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Nicolas Maduro And Juan Guaido Battling For Support And Legitimacy; What Robert Mueller Thinks Of The Attorney General's Summary Of His 448-Page Report; The Dawn Of A New Era In The Land Of The Rising Sun; Guaido Calls For More Protests as Maduro Defiant; Japanese Monarch Declares Historic Abdication; Monarchy Faces Potential Succession Crisis; Suspect Sensor Had Problems On 216 Flights; Zuckerberg New Focus On Protecting Users' Information. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired May 1, 2019 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guaido battling for support and legitimacy. After a day of violence, both men fighting for control of Venezuela insists their cause will prevail. Few details about what Robert Mueller thinks of the Attorney General's summary of his 448-page report. And the dawn of a new era in the Land of the Rising Sun, a new Emperor takes the throne with a promise to honor the Imperial family's legacy.
Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.
Breaking news out of Venezuela where President Nicolas Maduro and his rival Juan Guaido remain defiant after a day of violent protests. It started when Guaido, the National Assembly President urged the military to join the opposition and rise up. That call unleashed violent protests and clashes in Caracas and other cities across the country. At least 71 people were injured and Guaido says, it's not over yet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUAN GUAIDO, VENEZUELAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT (through translator): Tomorrow, May 1st, we will continue with this, we will continue out on the street and meeting points throughout Venezuela. We will be out on the streets. We will see you out on the streets, on our territory. This is not a coup in Venezuela, but rather a peaceful transition.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Mr. Maduro address the nation just a few hours ago, saying a coup attempt against him failed and he thanks military leaders for their support.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLAS MADURO, VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT (through translator): With the truth as a sword, with the truth as a shield before so many attacks and so many lies and that is why we came out victorious in all these matters and we will continue to be victorious in all these matters, from now on and the months ahead of us that are to come. I have no doubt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Well, journalist Stefano Pozzebon is on the scene in Venezuela's and we should warn you, his report contains some disturbing video.
STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST (voice over): A valiant battle for control is playing out in Venezuela. President Nicolas Maduro's military vehicle driving directly into protesters as opposition leader Juan Guaido declares Operation Freedom has become.
After months of clashes, Guaido today escalating the tension by calling for a full military uprising.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUAIDO (through translator): We are asking the army and the military to join this political fight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
POZZEBON (voice over): Also urging his supporters to take to the streets to help in grasping the leadership from Maduro once and for all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUAIDO (through translator): It is clear to us that the Armed Forces are with the Venezuelan people and not with the dictator.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
POZZEBON (voice over): Both Guaido and Maduro have declared themselves Presidents of the troubled country. Now at a breaking point, both say they are targets of an attempted coup. One major difference -- Guaido has the backing of some of the international community including the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: This is clearly not a coup. We recognize Juan Guaido as the legitimate Interim President of Venezuela. And just as it's not a coup when the President of the United States gives an order to the Department of Defense, it's not a coup for Juan Guaido to try and take command of the Venezuelan military.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
POZZEBON (voice over): But here in Caracas, at least some of the military are conflicted. Those with blue armbands back Guaido. Those behind the wheel of these armored vehicles are acting on behalf of Maduro. Maduro himself tweeting, "Nerves of steel." Maduro's former Chief of Staff says the opposition party is putting Venezuela at risk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TEMIR PORRAS PONCELEON, FORMER MADURO CHIEF OF STAFF: The only strategy of the Guaido camp in this crisis is to generate, to increase the pressure and generate a regime crisis in the country with the risk of course of the country going down the path of political violence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
POZZEBON (voice over): Violence playing out right now with teargas and bullets raining down on the capital city. Their anger is fueled by months of economic collapse, severe food shortages and near nationwide blackouts. Whether conditions will improve depends on which leader can withstand this volatile face off.
CHURCH: Stefano Pozzebon reporting there from Caracas. Well, most Western nations including the United States support Juan Guaido's claim to power in Venezuela. Mexico and Uruguay are calling for dialogue long to resolve the political crisis, but Nicolas Maduro has some powerful supporters as well including Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and Cuba.
[02:05:10]CHURCH: And Russia denies the claim by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Mr. Maduro had an airplane waiting on the tarmac to take him to Cuba, but Russia talked him out of it. Pompeo spoke with CNN's, Wolf Blitzer.
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We are urging there to be a nonviolent solution. Maduro simply should leave. It's his time. He has no answers for the Venezuelan people and the United States is determined to assist the Venezuelan people in restoring democracy and beginning to build back their economy.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Did the United States back this push by Juan Guaido or give any assurances to Guaido that the U.S. would support him?
POMPEO: Oh, we made clear assurances, Wolf, all along that we'd support Juan Guaido and the National Assembly, the duly elected leaders of the Venezuelan government. So yes, we've provided strong assurances to them. It's been a long time since anyone has seen Maduro. He had an airplane on the tarmac. He was ready to leave this morning, as we understand it, and the Russians indicated he should stay. We think the situation remains incredibly fluid.
Wolf, the President has made very clear that all options are on the table. That certainly includes a military option. We're working to make sure that doesn't need to be the case that we deliver this outcome for the Venezuelan people in a way that doesn't put life and limb at risk and there's not violence. But I don't think anyone should be fooled, that if the President makes that decision, if he chooses a military option, that the United States military has the capacity to execute that option in a way that will achieve the outcome the President intends.
So we've been determined, we remain determined, the nations of the region remain determined 10 percent of the Venezuelan people have already had to flee their country. The United States stands ready, as we do in many places in the world to support democracy and freedom and protect the rights of the Venezuela people.
CHURCH: And as we mentioned, Russia called Pompeo's claim about Mr. Maduro fleeing to Cuba fake. A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman also criticized U.S. National Security adviser, John Bolton, who called for Mr. Maduro's ouster. She says it's against international law and common sense.
Our David McKenzie is part of CNN's team of correspondents who have been reporting extensively on Venezuela's crisis, and he recently returned from Caracas and joins us now live. Good to see you, David.
So earlier in the day, it looked like self-declared leader Juan Guaido had the support of some of Venezuela's military, but something suddenly changed and Nicolas Maduro was able to declare victory over what he called a coup attempt when he made a late night address to the nation. What's your understanding of what actually happened here?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, it was an extraordinary piece of political theater with Juan Guaido flanked by those military men not necessarily very senior ones in that pre-dawn statement calling for the military to join him and to come on to the streets both the senior and the mid-level military, but we didn't see that in fact.
As Stefano was reporting, there were tens of soldiers on the on the streets in the capital, I spoke to witnesses in other parts of the country who said the soldiers stayed in their barracks. But at the end of the day, you had that statement from Maduro, where it was less important what he said, but that he got on air and was surrounded by senior political generals who have a lot of stake in the economy -- in the Maduro economy -- as many would say a corrupt stake, and have a lot to lose. And that's those generals that didn't turn in any shape or form all the kind of en-mass military getting onto the streets with the protesters, but the coming hours will certainly be critical -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: Yes, they will. Of course, we all know that whoever has control of the military has control of the country. So how long can Maduro hold on to power? And how much support does he actually have?
MCKENZIE: Well, that is the question, certainly on the streets of Caracas and other major cities where we've reported, a lot of people, both those going to protest rallies over the weeks and months, and just ordinary Venezuelans we speak to are very fed up with this regime or this government. And many of them told me they want Maduro out.
But there's a difference between wanting him out and then, you know, hitting the streets in such a way to make it happen. The key thing also that happened yesterday, Rosemary was that when the protesters hit the street, there was a counter protest in support of Maduro around the Miraflores Palace, a very symbolic seat of government in Caracas, where traditionally there have been these kind of revolutionary moments, people marching on to the palace, the May Day first of May, we would have always seen large protests, whether you get huge protests on the street, that might also be a factor in in Guaido's support that could see more pressure on Maduro.
[02:15:12] MCKENZIE: But he shows no sign of going anywhere at this stage and with the support of Russia, China, other countries, politically, he has little bit of breathing room, it would seem, whether it was a swing and a miss by Guaido or part of a calculated plan of pressure to reinvigorate the protests. We just don't know the stage -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: Yes. All we know is he says it's not over yet. So we'll continue to follow this story until we see what direction this is all taking. David McKenzie bring us the very latest there. Many thanks.
And of course, we have much more ahead on the crisis in Venezuela, including a look at the government's effort to block internet service, and that's affecting people in a way you might not expect. We'll look at that later.
Another big story we are following -- Japan is celebrating a new era and a new monarch. Emperor Naruhito has taken over the Chrysanthemum Throne and he inherited the Royal regalia just during a ceremony in Tokyo. This, a day after his father Akihito stepped down. The new Emperor is the latest in a dynasty stretching back centuries. He says he will look to his ancestors for guidance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMPEROR NARUHITO, JAPAN (through translator): I swear that I will reflect deeply on the course followed by His Majesty, the Emperor Emeritus and bear in mind the path trodden by past emperors, and will devote myself to self-improvement. I also swear that I will act according to the Constitution and fulfill my responsibility as the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people of Japan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And for more CNN's Will Ripley joins us now live from Tokyo. Good to see you, Will. A new Emperor for Japan heralding in a new era for the country. So what lies ahead and how did the ascension ceremony play out?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It played out exactly as you might expect Rosemary, which is orchestrated pretty much to the minute. It was fascinating because this is the first time that anyone in Japan has ever witnessed an Imperial transition like this. The Japanese law requires that an Emperor serve until death. So when
Emperor Akihito back in 2016 signaled his desire to retire, they had to change the law. They gave him a one-time exception allowing him to at age 85 step down and hand over the Chrysanthemum Throne, a more than 2,000-year-old throne to his son and successor, now Emperor Naruhito becomes Japan's 126th Emperor.
And so unlike past transitions that have been very somber and mournful because the previous Emperor had passed away, this time was a celebration. And in fact, even here in the Imperial Palace, you have thousands of people who cheered when we saw a procession, a caravan where the Emperor's car passed by just was their first glimpse of the Emperor in public. He gave a few words. It was a very short speech, just a few minutes long. He praised his father and his predecessor Emperor Akihito, and he said that he plans to carry out his official duties just as well as he possibly can.
It's also a time of celebration here in Japan, Rosemary for the simple fact that they've combined or you know, the transition holiday with Japan's Golden Week holiday to create this massive 10-day holiday. It is unprecedented in Japan, which is a nation consumed by long work hours to ever have 10 days off in a row.
We were chatting with a high school principal a little while ago. He said in his 40 years, he's never had 10 consecutive days off. And so that in itself is also a reason to celebrate for a lot of people here in Japan-- Rosemary.
CHURCH: Yes, no doubt at all. And what all do we know about this new 59-year-old Emperor Naruhito, and what might his hopes and dreams be for the country, do you think?
RIPLEY: Well, you know, he was educated abroad along with his wife, the Empress Masako, both of them are fluent in many languages, you know, including English, and they have a real opportunity to represent Japan on a global stage in an even greater way than Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko who both were real emissaries for this country who helped or widely credited with helping repair Japan's image in the post war years.
And so now you have the global spotlight once again, turning on Japan, you have the Rugby World Cup this fall. Next summer here in Tokyo, you have the 2020 Olympics. And these are major events. The new Emperor and Empress will play a key role in representing Japan in their official capacity as a symbol of this country and its people.
In terms of other changes, perhaps expanding the role of women. There's conversations right now about succession law, a lot of those changes are out of the hands of the Emperor and Empress themselves, because they're not allowed to have any political power. That was taken away when the Emperor of Japan lost absolute sovereignty at the end of World War II.
[02:15:10] RIPLEY: But they are highly influential and they can in very subtle ways, signal and send messages that do have an impact and do have the ability to shape the conversation here in Japan moving forward. So it's certainly a very important and powerful platform even in 2019 even though they still claim to some patriarchal traditions like the fact that the Empress was not allowed to watch her husband when he actually received his official seals and the ancient treasures known as the Imperial regalia. No women were allowed in that room, although they did make an exception and allow a female member of Prime Minister Abe's Cabinet. So that is progress, I suppose -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: Yes, indeed. We'll see what lies ahead and 10 glorious days off for the people of Japan. Many thanks to you, Will Ripley, bringing us up-to-date on the situation. We appreciate it.
Well, there are new complaints about how the Mueller report was handled, and they come from Robert Miller himself. We'll take a look at that. Plus, the U.S. and China are preparing for their final push in trade talks. Can they end their trade war? The big question. A live report from Beijing coming up next.
CHURCH: Well, it will be a pivotal day on Capitol Hill later Wednesday when U.S. Attorney General William Barr defends his handling of the Mueller report. In a stunning development, we have learned Special Counsel Robert Mueller himself raised concerns about how Barr summarized his conclusions.
In a letter late last month, Mueller said Barr's summary didn't fully capture the context and substance of his conclusions.
In Barr's appearance on Capitol Hill on April 10th, he was asked about Mueller's reaction to his summary. Keep in mind Barr received Mueller's letter on March 27th.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): Did Bob Mueller support your conclusion?
WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I don't know whether Bob Mueller supported my conclusion.
REP. CHARLIE CRIST (D-FL): Reports have emerged recently, General, that members of the Special Counsel's team are frustrated at some level with the limited information included in your March 24th letter that it does not adequately or accurately necessarily portray the report's findings. Do you know what they are referencing with that?
BARR: No, I don't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[02:20:05] CHURCH: Well, Democrats have accused Barr of controlling the narrative on the Mueller report to protect President Trump. The House Judiciary Committee Chairman is already in a standoff with Barr over his scheduled appearance. Now Jerry Nadler is demanding Mueller's letter to be delivered to the committee in just a few hours. Presidential candidates are weighing in. Senator Amy Klobuchar is
promising to question Barr about the letter at the committee hearing. Julian Castro goes a step further.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What you have is an Attorney General that has actively misled the public and Congress. You know, the Attorney General takes an oath to defend the Constitution. And at every juncture, what's clear is that this Attorney General instead has tried to be Donald Trump's personal lawyer. He is completely compromised, he ought to resign, or they should be in an impeachment inquiry.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CHURCH: So back to the report itself and a closer look at what's in those 448 pages. Tom Foreman has CNN's analysis of how often the Trump administration did not tell the truth.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Seventy seven, that is how many times members of Trump's circle lied, omitted facts or distorted the record according to our analysis of the Mueller report. Plenty of top players were involved among those identified in the report. Current Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, and the person pushing the most deceptions, President Donald Trump himself.
Whom were they deceiving? The misleading or false statements came in many different contexts. Sometimes an official proceeding, sometimes in public. By count, we found 10 to Congress, 12 to various authorities and to voters 53. And what were they misleading everyone about? Their contact with the Russians, the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and most of all, how much Trump was still trying to get a business deal with the Russians for a Trump Tower in Moscow even as he was locking up the Republican nomination. Listen to what he said during the transition.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have no dealings with Russia. I have no deals in Russia. I have no deals that could happen in Russia because we've stayed away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: We now know from sworn testimony, that statement was highly misleading. He was still trying for a deal well into the campaign. Yet the Mueller report shows at least 30 times that Trump and others made false claims about that deal. Other examples, the Mueller report documents more than a dozen instances of Trump and his associates lying about his dealings with former FBI Director James Comey.
The report specifies Trump asked Comey about letting Flynn go, meaning, his former National Security adviser, Michael Flynn, who was under investigation. Trump later tweeted, "I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Just more fake news." Again, Trump statement here is not true. And neither are his more recent claims that he never asked his then White House counsel, Don McGahn to have Robert Mueller fired as the investigation was steaming along. The report says, yes, Trump did do that, no matter how much he denies it now.
CHURCH: Tom Foreman with that report. A former police officer has been found guilty of murder in the death of a woman who had called authorities for help. Mohamed Noor's lawyer said a perfect storm of events led to the tragedy which outraged the City of Minneapolis in Minnesota. Noor shot and killed Justine Ruszczyk after she called to report a possible assault behind her home. He said he feared for his partner's life as she approached their car in a dark alley.
Ruszczyk's death led to the resignation of the Minneapolis police chief. She was to be married within weeks of the shooting.
Well in Beijing, high level talks between the U.S. and China are expected wrap up soon as the world's top economies look for ways to end their trade war. Officials from both sides will continue their talks in Washington next week. President Trump initiated the trade war last year because of what he sees as Beijing's unfair trade practices. Andrew Stevens joins us now from Beijing with more on all of this.
Good to see you, Andrew. So what is expected to come out of these U.S.-China talks and those Washington based discussions next week?
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, at this stage, Rosemary, it looks like the talks here in Beijing are going to be quite short. It's not expected that the two representatives of the U.S. delegation here are going to stay much longer than 48 hours on the ground. There will be much longer talks at least they scheduled at this stage in Washington.
Liu He who is the head Chinese negotiator will head there with what we expect to be a big team on May the fifth.
[02:25:10] STEVENS: And those final talks, if they are indeed are the final talks could go on for several days. We've heard from the U.S. side that 90 percent of the agreement has been wrapped up. We are now waiting, obviously, on the details. We know that the Chinese President gave a big speech just late last week saying that, that they were going to make sure that this forced technology transfer was banned, that they were going to buy more U.S. imports, and that they were going to look at cyber theft as well.
So there are the bones there that both sides seem to be making the right noises, at least Rosemary, but a report out today actually in "The Financial Times" saying that U.S. maybe softening its position on China's alleged cyber theft of commercial secrets. Now, initially, the U.S. was saying that China basically sponsored, it
tolerated commercial cybercrime against U.S. companies. It does say now, according to this report that they could be pulling back a bit on that, softening their position, so you may not see any hard positions by the U.S. on cybercrime. So watch out for that one.
And the other one, though, the two big points too is, how is the U.S. going to enforce that China lives up to all these promises it is making? And this seems to be a contentious issue still, on the Chinese side, what they want to see is the U.S. lift those tariffs. Tariffs on $250 billion, nearly half of all Chinese exports to the U.S. The Chinese wants to see those tariffs lifted.
These two, we understand are the two sticking points still. They may be the key focus when the Chinese go to Washington on May the 5th, but at this stage, it does look like this meeting in Beijing is the penultimate meeting, and there is likely to be a deal within the next few weeks and Xi Jinping will be on his way to Washington to sign with Donald Trump and both leaders are looking for a deal here, too, Rosemary.
CHURCH: All right. Lots of questions. Not a lot of answers just yet. But hopefully, in a week or so we will find out a little more. Andrew Stevens bringing us the very latest from Beijing. Many thanks.
Let's take a short break here. We'll get back to our breaking news out of Venezuela. How President Nicolas Maduro is responding to protesters' demands that he step down. Plus more on Japan's new Emperor and who might succeed him. Why the country might change the rules about who can be monarch. That's coming your way in just a moment.
CHURCH: Welcome back. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM. Let's update you on the main stories we've been following this hour. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro remains defiant in the face of the growing protest against his government. At least 71 people were injured after National Assembly leader Juan Guaido called on supporters and the military to rise up and overthrown Mr. Maduro.
Japan has a new monarch. Emperor Naruhito inherited the imperial regalia just hours ago. He succeeds his father Akihito who had abdicated on Tuesday. The 85-year old became Japan's first monarch to step down in two centuries. Special Counsel Robert Mueller sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr late last month expressing concern about the summary of his investigation.
A source says, Mueller complained that the summary did not fully capture the context, nature and substance of his conclusions. Barr is set to testify before a U.S. Senate committee later Wednesday. The leader of Venezuela's Nationalists Assembly Juan Guaido is calling for more protests in the day ahead against the government of Nicholas Maduro. At least 71 people have been injured as demonstrators and military force clash and we should warn you the video of one of them is graphic.
It happened near a government air base in Caracas. A military vehicle plows into a crowd of protestors, knocking people to the ground and running over some of them, incredible footage there. And Jennifer McCoy is a distinguished University professor of political science at Georgia State University. She joins us now from Budapest. Thank you so much for being with us.
JENNIFER MCCOY, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY (via skype): Thank you.
CHURCH: Now at one point, it look like self-declared leader Juan Guaido had the support of some at least of the Venezuelan military, then we saw President Maduro in a late night address declare victory over what he called a coup attempt. What's your understanding of what happened here? Given, we know that Guaido said, this was not a coup, this is -- this -- and it's not over yet. This is going to continue and it will be a peaceful transition of power.
MCCOY: Well, it seems to be another attempt by Guaido to prepare a massive defense from the military to join his -- he had some support but barely not enough or he had more than that -- so now we are still -- also saw just show that the government of Maduro --
CHURCH: Jennifer, I'm sorry, I'm going to interrupt you. The Skype, the connection is not great. We're going to try and reestablish that and we'll come back to you. For now we shall just a move on to other matters as we tried to make that connection and causes protestors and pro-Maduro forces clash on the streets in Venezuela, television and internet access has been restricted. CNN's Samuel Burke has details on that.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Major parts of the internet had been out in large swarms of Venezuela. That's according to the internet monitoring group Netblocks.org. Now the group says there hasn't been an attempt to fully disconnect internet access in the country and VPN services to get around the block continued to work. Data from Netblocks shows that only users of CANTV.
The state-run internet service provider are being affected. So, experts say that this indicates the Maduro government is likely behind the outages. Netblocks says some of the most important online services have been inaccessible in the past 24 hours. That includes, YouTube, Bing, Google, and Android. Venezuela has one of the slowest internet connections in the world. So these outages are actually particularly harsh for the country.
Because cash crisis there has made the country incredibly reliant on mobile and online payments. As the Venezuelan Bolivar has become near worthless and limits placed on daily withdrawals from ATM'S, cash has become scarce. And usage of apps like, De Pago and Vippo have surged, as have local right healing ups like Nekso which is similar to YouTube allows you to pay for a taxi with mobile payments.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio who's long been very hawkish on the Maduro government sent a tweet about this latest internet outage, alleging help from China and aid to the Senator clarified that this was a reference to previous media reports alleging Chinese companies have provide tools to Venezuela to monitors citizen activity on social media. But that there's no indication that this is the case in the current situation.
[02:35:00] Twitter and Facebook were also briefly restricted Thursday in Venezuela according to Netblocks, amid the proclamations from Juan Guaido. Samuel Burke, CNN London.
CHURCH: We'll take a short break here. Still to come. Japan's imperial dynasty has survived for centuries. But the new emperor is inheriting some major problems. Why some want to change the laws about who can be royal. That's coming up next.
CHURCH: Before the break we we're talking about the situation in Venezuela and we have reestablished contact with Jennifer McCoy, a distinguished University professor of political science at Georgia State University. Thank you so much for being with us again. Let's give another shot. Of course at one point, it looks like self- declared leader Juan Guaido had the support of the Venezuelan military at least some of them.
Then we saw President Maduro in that late night address declare victory over what he called a coup attempt. What is your understanding of what happened here?
MCCOY: Yes. It seems that Guaido tried to spur again as he has twice before a massive military defection to come to his side. But that it did not succeed. What it does show is that Maduro does not have total support either of the military. They are fractions or at least unsure of how to move forward. So hopefully, this will open the door for negotiations which is what is crucial to move Venezuela forward out of this impasse and terrible misery.
CHURCH: Yes, so at this stage, as you point out the military is divided and we all know that whoever controls the military controls the country here. So, this is tug of war going on right now. And Guaido has made it clear this is not over yet. This is going to continue on in the days ahead. So, how much support at this point do you think Maduro actually has on the streets of Venezuela and of course within the military? Is that difficult to gauge?
MCCOY: It is difficult to gauge. First because, Maduro's people yesterday called for a massive outpouring of his supporters toward the palace to support him and that did not happened. But the military it's always difficult and the general armed forces, and security forces to know because there's a lot of surveillance inside. And they fear that if they express dissent or try to coordinate any kind of rebellion that they will be in prison themselves.
[02:40:08] And so that makes it very difficult to know the extent of this contempt. But we'll see today both sides have called out massive marches for May 1st. So we'll see about that. I think the people will be very confused though and perhaps uncertain and insecure -- so, I'm not sure what to expect with these marches.
CHURCH: And no doubt a lot of fear as well for consequences of choosing one side of the other. So, what do you make of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's revelation that Maduro was about to leave the country for Cuba. When Russia talked him into staying, Russia says that's false. What are -- what are you hearing on that?
MCCOY: Well, it's most likely a part of the game, a part of the pressure and psychological pressure that the U.S. is trying to impose. Trying to divide the military, Maduro's people feel like that they're not alone, if they are against him and that they can't count on him. So, whether that actually happen or not is unclear. But it could very well just a ploy as part of the effort to undermine Maduro support within his inner circle.
CHURCH: Well, and let's look at Juan Guaido because now sort of he's been out there, he's been talking to the people. He's calling on people to get out on the streets. How safe would it be for him right now in the wake of these events in Venezuela? And of course, with the optics of Maduro there and his address with his defense minister by his side. How dangerous is this?
MCCOY: That is unclear. And what I think also the people will be unsure about and whether they'll be confident to go out or not. What we do know though is that yesterday the repression was much less than in the past. And so, it appears that the security forces and the National Guard may be unwilling to repress people and most telling they have not detained Juan Guaido or they uphold of Lopez.
There had been, perhaps up to 100 arrests but much fewer than in the protest one year ago. So, the tide could be turning in terms of allowing people to protest and that may show more pressure against Maduro. One other thing, there are many armed gangs, the Colectivos as well as another security forces called the Feist which are lethal. And so those still pose a significant threat to protestors.
CHURCH: Yes, absolutely. We'll continue to watch what happens in the hours ahead. Jennifer McCoy, thank you so much for sharing your analysis with us. We appreciate it.
MCCOY: Thank you.
CHURCH: All right. Now back to the other top story that we've been following. Emperor Naruhito has become Japan's new monarch inheriting the throne from his father Akihito. And this begins a new era in Japan and also comes as the country and the Royal Family face serious challenges. CNN'S Will Ripley explains.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Crown prince Naruhito inherits the Chrysanthemum Throne at a time of transition for Japan. Once the region's economic powerhouse, today the Japanese economy is struggling, the population aging and the workforce shrinking. The royal family is also shrinking. Women are leaving and giving up their official duties. The law says, if a woman marries anyone outside of her own 18 member imperial family, she automatically becomes a commoner. A man keeps he's royal status for life. As his princess marries and becomes a commoner, the royal family keep shrinking, fewer people to fulfill all the responsibilities.
TSUNEYASU TAKEDA, JAPANESE WRITER (through translator): You're exactly right. And I believe there's a certain number of imperial family members are needed as the number has been decreasing rapidly.
RIPLEY: Japan used to have many noble families but after the war, just one. Now they're the royal equivalent of an endangered species. Japan also used to allow women to sit on the Chrysanthemum Throne. But that was centuries ago. Today, it's a different story. The crown prince and princess only have one child 17 year old Princess Aiko. Under current law, she cannot ascend to the throne.
So her cousin 12-year old Prince Hisahito will be second in line after the abdication. Conservative commentator and imperial authors Tsuneyasu Takeda argues against women raining again, the reason? Preserving the male bloodline of the world's oldest continuous hereditary monarchy.
RIPLEY: Why is it necessary for the emperor to be a male?
[02:45:01] TAKEDA: First, it's essential to know why the emperor is an emperor. I think it's very important as an emperor historically is of the principle of pedigree.
RIPLEY: But does that mindset put the whole existence of the royal family at risk? I mean, what if there isn't a male heir? What if a male isn't born, then what?
TAKEDA: This male line succession has been in effect for more than 2,000 years. There were some periods when succession became difficult. But historically, they solved the problem not by putting a daughter or a sister of the emperor on the throne, but by bringing someone who had the male line pedigree, even if he was a distant relative.
RIPLEY: But can the Japanese public continue to accept an imperial family perceived by some as outdated, out of touch? The Japanese government will soon discuss whether succession law needs to change. Some argue if it doesn't, the imperial family faces an uncertain future.
CHURCH: And for more, I'm joined now from Tokyo by Nancy Snow. She is a professor of public diplomacy with Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. Good to have you with us.
NANCY SNOW, PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC DIPLOMACY, KYOTO UNIVERSITY: Thank you so much.
CHURCH: And we'll get to the subject of succession in just a moment. But, of course, now that Japan has a new emperor, a new era begins for the country, how did people of Japan respond to the ascension ceremony, and, of course, the abdication of Emperor Akihito?
SNOW: We know we've had three years to get ready for this. And I'm sure the new emperor and empress are ready to take on the Reiwa Era. We're all very excited about this. The abdication, in the end, it's sort of a seamless continuity for this family. And I really foresee the new emperor and empress as international as they are to take on a larger role in the embracing of the global environment.
There are so many issues that Japan is involved in internationally. And Japan has leadership, it's now going to be hosting the G20 at the end of June for the first time. And then, of course, Tokyo 2020 is around the corner.
So, the eyes of the world are on Japan more than ever. And increasingly, a lot of the coverage has to do with inclusiveness, diversity, women's empowerment. So, naturally, even on this day, we think about the role of women in society here.
CHURCH: Yes, and that is the big question isn't it? It's interesting that you feel that with the new emperor, 59-year-old Naruhito that he will have an expanded role. And you feel that the Japanese government will be behind that and would allow him and the empress to actually engage in some changes here.
SNOW: Well, I think some in the Japanese government will be behind it. But even more so, the Japanese people will be supportive of some progressive changes. About 70 percent of the Japanese people support a more inclusive throne in other words, allowing women to be more prominent. They even the idea of having an empress again to sit on the throne. So, their Japanese people will Shepherd this along.
And there are more progressively minded members of the (INAUDIBLE), and then, the government who will also support that. The thing is you've got the Abe administration talking about let women shine and womenomics.
So, you really want to embrace all of the different roles that women have in society. Some will be in the c-suite, some will be teachers, some will be -- who knows, maybe future empresses.
CHURCH: So, this could very well. Certainly, from what you're been saying. This could be a significant change, this could -- this could not only be a new era. I mean, really quite significant new era if this is the case. If we see that sort of change.
SNOW: Well, I've seen Japan change quite rapidly even in the last four or five years that I've been living here, almost full-time. It's not even the same Japan that it was one or two years after 3/11, the terrible triple disaster of March 11, 2011.
It went through this resilience phase and mourning. And, of course, we still mourn all of that loss. But it's now more forward thinking. And I think it -- I have to even give credit to Prime Minister Abe for in his second term in office, he's now going to be the longest-serving prime minister. Actually, elevating the role of Japan in the world.
And so, that kind of lifts us all up to look at this important country, this significant country where it sits in this region of Northeast Asia. We often view it more as a tension-filled region. In fact, in Japan, there are more Chinese and Korean students coming to Japan. In record numbers. So, the possibilities for more collaboration and cooperation in this region are limitless.
And then, Japan again is on the world stage working closely with the United Nations, sustainable development goals, it's very promising to me. And I'm going to remain an optimist on this, as I think many others will.
[02:50:36] CHURCH: Well, we shall be watching to see what happens. Nancy Snow, thank you so much for your insights.
SNOW: You're very welcome.
CHURCH: All right, we'll take a short break. Still, to come, a CNN investigation reveals a connection between a part on a 737 MAX and the crashes of two commercial jets when CNN NEWSROOM continues.
CHURCH: A CNN investigation into these 737 MAX passenger jet has uncovered a history of issues. And one component is being blamed for the horrific crashes of two of the planes. Boeing insists there is nothing wrong with the design. But what CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin found raises serious questions.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: A CNN analysis of FAA data is raising questions about how Boeing could have designed a flight safety system on its 737 MAX, centered on just one sensor with a history of failures.
The MCAS system is designed to prevent a plane from stalling. It's triggered by one of two AOA sensors which read the plane's angle in flight. But if that AOA sensor gives an incorrect reading, the MCAS could activate, automatically pitching the nose of the plane down repeatedly as the pilot's struggle for control.
Investigators in the crashes of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes suspect that scenario started a chain of events but led to both tragedies. Just why Boeing would have no backup for a single sensor with a terrible track record has aviation experts baffled.
PETER GOELZ, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: This is a fairly simple external device can get damaged on a regular basis.
GRIFFIN: In fact, a CNN review of FAA records shows AOA sensors had problems on, at least, 216 flights since 2004. Sometimes, forcing pilots to make emergency landings or abort takeoff. 42 of them happened on Boeing planes. And here is proof, Boeing knew these sensors were prone to problems. Two separate FAA airworthiness directives involve Boeing planes in 2013 and 2016, before the 737 MAX crashes, ordered inspections or changes to AOA sensors because of an unsafe condition that could lead to problems with control of the airplane.
GOELZ: Far too often, it takes a tragedy to connect the dots and say, "You know, we really ought to take a hard look at the design of this piece of equipment. Boeing says, its new software fix includes input from two AOA sensors being in agreement before the system would activate. Though Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, says that is not an admission of an initial design flaw.
DENNIS MUILENBURG, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF BOEING: We haven't seen a -- you know, a technical slip or gap in terms of the fundamental design and certification.
GRIFFIN: But CNN has learned Boeing never flight-tested a scenario in which the AOA sensor malfunction. A former Boeing test pilot tells CNN, "Apparently, we missed the ramifications of the failure of that AOA probe." Potential failure conditions were instead analyzed in the design and certification according to another source familiar with the testing, and it was determined trained pilots would have been able to handle the failure.
[02:55:20] PETER LEMME, AVIATION EXPERT: It should have been on the test program right up front to expose that problem.
GRIFFIN: Aviation expert, Peter Lemme who was subpoenaed by a grand jury in an investigation in the 737 MAX, says he doesn't understand why it took two fatal crashes for Boeing to make changes.
LEMME: This is the part that I find almost incredible because AOA veins have been on the airplanes for many, many years. It's a well- known failure.
GRIFFIN: Boeing CEO, says the 737 MAX was designed safely, but that the proper procedures were not completely followed by the pilots.
MUILENBURG: When we design a system, understand that these airplanes are flown in the hands of pilots. And in some cases, our system safety analysis includes not only the engineering design but also the actions that pilots would take.
GRIFFIN: But when pressed on why Boeing is admitting no flaws in its design, the CEO walked out of the press conference.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 346 people died, can you answer a few questions here about that?
GRIFFIN: The FAA, the Department of Justice, and Congress have all opened investigations looking precisely at how this plane was designed, how it was able to get proper government clearance with what now appears to be flaws. One government official tells me this has serious implications for Boeing. Drew Griffin, CNN, Chicago.
(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: Facebook's founder says the social media giant is changing the way it does business. Mark Zuckerberg told about 5,000 people at a conference, there will be a major shift in how it handles privacy. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ZUCKERBERG, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, FACEBOOK: Now look, I get that a lot of people aren't sure that we're serious about this. I know that we don't exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now to put it lightly. But I'm committed to doing this well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Zuckerberg, says Facebook is focusing on private interaction, encryption, and secure data storage among other safety features. Facebook reaches 2 billion people around the world.
And thanks so much for joining us this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter, and I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment. You're watching CNN. Don't go anyway.