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Tammie Jo Shults Saves Lives of Southwest Flight; World Remembers Barbara Bush; Cuba Moves to Elect Non-Castro Leader. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired April 18, 2018 - 10:00:00   ET




DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have had direct talks at very high levels, extremely high levels with North Korea.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR, CONNECT THE WORLD HOST: A secret meeting, but who was U.S. President Donald Trump's man in North Korea?

Next, we are live in Seoul with all the details, also.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Injured passengers, okay, and are you, is your airplane physically on fire?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not fire, not fire, but part of it is missing.


ANDERSON: Engine failure, how an experienced pilot made this emergency landing as controlled as possible ahead. We'll look at what caused the

trouble for this Southwest flight later. We'll remember life and legacy of American First Lady Barbara Bush whose own journey was one not to miss.

Hello and welcome to Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson here in Abu Dhabi for you. It's 7 PM here, 30 to midnight in Pyongyang 11 AM, in

Washington. First up, he loves to talk tough, to boast, and to bluster, but for all the reality TV star melodrama we see in the Trump era, the

American president is getting ready to do something no one else in his job has done before -- meet a North Korean dictator. Tweeting that details of

that are, quote, "Being worked out now."

CNN's Abby Phillips takes us inside a top secret 22,000 kilometer round- trip helping make it all happen.


TRUMP: We have had direct talks at very high levels, extremely high levels with North Korea.



Jong-un in a top secret trip to North Korea over Easter weekend.

A source telling CNN that Pompeo who is awaiting confirmation as Secretary of State travelled with only intelligence officials with him. The

Washington Post reports Pompeo went as President Trump's envoy to lay the groundwork for direct talks between the two leaders about North Korea's

nuclear weapons program.

The White House declined to comment. But Pompeo recently spoke about the U.S.' goals.



set the conditions for that appropriately, so that the President and the North Korean leader can have that conversation and will set us down the

course of achieving a diplomatic outcome.


PHILLIPS: During the first day of meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the president saying when that meeting might happen.


TRUMP: We'll be having meetings with Kim Jong-un very soon. It'll be -- that will be taking place probably in early June or a little before that,

assuming things go well.


PHILLIPS: But leaving the door open for the U.S. to back out if necessary.


TRUMP: It's possible things won't go well and we won't have the meetings and we'll just continue to go along this very strong path that we've taken.

But we will see what happens.


PHILLIPS: A source tells CNN one sticking point is the meeting's location with several possibilities floated but none in the U.S.

ANDERSON: Well, Abby Phillips reporting there, remember we are seeing incredible things happen here. Powerful Americans rarely stepping foot in

Pyongyang. For a sense of that, let's just jump back to 1994.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter shaking hands with North Korea's founder Kim Il-sung. Six years later, the country's next ruler, Kim Jong-il

shaking hands with America's then-Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.

Her boss as President who didn't want to go until nine years passed by, Bill Clinton now out of office helping get two Americans out of jail. Then

another nine long years after that we are caught up to today.

Less than 210 kilometers from Pyongyang itself, South Korea's capital Seoul, of course, and that is where we find CNN's Ivan Watson.

Ivan, almost 30 years, only four big American meetings for the Kims, just how big a deal would a face-to-face with the North Korean leader be?

IVAN WATSON; CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, it'd be historic first ever of its kind. And I think that's part of what's potentially so

exciting about the flurry of diplomacy that we've seen.

And do keep in mind that just next week; we're going to have the South Korean President sitting down with the North Korean leader for their first



Now, there have been inter-Korean summits previously, but this will be taking place with Kim Jong-un, a man who's led his country but only made

his first trip as leader outside of North Korea last March, when he travelled secretly to Beijing to meet with the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping.

And now he is scheduled to meet with the South Korean leader. So he is basically now thrusting himself and clearly being welcomed on the

international arena by heads of state. You'll have the Chinese leader who is now talking about going to Pyongyang for a follow up meeting; the South

Korean President, we see the effort underway for what would be a historic Trump-Kim Jong-un meeting. And we also know that the Russians are

interested in organizing some kind of a meeting and the Japanese Prime Minister is as well.

It's quite remarkable. And North Korea's KCNA state news agency had a glowing article today talking about the rosy future of the nation amid all

this diplomacy and saying that all Koreans at home and abroad praised Kim Jong-un as the peerlessly great man taking the helm of history and steering

the trend of the world.

I don't know whether all South Koreans would agree with that. But certainly, heads of state from around the world seem to be lining up to

shake this man's hand.


ANDERSON: Ivan, let's bring up some footage then from the Korean War. Again, it technically is still going on nearly 17 years on. Now, it could

be about to end thanks in part as Donald Trump would like to point out, to Donald Trump. Let's roll the clip.


TRUMP: North Korea is coming along. South Korea is meeting and has plans to meet with North Korea to see if they can end the war and they have my

blessing on that. And they've been very generous that without us and without me in particular I guess you would have to say that they wouldn't

be discussing anything including the Olympics would have been a failure, instead it was a great success.


ANDERSON: Well, pointing out, it was all possible only because of him, a major policy announcement in there, blessing, his word, Koreas to finally

end their war. Look, we don't know where and we don't know when at this point, but should this face-to-face happen, what are the implications at

this point?

WATSON: Well, I mean, the U.S. is a big player here. It has some 30,000 troops in South Korea. And it was one of the combatants, one of the key

combatants in the Korean War. The Peninsula has been divided ever since then.

It's a rather complicated dance that's taking place. And yes, President Trump may take credit. His encouragement of this is incredibly important.

The role of the South Korean President, Moon Jae-in also incredibly important, since arguably it's his Olympic diplomacy that helped pushed

some of this forward. And he was elected promising to try to reach out to Pyongyang.

And then keep in mind North Korea's leader himself, Kim Jong-un who suddenly, without warning pivoted from firing ballistic missiles, and

intercontinental ballistic missiles on a monthly if not weekly basis in 2017 to suddenly wanting to engage in the Winter Olympics in South Korea,

to suddenly sending performance troupes and athletes down to South Korea and wanting to reengage hotlines and military communication lines.

Arguably, his shift is the most important here for this diplomatic opening that we're witnessing unfold week after week here on the Korean Peninsula,


ANDERSON: And we'll do more on this later in the hour, but from Ivan, thank you.

Let's go now to the search for answers in a story that is absolutely nightmarish to anyone who's ever been on a plane. And I trust that is most

of you who are watching. Investigators in the U.S. are trying to figure out why an engine blew on the Southwest Airlines flight, setting off a

deadly chain of events.

Polo Sandoval has more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of a sudden, we just heard this loud bang, rattling, and then felt like one of the engines went out. The oxygen masks



POLO SANDOVAL, CNN U.S. CORRESPONDENT: A terrifying scene onboard this Southwest Flight from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Dallas when passenger

say they heard the engine explode mid-air, just 20 minutes after takeoff, part of the left engine breaks apart, damaging the fuselage and shattering

this window, partially sucking the woman out of the plane.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Injured passengers, okay, and are you, is your airplane physically on fire?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not fire, not fire, but part of it is missing. They said there is a hole and someone went out.


SANDOVAL: Passengers desperately trying to pull Jennifer Riordan, a 43- year-old Wells Fargo executive, back into the cabin and resuscitate her.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Passengers right next to her were holding on to her and meanwhile there was blood all over this man's hands because he was

attending to her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We made every effort that we could possibly make to save this woman's life.


SANDOVAL: One scared passenger live streaming this video to document what he thought were the last moments of his life.



MARTY MARTINEZ, SOUTHWEST AIRLINES PASSENGER: I feel just so, like really lucky to be alive. All I could think about as I was going down on that

plane was you know, how my life was being taken away from me.


SANDOVAL: Others scrambling to send final messages to their loved ones.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife is in her third trimester for our first child, so I spent a lot of my time trying to articulate what I wanted my final

words to be to my unborn child.


SANDOVAL: The Navy Times reporting the heroic pilot is one of the Navy's first female fighter pilots, she safely got the plane to the ground in

Philadelphia after declaring an emergency, the aircraft rapidly descending from more than 32,000 to 10,000 feet in just minutes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The flight crew did an incredible job getting this aircraft here on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Professionals through and through and we're alive because of them.


SANDOVAL: Southwest Airlines says the plane was last inspected on Sunday. But investigators inspecting the damaged aircraft found one engine's fan

blade was missing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was very unusual. And so we are taking this event extremely seriously. This should not happen and we want to find out why it

happened so that we can make sure that the preventive measures are put in place.


SANDOVOL: Last year, the FAA issuing a directive that would have required inspection of the fan blades. In 2016, a Southwest flight from New Orleans

to Orlando was also forced to make an emergency landing after experiencing engine failure.

ANDERSON: Southwest said it's going to look at all similar engines in its fleet over the next month. And later an aviation analyst for you exploring

what happened and why, the pilot's composure is being applauded, that about 20 minutes from now.

More than 11 days after a suspected chemical weapon attack in Syria, international inspectors still haven't managed to examine the site or

interview witnesses. An OPCW team are on the ground in Damascus, but still haven't made it into the devastated city of Douma.

We are told that today's holdup was down to security fears after a UN team was fired at on Tuesday. From Beirut, senior international correspondent,

Ben Wedeman, monitoring events on the ground in Syria.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. With yesterday, there was confusion about the situation as far as the OPCW mission goes.

Today, we have some clarity, but it is not encouraging.

Apparently, what happened yesterday is that the United Nations Department for Security and Safety which provides the security for the OPCW missions

in Syria did a reconnaissance mission to the Douma area. And they went to one site and apparently, they were surrounded by a very large potentially

hostile crowd, so they decided to move to another area. At the second area they came under small arms fire.

And according to a statement from the OPCW, a small detonation occurred. So, there was supposed to be a -- the OPCW fact-finding mission was

supposed to go to Douma today. That has clearly been put off.

It's not at all clear at this point when this mission will actually hit the ground. It's been as you said 11 days since those alleged chemical

attacks. Many parties have expressed concern that perhaps the evidence will be tampered with. That some of the chemical elements maybe have

evaporated by now.

So the whole purpose of this mission definitely is in doubt, especially ironic given the fact that just several days ago, CBS television was able

to go there, speak to eyewitnesses. Film some of the material it appears that was used in this alleged chemical attack. But as far as the official

fact-finding mission goes, it's on hold at the moment.


ANDERSON: Ben, the Washington Post (inaudible) pointing out that the war has unraveled Syrian society to the point where stitching it back together

again, he says will be immensely difficult, that that challenge is compounded he writes by the total absence of collective international

action to bring the war to an end. Instead Syria remains the chessboard of a regional great game, with foreign powers waging proxy wars across its

ravaged provinces.

Ben, how will this regional great game play out?


WEDEMAN: That's a very good question. The worry is that it could very well play out in a bad way. I mean you have so many different powers in

such a small geographical area, working at cross purposes.

It's not one war. It's multiple wars. You have the Syrian government against the opposition. You have the United States against ISIS. You have

the Kurds against the Turks. You have the Israelis targeting Hezbollah and Iran in the country.

You have the Russians there. You have Hezbollah there. You have so many elements on the ground. And there is very little movement away from war and

in the direction of some sort peaceful resolution.

You have two processes that are supposed to be aimed at bringing this conflict to an end. The U.N.-sponsored Geneva process and the Turkish,

Iranian, and Russians sponsored Astana process. Neither of them have really made any headway as the situation on the ground gets ever more


Yes, ISIS has been defeated, but that was really in a sense a passing cloud. It's been not completely eliminated but is much less of a problem

as it was before, which brings back to the fore all the other conflicts and tensions that are always in danger of leading to all out regional war.


ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman is in Beirut for you, Ben, it was a pleasure. Thank you. And still to come tonight, the secret meeting to America's CIA

director, North Korea's leader in Pyongyang, what President Trump is saying about it and what his next moves may be for North Korea.


ANDERSON: It is 19 minutes past 7 here in Abu Dhabi. This is our Middle East broadcasting hub. I'm Becky Anderson. And you are watching Connect

the World and more on our top story at this hour.

The news of that secret meeting between President Trump's CIA director and the North Korean Leader, Kim Jong-un. Now, Mr. Trump himself, talking

about it today on Twitter saying it went very smoothly.


It's the latest in what appears to be a remarkable makeover for the North Korean leader, he's intent it seems on bringing the Hermit Kingdom squarely

on to the world stage. Will Ripley with more.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN'S INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If the latest developments on the Korean Peninsula or a diplomatic dance. North Korean Leader, Kim

Jong-un could be the belle of the ball. Next week, a week a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Next month, a possible meeting with

U.S. President Donald Trump. A potential visit to Pyongyang by Chinese President, Xi Jinping and Russia and Japan also trying to arrange their own

summits with Kim.


MIKE CHINOY, AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST: North Korea for years has wanted respect. They want legitimacy.


RIPLEY: And now they're getting, says author and Journalist, Mike Chinoy. He's traveled to North Korea 17 times and covered the nuclear talks 24

years ago. Chinoy says the North Koreans are notoriously tough negotiators.


CHINOY: There is no question in my mind that Kim Jong-un is going into this summit far better prepared than Donald Trump. People under estimate

Kim Jong-un and the North Koreans at their peril; he's a very savvy, shrewd operator. Trump in comparison seems to act on impulse. He seems to have

very little appreciation of the history here with North Korea, very little understanding of the nuances and the subtleties.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm optimistic that the United States government can set the conditions for that appropriately.


RIPLEY: The chances for the first ever summit between the North Korean leader and a U.S. president seemed to get a whole lot better. Tuesday,

when news broke that CIA Director and Secretary of State nominee, Mike Pompeo made a secret trip to Pyongyang.

An administration official familiar with the meeting tells CNN, Kim Jong-un was personable and well-prepared. But the main sticking point continues to

be finding a site for the summit. First, a meeting next week at the Korean Demilitarized Zone between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.


DUYEON KIM, SENIOR NON-PROLIFERATION AND EAST ASIA FELLOW, COLUMNIST: It appears the North may be looking to change its fundamental relationship

with the United States for the ultimate objective of survival.


RIPLEY: Duyeon Kim with the Korean Peninsula Future Forum says the Korean Summit will set the tone for talks to the U.S. She says the stakes are

highest for Washington and Seoul.


KIM: I don't think the North have anything to lose, really, if this two summits fail because for Pyongyang, they can just go about their way and

continue on its path towards refining and further developing its nuclear and missile capability.


RIPLEY: Most analysts say it's extremely unlikely, Kim, would even consider abandoning the missile program that's gotten him to this point

unless there is substantial incentive to do so. Finding the right deal for the right price will put Trump's dealmaker image to the test. But Kim's

image is already improving, experts say, with leaders lining up to sit down with a man many once ridiculed as the ruler of a global pariah.

Will Ripley, CNN, Hong Kong.

ANDERSON: Donald Trump taking credit for improved relations on the Korean Peninsula, even bragging about it today in Florida. But what is his

endgame for North Korea? Will explained where he thinks the North Korean leader is at.

Our global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott, joining me now. Elise, we still don't know where the meeting with Trump and Kim will be or indeed

whether it will happen at all. Be that as it may, though, total unilateral nuclear disarmament by the North Korea and this is clearly what the U.S.

president wants. Is he likely to get that?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN'S GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: I don't think he is likely to get a kind of one-sided deal clearly as Will laid out. That

North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons program and first a modest improvement to the relationship or some aid.

And I will say that officials have told us that when Mike Pompeo went to Pyongyang, met with Kim Jong-un, he was looking for the kind of

reassurances that denuclearization would be at least on the table.

And we understand he did get those reassurances. Even the president today, I want to quote a little bit more of the tweet that you mentioned. The

President tweeted, "Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jong-un in North Korea last week." We understand the President made a little error there. That was

over Easter weekend -- "the meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed. Details of the summit are being worked out.

Denuclearization will be a great thing for the world but also for North Korea."

I mean, I think right now the truth is they are getting kind of hung-up on the venue where it would be.


But the fact that Mike Pompeo went to North Korea, met with Kim Jong-un, got these reassurances that denuclearization will be on the table, I think

gives the U.S. a little bit more confidence that the North Koreans are serious at least about trying to talk, trying to at least work their way

towards an eventual possible deal.

I don't really think that a deal is going to come out between Trump and Kim Jong-un. But I think the best case scenario would be that they agree that

they should start -- there should be negotiations, Becky.

ANDERSON: We've heard the president constantly complain that the media treats him unfairly. But what if his what if his current strategy, which

started with so much bluster really worked?

A tweet from Anthony Scaramucci who has served briefly, of course, as White House communications director asking if the president will get the credit

he deserves, if he resolves or perhaps does some way to resolving a decades-old U.S. problem. Will he?

LABOTT: I think he's already getting credit, Becky. I mean, look, even the Democrats who strategize about criticizing President Trump have all

agreed that diplomacy is a good thing. I think everyone agrees that the talks need to be well-prepared. I think that maybe there is a concern the

President will kind of go in to this meeting with a little bit of rose- colored glasses about what can be achieved. And he has to be more clear- eyed. But I think he already is getting credit and I think if there is a process by which there is some kind of North Korean denuclearization, I

think without question he will get credit.

I don't think it's the actual policies of this president really get the most serious criticism. I think it's more about his manner and his

rhetoric and his demeanor, but in terms of his policies towards North Korea, I think he's getting the credit he deserves already and would get


ANDERSON: His manner and his positioning and his bluster and his rhetoric, we knew about all of that.

LABOTT: Exactly.

ANDERSON: We knew about all of that, though, didn't we, before he was elected. The President may be praising the North Korea developments.

Syria though is another matter. He is facing White House infighting in the wake of the chemical attack in Douma in Syria, Elise.

That includes conflicting comments, of course, about possible future U.S. sanctions on Russia. His U.S. ambassador to the U.N. announcing them

before his top economic advisor walked them back.

Add to that, his Defense Secretary, James Mattis reportedly asking for Congress to approve last weekend's U.S.-led airstrikes, but was overruled

by the President. As well as taking a large share of the credit when it comes to try and broke a piece on the Korean Peninsula, Elise, President

Trump is also referring of course to the airstrike in Syria last week as mission accomplished. I wonder when we take a look at these two stories

and we consider the Trump foreign file, whether a Trump doctrine is actually becoming any clearer at this point.

LABOTT: I think no. I mean, I think that there are some basic tenets of President Trump's foreign policy beliefs which is don't get the U.S. into

too many entanglements. Let others carry the burden in terms of funding, in terms of supplying troops.

The U.S. doesn't have to be world's policeman, where he sees something where the U.S. can do it and it's limited, I think he is willing to do it.

I think it's hard to pin the President down on a so-called doctrine because he is so erratic and he does change his mind.

He is vulnerable to the input of aides and then he will change his mind again. So, I think giving him a doctrine is pretty hard to do. I think in

terms of Syria, this is a very narrow case in terms of responding to the chemical weapons attack.

The President does get moved by these pictures of children. He did in Yemen. He did in Syria in chemical weapons last year. But if you look at

a kind of longer entanglement, for instance he said he doesn't want troops to stay in Syria indefinitely, I think that's -- if there's one thing you

can pin him down on is this so-called doctrine is that the world doesn't need to be the world's -- the U.S. doesn't need to be the world's


ANDERSON: Elise Labott in Washington for you. Thank you, Elise.

All this happening, while President Trump faces a daily dose of new legal challenges, in fact, our White House reporter, a good friend of this show,

Stephen Collinson, describes Mr. Trump as apoplectic about the FBI raid on his lawyers home and office and what those seized documents may reveal, and

yet he is engaging in covert diplomacy with North Korea. Read Stephen's analysis on the website at You know that,


All right folks. Just ahead, one passenger partially sucked out of a plane, others preparing good buys to friends and family. A CNN aviation

analyst waging on how to make sure what happened on flight 1380 never happens again.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. Just after half past 7 here in the UAE, I want to get you back to what was a terrifying flight and emergency landing in the

United States, a lot of those onboard say it could have been worse if it wasn't for the pilot who kept her cool through the ordeal. Passengers have

identified her as Tammie Jo Shults. She is familiar with grace under pressure as she was one of the Navy's first female fighter pilots.

So for more on what happened, now I want to bring in Peter Goelz, former Managing Director of the National Transportation Safety Board and a CNN

aviation analyst. And before we talk about actually what happened, it was the composure of this pilot that has been so applauded. Just walk me

through who she is and what she must have been going through.

PETER GOELZ, CNN Aviation Analyst: Well, she really was quite extraordinary, Becky.


I mean, what happened is as the plan decompressed, all sorts of warning signals went off. She and her co-pilot immediately had to don their

emergency masks. She was communicating and flying the plane. I mean, she did an extraordinary job. If you listen to the air traffic control tapes,

her voice was steady and in command. I really admire the work that she did.

ANDERSON: The current head of the NTSB was on CNN a short time ago talking about why any issue with this fan blade which appears to be where the issue

wasn't found earlier and where we go from here. All our viewers, just have a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's definitely not something that somebody could detect just looking at the fan blade from outside. This was an

internal metal fatigue area, so even a careful maintenance inspection from outside of the fan blade would not have detected it more than likely. So

what we want to look at is what procedures should be in place to be able to detect something like this before it becomes catastrophic.


ANDERSON: This ordeal for those onboard must have been absolutely terrifying. We do know that somebody has lost their life as a result of

that. Any stories that associated with flying touch most of us. I guess most people who are watching the show have flown themselves. When you

listen to what was just said, should we feel more or less at ease after that?

GOELZ: Well, aviation remains the safest form of transportation and this specific engine, which is a French-U.S. joint venture, is probably on 6,000

to 8,000 commercial jets across the world and it has got an extraordinarily safe record.

Now, the chairman Sumalt did point out this is a fatigue issue that is within the blade of the fan and they are going to have to do ultrasound, at

least ultrasound inspections, and Southwest Airlines has already ordered them, of all similar engines. And, frankly, if they find another fan blade

or two that have this kind of fault in it, there's going to be some serious action that's going to have to be taken immediately.

ANDERSON: When you hear about this sort of story, you've been involved in this sort of work all your life, you will be reminding us, won't you, that

most of the time flying is safe, sir, correct?

GOELZ: It is an extraordinarily safe way to go. The pilots are extremely well-trained. The flight attendants are safety professionals. I mean, it

really is a team effort when it comes to safety. And most of the air carriers in the world do very, very well.

ANDERSON: Peter Goelz in the house for out of Washington today.

Thank you, sir.

GOELZ: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Well, flags are flying at half staff across the United States today to honor the matriarch of a Republican political dynasty. Barbara

Bush died at the age of 92. She was only the second woman in history, in U.S. history, to be the wife of one president and the mother of another.

Barbara was married to George H. W. Bush for 73 years. He was right by her side along with other family members when she took her last breath. We've

just learned that First Lady Melania Trump will attend the funeral on Saturday.

Wolf Blitzer has more on Barbara Bush's extraordinary life.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: America loves Barbara Bush.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Barbara Bush was the woman behind two U.S. presidents. The wife of one, the mother of another. Barbara Pierce was

born in Queens, New York on June 8th, 1925. She grew up in suburban New York. At a Connecticut country club dance, she met a young man who changed

her life, George Herbert Walker Bush.

BARBARA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: I was square all through high school. I just try to the best I could. I married the first

man I ever kissed. You talk about a bore, I am the world's worst.

BLITZER: George Bush focused on building an oil business. Barbara Bush focused on building a family. George Bush eventually entered a life of

public service and while Barbara's candor and might not have made a good match for his job as CIA director --

BUSH: That's because I can't keep a secret.

BLITZER: Her charm was a definite asset to her husband's political career.

BUSH: Find the joy and life because as Ferris Bueller said on his day off "Life Moves Pretty Fast." You don't stop and look around once a while,

you're going to miss it.


BLITZER: George Bush served two terms in Congress and in 1980 was elected as Ronald Reagan's vice-president. Eight years later, he sat in the Oval

Office. Barbara Bush loved living in the White House, keeping diaries of her time there and using them to help write her memoirs. Two other books

showed her lighter side and a dog's eye view of the executive mansion.

BUSH: I must tell you.

BLITZER: Mrs. Bush knew well her vision of a first lady's role.

BUSH: I think the person who has the courage to run for the office is the one you should hear, not the wife or the husband. Having said that, of

course, I told George how I felt.

BLITZER: For George and Barbara, their years together included decades of devotion. This letter to her written by George while he was serving in

World War II.

GEORGE H. W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I love you, precious, with all my heart and to know that you love me means my life. How often I have

thought about the immeasurable joy that will be ours someday. How lucky our children will be to have a mother like you.


BLITZER: Two of those children, George W. and Jeb, would solidify the Bush political dynasty as president and Florida governor. But in a surprising

comment in 2013 as talk of a presidential run by Jeb swirled, the matriarch told NBC's Today show there should be a limit on the family's White House


BUSH: There are other people out there that are very qualified and we've had enough Bushes.

BLITZER: But after Jeb did decide to run for the 2016 Republican nomination, she fully backed him and hit the campaign trail.

BUSH: He's decent, honest. He's everything we need in a president.

BLITZER: In or out of politics, the legacy Barbara Bush nurtured will live on through her family, children and grandchildren.

BUSH: I know that I'm the world's luckiest woman. I think if I start to put it in a nutshell, these are the things that are important to me: faith,

family and friends.


ANDERSON: And we're joined now by CNN's special correspondent Jamie Gangel, who has a deeper insight than most into the Bush family and the

first lady's remarkable life and legacy.


JAMIE GANGEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So today is a sad day because she's passed away, but Barbara Bush somewhere is looking down saying, "Why are

you all making such a fuss?" She was very down to earth, very plain- spoken, had a self-deprecating sense of humor. Becky, we use the term authentic a lot these days. Barbara Bush really was exactly what you saw,

except for those pearls, those were fake and she loved to tell everybody that they were a fake.

She was her husband's not-so-secret secret weapon and she also campaigned for her sons. And she had this incredible nickname that she became known

for. Her children called her "the enforcer." And we're going to show you some tapes, some interviews we did with her sons about just why they called

her that.


GEORGE W. BUSH: Our mother was on the frontline and expressed herself frequently. Dad, of course, was available, but he was a busy guy and he

was on the road a lot in his businesses and obviously on the road a lot when he was campaigning, and so mother was there to maintain order and

discipline. She was the sergeant.

JEB BUSH: Well, mom, the nickname that's one of many nicknames she has was "the enforcer." So there were unwritten rules and if you violated them she

would enforce the rules and do it in a way that was pretty effective. I don't remember my dad doing that. Mom is amazing. She really is. She is

so smart, so sharp, so aware. She's witty, she's wise.

I would say her role, more important role was keeping us humble and grounded. I mean, she was a rule-maker and she did have high expectations

for keeping things neat and just basic rules, and she would let us know when we hadn't met those rules. But she would never let us think we were

any different or better than others. And she just kept us grounded.


GANGEL: It says quite something doesn't it, Becky, but hearing these men in their 50s and 60s piece, you heard Jeb Bush says pretty effective. They

were still scared of her. When Barbara Bush spoke, everybody listened. And I think just to end, she speaks to a time of civility. She loved the

word "compromise." She had as many friends in the Democratic Party as she did in the Republican Party. Becky?

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Jamie, thank you.

GANGEL: Of course.


ANDERSON: Coming up, the Castro family's longtime grip on power in Cuba coming to an end. Lawmakers choosing a new president, but will he be

willing to break the decades of communist rule? That's the question, for an answer we're live in Havana up next.


ANDERSON: If you just joined us, you are more than welcome. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. It's just quarter to eight in the

evening here in Abu Dhabi. This is our Middle Eastern broadcasting hub. It is hard to imagine Cuba without Castro at the helm. For nearly six

decades, the island has been ruled by two revolutionary brothers so that's the late Fidel Castro, then current President Raul.

Now, a new era begins, the lawmakers choosing a new president in a two-day session which is underway in Havana. The replacement for Raul Castro isn't

expected to be a surprise, but are still a lot of unknowns about the direction that the new leader could steer the country. Our man in Havana,

Patrick Oppmann, has more.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For a man frequently accused of being a dictator, Raul Castro has an unusual wish. He wants to retire. Raul's

older brother, Fidel, ruled Cuba for nearly five decades and said he thought he would die while still in power, until a mystery illness and

botched intestinal surgery forced him to step aside in 2008. Raul Castro took over as president of Cuba but said he would limit his reign to two

five-year terms. Only hours remain before a new president of the communist-run island is due to be elected.

OPPMANN: The National Assembly reconvenes next year on April 19th, Raul Castro said in 2017, "I will conclude my second and last term in front of

the state and government and Cuba will have a new president."

And for the first time in nearly 60 years, Cuba's government will not be led by someone named Castro. For years, many Cubans speculated that Raul

Castro's daughter, Mariela, a member of the National Assembly and advocate for gay and transgender rights, or his son, Alejandro, a colonel in Cuba's

counterintelligence who represented the island in secret talks with the U.S., would be the next Castros to take power. But either is now in the

running Cuban government officials say.

Here's how it works. It's Cuba's National Assembly, not the Cuban people that will pick the next president of Cuba's Council of State and Ministers.

And on April 19th, the anniversary of the Cuban victory at the Bay of Pigs, they will gather here at Havana's convention palace to vote in secret. The

candidate that comes out with more than 50 percent of that vote will become the next president of Cuba.


Many Cubans believe that will be this man, Cuban first vice-president Miguel Diaz-Canel who so far at least has promised to follow closely in the

footsteps of Fidel and Raul Castro. "I believe in continuity," he says. "I think there will always be continuity."

Even though he will remain as the powerful first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, Cuban government officials say Raul Castro is expected to

live in semi-retirement in Cuba's second largest city Santiago de Cuba, where residents there say he recently built this house and where Fidel

Castro was buried in 2016.

Castro is stepping down as the economy of Cuba's close ally, Venezuela, implodes relations with the U.S. or at the worst point in decades and

thousands of Cubans are still recovering from Hurricane Irma.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It must be a very difficult thing to be the president of Cuba. They have a bureaucracy with the great people who are afraid to

do it. It's a tough challenge situation so everything has to come back up to you.

OPPMANN: What is certain is that whoever the next president of Cuba is, they have their work cut out for them. Patrick Oppmann, CNN Havana.

ANDERSON: Cuba's National Assembly has begun voting for Castro's successor and the results we are told should be announced on Thursday. That is per

Cuba's state run media.

Live from Abu Dhabi this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson with you. Coming up, he was a journalist and a gentleman, ahead, we're going to

take a look at the incredible life of one of our own, the late Richard Blystone.


ANDERSON: Here at CNN, our job is to bring you the world. We tell you these stories from war and occasionally from peace making you feel like you

are there I hope. And very few have done that job better than one man, Richard Blystone.

Richard passed away yesterday. He was 81 years old. He was part of the first generation of foreign correspondents here at this network. He came

to us in 1980. He'd already covered the war in Vietnam for CNN. He traveled to all the hot spots. He was there when communism fell. He was

in Somalia, Rwanda, the Persian Gulf and just about everywhere else that you can think of.


Rich was a colleague, a friend and above all a master story-teller who could find human elements in the heart of whatever he was covering. He

will be missed, an inspiration to all of us. Lucky enough to work with him. And if there is one thing Rich would want us to do, it is to go on

telling the most important stories of our world from Cuba to Pyongyang, Damascus to Philadelphia.

We've connected you to your world this hour, but we don't stop here. As always, we are up and running online so you can read, watch, learn and

truly understand I hope what is going on in our world. That's up at I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World

from us all here in the UAE and those working with us around the world, it's a very good evening. Thank you for watching. Quest Means Business up