December 20, 1993 – Israeli/PLO Peace Talks – Cuban And Haitian Refugees – Byrds Drummer Michael Clarke, Dead at 49
December 20, 1993 – By 90s standards, a typical day.
The Middle-East was in the news again – this time with negotiations between Israel and the PLO still in deadlock over the question of Palestinian autonomy. It was an obstacle-filled path on the road to implementation on the previous summer’s agreement on autonomy. But the two sides were agreeing to talk, even if it was at a later date. Meeting in Oslo, the site of many successful negotiations in the past, the two sides met for one intense 24 hour meeting, blacked-out to the press and finally emerged they would continue the talks “at some point”. The biggest problem was with borders; the borders the new Palestinian entity would share with Egypt and with Jordan. The Israelis insisted on continuing control over those borders in order to combat terrorism and control immigration. The Palestinians, eager for symbols of statehood, wanted their flag and police at the crossings. At the moment, negotiations were not slated to continue during the week, but rather sometime during the following year.
More Cuban and Haitian refugees were brought ashore in Miami beach. Haitian-Americans were critical of U.S. Immigration policy which granted Cuban refugees Political refugee status and eligible for asylum, while branding the Haitian refugees as illegal aliens and were to be given immigration hearings to determine their eventual fate. Many Haitian-Americans condemned the policy as morally wrong and racist and called for treatment to be equal with the Cubans.
Detroit was getting optimistic this day. The Automotive News Report disclosed that next year (1994), the U.S. was on track to regain its status as the world’s Number One vehicle producer. The industry trade paper went on to say that American production will increase nearly 5% in 1994, topping Japan’s output by about 200,000 units. However, it was also disclosed that some 2 million Japanese cars being produced in U.S. was also helping the American auto industry grab its number one rating.
Meanwhile, South Africa was still undergoing changes with political opponents agreeing to negotiate their differences. The holdouts were appearing to move closer to an agreement that could make the following April’s first-ever all-race elections even more peaceful and comprehensive, but there were still some very formidable problems to tackle. The Government and ANC rejected calls by conservative whites for a separate Afrikaner homeland, while the White Separatist Conservative Party and the Zulu-based Inkatha Freedom Party feared domination by a future government led by Nelson Mandela.
And Michael Clarke, former drummer for 60s Rock legends The Byrds died earlier this morning at his home in Treasure Island, Florida, from complications with Liver disease. He was 49.
That’s just a small slice of what went on this December 20, 1993 as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.