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New Day Saturday
U.S. Reels From String Of Mass Shootings, Deadly Police Encounters; Indianapolis Mass Shooting Victim's Range In Age From 19 To 74; Michigan Battles COVID Surge, Hospitals Near Capacity; U.S. Plans To Withdraw From Afghanistan By September 11th; Interview With Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA); Sixty Years Later, Remembering The Failed Bay Of Pigs Invasion; Duke Of Edinburgh's Funeral To Take Place In Coming Hours. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired April 17, 2021 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prostheses. Some of our recent beneficiaries. So, I decided to just do what I could to help people get those devices that simply couldn't get them because they were out of reach.
It has been life changing for them. And a lot of them remind me of that.
It's very rewarding to be able to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And that's something, you can see her full story at CNNHeroes.com.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just appeared to randomly start shooting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I immediately ducked down and got scared.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was known to federal and local officials, after a family member reached out to them warning of a potential for violence.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a national embarrassment and must come to an end.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The officer gave him a directive. The officer told him, show me your hands. He lifted his hands. They were empty and the child was shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They made their message clear. The anger against the police is obvious.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Britain's Prince Philip will be buried at St. George's Chapel tomorrow at Windsor Castle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to see some very powerful imagery. You're going to see the Queen sitting on her own in a church remembering her husband of 73 years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today is about Prince Philip. It is about mourning his loss.
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PAUL: Well, good morning to you on this Saturday. It is April 17th. I'm Christi Paul.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Boris Sanchez. Thank you so much for joining us bright and early on this Saturday morning.
PAUL: Yes, he got better. Another wakeup call.
SANCHEZ: I didn't see. I spent all night eating chocolate and beef jerky. I was so excited. Our first full weekend together, Christi.
PAUL: Yes, yes, and we're really slowing you into it with just two hours today, but we'll get you back next week. It's all right. OK, let's talk about what's been happening particularly overnight. While you may have been sleeping, there is frustration across this country with the cycle of mass shootings, the cycle of police violence against black and brown people and with the cycle of politicians will promising action on both issues but so far.
SANCHEZ: And yes, and a moment we're going to have the latest on that mass shooting in Indianapolis as we learn more about who those eight victims were. But first take a look at the tense and two-way sixth night of protests in Brooklyn center Minnesota over the killing of Dante right.
Police forcefully clearing out the crowd when protesters began shaking a fence and throwing objects at officers. It's not only Minnesota police in Portland, Oregon, declaring a riot there. I made protests after police in that city killed a man.
In Oakland, California Police condemning assaults and vandalism they say happened during a protest march downtown. And of course, in Chicago, the killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo ringing out a huge crowd of protesters calling for justice. CNNs Martin Savage was there. He joins us live this morning from Chicago. Martin, talk us through what you saw last night and where the, the case stands this morning.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure, morning to you, Boris. Yes, emotions continue to run very high in the city of Chicago. That's clearly, clearly evident. First of all, let's talk about the officer involved. That's Eric Stillman.
He has been placed on administrative duty. In other words, he's been taken off the street and he's been assigned to a desk while this investigation continues. Meanwhile, we've learned that the family of Adam fellated was not notified of the 13-year-olds death until some two and a half days after the fact.
Now the reason for that police say is number one, Toledo did not have any identification on him when he was killed. And they also say that they ran his fingerprints through the system. But of course, he wasn't in the system. And then on top of that, they say the 21-year-old who was arrested at the same time as too late it was killed, gave police a wrong identification.
That delay though, is only compounding the tragedy in the emotions that many people feel. The debate, of course is when did Toledo have or did not have a gun in his hands. Two different opinions. You're going to hear from here. The attorney who represents the Toledo family, followed by a representative from the police union, take a listen.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That child complied. Adam complied with the officer's request, dropped the gun turned around, the officer saw his hands were up and pulled the trigger.
JOHN CATANRAZA, CHICAGO FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE. That officer had eight-tenths of a second to determine if that weapon was still in his hand or not. That officer does not have to wait to be shot at or shot in order to respond and defend himself.
SAVIDGE: This is not of course the first controversial police killing in the city of Chicago but it's clear that this particular case has struck a chord struck a nerve with so many people that was evident last night by the protest that first began with the couple hundred and then and then grew into thousands of people. It was a very diverse crowd that was there. In some cases, there were a lot of families that were there people that showed up with their children. They marched through the streets for hours, and it was loud and tons.
It was very angry against police, but it was orderly. It was only at the very end after much of the crowd had already dissipated, that there was some pushing and shoving and an altercation that took place with police.
It appeared that there may have been some arrests, but for the most part, police stayed back even though they were there in large presence and they continued to monitor those who stayed behind. And again, it is an emotional day here in the city and all eyes will be focused on what happens next both on the streets and in the investigation. Boris and Christi.
PAUL: Martin Savidge, thank you so much.
SACHEZ: Meantime, here in Washington and across the country flags, are back at half-staff, yet again it's the fifth time at the White House this year. The same order has already followed mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado. President Biden calling gun violence an epidemic that the country must address now. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This has to end. It's a national embarrassment. It is a national embarrassment, what's going on. And it's not only these mass shootings that are occurring, every single day. Every single day there's a mass shooting this in the United States if you count all those who are killed out on the streets of our cities in our rural areas. It's a national embarrassment and must come to an end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: And just in the last few hours, police have released the names and identities of the eight people who were killed Thursday during America's latest mass shooting.
SANCHEZ: Yes, they range in age from 19 to 74. Here are their names. Several of them were members of the Sikh community. Officials say, the investigation is still very much in its infancy. CNN's Miguel Marquez is in Indianapolis with the latest. And Miguel, we just confirmed over the last few hours that the apparent suspect was a former employee.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He was indeed he left the employment here at this FedEx facility, it's a massive facility, one of the largest that FedEx has, has in the world, last year sometime. We also know that this individual, 19-years-old, was on police radar last year in March of 2020, his mother called police here in Indianapolis to report that she was afraid her son was going to try to commit suicide by cop.
Police responded to the home they, checked it out, they took a shotgun that belonged to the 19-year-old and then something else they saw in the home led them to call the FBI because they were concerned about perhaps some sort of extremist behavior that he, he may have.
So, the FBI interviewed him a month later, they closed the case, but they kept the gun. So, it will raise questions about what gun he had here. How did he obtain it? And of course, the motive, why, why would he come back to this place where he worked and kill so many people back to you guys.
SANCHEZ: Miguel Marquez reporting from Indianapolis. Thank you for that. President Biden calling the latest series of mass shootings, "a national embarrassment." Last week, his administration announced several actions to address gun violence in America.
PAUL: Yes, but when it comes to gun laws, president Biden is going to have to get both sides of the aisle to work together here. CNNs Daniella Diaz is on Capitol Hill with us this morning, Daniella, good to see you. Is the President going to be able to do that? I mean, what is the realistic number here?
DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, the problem is that Democrats and Republicans can't find any middle ground at all, on this issue. Most Republicans are against any sort of measures to for gun safety. And most Democrats want to see some sort of gun safety measure passed in this Congress. So, they're having a really hard time trying to meet in the middle on this.
And if there's any hope at all, it probably lies in trying to narrow the scope of whatever bill is put on the Senate floor, which is exactly what Senator Chris Murphy and Senator Richard Blumenthal, both of Connecticut are trying to do right now. You know, one of the two, the other two most important senators on this issue are Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
They tried to pass a bill in 2013, a bipartisan bill that would expand commercial background checks. So, those are two senators were watching on this issue. And Murphy and Blumenthal say that they're trying to work with senators, Republican senators, behind the scenes to persuade them to negotiate with them on gun safety bill on the Senate floor.
But look, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has committed to putting a gun safety bill on the floor anyway even if it doesn't have the votes to pass. Here's what he had to say this week on the issue.
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SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We will have a vote on this issue. We will have a debate on this issue. It is very important. Two of our leaders on this from Connecticut, Senators Murphy and Blumenthal are reaching out to Republican colleagues to see if they will join us, but we will have a vote whether they join us or not.
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DIAZ: So, Schumer's goal here is to hold a vote so that both the Democrats and Republicans can go on the record on where they stand on this issue of gun control. Christi, Boris.
PAUL: Daniella Diaz, we appreciate the update so much. Thank you. Listen, if it seems as though we are just over and over again, telling you about another mass shooting in America, it's because they keep happening --
SANCHEZ: I just looked at it. And --
PAUL: Yes, take a look at this list. It's scrolling on your screen here. This is a list of mass shootings just in the past month. CNN defines a mass shooting, by the way, it's a shooting that results in four or more injuries or death, including the shooter.
So, by that definition, there have been more than 40 mass shootings in this country just since mid-March and that includes the shooting at King Supers, supermarket, in Boulder. 10 people died there in the horrific spa shootings remember an Atlanta eight people were killed, including six Asian women.
SANCHEZ: This weekend marks one of the biggest blunders in the history of covert operations, one that some argue has altered the course of national elections in the United States. Our decision made by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 still impacts us politics.
PAUL: And we're going live with you to Windsor as hundreds of military personnel gather for a final salute to the Duke of Edinburgh.
SANCHEZ: We're just about 15 minutes past the hour and new this morning, the global coronavirus death toll, according to Johns Hopkins University, has topped three million. This as the CDC says more than 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered in the United States. Despite that, the number of infections continues to climb.
According to the CDC, more than 30 percent of all adults in the United States have been fully vaccinated. But experts say that is simply not enough. According to experts from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, they forecast 58,000 more people will die of the virus by August 1st.
PAUL: So, let's talk about Michigan because it's currently in the midst of a third COVID SERPs. The CDC says the state has the second most cases of the B-117 variant in the whole country. That's the variant first identified in the U.K. What's more, there's federal data that shows Michigan cities account for nine of the 10 worst outbreaks in U.S. metro areas.
So, Matthew Budd is with us. He's the Director of Personal and Preventative Health Services for Jackson County Health Department, Jackson, Michigan. That's a city that's near the top of the list. So, Mr. Budd, thank you so much for being with it.
It's, it's good to have you here. So, I understand the Jackson it's a small city, it's rural, but, but Michigan has been in stringent, stringent lockdowns for the beginning. What do you think is happening there that's contributing to the uptick you're seeing?
MATTHEW BUDD, DIRECTOR, PERSONAL AND PREVENTATIVE HEALTH AND SERVICES FOR JACKSON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT: You know, I think that there's several things that are, that's really happening in Michigan and around the country. Something that we hear a lot at the health department is that people are tired. We've been through all these lockdowns, we've been cooped up.
And in Michigan, we've had winter, of course of the cold weather, and now that it's getting warmer out, people are saying you know it, we're just tired, we want to be outside, we want to be around other people. And we're seeing in some of these gatherings that are taking place and some indoor dining and some sports. And we are seeing an increase in cases as kind of a result of this one spring.
PAUL: So, I, I know that you posted a message on Facebook explaining variance. And I'm wondering why you felt compelled to do so. And in addition to that, what is it about these variants? Is there anyone in particular that brings you more along than others? BUDD: Well, right now, as you mentioned, the B-117 variant, the UK
variant is spreading in Michigan and in our community. So, early in March, we detected two different variants within just a couple of days of each other, and that is a big cause for concern because in addition to that springtime, we are seeing these variants in our community that do spread easier. So, we are seeing a lot of spread in schools and in sports.
And that variant, we believe, is a big cause of that, because there's evidence that that variant strain is now the greatest spreading strain in our area. Said Roger, what, what do you think? Have you been able to gauge what your most urgent need is at the moment? And what is the biggest obstacle to getting there?
BUDD: That's a great question. I think there's a lot of little needs though. So one of the greatest needs of courses is vaccination. We really need people to continue to try to get a vaccine anywhere that they can, because that's our best way to protect ourselves. The next thing we really need to do is, is where mass social distance and try to limit our gatherings to other people who are protected.
I think our biggest barrier is truly that we've been in this pandemic for over a year and people are just kind of tired, and we do see in our communities kind of especially some of our more rural communities, a lot of people saying you know, it's been a year I haven't gotten sick.
So, my family we can gather and we can go through the holidays and Easter and, and kind of celebrate the warm weather together. So that's one of the challenges that we do face and we're not through the pandemic quite yet, but we're getting close with that vaccination effort to protecting ourselves even more.
PAUL: So, there are reports as I understand it of younger people who, who are being infected here. And you said that young people, "will represent one of the challenges to us in the future." What do you mean by that? Will you expand on that for us, please?
BUDD: Yes, of course. So, I've had some communication with some of our superintendents, so that some of our schools and we see a lot of misinformation out there on social media, and going through our community regarding what the vaccine does, and how effective it might be and what some of those long term side effects will be. So, we've actually heard quite a bit of hesitancy among our younger age groups just because of that misinformation that's out there.
PAUL: OK, but have you seen more younger people being infected there in Michigan as well?
BUDD: We have. That's a great question. With the vaccination efforts, of course, we rolled that out with older adults in our community, people 65 and older. And now, that over half of those individuals are vaccinated, what we're seeing is more people in their 20s, 30s, and teenagers getting sick with this COVID vaccines were start COVID variant -- sorry -- and the regular COVID strain and we're seeing a lot more spread in those younger groups.
So people were working people in the schools. And in fact, the last week, the week after spring break, we saw our greatest increase in school aged cases that we've ever seen during this pandemic.
PAUL: So, how do young people, how are younger people faring once they get infected?
BUDD: By and large, a lot of younger people do find they have some mild symptoms. I did hear that Michigan has had a record increase in childhood hospital admissions here in the last week, but, but still largely most children, that they will have symptoms of kind of a mild flu or cold. The issue that we see, of course, is that those children they bring back the COVID virus to their household, to their loved ones to some of their unproductive or vulnerable neighbors and family members.
PAUL: OK, well, Matthew Budd, we appreciate you taking the time to be with us this morning and help us understand what's happening in Michigan. We wish you the very best. We hope that everything can really start to tamp down there a little bit for all of you. We know you've worked really hard. Thank you.
BUDD: Thank you for having us.
PAUL: Of course.
SANCHEZ: Mixed reaction from both sides of the aisle, the President Biden's plan to end America's longest war. After the break is California Congressman Ro Khanna, why he supports pulling troops from Afghanistan?
SANCHEZ: President Joe Biden is attempting to do what his predecessors could not, and the longest war in U.S. history by bringing troops home from Afghanistan. President Biden announced this week that the withdrawal will begin on May 1st, and likely be complete by September 11th.
On the 20th anniversary of the al-Qaeda attacks on the United States that prompted the beginning of the war in Afghanistan back in October 2001. Reaction to the announcement has been mixed. Critics say, the threat of terrorism could be compounded.
But our next guest welcomes the withdrawal saying in part, "Continuing the U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan out of fear that the government might be overrun by the Taliban is the same mindset that has bogged us down for two decades. If this problem could be solved militarily, it would have been done before now. Withdrawing our troops will allow the United States to refocus on diplomacy as our foreign policy tool of first resort, a key Biden campaign promise."
Joining us now to discuss is one of the authors of that opinion piece, Congressman Ro Khanna of California. Sir, thank you so much for joining us this morning. I want to start with something you wrote in the op-ed that withdrawing troops will allow for a refocus on diplomacy. Congressman, respectfully, is there really room for diplomacy with the Taliban?
REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): Well, we have to have some solution to peace, the intelligence agencies have told us that our troops are at risk. The Taliban has threatened to take action if we don't withdraw troops. And if we don't stay there, we're going to continue to have conflict and war.
That's why President Biden took the courageous decision to withdraw, recognizing, though that we have economic tools, we have sanctions, and we can keep regional assets to make it clear to the Taliban, that they cannot harbor terrorists, and to make it clear that we reserve the right to take future military action if our homeland is ever a threat.
SANCHEZ: You mentioned sanctions and the ability to get regional actors to intervene, I assume you mean places like Pakistan? What incentive really does the Taliban have ultimately, though, to keep the peace?
KHANNA: First, they've seen what the United States can do. Let's remember, we won the war, where our original mission, we destroyed al- Qaeda, we caught bin Ladin, and their country has been ravaged for 20 years. So, the last thing they want is to do something that is going to trigger the United States to have further strikes or further military action. And we've made it very clear, the President will make it very clear, in withdrawing.
There is zero tolerance for them to harbor terrorists that could threaten the United States homeland or our interest in my understanding is the administration will look for regional assets, whether that's a Kazakhstan or Pakistan or other areas to make sure we retain the capability of having the potential is striking, if something were to develop that threatened the United States.
SANCHEZ (on camera): Well, some, including your colleague, Congressman Adam Kinzinger concerned that the United States shouldn't be pulling out because of the dynamic we saw at play in Iraq.
The power of vacuum of a troop withdrawal, ISIS taking route. The concern is that something similar is going to happen in Afghanistan. I want you to listen to what he had to say.
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REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): Are there challenge? Of course. But you know what we haven't had in the last 20 years, we have not had a terrorist attack in the United States of America that was planned and executed out of Afghanistan.
I think this sends the wrong message at the wrong time. And frankly, it's going to be, I fear, a repeat of what we saw in Iraq after the U.S. left. We only had to go back with the bigger force.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Congressman, what's your response?
KHANNA: I know people keep throwing out this Iraq talking point, but there is no factual similarity. The Iraq situation was caused because of de-Ba'athification of the Iraq government.
We left but we gave no role for a certain factions to be part of the governing coalition. It would be as if we left Afghanistan and insisted that the Taliban had no role in governing Afghanistan. Quite the opposite is true, the Taliban now control 70 percent of the territory, and President Biden is going to make sure that it's a coalition government, in which the Taliban has a role. So, the situations are totally not comparable.
SANCHEZ: It doesn't seem like the Taliban has the same desire when it comes to enforcing a certain kind of democracy. And one example of that is that women that are involved in these negotiations are concerned that the progress that Afghan women have made over two decades could be lost, if U.S. forces leave before a long-term political solution is reached.
How is the Biden administration addressing those concerns?
KHANNA: Well, there is no doubt, the Taliban doesn't believe in liberal democracy or human rights, and we shouldn't be naive about that. But the Taliban has gained control since we've been there. They now control 70 percent of the territory. So, we haven't been successful in warding them off.
The same point is that, women's groups are split. There was an op-ed in The New York Times by a leader of the women for Afghanistan organization. And she made two important points. First, women and children currently are dying as are many Afghan civilians because of the ongoing war. So, that is not helpful for women's rights.
And second, the key point is an insistence that women leaders and groups, a part of any negotiating process, part of the government that those human rights are upheld by the international community. And that's what we will continue to do.
But the idea that America can militarily go to places halfway around the world and create liberal democracy, I just don't think is possible. And that's the lesson that we've learned over the last 20 years.
SANCHEZ: Congressman, I want to pivot quickly to what the White House is calling an epidemic. President Biden speaking, of course, about gun violence in this country. According to CNN's count, more than 40 mass shootings across the country in just the last month.
Given the gridlock on this issue in Congress, realistically, what could be done at a national level to address this? KHANNA: Well, we need to act. And I'm glad that the president is insisting on that. I was encouraged that Senator Schumer, the Senate majority leader said that they will bring legislation to the Senate.
As you know, the House has passed a number of provisions. The most important one, the basic one, is a universal background check. Shouldn't we be able to tell if a person has a criminal background history, if a person is likely to commit violence before they get to buy a gun? That seems so reasonable. The House has passed that. The Senate needs to take that up and vote on it.
And it's also why we frankly need filibuster reform to protect voting rights, to have basic common sense gun violence legislation to tackle climate change.
SANCHEZ: Congressman Ro Khanna, this are difficult issues. We appreciate you coming on and sharing your perspective with us.
KHANNA: Thank you so much for having me.
PAUL (on camera): You know, for the first time in over 60 years, a Castro will not head the Communist Party in Cuba.
After the break, the bipartisan effort to put pressure on the new regime and bring awareness to the human rights violations on the island.
PAUL: So, in a historic move, Raul Castro confirmed he's stepping down as the head of Cuba's Communist Party. That's the only political party allowed on the island. But this marks the first time in more than six decades a Castro will not hold what's considered the most powerful post in Cuba.
SANCHEZ: Notably, this weekend, also marks the anniversary of the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion. It's wildly known as one of the biggest blunders in the history of covert operations.
But for those who stormed the small stretch of Cuban coastlines 60 years ago today, it was a turning point in the fight against in oppressive dictatorship. One that some argue still carries an outsize impact on national elections in the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ (voice-over): 1961, the height of the Cold War. A brigade of Cuban exiles, armed and trained by the CIA, return to their homeland to carry out a daring mission.
JOHNNY LOPEZ DE LA CRUZ, PRESIDENT, BAY OF PIGS VETERANS ASSOCIATION: We were just desperate to jump.
SANCHEZ: Known as Brigade 2506, they numbered roughly 1,500. Farmers, doctors, fishermen, engineers, and teenagers, some of them not yet 18 years old.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are so young, and we are going to die tonight.
SANCHEZ: United by the dream of toppling Fidel Castro.
As revolution revoked property rights, stifled free expression, and brutally squashed any form of decent.
Johnny Lopez de la Cruz says witnessing an innocent friend get killed by firing squad led him to action.
DE LA CRUZ: You know, I started looking for a place to start working against the government.
SANCHEZ: The mission led to clandestine CIA-backed training camps in Florida and Guatemala, and ultimately, bahia de Cochinos, the Bay of Pigs.
ROBERTO HEROS, BRIGADE 2506: Clearly, all of us knew that we could get killed. But frankly, the thought that never passed my mind is that we could lose.
SANCHEZ: Under a plan originally devised by the Eisenhower administration, the United States would help the brigade with air support. But after three days of intense fighting, --
DE LA CRUZ: We, actually, we ran out of ammunition.
SANCHEZ: Help never came. Then-President John F. Kennedy canceled a planned airstrike. The brigade was crushed, most of the survivors captured.
HEROS: I know it's fair to say that many, many of us blamed at that time, President Kennedy. I, myself, do not.
SANCHEZ: But six decades later, the failed invasion and Kennedy's decision still enflames arguments in Miami's little Havana and beyond.
EDUARDO CELORIO, CUBAN-AMERICAN VOTER: The mention of Kenney's name is considered a betrayal for Cubans. Cubans began moving to the Republican Party.
BILLY CORBEN, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: I think you can draw a straight line from the trauma of Bay of Pigs, and the generational trauma really of the Bay of Pigs, all the way to the election of 2020. And probably beyond.
SACHEZ: Filmmaker Billy Corben has spent decades documenting culture and politics in Miami. He says the scars of communism, primed not only Cubans, but Venezuelans, and Colombians. And others, for a very specific message from Republicans. Democrats can't be trusted.
CORBEN: There is a way that Democrats can speak to that constituency, but yet, they failed to. And in that vacuum comes constant reminders of the trauma.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those fleeing oppression, whether it be in Cuba, Venezuela or anywhere else, understand firsthand the dangers.
SANCHEZ: Despite hosting political candidates for decades, the veterans of Brigade 2506 made Donald Trump their first presidential endorsement in 55 years.
He first visited them in little Havana in 1999. And in 2000, they visited him at the White House.
DE LA CRUZ: You have kept your promises.
We are confirmative. And anything that smells socialism or communism, we're going to reject.
SANCHEZ: The GOP approach paid off. And one of the biggest swings toward Trump in the country, the former president grew his share of the 2020 vote in Miami-Dade County by more than 12 points. Where Democrats also lost two House seats.
While Joe Biden ultimately won Miami-Dade, Trump's boost narrowed the margins, helping Trump within Florida's 29 Electoral College votes.
SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D-NJ): I do think there is a lack of fully understanding. The trauma that the Cuban people have gone through.
SANCHEZ: Senator Bob Menendez, a Cuban-American Democrat, says the rhetoric from Republicans may have worked, but ultimately, has not produced much change in Cuba.
MENENDEZ: Four years of Donald Trump, and none of those years changed the reality of Castro's regime and the suffering of the Cuban people.
SANCHEZ: Alongside Republican Marco Rubio, a fellow Cuban-American senator, Menendez is co-sponsoring a resolution honoring Brigade 2506. They want to raise awareness about human rights violations on the island, and put pressure on the regime, which Rubio says should be a bipartisan issue.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): The loudest voices in American politics that have been sympathetic over the Castro's regime happen to be members of the Democratic Party, and I think that has harmed the Democratic Party.
But I've always wanted Cuba, and continue to want Cuba to be a bipartisan issue. And Senator Menendez is an example of that, and will work very closely on this issues. We're all -- this is something we're all looking for allies.
HEROS: A month doesn't go by since I don't have a very vivid dream of my being in Cuba. In the Cuba that I remember, and the beautiful country.
SANCHEZ: While the veterans downplay the operation's historical significance, their mission remains unchanged.
PEDRO ROIG, BRIGADE 2506: 60 years later, we are still fighting for freedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ (on camera): Both senators, Menendez and Rubio told me that they believe that Raul Castro's stepping down will not lead to any substantive changes toward Democracy on the island.
And one final note, after a group of private sympathizers negotiated their release from Cuban prison in 1962, none of those three brigade members I spoke with have ever returned to the island. They say they will not, until their homeland is truly free.
PAUL: There are a lot of emotions showing in the U.K. right now. We're taking you live to Windsor as the royal family is getting ready to say goodbye to Prince Philip.
PAUL: So, in today's "FOOD AS FUEL", CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard tells us about the health benefits of adding nuts to our diet.
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER (on camera): Nuts of all varieties are good sources of fat, fiber, and protein. Just make sure anyone handling or eating them does not have a nut allergy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD (voice-over): Peanuts which are actually legumes are a great source of biotin. In moderation, they can help during pregnancy. And most of the fat in peanuts is the healthier unsaturated kind which lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Now, almonds are one of the best sources of Vitamin E which might help prevent or delay heart disease and cognitive decline. And almonds are also high in magnesium which helps regulate blood sugar.
Not only do walnuts provide more antioxidants than any other nut but studies suggest walnuts may help decrease inflammation, a factor in many chronic diseases.
Cashews provide the nutrients magnesium and manganese to help keep bones healthy. And pistachios are a great source for Vitamin B6 and can also help support healthy cholesterol levels.
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SANCHEZ: In honor of the duke of Edinburgh's decorated military career, more than 700 British military personnel is taking part in a ceremony happening outside St. George's Chapel where his funeral service is set to be held later today.
PAUL: Now, the people in attendance will include senior members of the royal family, close friends of Prince Philip. Here with more on today's service, Diane Clehane, she's the author of Diana: Secrets of Her Style. She's also the Best Life royals editor.
Diane, so good to have you with us. Thank you again for being here. So, I know that there's going to be a real focus on Prince Philip's military service. We cannot overestimate though the fact that what we've heard about the procession that princes William and Harry will not be walking side by side, and that's perked some ears there. Can you help us explain what's going on there?
DIANE CLEHANE, ROYALS EDITOR, BEST LIFE: Well, as soon as Harry and -- as soon as it was announced that Harry was going to the funeral, something just clicked and everyone was really worried about what we should do, should they be together? Because the rift with the family has still not healed.
So, the queen decided, a couple of days ago, that everyone would walk two by two, but they would put Peter Phillips, who was Princess Anne's son between Charles and between -- sorry, William and Harry.
PAUL: OK. So, when we talk about what is going to happen inside St. George's Chapel, help us understand what we know about that ceremony. As I said, military is obviously going to be a big part of what they honored today, but this will be -- I don't think people can get away from the thought that this queen who's been married to him for 73 years is going to be sitting alone. This is a moment for her.
CLEHANE: It is. And she's had this incredible week where she's had to deal with family squabbles regarding the uniforms, regarding this the seating, the processional. And she is, in fact, going to be seated alone because of the COVID restrictions.
There's only 30 mourners that are allowed in the church. They will all be wearing masks, they'll all be socially distant. But it's really -- it is really a moment, as you say, because of the fact that they have been together for 73 years, and she has always called the duke my strength and my stay.
PAUL: So, what do we know about what will be said about him?
CLEHANE: Well, it's interesting. In other funerals regarding the royal family, for instance, Diana's funeral, they had her sister speak. But the duke of Canterbury and the archbishop will be the only one speaking today.
PAUL: There is hope as I understand it that in Britain that this funeral may bring some sort of clarity to the princess, to William, and to Harry when we -- when you go to a funeral, you often think life is short. What do I need to do to make things right in my life? Is that the hope that people are feeling today there in the U.K. overall?
CLEHANE: Well, overall, yes. The people of the U.K. really want to see these two men find a way back to each other. And I think what's interesting is that, as they walk in the processional, I think that they cannot help but be reminded of that day where the two of them walked behind their mother's casket and it was Prince Philip that encouraged them to do so and was there for them.
So, it's a very emotional day, but unfortunately, the rift is so deep and has been widened over the last months or so that it makes it difficult to think that one event is going to make a difference. But I think it could be a start, but it is concerning that they are still walking separated.
So, there is all kinds of things you could read into the tea leaves on that but I think they're really hoping that this is going to be the start of some conversation.
PAUL: And I would think -- and you can answer this better because you know the background. This is something Prince Philip would want, yes?
CLEHANE: Oh, Prince Philip would definitely want this. He also wanted no fuss mate. He said, just do it, he didn't want a big ceremonial thing. But more than anything, he would want his grandsons to be on the same page.
PAUL: Diane Clehane, we appreciate you taking time for us today. We will all be watching.
I mean, this is -- this is a huge moment for the world really as we watch what's happening there in the U.K. Thank you for being with us.
CLEHANE: Thank you for having me.
PAUL: And we will have special coverage always. Thank you.
We will have special coverage today because we want to say -- Goodbye to you, thank you so much for starting your morning with us. We hope you make good memories.
SANCHEZ: "SMERCONISH" is up next, followed by, as Christi mentioned, CNN special coverage of "THE ROYAL FUNERAL OF PRINCE PHILIP". Have a great day.