Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
Failure to Glory: A Celebration In North Korea; Bahrain Grand Prix Will Go On
Aired April 13, 2012 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, after failure Pyongyang parties on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STAN GRANT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: This is how North Korea with a scene of triumph, these massive statues of Kim il-Song and Kim Jong- il. When you're ruled by a personality cult you almost pretend the rocket launch never happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London. This is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: A botched missile test can't stop the birthday fireworks in North Korea. Tonight, why a failed launch is still sparking international condemnation and concern.
Also this hour, flying into a drugs debate: why President Obama and Latin American leaders are on course to clash in Colombia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: What is your most favorite riff ever?
SLASH, GUITARIST: That's a really tough -- I don't think--
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The guitar hero about to be declared an official rock legend.
Well, first up this hour it was an embarrassing failure and massive waste of money for a country that is so desperately poor that world powers now fear that North Korea may try to recover from its botched rocket launch with something even more provocative.
Pyongyang defied international warnings and went ahead with a launch on Friday. Timing it to be the centerpiece of weekend celebrations. The rocket reportedly spent only 81 seconds in air before breaking apart and falling into the Pacific.
CNN's Stan Grant was in Pyongyang for the big bust. As he shows us, well the party went on as planned.
GRANT: From a disaster to glory in a day. In North Korea history is what you make it, as it always is here this is about the power of images and the worship of their leaders. Two massive statues of the founder of the country Kim il-Song and his son Kim Jong-il watching over the third generation of this dynasty, the newly crowned supreme leader Kim Jong-un.
Well, after the abject failure of the rocket launch, this is how North Korea is responding with a scene of triumph, these massive statues of Kim il-Song and Kim Jong-il. When you're ruled by a personality cult it almost pretend the rocket launch never happened.
But this is how the day started. Here was North Korea's initial response to its rocket failure: an empty chair. Behind it a screen that was supposed to carry images of the launch. The world's media invited in for what Pyongyang hoped would be a propaganda coup. Instead, officials forced to sit in silence to a barrage of questions.
Suddenly, everyone was manning the phones, a scramble to find out exactly what was going on.
No warning at all. This really came very much as a flash to--
Hours ticking by and not a word.
And then a government minder announced we'd be taken to a high security secret location.
This is what greeted us, two huge figures draped in sheets, a sea of people stretched as far as they could see, generals in all their finery, chests full of medals. This gathering is supposed to be a celebration of the launch and a chance to pay homage to the Dear Leader, a man they still grieve for after his sudden death last December.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Dear Leader come in Kim Jong-il. There was (inaudible) respected leaders in the world to our people, but he passed away last year. So he was a really, really careful to our people.
GRANT: This young man heard about the rocket launch, but not that it had failed.
How does that make you feel?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A failure?
GRANT: A failure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Failure. I think it is no problem, because the failure is the mother of success. Either we can -- we can achieve the success in the future, definitely. I am sure and I believe our scientists and our parties and our government, I believe we will be very (inaudible).
GRANT: The world may see this as a day of humiliation, but nothing will stop the celebration for the 100th anniversary of the birth of the father of this country Kim il-Song. These godlike figures reach for the skies that the rocket failed to find.
Stan Grant, CNN, Pyongyang.
ANDERSON: Well, North Korea says the rocket was meant to carry a satellite into orbit. Many believe it was actually a cover for a long- range ballistic missile test. Pyongyang's neighbors were quick to comment on the provocation in their own backyard. Here's a regional reaction. I was talking to CNN's Paula Hancocks in Seoul.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNAITONAL CORREPSONDENT: Another missile launch and a nuclear test is highly probable from North Korea that's the assessment from the defense ministry here in South Korea. They also believe that there could well be a military provocation against the south in the very near future. Experts say that Kim Jong-un, at this point the North Korean leader, may be feeling backed into a corner so he may feel that he needs a show of strength domestically to prove to the military that he can stand up to the international community.
Now South Korea has strongly condemned this rocket launch and also says it regrets the fact that North Korea is more concerned with spending money on missile and nuclear capabilities then feeding its own people.
Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a concrete sign that the immediate crisis is over. Patriot missile batteries that were deployed across Japan, well they've now been lowered. This truck that's right over my shoulder looked very different this morning. It had the Patriot Missiles armed and ready, pointing at the sky to the trajectory of the North Korean rocket. Three were deployed across the Tokyo area and four in southern Japan and the islands of Okinawa. There are warships at sea loaded with interceptor missiles.
But none of them ever had to be engaged, because the rocket never came close enough.
While this is ratcheting down, the diplomatic steps are quickening. The prime minister and his cabinet met an emergency security meeting. The prime minister saying the government is pledging to work with allies and also contemplating perhaps more sanctions against North Korea.
Newspapers and Tokyo blared the headlines, "North Korean Launch Failure." So certainly a sigh of relief here in Japan. The anxiety, at least for now, lowering. But there is lingering concern what is the long game for North Korea?
Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo.
JAIME FLORCRUZ, BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: China called for calm and restraint after North Korea's failed rocket launch saying that they hope all parties will remain calm and will desist from taking any actions that could further escalate tensions in the region. China has been under severe pressure to use its leverage on North Korea and stop such provocative actions.
However, China believes that the only way to resolve this is through negotiation. In spite of the failed launch today, Chinese spokesman says that they hope all the parties will continue to contact and dialogue in search for peace in the region.
Jaime Florcruz, CNN, Beijing.
ANDERSON: Well, it's the regional reaction. On the other side of the Pacific, the United States announced that it is suspending promised food aid to North Korea. But that's not the only casualty, the rocket launch could also torpedo the Obama administration's entire strategy of dealing with the pariah nuclear state.
Let's bring in Elise Labott in Washington for details. Let's just start with what we heard on that regional wrap there. Out of Japan, for example, Elise, the -- well, we've seen as a result of this botched launch is as Japan says concrete signs that the immediate crisis is over. Some people would say crisis? What crisis? Is there any evidence as of yet that Pyongyang was planning anything more than a satellite launch?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, no concrete evidence. They have seen some work being done, some movement around North Korean nuclear facility where they do under -- where they've been known to do underground testing. But there's no evidence.
What these officials around the world are talking about is what North Korea -- refers to the North Korean two-step. In previous years when they've launched a missile test, a nuclear test, they follow it up with kind of a one-two punch, a second provocation as soon as there's some kind of condemnation from the international community. So that's what people expect, but there's no firm evidence that they are going to do anything, they just expect them to.
ANDERSON: So has this changed Washington's stance towards North Korea? My sense is it has. I'm not sure why at this point. Maybe you can explain?
LABOTT: I think it has very much. Basically what officials tell me is the U.S. made a sincere effort to try and engage the north. President Obama, as you remember, started with this policy of engagement. And this deal, although the White House and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called it a modest step, this food deal where an exchange for some nutritional assistance North Korea would take some steps on its nuclear program. It was considered a modest step, but you know North Korea dissed the international community.
And it's not just the United States that they slapped -- that the North Korean's slapped in the face, they slapped in the face this whole international six party talks process where Japan, South Korea, China, and Russia, and the United States all trying to bring North Korea to the west showing that they're not willing to come along.
So what officials are saying to me is they don't expect any serious diplomacy with North Korea in the near future. What they do expect is a lot more containment measures at the United Nations, possibly, to curb North Korean's nuclear program. There's something called the Proliferation Security Initiative, a coalition of more than 90 states to try and curb the flow of weapons of mass destruction.
I think you're going to see efforts to try and curtail the program and not so much trying to reward North Korea for bad behavior.
ANDERSON: I'm going to pick your brains at this point. We are in the mid stages of an election year. November 2012, of course, Obama is looking at that as a reelection opportunity. On a scale of 1 to 10, Elise, where do you say that North Korea stands for Obama at this point so far as priorities are concerned?
LABOTT: I would say on the scale, this is just my personal opinion, I would say maybe if all things are equal it's a 2. But if North Korea were to launch a nuclear test and Mitt Romney is accusing him of appeasing the North Koreans, then it slides up to maybe like a 7.5 or an 8.
So what the Obama administration wants to do is not give Mitt Romney, who is the presumptive Republican challenger right now, any ammunition. They're going to hunker down. They're going to try and contain the fallout from this particular incident and not give the Republicans any reason to say that President Obama is not tough on national security, because national security as a whole, Becky, I would say is not very large on that scale on the political spectrum for this campaign.
ANDERSON: Well, it was a pleasure. Thank you for joining out of Washington this evening. Elise Labott, your correspondent on what is a significant story for all of us wherever we are watching around the world.
Our top story this evening, if at first you don't succeed just ignore the fact it seems that you were ever trying in the first place. Get my drift? From disaster to glory in a day for North Korea. Tonight, how the U.S. policy of engagement may now be turning to a policy of containment when it comes to Pyongyang. You're watching Connect the World live from London.
Still to come, motorsport's governing body makes a decision on the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Formula 1 chief has the say. That is coming up.
Also ahead, another step towards democracy. Britain's prime minister visits Myanmar and issues a full alongside Aung San Suu Kyi.
And there is a Premier League title is done deal for Manchester United. We're going to hear from Sir Alex Ferguson in what is an exclusive interview. That's a rare thing from him. That's coming up after this.
ANDERSON: David Cameron met separately with Myanmar's president and the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday. Now it's believed to be the first time, well the first visit at least, by a prime minister to the former British colony more than 60 years. It follow elections two weeks ago. Mr. Cameron and Suu Kyi called for the suspension, now, of sanction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Of course we must respond with caution, with care. We must always be skeptical and questioning, because we want to know those changes are irreversible. But as we've discussed, I think it is right to suspend the sanctions that there are against Burma, to suspend them, not to lift them, and obviously not to include the arms embargo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: David Cameron speaking there in Myanmar.
Look now at some of the other story that are connecting our world tonight. In Egypt, political upheaval is playing out in Tahrir Square once again. Thousands of Islamists crowded the streets in Cairo demanding the country's ousted officials from the Mubarak regime be barred from running in next month's presidential election. Well, Egypt's parliament unanimously passed a bill to that effect on Thursday, but the country's constitutional court will have the final say on the measure.
Syria's fragile ceasefire being put to the test. Thousands of people poured into the streets in Syria today waving opposition flags and chanting down with Assad. The ceasefire went into effect, you'll remember, on 6:00 am local time on Thursday. Opposition activists say heavy security remained in the capital and other cities and sporadic violence was reported. The UN Security Council is discussing competing draft resolutions on the deployment now of international observers. The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wants the monitors on the ground as soon as possible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK TONER, DEPUTY SPOKESMAN, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: You heard the secretary yesterday talk about a very robust monitoring mission as what we want to see. And we want to see that advance team out there. You know, what we saw in the last day or so was a very fragile truce emerge, a very fragile first step. So now it's important to get this advanced team out there and to get a monitoring mission on the ground.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And as the government unrest will not keep Formula 1 racing from holding its race in Bahrain next week. Protests like this one have been going on for a year in the Gulf nation as tensions mount between Shiite and Sunni Muslim communities. The Shiites are in the majority, but the ruling family there is Sunni.
Formula 1 called off last year's races, you'll remember, but CEO Bernie Ecclestone says he's not concerned about security this year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE ECCLESTONE, CEO FORMULA 1: I understand the problems in Bahrain have nothing to do with Formula 1, quite the opposite. We have a lot of support. And I mean, there are other issues, I believe in Bahrain, but nothing to do with us. We don't go into a country and interfere with the politics of the country anywhere, wherever we go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: All right, well the host Bahrain International Circuit says it welcomes Formula 1's decision.
Take a very short break. Coming back, though, why two of the world's greatest ever footballers can't seem to agree on the current player of the year. Guess who they're talking about. In fact, you're going to have to guess -- there you go. You've given it away. Take your break. Coming back after this.
ANDERSON: Glad you're back with CNN and Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson.
Now football fans and quite a few defenders all think and have been mesmerized by the exploits of Lionel Messi who took his tally of goals this week to get this an incredible 61 this season alone. He's the world player of the year. And he talked recently as whether he can be considered the best player of all time.
But (inaudible) today football legend has weighed in with something out of left field. My colleague -- excuse me -- Don Riddell has got some insight for you from CNN Center. I'm not going to spoil it. Go on.
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORREPSONDENT: Good to see you, Becky. I hope you are feeling OK there.
ANDERSON: Yeah, it's fine.
RIDDELL: Good. I'll give you a break for a couple of minutes.
ANDERSON: I'll get some water.
RIDDELL: This is an incredible story, as you say. Messi, three time world player of the year and everybody is saying he's, you know, one of the best of all time. And if he was going to be better than anyone, it would be Pele or Maradona. Well, today Pele himself has come out and said actually you can't call him the best player of all time until he's better then Neymar. Now Neymar is a 20-year-old Brazilian striker. He plays for Santos and he plays for Brazil. And he is a fantastic player, but he really hasn't delivered yet on the world stage. He hasn't tested himself in Europe. He hasn't played in the Champion's League. And I think we all know that Messi is very much a proven quantity.
So this is the quote from Pele who said, "now everybody is talking about Messi. He is a star. But to be the best ever he must first become better than Neymar. At the moment, Messi is just more experienced."
Well, Diego Maradona who is Argentinean like Messi replied, and this did make me chuckle Becky. He said, "well maybe Neymar is the best player in the world, but only if you say that Messi is from a different planet. My god, that is just stupid." End quote.
ANDERSON: Let me tell you, I interviewed Pele about -- I don't know six or seven months ago -- and I put it -- I asked him whether he thought Messi was the best in the world. He said, I see a lot of me in him.
ANDERSON: He's got an ego, doesn't he?
RIDDELL: Diego Maradona sees a lot of himself in Messi as well.
ANDERSON: Pele did say to me at the time -- this was six or seven months ago -- that he actually did think that Messi was the best in the world.
Anyway, listen, let's get on to Man United. The end of this season is turning out to be a right cracker as we'd say here in the UK. Alex Ferguson looking of course to guide Man United to yet another Premier League crown, but he took I believe some time to speak with CNN when we got an exclusive interview with him, didn't he?
RIDDELL: Yeah, we spoke to him today. And it's been an incredible run to the end of the season for Manchester United. Remember, for most of the season, Becky, the great Manchester rivals Man City who are team revived in the last couple of seasons, they've really been the dominant force up until about, what, five or six weeks ago when they started dropping points and choking as we say in the sports world. And now United are in a position where really it is very much theirs to lose.
With five games to play, they're five points clear of City. And Ferguson has been talking today about their chances. And really, the respect they deserve from what they've got to at this point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIR ALEX FERGUSON, MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER: We've done remarkable. I think that we should be doing (inaudible) turnaround (inaudible). And to get to this point we've tremendous job the lads have done. And you know two months back nobody thought for a minute that we could be in this position, but we are and we've quite taken advantage of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIDDELL: And they can consolidate their position, Becky. They are at home to Aston Villa this weekend. Manchester City are away at Norwich.
ANDERSON: Well, what was the back-story to this interview? Because I know as I was getting to you, the point was it took some time for him to talk. IS it just that he hasn't spoken to us in some time?
RIDDELL: I have to be honest with you, Becky. I hate coming on live television and saying I don't know, but on this space, I don't mind so much. I don't know, because I wasn't privy to the details of the shoot. I live 3,000 miles away now, by the way.
ANDERSON: That's fine. Sorry, mate.
All right, listen, let's do golf, because (inaudible) going on in that arena as it were. Golf course obstacles, of course, you and I know normally include water and sand traps unless apparently you are in South Carolina and you are quite close to that these days.
RIDDELL: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I once bought my kids for Christmas a game called gator golf where you have to putt the ball in to another gators mouth. Well, it happened for real at Hilton Head. This is just incredible. And what's even more incredible is that is a caddy with a rake deciding that he's just going to shoo that alligator away.
And even when he's in the water, watch this, the caddy -- he apparently goes in for another go. Yeah, get away. Get your tail in there as well. Just incredible.
While that was happening, the golfer in question, Brian Gay, was standing well back while this drama was going on. Interesting thing, the caddies were saying that often on these courses when you get to the greens it's not unusual for a gator to be sort of sunning himself on the side. And usually they just turn and slither back into the water, but this one wouldn't move. And I'm not sure if the caddy is brave or foolish, but he decided to take matters into his own hand.
Meanwhile, Brian Gay was waiting to play his shot. In the end, he boogied the hole, which I think he can be forgiven for. Have you ever tried making a putt with someone looking over your shoulder like this?
ANDERSON: You know what, I have played that course -- I have played that course, Hilton Head. It's an amazing course. But we kept right away.
I thought that guy's name was Brian Gate. It wasn't, it's Brian Gay was it?
RIDDELL: That's right.
Thank you, sir.
It's Friday night. And I'm sure you wish as well. Thank you.
Don Riddell is in Atlanta for you at with World Sport in about an hour.
Still to come on Connect the World, the U.S. president is in for some candid conversations as heads to Colombia. Why Latin America's leaders are questioning Washington's war on drugs. That and your headlines after this.
ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson, these are the latest world news headlines from CNN.
World leaders condemning North Korea's rocket launch as a provocative security threat, even though it ended in failure. US officials say the rocket spent only 81 seconds in air before crashing into the ocean.
Syria's opposition says heavy security remains in Damascus and other areas even as a cease-fire entered its second day. Activists say snipers remain on the rooftops in some towns and sporadic violence was reported. Anti-government rallies were held in a number of cities.
In a move to further encourage democracy, prime minister -- British prime minister David Cameron and activist Aung San Suu Kyi are calling for a suspension of the international sanctions on Myanmar. Mr. Cameron became the first prime minister to visit the former British colony in decades.
And US president Barack Obama is heading for Columbia this evening, where he hopes to talk trade with Latin America's leaders, but they may have other ideas. US anti-drug policy looks set to dominate this weekend summit of the Americas.
Well, the war on drugs has failed. At least that is the sentiment among Latin American leaders on the eve of their major summit in Colombia. It's not the best news by any stretch of the imagination for US president Barack Obama.
He's on his way to what is being billed as an historic gathering to talk trade. But other leaders are keen for a new plan to thwart the regional drug cartels. The bad guys pocket 35 -- $35 billion a year. Latin American governments have only a fraction of that kind of money to try to crush them.
It took a decade, but Colombia has, of course, had some success beating back its drug cartels. Yet, some say their problem just went elsewhere, like Honduras, for example. Senior Latin Affairs Editor Rafael Romo shows us why some call it the world's most dangerous country.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): A bullet-riddled car abandoned alongside a highway with a body inside. Part of the harsh reality lived every day in Honduras, of violence that also claimed the life of Aurora de Pineda's son.
AURORA DE PINEDA, VICTIM'S MOTHER (through translator): Our situation is very, very complicated, but I think that if we all get united, we can make it possible for peace to be back into our lives.
ROMO: Twenty-four-year-old Carlos Pineda died last October in a double homicide that has yet to be solved, and in which police officers were allegedly implicated. According to statistics by the National University of Honduras, 19 people are killed every day in this Central American nation.
With a homicide rate of 86.5 deaths per 100,000 people, Honduras is the most dangerous country in the world, according to security analyst Raul Pineda.
RAUL PINEDA ALVARADO, SECURITY ANALYST (through translator): Our country's currently the most affected in the world by drug trafficking activities. That's why we have the highest murder rate in the world. We need our president to inform the international community of this reality so that international aid can be proportional to the challenges we face.
ROMO: Top Honduran officials say the country's location make it the ideal transit point for drugs shipped from South America to Mexico and, ultimately, the United States.
RENE OSORIO CANALES, HONDURAN DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): We have many problems with our maritime borders. We are surrounded by Colombia, Nicaragua, Belize, Jamaica. We're also close to Mexico and Cuba, and that presents a big challenge.
ROMO: Honduran president Porfirio Lobo last year launched the law enforcement strategy called Operation Lightning, reshuffling the national police's leadership and bringing in the military to help patrol the streets.
He also recently launched the crime prevention program called Crusade for Life, meeting with leaders of evangelical churches who work in impoverished and marginalized neighborhoods.
JUAN FERNANDO LOBO, CRUSADE FOR LIFE COORDINATOR (through translator): We're working in coordination with Operation Lightning to discourage the criminals, but the true solution is the prevention of crime.
ROMO (on camera): Honduran president Porfirio Lobo's expected to make a plea at the Summit of the Americas being held this weekend in Colombia for financial, technical, and law enforcement assistance. Honduran officials have long maintained that a regional problem requires a regional solution.
Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.
ANDERSON: Guatemala's president also thinks it's time for a new regional security plan. Is he right? Let me just tell you what he actually has said on record. This is Guatemala's president, Otto Perez Molina. Not only is he looking for a new strategy -- let me tell you this -- he proposes ending the war on drugs with legalization.
He says, quote, "You would get rid of money-laundering, smuggling, arms trafficking, and the corruption that has crippled judges, police forces, and entire government institutions not only in our country, but in the region."
And that's what is important, here, this is a regional issue, not just a particular country's problem. Has the so-called war on drugs, then, been defeated or should something else be put in place? Let's put that to Ana Maria Salazar. She served as deputy assistant defense secretary for drug enforcement policy ans support in the States. She joins me now from our Mexico City bureau.
The Guatemalan president isn't he first to suggest that this war on drugs has failed, but there is a sort of tsunami of -- of support around Latin and South America these days, Ana Maria, which say simply this: this war on drugs is a failure. We need to do something else. Do you agree?
ANA MARIA SALAZAR, FORMER CLINTON SPECIAL ENVOY: The war on organized crime has failed, Becky, and that's the problem. I think there's been a lot of focus that this is only -- these organizations only invest in trafficking in drugs, when in reality, especially as we analyze what's going on here in Mexico, these organizations are rapidly going into other illicit activities.
So, even if you legalize drugs tomorrow, these organizations are so strong, and they have set up an international network that is such, that they would just go into other illicit activities.
Now, the argument for legalizing drugs is that you would take away this revenue that allows these organizations --
SALAZAR: -- to be extremely powerful. And it's an interesting argument. But the bottom line is that all these countries -- and these are the what the presidents are not saying -- is that they don't have institutions strong enough -- judicial institutions strong enough to go against these organizations.
And they're right. We're talking about among the most dangerous and violent organizations in the world. These organizations would even be a threat for the United States if they were doing what they're doing in these countries.
So, I think legalizing drugs -- I think we need to talk about the legalization issue --
SALAZAR: But we also have to recognize that it's not going to solve the problem in trying to stop --
ANDERSON: Sure. OK --
SALAZAR: -- the power that these organizations exercise.
ANDERSON: The argument that the regional leaders are using is, where once you had prohibition of alcohol and, for example, tobacco, it didn't work. In the end, you bring it into the public health arena and you deal with it, you gain the revenues and you spend that money --
ANDERSON: -- on dealing with the problem. Now, Obama is on his way down to Colombia. He's not going to want to -- get involved, surely, in a narrative that goes -- the producers aren't interested in your war on drugs, it's a failure.
Let's remember, Plan Colombia, which was run by the States, turned into Colombia Strategic Development Initiative of course, it cost the US some $7.6 billion. Whilst I understand the narrative isn't going to be well-supported necessarily in the States, that of legalizing drugs, it costs America an awful lot of money to support this war on drugs, doesn't it?
SALAZAR: Well, you get -- but you also -- there's, when you talk about this narrative, there are many States in the United States that are seeking ways to legalize the consumption of marijuana, right? And we've got to remind everybody, marijuana -- United States produces enough marijuana for their own consumption.
So, I'm not too sure that in the next five or ten years, we will find ourselves that the United States legalizes marijuana, but once again, do you really believe that these organizations are just going to say, "Well, we can't transport -- we can't traffic in marijuana," they'll go into cocaine.
And oh, by the way, the United States is not the number one per capita in consumption of cocaine. It's now Spain. So, these organizations will find ways --
SALAZAR: -- to be able to make money. If it's not in marijuana, it'll be in cocaine. And in the case of the United States, the money is coming from drugs that you have to buy with -- you can't get on the market openly. You have to have a medical receipt.
ANDERSON: So --
SALAZAR: I understand the argument. It, politically, in terms of legalizing, is very -- it supports what the Latin American countries are saying. This is a problem that, in many ways, has to do with the United States, and the United States is not providing enough money. And I think part of this is trying to point out to the United States, "You need to put more money on the table."
Whether drugs are going to be legalized in the next ten years, I have some doubts. Maybe marijuana. But again, Becky, it won't solve the problem of kidnapping, extortion, the trafficking of humans, the trafficking of women.
In the case of Mexico, they are now trafficking illegally with petroleum. In the case of Colombia, they are now trafficking in mining. These organizations are so strong and so powerful that they will find other ways to be able to get their resources.
ANDERSON: We're flagging it up. It's going to be a conversation that Obama will be made to have this weekend, at least, in Colombia. Will the Latin and South American presidents find a sympathetic ear in the US president? Who knows at this point. Stick with CNN for that. Ana Maria, always a pleasure, thank you for joining us out of the -- out of the Mexican bureau this evening.
Still to come, we followed her journey from London to Beijing, and now, the ballerina is back. After the break, we take a sneak peak at Tamara Rojo's new performance, "Life is a Dream."
ANDERSON: From London to Beijing and back, I'm going to reintroduce you to a lady that's, if you've been with us this week, you'll have met already. Tonight, we take a look at the final part of Tamara Rojo's life- changing journey.
The prima ballerina pirouetted halfway across the world to spend time with the renowned Chinese choreographer Fei Bo. Well, that experience has given her a new perspective on dance and, believe it or not, on fish. Take a look at this.
TAMARA ROJO, BALLET DANCER: My name is Tamara Rojo. I'm a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet at London's Covent Garden. I traveled to Beijing to create a fusion of dance styles, East meets West, with top choreographer, Fei Bo.
ROJO: Before we begin our collaboration, we need to warm up, so I'm attending the daily class of the National Ballet. China's top ballerinas are in one room, but I'm in the next room, doing class with Fei Bo and the men.
FEI BO, CHOREOGRAPHER: This is Wu Na. And this is Tamara.
WU NA, COMPOSER: Hi, Tamara.
ROJO: Nice to meet you.
FEI: Wu Na is a guqin artist.
(CHINESE GUQIN MUSIC)
ROJO: The music for our piece is provided by the guqin, an ancient Chinese instrument which requires a lot of skill from the player.
WU: In the earlier time in China, this instrument played with dancing together.
ROJO: Oh, OK. Yes. From the beginning it was in instrument for dance.
ROJO: So, the title for this piece is something that I think sounds like yen sheng yu meng (ph), which means "Life is a Dream." And when Fei Bo and I were talking about what to call it, he wanted to create a piece about a philosopher that had a dream, and then when he woke up, he wasn't sure what reality was anymore.
And then I remembered a very famous Spanish play by Calderon de la Barca called "La Vida es Sueno," which means "Life is a Dream." And It was just funny that exactly the same saying exists both in Chinese, in Spanish, and in English. So we thought that it was a perfect fusion, perfect combination of cultures for the title.
ROJO: Fei Bo decided I was too lonely on the stage, so he went and bought a fish for me. No one's every bought a fish for me, so that's quite nice. I'm very happy.
I hope that together we just found a new way of communicating and something that can be both interesting for us as artists, but also for the public, both here in China and also when I dance it back in England.
Today, I'm at the Coliseum to perform in a gala in honor of Anna Pavlova. Anna Pavlova always did ballets about animals, butterflies, swans. And I thought that since "Life is a Dream" is about whether or not I'm human or I'm a fish, it will kind of fit in very well.
I feel a little bit like an orphan. I kind of miss Fei Bo, and I miss his advice and his opinion. I feel a little bit abandoned.
Fei Bo is a very young choreographer. He's really just starting, and although in China he's very accomplished, outside, he's really not very known. So I hope that this way the audience will get to see his work for the first time in London.
I hope the audience gets to see something different. Something that has a flavor that it is not the usual thing.
(PIANO AND GUQIN MUSIC)
ROJO: I've had pieces created for me before, and it usually just means you get into a studio and you work with a choreographer and he has ideas and you interpret his ideas and then the piece is made and hopefully works.
But this time, it was really a lot more than that. I got to understand China better and their culture and the traditions, and I can't wait to be back.
ANDERSON: Remarkable stuff. And there's a lot more about our special series, Fusion Journeys on the website, cnn.com. And this evening, this hour at least, we've got another ten minutes. Lots more coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(MUSIC - "WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE" BY GUNS N' ROSES)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Remember that? So, that song may be 25 years old, but "Welcome to the Jungle" is just one of the anthems that has earned Guns N' Roses a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Well, Axl Rose, front man, is refusing to accept that honor. Tonight's Big Interview, though, is prepared to do so. I speak to one of the original Gunners who will be entering the Hall of Fame tomorrow, the man in the hat, otherwise known as Slash.
ANDERSON (voice-over): He's one of the most recognizable guitarists in the world, responsible for some rock and roll's most recognizable riffs.
(MUSIC - GUITAR RIFF FROM "SWEET CHILD O' MINE")
ANDERSON (on camera): What is your most favorite riff ever?
SLASH, GUITARIST: That's a really tough -- I don't think I actually have one. That I wrote? I -- "Sweet Child O' Mine" is really, really popular, but it's not -- I think, probably "Paradise City." Or maybe the intro to "Welcome to the Jungle."
(MUSIC - GUITAR INTRO FROM "WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE")
ANDERSON: Many consider you one of the greatest guitar players of all time, who's responsible for some of the most recognizable riffs in the past two decades. Do you recognize that self -- that in yourself?
SLASH: No. I think the only time I ever think along those lines is only because somebody's telling me that. And then, I don't know how to accept that, you know? I definitely don't see myself as someone who's arrived at that point as being that influential.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Whether he sees it or not, Saul Hudson has become a rock and roll icon known around the world as Slash.
ANDERSON (on camera): Where does the nickname Slash come from?
SLASH: When I was a kid, my best friend, his dad used to call me Slash. And I didn't know why for the longest time.
And -- at some point, I don't know, maybe ten years later, I had a chance to have dinner with him, and I finally got to ask him, and he just said basically because I was always hustling something up, and I never had time to talk. So, I was always in passing. So, he just sort of started calling me Slash. And that made sense.
SLASH: I guess I am like that.
ANDERSON: You were born here, of course.
ANDERSON: Your dad is English, and you moved away when you were little. What do you remember about England, out of interest?
SLASH: Let's see. I come from Stoke-on-Trent, so it was that sort of small town familiarity. It was really warm. I miss it, because I moved to Los Angeles, and it was like craziness. It was just this like constant panic living in LA. Everything was going a million miles a minute.
In Stoke, everybody knows each other, it's very sort of slow and it's quiet. It's very picturesque. So, I went to school there, and it was just something that I sort of miss about it. I get a little homesick.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Slash actually returned to Stoke last year before his first solo album, a collaboration with other well-known musicians. And this year, he's releasing and touring his second album, "Apocalyptic Love."
ANDERSON (on camera): What did you find particularly inspiring about making this album, do you think?
SLASH: I started working with Miles Kennedy based off of -- I met him during the making of the last record, and I was really inspired by him. And during the tour, I thought, if I was going to do another record, I would just do it with these guys.
So, we just had a lot of fun in the studio making this record. One of the best times I'd had recording in years.
ANDERSON: Do you miss it, the old days?
SLASH: No. I'm -- you just sort of -- the old days were great, and there's been a lot of great times since then, and you just sort of move on. I've never been one to sit there and dwell on past stuff.
(MUSIC - "PARADISE CITY" BY GUNS N' ROSES)
ANDERSON (voice-over): For Guns N' Roses fans, that means no reunion anytime soon. Axl Rose cementing that resolution after refusing the band's 2012 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and refusing to attend the ceremony. Slash welcomed the honor, but his focus remains on making the best of what comes next.
ANDERSON (on camera): Listen, most people will imagine you on the stage live doing what you do so well. What do you do in your off time? Who is Slash away from the stage?
SLASH: That's a good question. I spend most of my time writing and recording, doing sessions. That's pretty much all I do. I have kids and my wife, and so we spend a lot of time together. But I'm very sort of quiet and just sort of thinking about the next record and the next tour.
ANDERSON: Where's the best audience, out of interest?
SLASH: Well, I think everybody knows that my favorite audience is my hometown audience, which is playing in the UK. And then, so as not to leave anybody out, my second favorite audience is -- no, seriously -- is South America.
SLASH: Two of the best rock and roll audiences in the world. Well, South America is this unbridled passion that they have. I mean, they completely lose their minds.
SLASH: So -- and I think in the difference with a UK audience, they're just really, really passionate about the music, but they're very choosey about what they like and what they don't like. So, if you can go over good in England, chances are you're pretty good.
ANDERSON: Some quickfire questions for you. Here we go. Slash on a Saturday night.
SLASH: Probably -- that's amateur night. So, I'm probably at home.
ANDERSON: If you hadn't been a musician, Slash, what would you have been?
SLASH: An artist.
ANDERSON: How many guitars do you own?
SLASH: Roughly around a hundred.
ANDERSON: Your favorite?
SLASH: One Les Paul that was handmade by a guy named Kris Derrig that I got in 1986, it's been my main recording guitar ever since.
ANDERSON: Do you let anybody else play it?
SLASH: Not really.
SLASH: I keep it pretty close to the breast.
(MUSIC - "PARADISE CITY" BY GUNS N' ROSES)
ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD with Slash this evening. Thanks for watching. The Best of "BackStory's" up next.