harris, because I think anything else

would be a real surprise.

NEWTON: Well, the story is absolutely riveting, if discomforting and worrying for so many Americans. Evan Osnos, really appreciate your insights

there. Thanks so much.

OSNOS: My pleasure.

NEWTON: Still to come for us tonight, the path to peace. I speak to Colombia's foreign minister, Luis Gilberto Morillo. After negotiating with

your enemies, how is that path to peace going to look? That's just after the break.



NEWTON: And welcome back. While President Biden deals with campaign troubles at home. He just spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu to discuss a ceasefire hostage deal between Israel and Hamas. Now, this is as tensions, of course, continue to rise at the northern

border with Lebanon.

Earlier this year, Colombia joined a handful of Latin American nations severing ties with Israel over its war in Gaza. But the country is trying

to broker peace in its own region. Luis Gilberto Murillo is the Colombian foreign minister and he joins us now from Bogota.

It is very good to have you with us as we try and parse all of these events most notably, obviously in Colombia. But before we get there, I do want to

ask for your reaction to these latest developments here in the United States. We just heard about the uncertainty, of course, prevailing for

President Biden and his Democratic campaign. You know, meanwhile, on the other side, you have a known quantity, Donald Trump, who was president

before, now a convicted felon. I wonder, how is the International Community looking at all this? And do you, as the Colombian foreign minister, still

have the same confidence in your U.S. ally?

LUIS GILBERTO MURILLO, COLOMBIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Thank you, Paula, for this opportunity. And we're very glad to talk from the Colombia, the

country of beauty.

Obviously, we follow the events in the United States very closely. The United States is a strategic ally. And we have a very strong partnership

with the U.S. in many areas, in security, obviously, in social development, United States is supporting peace in Colombia.

We have the good fortune of working with any government in the United States, independent of the parties. We wish the best to the United States

in their democratic process.

NEWTON: You say that, though, but in terms of positions, the position of President Joe Biden and of Donald Trump could not be more different when it

comes to migration.

MORILLO: Well in terms of migration, we are working closely with the United States and also with countries in the region. We are implementing

the principles of the L.A. Declaration, Los Angeles Declaration. And also, in terms of neighboring countries, we have a mechanism where three

countries, Colombia, Panama, and the United States, are working together to respond to the challenges in the Darien Gap.

NEWTON: And I want to get to that actually. It's a central issue, as we were just saying in this year's American election and also one, of course,

that deeply affects your country. The Darein Gap is so dangerous. CNN has documented it well here. What people go through in that area. It does, of

course, connect South and Central America. It has long been a route for smuggling and quite frankly, for heartache for so many people desperately

trying to reach the United States.

Last month, U.S. Homeland Security announced it would start operations in Colombia and Panama to combat those international smugglers. Now, the U.S.

has cut a deal with the newly sworn in president of Panama, President Mulino, to try and close access, completely cut off the Darien Gap

altogether. I want you to listen to the new president as he was speaking earlier this week.



JOSE RAUL MULINO, PANAMANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I will not allow Panama to be an open road for thousands of people who enter our

country illegally, supported by an international organization related to drug trafficking and human trafficking. I understand that there are deep

reasons for migration, but each country must solve its own problems.


NEWTON: You know, I think your government, you are on the record as saying, this won't work, trying to close the Darien Gap. Why not?

MORILLO: Well, let me say this, we -- President Petro had a very good conversation, a meeting with President Mulino in Panama recently, and they

really found areas of cooperation. Because we have this mechanism of three countries, as I said, Colombia, Panama, and the United States. And in that

regard, we are working in a comprehensive way.

First, obviously, we are addressing the challenges of the Darien Gap. In that regard, we are working on dismantling these criminal networks that are

using and taking advantage of migrants that are crossing the Darien Gap. In addition to that, President Petro and President Mulino agreed on

implementing a development plan for the Darien Gap to create better conditions for communities in that area.

But not only that, Colombia is making a tremendous effort as no other country in the region and even in the world. We have welcomed almost 3

million Venezuelans migrants. We provide them with temporary protective status. They -- we are providing also the possibility for legal pathways.

And recently, we developed regulation for welcoming more 600,000 Venezuelans that are here already, and they need obviously to regularize

their situation in Colombia.

So, Colombia is a country that have this profile of welcoming Venezuelans. We have a special relation with Venezuela. These -- the problems of

Venezuela and Colombia are interconnected. And we are -- those migrants that are in Colombia, they obviously have the vocation to a state in the

country and not to -- looking for ways to get into the Darien Gap and farther north to the United States. That's a tremendous effort.

And it's not really easy to do. It's very costly. Almost 1 percent of our GDP goes to -- respond to the needs of those migrants from Venezuela. We

are providing health services to almost 1.5 Venezuelans here in Colombia. We have 600,000 kids that are going to our schools. We are providing jobs,

with the support of the United States. We have almost 10 centers for regularization of Venezuelans in Colombia. And we consider that it is a

very important effort.

In addition to that, we are in conversations within the framework of Los Angeles Declaration with other countries in the region because we need to

respond to the challenge of migration.

NEWTON: But Mr. Morillo, if I just interrupt you. There is a point of contention here, right? Panama and the United States seem to think that the

best thing to do is to close the Darien Gap. Would you support that or do you believe the programs that Colombia already has in place are a better

way to go here?

MORILLO: Well, what you know is that, obviously, although it is a contentious point, the reality is that we have the possibility of getting

into an agreement with President Mulino in terms of developing that region and also, to have a migration that is really immigration that is done in a

regular way, that is immigration that is safe, that is also responding to the legal pathways.

And the first point to start doing this is controlling obviously the border. And to do that, we need to have more migration control, at least to

know who is crossing the border. And this is an agreement that we had in terms of increasing the migration control in those areas. And also, avoid

having different points of crossing the Darien Gap, is to have really orderly way of crossing that border area between Colombia and Panama.


NEWTON: Understood. if I hear you, perhaps you're not for a complete closure, but at least some more regulation and control. I do want to move

on, though, to the issue of what's going on in Israel at the moment. Now, in May, Colombia severed diplomatic ties with the Israeli government over

its actions in Gaza. In February, you suspended purchase of Israeli weapons. In June, you suspended coal exports to Israel.

And you, of course, supported South Africa's complaint against Israel to the ICJ and the Hague. And it's worth noting that your relationship in the

past, really, you had a good relationship with Israel. Buying Israeli built warplanes, you used those in order to try and really tackle the problem

with drug cartels. There was a free trade agreement in 2020. How do you believe that cutting ties with Israel has served Colombia at this point?

MORILLO: Well, Paula, it is very important to put this in context. Colombia is implementing a foreign policy that is a progressive foreign

policy that really promote peace, promote life and also democracy, within the framework of really protecting human rights and complying with the

international humanitarian law.

So, the behavior of Netanyahu government is not something that you can accept. Because what is happening in Gaza, it is really -- the fact are

there, it's like what's happening there is unacceptable because you see, people are being killed, the military actions really are not protecting

civilians. We see more children die. We see even human right workers, you see humanitarian workers also being killed in very significant numbers. So,

that's unacceptable.

What we said and President Petro from the beginning said, before even the events of the 7th of October of 2023, he said, we need to get the

International Community together to work on a conference, to look for peace and negotiate a solution to the Palestinian and Israeli conflict.

NEWTON: Understood. And --

MORILLO: And this is why Colombia support -- Paula, Colombia --

NEWTON: I understand. I do want to get to the Israeli response on this though, that the Israel -- Israeli foreign minister, Israel Katz, said,

history will remember that Gustavo Petro chose to stand at the side of the most abominable monsters known to man. Israel and Colombia always enjoyed

warm ties. No hate-filled antisemitic president will change that.

That is incredibly strong language. And as you say, if you want to get to dialogue with a country that you had fairly good relations with, why this

process now?

MORILLO: Well, what is happening -- let's say this, we first express our concern in terms of the behavior of Netanyahu government. Let me say, this

is nothing against the Israeli people, this is nothing against Jewish people. We have very vibrant Jewish community in Colombia, that is part of

the diversity of Colombian community.

But what's happening is that we were very patient in saying we need different behavior. We need to avoid to continue some kind of genocide in

Gaza. This is why we were making different -- taking different action. First, we call our ambassador. We didn't see changes in that behavior. Then

we decide to cut ties with Israel because we cannot really have ties with the country that have that kind of behavior.

NEWTON: I understand what you were saying.

MORILLO: And that's very clear.

NEWTON: I understand what you were saying, it was a step-by-step process. I don't have a lot of time left, but I have to ask you, given everything

that Colombia has gone through in the last few decades, we have perhaps the outline of a tentative peace deal here, at least a ceasefire, not a peace

deal. What advice do you give to this process right now, especially since - - because of your relations with Israel, you're on the outside looking in?

MORILLO: Well, let me say, we are part of a coalition of almost 20 countries that are really proposing very concrete steps. First, we need to

reach a ceasefire. Second, we need to get Hamas to release all the hostages that they have immediately. Even there is a Colombian Jewish citizen in

that -- in -- that is part of these hostages, Elkana Bohbot. We committed to do whatever we can to get that Colombian Jewish citizen released. And

all the hostages that Hamas has.

Also, we are saying we need to have the possibility to provide humanitarian assistance to people in Gaza. That's very concrete. We support United

States in that regard.

NEWTON: Indeed.


MORILLO: And that's our advice. It's like, we need to find a negotiated solution to conflict. This is the way to support what Colombia have been

supporting, which is the two-state solution, to have the Israeli State and Palestinian State really working together in a lasting peace.

NEWTON: Minister Morillo, we thank you for your time. We'll have to leave it there for now. Thank you so much.

MORILLO: Thank you.

NEWTON: Thank still to come for us, Hurricane Beryl tears through the Caribbean leading devastation in its wave. We'll go to Kingston, Jamaica

for the latest. That's after a short break.


NEWTON: And welcome back. Hurricane Beryl is raging across the Caribbean. Now, the Category 3 storm just off the Cayman Islands and leaving

devastation in its path. The death toll now has risen to nine. Now, one of the worst affected areas is Jamaica where residents are just beginning to

uncover the extent of the damage.

Correspondent Rafael Romo has been on the ground for us. For a couple of days now, he joins us now live from Kingston, Jamaica. Rafael, from when we

had checked in with you, when they had just been driving rains, what can you tell us about the situation now and how extensive is the damage?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Paula. Well, it's very different from what was happening here 24 hours ago. The sun is brightly shining at this

point, but we're still dealing with some wind.

And we have learned more information about how powerful a Hurricane Beryl was over the last few hours. For example, let me tell you that in the span

of only 24 hours, this island of 3 million people got 4.4 inches. To put that number in perspective, that's the amount of rain that they would

normally get in the entire month of July. Also, we had winds of over 50 miles an hour throughout the island for 12 consecutive hours on Wednesday,

starting at 1:00 in the afternoon and not ending until 1:00 in the morning. On Thursday, there were gusts reaching 80 miles an hour. So, you can

imagine what kind of devastation this island went through.

We just came back from a fishing village on the other side of the bay. Right here, we are in downtown Kingston. And the people in the village had

their stands, their fishing stands, where they sell their products, destroyed. They're barely beginning the process of trying to clear the

debris, that trash, there's so much to do. And that's the same thing throughout the island, Paula.


We also went to the other side of the island where we could see heavy machinery trying to clear the roads. There was one road that is crucial for

the airport that was impassable earlier. That's been opened up. So, still a lot to do.

The prime minister here, Andrew Holness, is saying that the second phase -- what he calls the second phase of the disaster has only begun. He said

earlier that he was going to deploy the armed forces, the constabulary force to help those in need, the people who were displaced by the

hurricane, as many as 500 people who are living in shelters right now.

But again, Jamaica is facing days, if not weeks, of very heavy work trying to recover from this very powerful hurricane, Paula.

NEWTON: Yes. As are so many other islands and countries there. I want to ask you, we were just looking at damage from Barbados, there's been

extensive damage in Grenada, where is this storm headed next?

ROMO: Yes. Right now, it's impacting the Cayman Islands with not as much strength as it impacted Jamaica. It's been weakened slightly. And then, the

path after that is going to go to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. It's expected to hit that area in the next 24 to 48 hours, probably as a tropical storm.

Maybe as a Category 1. Not likely to be a Category 2, but it's still possible.

And for our international viewers who are familiar with their area, it's expected to make landfall somewhere around Cancun. A lot of people visit

there. It's a very important tourist destination for Mexico. Then after that, it gets into the Gulf of Mexico, and it is going to be a threat for

parts of Texas. So, people in some counties in Texas already getting ready for a possible arrival of this storm. Paula.

NEWTON: Rafael Romo for us from Kingston, Jamaica. Thank you so much for that update on Hurricane Beryl. Appreciate it.

And we turn now to Israel, where authorities have approved the largest land grab in the West Bank since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993. Now, a

declaration from the IDF's Civil Administration Department said an area of more than 3,000 acres in the West Bank is now state owned. It's a move that

turbo charges the settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories. Jeremy Diamond is following all of these developments for us

from Tel Aviv, and he joins us now.

We will get to that story, Jeremy, but I do want to ask you. We do now have reporting that Biden -- President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu have

spoken, apparently reaffirming the fact that Israel has given permission for negotiators to go back to Hamas and see what can be worked out. What

more are you learning about this phone call? And crucially, if any kind of ceasefire deal has a hope at this point?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's important to know, right off the bat, that the progress that we are seeing in these

ceasefire negotiations mediated by the Egyptians and the Qataris between Israel and Hamas, this is the most significant progress that we have seen

in months of negotiations.

And that is because, for the last several months, what we have witnesses is Israel and Hamas negotiating over a framework agreement, the broad strokes

effectively of how exactly this ceasefire agreement, you know, how long of a ceasefire this would be, how many hostages would be released over what

period of time. But what they have left to the side for now has been the details of exactly the sequencing of that ceasefire agreement going from

phase one to phase two, the number and the identity of the Palestinian prisoners who would be released in exchange for these Israeli hostages. All

of that has been left to the side until now.

And now, the Israeli prime minister has agreed to dispatch the Mossad director, David Barnea, who has been leading these negotiating efforts. He

has dispatched him to enter into those detailed negotiations, which suggests that at least for now, both sides appear to be satisfied with the

framework agreement as it currently stands.

This comes after -- over the past weekend, the United States submitted new language relating to the sequencing and the scope of those negotiations

that would take place during the first phase of this agreement in order to get the two parties to a phase two, which would see the significant

withdrawal of Israeli troops from population centers in Gaza, and also leading to what has been referred to as a sustainable calm, or in other

words, a long-term ceasefire.

And so, we are witnessing very, very significant progress between these two sides. That being said, these detailed negotiations, I'm told, are expected

to last at least two to three weeks before an agreement could actually be reached. And of course, whether or not an agreement is reached will depend

on the state of those negotiations.


So, nothing is final. Nothing is assured. No outcome is assured here. But nonetheless, we're seeing some very significant progress, significant

breakthroughs being made in these talks as they enter a new phase of negotiations.

NEWTON: Yes. And of course, as you point out, this is about a ceasefire. This really has nothing to do with trying to solve the problem writ large

in terms of any kind of a peace plan. To that end, can you explain the significance of this land seizure we were just talking about? Human rights

groups are criticizing the move, of course, saying that it would harm or just completely rule out any kind of a two-state solution. So, what -- how

significant is this at this point?

DIAMOND: Well, for years now, Paula, the Israeli government has been seizing more and more land in the West Bank, Palestinian land destined for

a future Palestinian State in the event of a two-state solution. And this latest land grab is the largest to date since the 1993 Oslo Accords laid

out a plan -- a path for peace, I should say, between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Peace Now, which is one of these groups which tracks Israeli settlement activity as well as these land grabs, says that the Israeli Civilian --

Civil Administration issued this declaration on June 25th, according to a document obtained by that group, seizing more than 3,100 acres of land in

the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, and that makes 2024 altogether the biggest year by far for these Israeli land seizures.

And what's notable about them, beyond the size of these land seizures, is the fact that this is current Israeli government, the most right-wing

government in its history, is being much clearer now about why it is doing this. We have heard from the finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, who has

significant influence over Israeli settlements, over these land seizures, he has made very clear that this is all part of a plan to deny Palestinian

land for a future Palestinian State. And so, certainly, that is important context in all of this, Paula.

NEWTON: Jeremy, we will leave it there, but really appreciate your updates. And we will be right back with more "Amanpour," in a moment.


NEWTON: And welcome back this month. Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro will vie for a third term as president. But many are concerned for the future of the

country under the authoritarian leader, including our next guest.

Now, for years, the Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel refused to get political about his country. But as the situation deteriorated, he started

speaking up. We look back now to Christiane's conversation with Dudamel in 2018. He -- was at a time, he led the New York -- the Los Angeles

Philharmonic. But now, he's heading here to the East Coast to become the artistic director of the prestigious New York Philharmonic. Here is their




GUSTAVO DUDAMEL, VENEZUELAN CONDUCTOR: Thank you very much, Christiane.


AMANPOUR: I just want to start at the beginning, both of your parents are musical.


AMANPOUR: And you -- that was part of your DNA growing up?

DUDAMEL: Yes, yes. I think you know listening Latin music at home was my - - the genesis of my love to the music. I was listening mostly salsa.

AMANPOUR: Mostly salsa?

DUDAMEL: Yes, because my father play in a salsa band and my mother was signing at the choir. So, I have that kind of combination.

AMANPOUR: And I heard, I read that actually -- you actually used to line up your toys and pretend-conduct.

DUDAMEL: Yes, it was a very good orchestra.

AMANPOUR: It didn't answer back.

DUDAMEL: No, no. And it was such a serious and fun game for me because I took -- I put my orchestra, I put their recordings and I was stopping,

rehearsing and I did my concerts for the family. So, it was serious. It was very -

AMANPOUR: Practicing with your toys?

DUDAMEL: Practicing with my toys.

AMANPOUR: All lined up?

DUDAMEL: All lined up. A beautiful orchestra. I was playing with my toys. I was playing baseball. I was playing soccer. I was doing -- I was

swimming. I did everything. I was doing karate. And at the same time, I had the music.

But music was something very important for me. I remember telling my grandmother one day, I was in a karate class and I said, grandma, I want to

do music, this is what I want to do. I've done everything until now. I want to do music. And then, immediately, I became conductor of the youth

orchestra of my town. I was 11 years old.

AMANPOUR: So, then, describe how you came up through the system, literally El Sistema, which is a state-funded -- obviously, Venezuelan state-funded

orchestra for disadvantaged children.


AMANPOUR: And the maestro, Maestro Abreu, who recently died, created something unique.

DUDAMEL: Unique.

AMANPOUR: What did it do for you?

DUDAMEL: Well, everything. Everything. I started in El Sistema because my father was founder of a Sistema in our town in Barquisimeto. He was one of

the first musicians, young musicians that play in the orchestra.

And El Sistema is a family. You know, it's this kind of educational system where you enjoy, you go, you have the discipline, but it's the discipline

of joy and you are creating, you are touching beauty.


DUDAMEL: I cannot see myself right now being an individual conducting even if it looks very individual because you are on the podium and looks like

you are the boss. But, no, I grew up with my players, with my friends playing music and having fun doing that because that is the truth and that

is why the connection that I have with orchestras is so natural because I understand what they think. But also, I -- we inspire each other. And that

is what is the Sistema about.

When you go to out to a place with problems, it can be wherever, in my case, in Venezuela, it saved my life, you know.

AMANPOUR: What is the philosophy behind it? Is it to raise the kids up? Is it to make them musicians for life? Is it to give them the idea of

belonging family? What is the philosophy behind El Sistema?

DUDAMEL: It's access to beauty, you know. Imagine classical music is very elitist. Let's say, in a way.

AMANPOUR: It's very elitist, yes.

DUDAMEL: You know, art. But what Maestro Abreu saw, you know, this have to part of the evolution of a child. It has to be part of their life as normal

as it is to eat or to go to the school or to breathe.

So, when you go to the orchestra, you have the chance to grow up, to get it with other children, creating beauty, having access to that. And you cannot

imagine how powerful it is. Because it's more than a language, it's more than telling something, playing Beethoven 5, playing the first notes --

nobody was telling us how to do. Only we were recreating or creating that moment. And that is the power of music.

Sometimes you don't have to say anything. You only play and the message is there. So --


AMANPOUR: You just mentioned your country and it's been through many ups and downs. It's serious down right now. There is so much political

upheaval. People have been killed. There are protests. There is a lack of food, electricity, water, medicine everything.

And, in fact, in one of the recent protests, somebody who had come up through the El Sistema process was killed. What did that mean to you? Was

that a bit of a turning point?

DUDAMEL: Look, it is very difficult always to talk about politics, especially in my country, because it's so polarized. So, yes, it touched my

life because I'm a father now and you know how painful it is -- or how beautiful, at the same time, is to have your child, to take care of them

and then suddenly he gets killed, you know.

The first contact that I have with the family was very -- was -- I don't know, it was very difficult. It was very difficult. But at the same time,

it was a moment to say, look, it's enough, it's enough, this fight. This is not taking us to anywhere.

AMANPOUR: I mean, you were very clear in the beginning because clearly Chavismo, the Chavistas, Hugo Chavez promoted El Sistema and it did a lot

of good for the people who came up through it and your position was that I don't need to be political. I work through my music, my music talks for


Now, you've become more political because of the death and the violence. And it's rebounded on you. I mean, Maduro has cancelled some of your

international tours and trips. You haven't been back for a long time. How does that affect you and the music and your relationship with Venezuelan


DUDAMEL: My relation with the musicians is still the same. Last Saturday and tomorrow, I had a rehearsal with them through FaceTime. And, yes, for

two hours, we were working with the national children -- the National Youth Orchestra. And tomorrow, we'll have another one with the National Choir and

the National Youth Orchestra.

I keep -- and I have meetings every week, you know, with the people working there. So, my connection is still the same.


AMANPOUR: But that's incredible. So, you are conducting the L.A. Philharmonic. You're touring and you're still training the musicians

through FaceTime because you can't get back to Venezuela.

DUDAMEL: Because that is my life. El Sistema is my life, you know. I have -- I made that commitment since the beginning, from the beginning I started

in El Sistema.

And when I did the statement about all of the situation, it was as a citizen. I have the right to say what I think, not being political. Talking

to politicians, yes, but being political, no. And I didn't want to get in a fight. I was only making my opinion. And, you know, I have the freedom to

do that. You know, that's it. And I said what I thought -- what I think, and I think that the situation is unsustainable.

But I think, also, that the main key to get out of the situation to unite the people. You know, that is my goal. If you ask me what to do, what you

will do to do something, to help. We have to build bridges because, you know, people keep building borders between us. All the time, all the time.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you a final question then because you've talked about soul, family, beauty, but there's something else that a lot of people

are talking about as well that music, perhaps more than any other art form, is really restorative for mental health issues, for all sorts of issues. Do

you agree with that? And why do you think that is?

DUDAMEL: Well, music has that power. Is this invisible beauty? Is this -- is sounds, you cannot see the music, you see the musicians play, but you

don't see the music, this vibration, this energy, and that harmony creates something.

You know, I'm the most privileged guy in the world because I do music, but when I see another that doesn't have that same abilities, let's say, or the

same circumstance -- not ability, circumstance. Developed better abilities to be a musician. And that is the most beautiful thing.


You know, when -- music encouraged people to be better, and that is what the El Sistema does. You know, as a citizen, as a member of an orchestra

and as a member of this world that we live, you know, we make this because we want to serve beauty with the people and we believe in the power of the

music, you know.

AMANPOUR: Well, Gustavo Dudamel, thank you for bringing the joy.

DUDAMEL: Thank you, Christiane. An honor.



NEWTON: So, inspirational, especially for those in Venezuela. And finally, for us, it's election day in the United Kingdom. But British voters, you

know, they're not the only ones turning out to vote. Pet dogs everywhere are cheering on democracy as they head to polling station. Something that's

become a bit of a tradition across the country.

And while they're stealing the spotlight today, aren't they adorable, tomorrow, all eyes will be, of course, on number 10 Downing Street, where

no doubt Larry the cat, the long-time chief mouser to the cabinet office will once again be bathing in press attention. I can tell you firsthand he

normally, or she, bathes in the sun.

That's it for us. I want to thank you for watching. Goodbye from New York.