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The Amanpour Hour

How Crises Overseas Could Determine America's Next President; Interview With Ret. Gen. David Petraeus; One-On-One With IMF Chief Kristalina Georgieva; Amphibious Assault Ship Now A Hospital For Gaza Carnage Victims; Superstar Lenny Kravitz On Life, Legacy And Vying for Oscar Glory; The Atheist And The Pope. Aired 11a -12p ET

Aired January 06, 2024 - 11:00   ET



CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST: Jonah, take us home.

JONAH GOLDBERG, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "THE DISPATCH": I'm in favor of that although I would abolish primaries altogether if I could. I think that the success, whether you think it is pernicious or not of the plagiarism scandal with Claudine Gay combined with the unprecedented ease of new software for finding plagiarism there is going to be an all-sides hunt for plagiarist because I think there's whole generations of people who got away with it because that software hadn't existed until recently.

WALLACE: And will it continue to be a capital offense?

GOLDBERG: I hope so.

WALLACE: Well, on that note, thank you all for being here.


WALLACE: Thank you for spending part of your weekend with us. And we hope to see you right back here next week.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. Welcome to THE AMANPOUR HOUR.

And in the next 60 minutes, we'll will take you around the world to ask the tough questions and tackle the big problems. And we'll also let history be our guide.

Here is where we're headed this week.


AMANPOUR: The United States fights fires on multiple fronts. Will it win? A briefing from one of America's best-known generals, David Petraeus.

GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: We face more challenges in numbers and more complex and more dangerous challenges than arguably at any time since the end of the Cold War. AMANPOUR: Also ahead, the IMF chief, Kristalina Georgieva optimistic

about the U.S. economy.

KRISTALINA GEORGIEVA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IMF: Cheer up, this is a new year, people.



AMANPOUR: Rock star Lenny Kravitz on life, legacy and vying for an Oscar.

And from the archive, the anniversary of the Pope's first visit to atheist communist Cuba.


AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

Conventional wisdom says domestic issues decide American elections. But this year, crises overseas could also tip the scales.

First in Ukraine where the war grinds on and President Biden's request for emergency funding could die in Congress.

In the Middle East, the war on Gaza threatens to spill across the region. Just this week the assassination of a Hamas leader in Lebanon, massive casualties from twin explosions in Iran, and attacks on world shipping by its Houthi proxies in Yemen.

All of these keep a tense region on a hair trigger.

And then there's Taiwan where this is also an election year. Results there could determine China's next threats in the Indo-Pacific.

Already these crises consumed President Biden's attention, stealing focus from his reelection campaign.

While chaos around the world could play into the hands of Donald Trump, America's foremost chaos agent.

Now, as a former CIA director and CentCom commander, retired General David Petraeus has been there, seen and done it all. He now advises civilian and military leaders as a partner of the global investment firm KKR, and he is joining me from the nation's capital.


AMANPOUR: General Petraeus, welcome to the program. All of those things I just laid out, all of that stuff we have been watching this week, the dangers in the Middle East, are you concerned now that it could start spilling into a wider war?

PETRAEUS: Well, I think you have to be concerned, Christiane. In fact, the way I would characterize the overall global situation is that we face more challenges in numbers and more complex and more dangerous challenges than arguably at any time since the end of the Cold War if not the end of World War II. It is a very, very dicey situation out there, as you characterized it.

AMANPOUR: So that's pretty, you know, pretty dramatic language in comparison. So from your perspective, from the U.S. perspective, what is the most dangerous or can you not separate them?

PETRAEUS: Well, I think it is hard to separate them because in a given day one will emerge as more challenging at the moment than the other. But I think we can never lose sight of the most important relationship in the world, and that is the one, of course, between the U.S. and really the U.S.-led West and China.

That is the one that has the greatest influence. It is also the one that has the greatest potential downside, if you will. And it is that relationship that is the central issue of the day even as, very clearly, the situation in Ukraine, the challenges in the greater Middle East, North Korea, the continued threats is the most extremists around the world, cyber threats, all of these, these are all plates, if you will, that we have to keep spinning simultaneously.

But the plate that is bigger and matters more than all the others is that, again, which represents the challenge of the relationship between the U.S., the West and China.


AMANPOUR: So let me ask you, just to elaborate on that because you know, a couple of months ago Presidents Xi and Biden met in California and there seemed to be the beginnings of maybe some kind of de- escalation in some way.

But now the latest is that the U.S. thinks that it has seen, you know, China moves to upgrade or rebuild its nuclear sites, and we have an election year in Taiwan which could actually, you know, could be a problem if the pro-independence faction wins. Is that what you see as -- where do you see a trigger point?

PETRAEUS: Well, first of all, I think that the meeting between our two presidents was very modestly encouraging. It is far better than it not happening. The subsequent meetings between various counterparts in our two governments, engagement by other countries of the U.S.-led West with China.

This is all an effort to try to establish a floor for a relationship in which in a fairly recent episode as a spy balloon is floating over the United States, we picked up the phone in the Pentagon and no one in Beijing answered.

So, again, having communication is a positive development, but this is not enormously positive. This is a beginning, an effort between the two countries, noting that as our national security adviser has described it the relationship is one of severe competition. What we have to do, of course, is ensure that the elements of

deterrence are rock solid. The potential adversary's assessment of our capabilities on the one hand and our willingness to employ them on the other cannot be questioned.

But we -- while needing to be very firm -- do not want to be needlessly provocative. But again, I think modest encouragement, the efforts to build their nuclear capability, to expand it, those have been ongoing for a very, long period of time.

But, again, these recent episodes, I think modestly again encouraging.

AMANPOUR: Ok. Let's go to the kind of two big crises that are happening right now, two wars that the U.S. has to manage.

You know, you have said about Gaza that Israel should clear, hold and build. What do you mean by that? And you know, there's been a lot of criticism now from the U.S. building and allies about the huge death toll that has been incurred by Israel's counteroffensive after the slaughter of October 7th. What concerns you most about how that is unfolding?

PETRAEUS: Well, first, I think it is a question whether Israel can achieve the objective it has set out, with which I agree, by the way. I believe that Hamas does need to be destroyed. It think it is akin to the Islamic state and in perfect analogy given the Palestinian national element. But I do believe it needs to be destroyed. That's one of Israel's three major stated objectives.

The other is to dismantle the political wing. I agree with that objective. And obviously to get their hostages released and recovered. But the way to do that as you and I have discussed since the beginning is by clearing and holding, by separating the population, the people, from the extremists.

And I don't see that happening across Gaza, and now the withdrawal of five brigades from the Israeli defense force effort in there is, I think, raising questions about whether Israel can actually destroy Hamas, again dismantle the political wing.

And by the way, also keep Hamas from reconstituting because, of course, there are some additional big ideas that have long been needed such as, you know, the post-conflict operation. Who is going to oversee Gaza? No hands are going up in the region. There's certainly no competent, capable, trustworthy Palestinian entity that can be brought over from the West Bank, and it appears by default that Israel will have to do that.

And I think the sooner that that reality is acknowledged and Washington accepts that as well, because there is no viable alternative. If you want to be sure that Hamas cannot reconstitute, then they should be planning accordingly.

But, above all, who is going to get the additional humanitarian assistance that's desperately needed for the people? What is the vision for the people of Gaza and, by the way, for the West Bank while we're at it. And who is going to oversee, who is going to hold and then rebuild, oversee the reconstruction, the restoration of basic services, the reopening of markets, schools, clinics, et cetera.


PETRAEUS: I have felt that the hospital should have been kept open, al Shifa in particular, all of them, and treat civilians in these hospitals. Control them though. Ensure that the tunnels underneath them, headquarters or whatever is being done in there is not allowed and is eliminated, but, again, they need to provide for the people without question.

AMANPOUR: You know, there is a question about whether a new generation will be radicalized instead of what you have said, to separate extremists from the people. But that's an ongoing question.

Can I also ask you about Ukraine, which is something the U.S. and its western allies pledged and promised to support because of the huge fight for democracy that's on that battlefield.

You know, what is going to happen if the -- Timothy Snyder, the Yale historian, told us that everything you guys have given Ukraine they have used well, they have done their part. It is the U.S. that's now looking unreliable and also the E.U. What is going to be the fall-out from that this year?

PETRAEUS: Well, first of all, I think that we will see our Congress come together. As you know, there is a bipartisan majority very strong in the Senate and also quite substantial in the House that wants to provide the additional authorization and appropriations for Ukraine.

It is the dynamics within the House that make this difficult, an effort to also extract from the administration some agreements on the policies for immigration and so forth. And I think this will get resolved.

The question is when and how much longer does Ukraine go before we can really crank on, turn back on the spigots having already provided a very substantial amount. $44 billion is not trivial, but that's is very affordable.

Keep in mind that's across a two-year period in which we had a defense budget in aggregate of $1.7 trillion. Two years, of course, of that.

That's very affordable. It is very necessary. In my view, this is as right versus wrong as it gets, a brutal, unprovoked invasion of a sovereign country right on NATO'S borders and we should have no question that if Russia succeeds there, if Putin is able to achieve his very substantial objectives in Ukraine, that it won't stop there.

Moldova will be the next in the crosshairs, perhaps one of the Baltic states or some others. And so we need -- Henry Kissinger before he passed away stated that NATO's defense now begins at the border between Ukraine and Russia, and I strongly agree with that.

AMANPOUR: Very briefly in the last 30 seconds, do you think then all these crises which the U.S. has some role in could affect the upcoming election?

PETRAEUS: I think it is possible, but, as you pointed out at the outset, it is generally about one's wallet, one's pocketbook. It is about the issues, again, of the economy as they relate to each individual and their assessment of whether they are better off now than they were several years ago.

And I think that remains to be seen given that inflation is coming down, GDP growth is very substantial given the increases in interest rates and they will begin coming down this year.

The question is, will the perceptions change about the economy in particular.

AMANPOUR: General Petraeus, thank you so much for joining us.


AMANPOUR: Now, speaking of pocketbooks, my exclusive conversation with the head of the IMF who says the U.S. economy is coming in for a soft landing without sliding into recession.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back.

We were warned 2023 would be the year of recession. It turned out to be the year of remarkable resilience instead. The head of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva says the U.S. economy is now on track for the soft landing many said was impossible.

In my exclusive interview I asked her what makes her optimistic for this year.


AMANPOUR: Kristalina Georgieva, welcome to the program.

GEORGIEVA: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: Have you been surprised at the end of 2023 about how the economy landed? For instance, in the United States, everybody was talking about a recession, but that actually has not happened.

GEORGIEVA: Well, in the beginning of last year we were worried that the economy may be hit so hard by high interest rates that there could be a risk of recession in many places, and I'm delighted that it has proven to be too pessimistic an outlook.

What we see today is inflation is going down, labor markets remain very strong, people have jobs, and the prospects for the year are of not very strong growth, but growth nevertheless.

AMANPOUR: And what will that mean -- growth versus not very strong growth? What will that mean for the individual who is worried about their buying ability, their purchasing ability?

GEORGIEVA: Well, the expectation for this year and for the next couple of years is that growth would be around 3 percent. To put it in perspective for people, in the previous decade before the pandemic the average growth was close to 4 percent.

So yes, we retain a positive perspective, but productivity is relatively-speaking low. Growth expectations are below what we need for improvements in the lives of people everywhere.


AMANPOUR: So what I want to ask you is specifically in the United States. What do you forecast will be the state of the economy in 2024?

GEORGIEVA: We expect in 2024 the trend in inflation going down to continue, and on that basis the Fed has already announced that there is a prospect for interest rates to start going down. This would be a relief for businesses and for households.

We see growth prospects for the United States to be fairly strong, and that is translating into very strong labor market. Where the U.S. economy is today, definitely soft landing.

AMANPOUR: So that's -- people should be feeling good then about the economy, is that correct?

GEORGIEVA: People should be feeling good about the economy because they finally would see relief in terms of prices. The inflation moderating already and continuing to moderate is due to the decisiveness of the fed to increase interest rates.

And while that has been painful, especially for small businesses, it has brought the desired impact without pushing the economy into recession. And that is for all Americans good news. You have a job and prices are finally starting to moderate.

AMANPOUR: What is it economically or in the atmosphere that causes individuals to tell pollsters that somehow I feel bad?

GEORGIEVA: Christiane, for decades we got accustomed to very low inflation. We forgot what it is for inflation to go up, and suddenly it jumped. That has impacted the mood of people because for some, for the younger generation they don't even know what is this thing, inflation. They didn't live through one.

Secondly, interest rates went up. Again, for a long time, interest rates were very low, sometimes even in negative territory. When you get accustomed to borrowing cheap, then when interest rates jump that is a shock.

AMANPOUR: What do you hope for, wish for 2024 on the economic stage.

GEORGIEVA: To continue to live in a very resilient world economy that surprises us on the upside. And what I'm wishing for, frankly, is a boring year. We have had too many years with surprises that would shock us. May we please have one that doesn't bring any of those?

AMANPOUR: On that note --

GEORGIEVA: And, of course, I pray for peace.

AMANPOUR: And so do we all. Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, thank you so much for being with us.

GEORGIEVA: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: But, of course, despite all of our wishes, any number of global crises could still cause unwelcome shocks.

Coming up later on the program, rock star Lenny Kravitz on his latest project that's getting Oscar buzz. Before that we are taking you on board a French navy assault ship that's now a floating hospital off Gaza for people caught in the carnage. That's next.



AMANPOUR: The Gaza health ministry says now more than 22,000 have been killed in Israel's counteroffensive since October 7th. Another 60,000 people have been injured, and they say nearly three-quarters of all these casualties are women and children.

CNN's Nada Bashir got rare access to a French hospital ship off the coast where they're treating victims as young as 3 years old.


NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The familiar, innocent scrawls of a child, but this child has been through the unimaginable. One of nearly 100 patients evacuated from Gaza to the Dixmude, a French helicopter carrier turned hospital ship, fitted out with specialist medical facilities.

Doctors here say they've already carried out 130 operations in just over a month with patients as young as 3 and injuries spanning from severe burns to amputations.

"We were going to bed at night, I remember I covered my face with my blanket," a 10-year-old Maher (ph) says. "Then suddenly I found myself in the hospital. I don't know what happened."

Like many his age, Maher's dream was to become a footballer. The aftermath of the airstrike still painful in Maher's memory.

22-year-old Muhammed was also evacuated in December after his leg was severely injured. His aunt says that Muhammed's learning difficulties mean he's unable to fully grasp the horror they left behind.

"When we call our relatives in Gaza there are always airstrikes around them," Isrin (ph) says.

They've been displaced over and over again. They keep being told to move to safe areas but there isn't a single safe place left in Gaza anymore.


BASHIR: The photos of family members killed seem endless. Nieces and nephews, children seen in this video, all killed, she says, when their shelter, a U.N.-run school, was struck.

"I hope I can return to Gaza to be with whatever family I have left. I just hope they will be ok. That's all we can hope for in this life."

Holding on to that hope grows more difficult with each passing day, and while the medical team here does its best to heal the physical wounds of its patients, it is clear that the emotional scars of this war run deep.

"When the patients arrive here they all have this look in their eyes, one which makes you feel they have come out of something very, very difficult," Dr. Huba (ph) says. "It is a bit shocking for us, we're not used to seeing this look, especially from children."

Inside Gaza, death seems near impossible to escape, and for the thousands wounded there is no respite. The vast majority of hospitals on the Strip are no longer operational. Doctors, forced to work under Israel's unrelenting airstrikes with limited medical supplies.

Only a small handful of war wounded have so far been evacuated. Facilities like this are few. The evacuation process, precarious. And while the shattered bodies of these survivors are now slowly on the mend, some have turned their minds to remolding the fragments of their lives back home.

"Gaza is my home. Even if I die, I want to die in Gaza," Abdurahim (ph) says. "We will rebuild everything, even if we have to start from zero."

Nada Bashir, CNN -- in El Arish, northern Sinai.


AMANPOUR: And still to come on the show, from the archive, how atheist Cuba finally came in from a cold excommunication.

But first, if you have got it, flaunt it. Why rocker Lenny Kravitz is still dancing nearly naked at nearly 60.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

After 35 years in the music business and four Grammys to boot, Lenny Kravitz is now eyeing Oscar glory with his new song Road to Freedom. He wrote it for the civil rights by Obit Rustin, about the little- known activist behind the march on Washington, Bayard Rustin.


AMANPOUR: The song has already got the presidential seal of approval from Barack and Michelle Obama since it was their company that produced the movie.

This week I reached Lenny Kravitz early one more in Los Angeles.


AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, Lenny Kravitz. What did you know about Bayard Rustin when you first -- you know, were talked to about the film and about the score?

LENNY KRAVITZ, MUSICIAN: Well, here is the thing. I knew his name but I did not know the story. I was actually embarrassed by that because I grew up in a family that was involved in the civil rights movement and I did not know his story. I did not know his involvement as far as being the architect behind the march on Washington.

So I knew when I got the call that this was going to be something that was very important. If I didn't know his story, there's so many that don't. And it was time that Bayard Rustin was seen and heard and understood.

AMANPOUR: I know. And ever since this film has been out I guess a lot of people have learned that he was the man behind Martin Luther King's famous march and really helped to organize it.


AMANPOUR: You wrote the song, right? How did you -- what did you feel that you had to convey right out of the box?

KRAVITZ: The spirit of the movement which, you know, the road to freedom is what all of these great people were on and what Bayard Rustin was on. And that road continues today.

I mean we are still facing so many of the same issues in a different way, in a different time period, but this road is endless. We are continually moving boundaries and walls and pushing our way through to try to get to a better world. So that's what I wanted to convey.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you? Because reading the research for this interview I was really stunned by something really important in your life, not just for you but for culture itself, American culture.

You are the son of a white Jewish father and a black mother with Bahamian roots.


AMANPOUR: Not only that, she, your mother, went on to portray the first -- I think it is the first biracial couple on American television in "The Jeffersons".


AMANPOUR: That's huge.

KRAVITZ: Yes. Yes. I mean to think it was 1975 and that was the first interracial couple on primetime television, was quite extraordinary, and the fact that she actually was married to a white man. This is very interesting that that was her lot to play this role, you know.


KRAVITZ: And when Norman Lear who just passed recently gave her the role, he said, I want to make sure that you don't mind playing this role because you are going to have to be close to this man. He is going to be, you know, kissing you and being close with you.

And she pulled out a picture of my father and he said, I'll see you on Monday.

AMANPOUR: It is such a good story, but it is also -- it's also bittersweet. I'm going to get into -- you know, get into that in a moment.

So I want to ask you what you thought of your friend, I think he was your friend at one point, Jann Wenner, who is the founder of "Rolling Stone", the bible for rock and music during the last century. And promoting his book he told "The New York Times", now infamously, that the reason all seven of his subjects are white men is that there aren't any women or artists of color, quote, "articulate enough on the subject to speak about". So how did you feel and did you ever confront him about that?

KRAVITZ: As you say, we've been friends for many years and I would still call him a friend. I don't have to agree or -- somebody can have a moment where they lose their mind perhaps. But the statement was not true. It was ridiculous.

I don't know why he said what he said, you know. I have no idea because he is a very smart human being who created a great institution, you know. At one time "Rolling Stone" was, you know, an amazing, amazing magazine with great writers and so forth.

But I do not understand that. I cannot explain that to you other than it was completely wrong. You know, I wonder how he feels about it today.

AMANPOUR: I mean it is truly mystifying, frankly.

Let me ask about your upcoming world tour. So you've got a new album, "Blue Electric Light" and you have a new single from it.


AMANPOUR: It is quite racy, Lenny Kravitz. Can I play a little bit? I don't even know if we are allowed to play the slightly less-clothed bits.

KRAVITZ: Please do.

AMANPOUR: But we're going to play a bit.


AMANPOUR: So faithful viewers of your music videos will want to look at the whole video because we couldn't put all the -- you know, the revealing shots in, but what does "TK421" mean?

KRAVITZ: It actually was a reference from a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, who is one of my favorite directors, "Boogie Nights", where it is -- it is actually a modification to a stereo system that makes the stereo system better, have more bass, better sound, louder. So I just used it as a metaphor of making something better.

AMANPOUR: We wish you good luck on the tour. Thanks for being with us. And everybody will be watching for Oscar night and the nominations. So good luck with all of it.

Lenny Kravitz, thanks for being with us.

KRAVITZ: Thank you. Good to speak with you. Bye-bye.


AMANPOUR: And the movie "Rustin" is now streaming on Netflix.

When we come back, a modern-day miracle. An anti-communist pope makes a historic trip to Fidel Castro's Cuba, from our archive next.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back.

62 years ago this week Cuba's revolutionary communist leader, Fidel Castro, was ex-communicated by Rome after he declared Cuba to be an atheist state. But by the 1990s Castro and the church began a rapprochement. And in January of 1998, John Paul II, the vehement anti-communist, became the first pope to visit Cuba.

Landing in Havana he implored, "May Cuba with all of its magnificent potential open itself up to the world, and may the world open itself up to Cuba."

Now many heard that as a call for the United States to end its harsh trade embargo against its island neighbor. I was in Cuba for the pope's historic visit where I witnessed the impact of that blockade on the people.


AMANPOUR: The casual observer may see all of this and think Cuba is the land of plenty. But look a little closer and you will find a lot of people just looking. The typical couple comes here perhaps once every two weeks, examines every stall, and scrutinizes every price because the average salary is less than $10 a month and the U.S. embargo means that every pepper, every peanut is a luxury.

This is where most people buy their staples, at the state grocery store where prices are subsidized and amounts are fixed when they're available. Every Cuban household gets a monthly ration book, one bar of soap, six pounds of rice. Only families with children under seven get milk.

We asked these people how they survive. One man told us he manages on his pension and help from his grown children, but others interrupt.


ORLANDO, CUBAN RESIDENT: I haven't bought anything yet today. I'm going to see if I can afford anything. If I can't, I will go back to my home empty handed, and what will my children eat?

AMANPOUR: Orlando tells us he can barely live on what he earns and he earns an average wage. He has three children.

The whole family lives in one room, no bathroom, no refrigerator, a cooking stove in the corner. Orlando's daily obsession, finding milk for the children.

He's a hospital orderly, who has to work odd jobs on his off hours. The milk he needs costs one-third of his monthly salary. Others need medicine, restricted by the U.S. embargo.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Americans are strangling us. My daughter is sick, and we don't have medicine. They should lift the embargo. Down with this Helms-Burton Law.

AMANPOUR: Sirah (ph) got prescriptions for drugs to treat a basic stomach parasite. But the pharmacies don't stock it. They don't stock much of anything. The shelves are practically bare.

At Cuba's best pediatric hospital, the staff works around the shortages. They ration everything from x-rays to operations. Emergency surgery is performed, the rest must wait.

The best, cheapest medicine and equipment are 90 miles away in the United States, but the embargo forces Cuba to pay four times as much to ship supplies thousands of miles from South Lorea.

It's both stressful and immoral, say the doctors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even in war, I have to treat the enemy soldiers. It's actually same dedication as my own soldier, you know. If American people know this, things would change in less 24 hours because the American people is noble, is humane, is sympathetic.

AMANPOUR: Havana looks like America, frozen in time. The Chevys and Buicks are all classics from the 50s and every street features one with its hood up. Like everything else, the cars here run on individual ingenuity.

Wherever you go, whoever you talk to, you always hear people blame the U.S. embargo for all their woes. The fact is that Cuba's rigid socialist structures are as much to blame for this country's dysfunctional economy.

A few openly admit that, and they complain about a growing elite.

"Most people are suffering," says this woman, "but those at the top by Fidel's side live very well."

And the gap gets wider. In 1993, Fidel Castro allowed ordinary Cubans to hold dollars and open special dollar stores, but not everyone has access to those dollars.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At those stores, there is everything, but we have no dollars because Fidel doesn't pay us in dollars.

AMANPOUR: Pesos don't buy much, but still people like Orlando don't wake up every morning plotting how to overthrow Fidel. Rather, how to find milk for their children.

ORLANDO: I don't know who to blame. There are many people like me.

AMANPOUR: And theirs are the politics of survival.


AMANPOUR: And it's incredible to think that today, 26 years later, daily life and relentless shortages of basic necessities are as bad as they were then.

America's old foe Fidel Castro is long dead and buried, but America's trade embargo remains in place. And it would seem, especially now, that the United States can ill-afford successive generations of enmity in Cuba, the Middle East or anywhere.

When we come back, more questions and answers. "Ask Amanpour" is next.



AMANPOUR: And finally, we started this program by talking about all the elections around the world this year, including, of course, in the United States. So our question comes from a worried European viewer about Donald Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is it that so many Americans, despite all the terrible things he does, still support him?


AMANPOUR: Well, it does appear, according to all the polls, that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. But it's also true that he's been charged on 91 different criminal counts, he's been indicted four times.

And polls suggest that if, in fact, he's convicted by the time of the election, most people would not vote for a convicted felon. There's that.

But also, the key question is about what news people are looking at. The latest poll from "The Washington Post shows that about a quarter of all Americans believe that the FBI instigated the January 6th insurrection at the Congress. Now, we know that is not true. We know that at least 760 people have actually pled guilty to their involvement in that.


AMANPOUR: So I think, again, a lot of this boils down to what news or what information people are getting and how that shapes what they think about everything, including presidential politics.

Now, that's all we have time for. If you want to ask me a question, scan the QR code on your screen or e-mail And remember to tell us your name and where you're from.

And don't forget, you can find all our shows online as podcasts at and on all other major platforms.

I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. Thank you for watching, and see you again next week.