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The World Reacts To Chavez's Death; Star Dancer Confesses To Acid Attack On Bolshoi Artistic Director; Real Madrid Sends Manchester United Packing; Syrian Refugee Count Reaches 1 Million

Aired March 6, 2013 - 16:00   ET


HALA GORANI, HOST: Tonight, Hugo Chavez remembered as the charismatic leader now lies in state. We take a look at his divisive legacy and what is next for Venezuela.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.

GORANI: Also ahead, this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) human tragedy. It's not only the volume, it's the suffering of each refugee.


GORANI: More than a million Syrians have fled their own country. Tonight, we hear how terrorists are using refugee camps to take their own advantage in some cases.

Also, travelers beware: heavy snow storms in the U.S. cause chaos in the sky.

We begin with that outpouring of grief on the streets of Caracas. Here are some of the latest images. Thousands of Venezuelans turned out to say goodbye to President Hugo Chavez. He's in that casket. They sang and wept and a hearse carried the casket from the hospital to a military academy. He'll lie in state there until his funeral on Friday. The 58 year old leader died Tuesday after a two year battle with cancer.

Mr. Chavez was a champion of the poor, idolized by many for his socialist revolution, but of course he had very fierce critics as well who said the country suffered tremendously under his rule. His death leaves many questions about the future of Venezuela. But for now, the country is observing a week long period of mourning. Let's bring in Shasta Darlington. She's live in Caracas with the very latest.

So what's going on on the streets of Caracas right now? Is that procession over? Are the people -- have they gone home?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely not, Hala. This is still going on. We've seen this casket with the Venezuelan flag draped over it being carried, rolled down the streets through the middle of Caracas from, of course, the hospital where he died to the military academy where he'll lie in state and where we'll have that state funeral on Friday. And just thousands and thousands of people pouring into the streets wearing the red shirt and the baseball cap that have kind of become the unofficial uniform of Chavez's socialist revolution.

And that just hasn't stopped. You've even seen a kind of festive atmosphere bizarrely because people are celebrating him. This is a man who touched so many people's lives, who really made so many people in the poor barrios as they're called helped their lives improve their lives. And they've come out in force to show how much they appreciate that, Hala.

GORANI: Of course it's a country divided. There are those who fervently support Chavez and his part and potentially his hand picked successor, the current vice president. But those who say, listen, Chavez was a champion of the poor. He was also a populist. He aligned himself with the worst possible regimes in the world. And he gutted the private sector in Venezuela.

So when there's an election in a month's time, who has the edge here?

DARLINGTON: Well, Hala at this point Chavez's handpicked successor, Vice President Nicolas Maduro. There are -- there were a lot of poor people in this country, a lot of people who benefited. And they've got the power of the vote. So as long as Maduro sticks with those socialist policies, and we have every reason to believe he will, he already has a leg up in the polls against the main opposition leader in Henrique Capriles.

And the question will really be in the long-term, or the mid-term even. If he's elected will he be able to continue dolling out the cash and implementing all of these socialist reforms, if you will. And in that case, where's the money going to come from, Hala.

GORANI: Right, it could come from oil, which is, of course, the big earner in Venezuela, Venezuela being the 11th largest crude exporter. But diplomatically, as far as the United States is concerned, other western countries are concerned, what a Nicolas Maduro presidency be different from a Chavez presidency, do you think?

DARLINGTON: Again, it's all near-term and mid-term. Immediately, no. What -- the only way that Nicolas Maduro can win the popular vote here is by continuing all of this anti-American rhetoric. You hear it on the streets, even as journalists walking around, people are very suspicious. So he's got to keep that rhetoric up.

And we even saw that yesterday just before they announced Chavez had died, Nicolas Maduro appeared on television accusing the United States of various bizarre plots trying to destabilize the government. And that was a pretty clear attempt to really fire up the bases at a very delicate moment.

Again, in the mid-term they haven't invested enough in oil. They've spent it all on these programs. So if they're going to invest more money, they need investment. And we could -- foreign investment, so we could see some changes along the line there, Hala.

GORANI: All right. We'll see if there is the need forces changes as far as the management of the country. Shasta Darlington, thanks very much. We'll be chatting more in the coming hours on CNN with Shasta about the aftermath of the death of Hugo Chavez.

But let's talk about the immediate future and what it might hold for Venezuela. The president's body, as we've mentioned, will lie in state at the military academy in Caracas on Thursday. On Friday, Chavez will be buried following a state funeral which is expected to attract leaders from around the world, including one of his close allies the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. The burial site still hasn't been announced.

Meanwhile, later in the show, we hear from the director who has rallied Hollywood stars to campaign for -- I'm sorry, I'm absolutely going to the wrong script here -- we're talking about a week of mourning in schools across Venezuela are closed. The armed forces will be there to ensure safety.

All right, let's talk about condolences for Mr. Chavez pouring in from around the world with especially heartfelt tributes coming from his fellow Latin American leaders. Rafael Romo brings us that reaction.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bolivian President Evo Morales was among Hugo Chavez's closest friends in Latin America. His voice cracked as he spoke with reporters, describing Chavez as a man who gave all his life for the liberation of the Venezuelan people.

EVO MORALES, PRESIDENT OF BOLIVIA (through translator): I feel, and we all feel, that Chavez is now more alive than ever, that Chavez will continue to be an inspiration for the people fighting for liberty around the world.

ROMO: Another leftist leader, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, called Chavez invincible warrior.

RAFAEL CORREA, PRESIDENT OF ECUADOR (through translator): Hugo Chavez gave his life for his beloved Venezuela for the greater motherland and for more just and humane world and that's why we can't say he's dead.

ROMO: In Cuba, where Chavez underwent four surgeries to treat his cancer, people on the streets reflected on the importance of the financial support their country received from Venezuela under Chavez's rule.

YUNEY VALLADARES, CUBAN RESIDENT (through translator): It is a loss, because Chavez helps our country a great deal. Without him, I think that things will be a bit more difficult.

ROMO: Official Washington reaction was mostly tempered with the White House saying Chavez's death comes at a challenging time. It released a statement saying, "as Venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, the United States remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law, and respect for human rights."

But the chairman of the House foreign affairs committee, Congressman Ed Royce, condemned Chavez as a dictator who forced the people of Venezuela to live in fear and bid him good riddance. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter credited Chavez with cutting poverty in half, but noted that divisions were created in the drive towards change in Venezuela.

In Britain, foreign secretary William Hague said he was saddened by Chavez's death. As President of Venezuela for 14 years, he has left a lasting impression on the country and more widely, Hague said.

In Venezuela, opposition leaders called for unity and showed respect for the mourning of Chavez's family and those loyal to his government.

HENRIQUE CAPRILES RADONSKI, VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION LEADER (through translator): This is not a time to talk about our differences, but about being united. It's a time for peace. It's necessary to start an honest national dialogue.

ROMO: Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who lost to Chavez in October's presidential election, but is expected to mount a new challenge to succeed him, said he never considered Chavez an enemy, but a political adversary.

Rafael Romo, CNN.


GORANI: Well, some of President Hugo Chavez's Hollywood friends and supporters have been paying tribute to the late leader. The actor Sean Penn released a statement saying, "I lost a friend I was blessed to have. Poor people around the world have lost a champion."

A similar sentiment from director Michael Moore in a tweet about how Chavez tackled poverty, education and health issues. He said, "Hugo Chavez declared the oil belonged to the people."

And finally, the Oscar winning director Oliver Stone also left his tribute on Twitter. He directed a movie about Chavez, by the way. "I mourn a great hero." He goes on to say "Chavez will live forever in history."

We'll have a lot more on the death of Hugo Chavez coming up later in the show, including a look at the man who could be the country's next leader. We'll tell you more about Mr. Chavez's handpicked successor Vice President Nicolas Maduro. Plus, we'll take a look at a key opposition figure who may be ready to run for the presidency once again.

And still to come tonight, it's a scandal worthy of a Hollywood thriller, now a dramatic confession in the Bolshoi ballet attack.

And what I wanted to tell you about much too early about in the show, we hear from the director who rallied Hollywood stars to campaign for girl's education.

And we'll have the latest from the Champion's League. Will David Beckham's new team make it through to the quarterfinals? All that and much more when Connect the World continues.


GORANI: You're watching CNN and this is Connect the World. I'm Hala Gorani. Welcome back.

The United Nations is demanding the releases about 20 of its peacekeepers seized by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights. The UN observers were monitoring the ceasefire between Israel and Syria when they were taken.


VITALY IVANOVICH CHUKIN, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UN: The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the detention of a group of more than 20 peacekeepers of the United Nations disengagement observer force within the area of limitation east of the B-line earlier today by armed elements of the Syrian opposition. The members of the Security Council demanded the unconditional...


GORANI: The rebels have vowed to hold the peacekeepers until Syrian President Bashar al-Assad withdraws his forces from a village that has suffered heavy shelling.

And the tragedy that is the refugee tragedy. And it's called -- it's being called a milestone, that's how the UN is describing the number of Syrians who have been forced to flee their homes, a milestone and human tragedy. After two years of an increasingly violent conflict, that number has now topped the 1 million mark. The UN high commissioner for refugees Antonio Guterres talked to CNN earlier about the plight of people who have been left penniless and desperate.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES: It's not only the volume, it's the suffering of each refugee. They have lost -- many of them have lost their families. They've lost their property. They've lost everything. They run away. They are facing a very tough winter in exile.


GORANI: The resources of host countries are being pushed to the limit. The UN says Lebanon's population has spiked by some 10 percent. And Turkey has spent more than $600 million setting up 17 refugee camps.

The Amar foundation (ph), a UK charity, is helping the refugees. We'll hear from their founder in about 20 minutes.

Now it's going to take several more days to count the votes in Kenya's presidential election after an electronic tallying system failed. Some 40 percent of the ballots have been counted. The rest will be counted by hand. The electronic system was put in place to avoid a repeat of the confusion and the violence that followed the 2007 elections.

Kenya's electoral commission says more than 300,000 ballots were tossed away because they didn't follow guidelines. The deputy prime minister, Uhuru Kenyatta has the early lead. Of course he has problem outside of this entire election. He's been accused by the International Criminal Court of crimes against humanity.

Like a plot from a Hollywood script, a dancer's raw ambition apparently led to a vicious attack on his boss. Moscow police say three suspects obtained over an acid attack on the Bolshoi ballet's artistic director has confessed. Bolshoi dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko admitted to being the mastermind behind the brutal attack. CNN's Phil Black has our story from Russia.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just in case there was any doubt about Pavel Dmitrichenko's confession, Russian police made him stand in front of a video camera and say it again before making that material available to the world.

The video clip itself is short along with Pavel Dmitrichenko's statement, there's also a qualification. He says that he did plan -- he was responsible for planning that attack against the Bolshoi's artistic director Sergei Filin, but not to the extent that it happened.

What happened was back in January. Sergei Filin was outside his apartment building in Moscow when someone approached him, called his name. Filin turned and then that someone threw a jar of full of sulphuric acid into his face.

Police say they have also caught the person responsible for throwing the acid and a third man who they say helped plan and execute that attack.

As for motive, the police have only said that Sergei Filin and the dancer Pavel Dimitrichenko had a hostile working relationship, no a huge surprise given the reputation the Bolshoi has for powerful jealousies and rivalries, and the fact that that Sergei Filin has always insisted all along that it was probably a colleague, maybe even a dancer, who was responsible for trying to use violence to drive him from his position as artistic director.

Police haven't specified precisely what the dispute or the issue was, so the Russian public have been engaging in a lot of speculation. A lot of the popular theories focus on the dancer's frustration at the progress of his own career, or possibly the progress of his girlfriends career. She's also a dancer with the Bolshoi.

It is possible we will know more when Pavel Dmitrichenko appears in court in Moscow on Thursday.

Phil Black, CNN, Moscow.


GORANI: In other news, Microsoft has been slapped with a $730 million fine by the European Commission. Regulators say the tech giant failed to honor that agreement to offer Windows users a variety of internet browsers. Microsoft has apologized -- Microsoft has called it a technical error. It says it fixed the problem as soon as the company learned about it.

Words of forgiveness tonight, surprising words. A family member of South African model Reeva Steenkamp has been speaking for the first time since her boyfriend, track star Oscar Pistorius, was released on bail. Reeva's uncle told CNN's Drew Griffin that he hopes he gets the chance to meet face to face with the man who killed his niece.


MIKE STEENKAMP, REEVA STEENKAMP'S UNCLE: I would like to be face to face with him and forgive him, forgive him what he's done and that way I can find what's probably more peace with the situation.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And you would forgive him whether this was a tragic accident or whether this was...

STEENKAMP: Whatever the outcome, I feel with my belief -- and if Christ could forgive when he died on the cross why can't I? Who am I not to forgive him?


GORANI: Reeva Steenkamp's uncle there speaking to Drew Griffin. You can see that full interview on Anderson Cooper 360. You can see the times on your screen there. Viewers in Europe can see it on World Report Thursday morning at 6:00 in London, 7:00 in Berlin right here on CNN.

You're watching Connect the World. Coming up, flights canceled, passengers stranded, more on this snow storm that's bringing travel misery to several American cities.


GORANI: Welcome back to Connect the World. I'm Hala Gorani.

Travel chaos tonight in parts of snow struck America. Airlines have canceled more than 1600 flights because of the late winter storm blanketing more than a dozen U.S. state here. The plows are out at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, but the winter storm warning for the U.S. capital has been downgraded now to a winter advisory.

Other parts of the U.S., though, are getting plenty of snow. Let's bring in meteorologist Tom Sater who is tracking the storm. He joins me from the world weather center.

So we were expecting something perhaps a little bit bigger as far as central D.C. is concerned, right, because it looks a bit slushy like a bit of a nasty drizzle.

TOM SATER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, mainly rain. 24 hours ago we were talking about how D.C. and working there for several years these snow storms when they develop -- when it dropped a record snow in Chicago you never know where that coastal low is going to form. Give or take 20, 30 kilometers and D.C. is in the rain. If it was just to move out a little bit more, they would have been in the snowfall. So it's a real headache for weather forecasters in this area. But you don't have to go far from D.C. to really see the accumulation.

Now let me show you a little bit of the history here, 23 centimeters in Minneapolis, over 1,100 flights canceled in Chicago with 25, but even back behind there -- North Dakota over 30 centimeters, 60 in Montana. O'Hare Airport, by the way, breaking a March snowfall record. So it was quite an impact.

However, the D.C. area -- and when you get into the east coast, you know the population explodes here up and down I-95 corridor. So even though Washington, D.C. missed out, you don't have to go far.

Let me show you the radar picture now. You see the warm air kind of wrap around in D.C. Winds are still going to be a factor. This storm is going to sit and spin a little bit just off the coast. So even though they don't have the snowfall as you see here for tourists -- I mean, government is shut down, schools are closed, it's still going to be a problem for air travel. And those winds are going to continue to howl.

Now this is Manassas, this is just a good, you know, 30, 40 kilometers just to the west of D.C. Manassas battlefield, it's an old Civil War site, the kids off school. And you can see where they picked up a good 14 centimeters.

Well, now we're going to watch that area of low pressure off the coast. So even though D.C. is not into the snowfall, winds are still going to be a problem with some delays. And that's Baltimore, just a trace of snow, but winds. And Newark as well.

The New York City rain changing over to snow. Our own Jennifer Delgado was set just south of Boston where the bulls eye could be around 20 plus centimeters. So maybe we'll hear from her in the next, say 24 hours.

So as the low does not kick out quickly and sits here for the next 24 to 48, the entire east coast region really will be impacted.

So keep in mind the delays for Wednesday. Here you go Hala, even though there will be light delays, I think things are going to pick up. But it's going to be a backup for several days. We may see things get back to normal, maybe three or four days down the line. It takes awhile to get all of those aircraft in the positions that they need to be in. So even though we are watching the snow come to an end, and it's come to an end in Chicago, some of the planes really are not positioned where they need to be. And that includes international flights as well.

So even though things are looking better here in D.C., we've got to watch this continue to move up for the next several hours.

GORANI: All right. So if anyone is headed to Boston, for instance, on Thursday they might be facing delays, possibly cancellations, or...

SATER: Yes. And that means possibly international flights as well. So it's really just a domino affect as we've seen over and over.

I think the big problem, though, too is going to be coastal erosion, because remember with Superstorm Sandy we don't have really a protected sea shore here. Coastguard right now searching for one -- or two fisherman right off Assateague, Virginia. They rescued one fisherman, boat of course kind of capsizing in those high seas right now that are around three-and-a- half meters.

GORANI: Well, speaking of air travel, it's the first time since 9/11, Tom, that the travel restrictions have been relaxed. I don't know if you - - they don't concern me, because personally I don't carry a pocket knife. I usually don't carry a hockey stick on me either. I'd love to be able to take a big bottle of shampoo on a plane, you know, for once.

SATER: Maybe in the next six months or so.

GORANI: Can I do that?

SATER: You know, I don't think so, not yet. I'm not sure, sorry.

GORANI: Anyway, starting April 25th, knives with blades that are 6 centimeters or shorter and less than a half inch wide will be allowed on flights so long as the blade is not fixed or doesn't lock into place. Those are examples here. I guess like Swiss Army knives, that kind of thing.

Razor blades and box cutters still banned. Golf clubs, ski poles, hockey sticks are OK. And some souvenir baseball bats as well.

There you have it. Now you know what to travel to the U.S. with everyone in your hand luggage.

You're watching Connect the World. The latest world news headlines are just ahead. Plus, some Venezuelans can't imagine life without Hugo Chavez, others think his death is a chance for the country to change course. We'll look at what's next for Venezuela.

Also the crisis on Syria's borders. Why these refugees say they will never be able to go home again.

And seeing red, why Manchester United fans are unhappy about how last night's match played out. We'll be right back.


GORANI: This is Connect the World. The top stories this hour.

An emotional farewell for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Thousands of people flooded the streets of Caracas, thronging his casket as it was taken to a military academy. He'll lie in state there until his funeral on Friday. President Chavez died yesterday from cancer.

The United Nations is condemning the seizure of about 20 of its peacekeepers taken by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights. The UN observers were monitoring the ceasefire between Israel and Syrian when they were detained. This is amateur video posted by rebels.

Moscow police say three suspects detained over an acid attack on the Bolshoi Ballet's artistic director have confessed. Bolshoi dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko admitted to being the mastermind of the attack. Sergei Filin, who you see here, is recovering after a jar of sulfuric acid was thrown in his face.

And the US House of Representatives has voted to avoid a government shutdown later this month. The Republican-led House approved a measure which will keep the federal government funded through September. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Let's get more now on what's next for Venezuela after the death of its longtime leader. I'm joined by our senior editor for Latin American affairs, Rafael Romo. The obvious question is, the vice president, his hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, we're looking at somebody whose party is popular and possibly the next leader.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Exactly right. And what I've been doing is looking at the Venezuelan constitution and what does it say in terms of who is going to be next in power.

And what it says is that whoever is the vice president in article 229 cannot run for the presidency. So this puts Nicolas Maduro, the current vice president, in a really weird position, because essentially, he cannot both be a presidential candidate and --

GORANI: Wait. So, even acting vice president, he can't run for the presidency?

ROMO: He cannot run for the presidency.

GORANI: So, what? He needs to resign.

ROMO: So, he needs to resign, according to their own constitution. Now, if Chavez dies -- if the president dies within the first four years of government, the vice president takes over, but there's a question there, because he was never sworn in. January 10th, the date in which he should have been sworn in, came and went and he never --

GORANI: He was too sick to stand.

ROMO: He was too sick to do that.


ROMO: So, there's an open question about constitutional continuity. Now, Vice President Maduro is -- and Chavez said this himself -- the "anointed one." He's the one that the current government wants in power. But the reality is that there are many constitutional questions.

Now, we've been taking a look at his life, and let me show you who he is, and why he may be the next president of Venezuela. Let's take a look.


ROMO (voice-over): He went from being a subway conductor to vice president of Venezuela. Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez named Nicolas Maduro vice president three days after winning the 2012 elections.

Maduro had previously served as foreign minister for six years. The 50-year-old was one of the youngest foreign ministers in the history of Venezuela and has been an iconic power broker during Chavez's government. He has also put out domestic fires, like the one that broke out during the doctor strike of 2011.

NICOLAS MADURO, VICE PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): We are public servants, and the philosophy of President Chavez and the government is that today, more than ever, we need to listen to the people, hear the truth, and work together.

ROMO: As foreign minister, Maduro became known for his frequent verbal attacks against the United States. He angrily complained in 2008 when several Venezuelan government officials were accused by the US Treasury Department of having links with drug traffickers and Colombian guerillas.

MADURO (through translator): The US Treasury Department would like to become a sort of world police. It's accusing honest citizens of our country, including a general of the Bolivarian Republic, a congressman, and other officials, of being drug traffickers. Why don't they really find out who's a drug trafficker and who's benefiting from this business?

ROMO: Maduro, a former union leader with no formal training as diplomat, has signed agreements with China, Russia, and Iran, defying Washington in the process.

MADURO (through translator): They say that we have violated their law that prohibits us and prohibits the world from selling oil or fuels to Iran. Iran has actually been a sister nation in the OPEC for more than 40 years. When the Bolivarian Revolution came to power, Venezuela already had close relations with Iran.


ROMO: Now, it is too early to tell who, in effect, is going to take power in Venezuela. The authorities are only getting ready for the burial, expected to be on Friday. But Hala, at some point, they need to determine exactly who is in power, who is going to run for president, and again, the person who organizes the elections cannot be a candidate, so this puts Nicolas Maduro in a very tight position.

GORANI: OK. And they don't have a lot of time to figure it out, either.

ROMO: Only 30 days.

GORANI: OK, thanks. Rafael Romo.

ROMO: Thank you.

GORANI: Whoever ends up replacing President Hugo Chavez will have big shoes to fill. Supporters and critics may differ on his legacy, but as Jim Clancy reports, if there's one thing that virtually everyone can agree on, it's that Hugo Chavez was larger than life.



JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The roar of applause was music.



CLANCY: The surging crowd his dance partner. And for Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, politics was performance art. The script came easily to Chavez. Anything that might warrant outrage in Washington wasn't a cause for concern, but rather the measure of success.

Chavez beamed and embraced Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the Iranian leader toured leftist Latin America. Knowing well the global concerns Tehran was aiming to develop the bomb, Chavez joked, "a nearby grassy knoll would suddenly open up, and a nuclear warhead would sprout." They laughed.

What Chavez really relished was playing on the world stage.

HUGO CHAVEZ, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): Yesterday, the devil came here.


CHAVEZ (through translator): And it smells of sulfur still today.

CLANCY: Standing at the lectern that President George W. Bush used a day before, Hugo Chavez sniffed the air and made it personal, accusing the American leader of talking as if he were the owner of the world.

When an earthquake rocked Haiti, Chavez claimed it was the result of US weapons testing, an excuse to send American troops into the country. Chavez, of course, had humanitarian aid programs of his own.

When cash-strapped Americans were shivering in the winter cold, Chavez volunteered Venezuelan oil to heat homes in the Bronx for free. Local politicians and local media turned out, too.

Chavez was never afraid to wield his oil wealth against his foes, or he'd use it to win friends and influence his neighbors. He once rewarded his 3 millionth Twitter follower with a new home. She was thrilled. So what if, as his critics said, the other 2 million 999,000 didn't get a thing. Online and the streets, the crowds cheered.

In the end, Hugo Chavez even suggested his cancer could be the result of an American conspiracy. He quoted Fidel Castro's warnings to be careful what he ate and watch out for small needles.

The images of Hugo Chavez rallying the crowds, hurling insults, and ridiculing his enemies survive, an official portrait of the Venezuelan leader. Even his staunchest rivals admit he could have been reelected again and again.

That bombastic rhetoric, embraced by his supporters, embraces the courage to stand up to the powers that be. It elevated him, and he knew it. Courageous, outrageous, it's what made Hugo Chavez larger than life.

I'm Jim Clancy.


GORANI: Live from the CNN Center, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Just ahead, from war to limbo. A tragic milestone for Syrians fleeing their country's civil war. We'll talk to the founder of a UK charity that is trying to help them.

And Hollywood joins the campaign for girls' education. We give you a sneak preview of a new film narrated by red carpet A-listers.

And four teams are in action in the Champions League. Which two will make it through to the quarterfinals tonight? Stay with us.


GORANI: Now, a tragic milestone in Syria as the United Nations estimates more than a million people have now fled their own country. They're desperate, they have no money, they're often injured.

Syrian residents have been flooding into neighboring countries to begin their lives as refugees. Nick Paton Walsh witnessed what has become a nightly exodus on Syria's border with Jordan.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Through the fence they stagger, like the ghosts of a country dying slowly, fleeing for their lives, clutching what's left of them. From war to limbo as refugees. In Jordan, thousands every night.

The oldest left to carry Syria's very youngest, 21 wounded this night. Terrified enough to be walking out with a chest wound.

Jordan's army wants us to see they're doing what they can, but they are being flooded. Over 50,000 in about a month.

Shrapnel hit his head, shielded by his mother.

A man writhes in agony and can't lift up either leg when the doctor asks him.

The darkness on the skyline is Syria, the shelling close.

HUSSEIN AL-ZYOUD, BORDER SECURITY FORCES COMMANDER: Inside Syria, but it's very close to the border right now.

WALSH (on camera): Too close?

AL-ZYOUD: Yes, too close.

WALSH (voice-over): On the other side of the wire are, perhaps, 400,000 homeless Syrians. Some cannot wait for the shelling to stop.

This man in leather is one rebel helping their escape.


WALSH (on camera): They've had this perilous ordeal, making their crossing at night. We're hearing artillery quite close by. And now, another ordeal awaits them: life in a country where they're increasingly unwelcome.

WALSH (voice-over): This is safety, but not the life they want. Even here, terror endures so fiercely, they hide from our camera.

And with warmth comes the start of being herded to buses, then to camps. Jordan's welcome slowly exhausted by their sheer number, and it's just getting started.

These three rebel fighters, boys, really, but having dropped off their families, going back to fight with the words of men.

"There are men left," he says, "but the families have fled in very large numbers in all of the city of Daraa. You can now count the people left on your fingers. Syria is emptying."

Now the regime is moving on Daraa, and in the month to come, the exodus will increase, the space left for them here shrinking slowly.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, on the Syrian-Jordanian border.


GORANI: Absolutely tragic. The civil war has caused a mass exodus, as we've been mentioning, to all of Syria's neighbors. Of the more than 1 million refugees -- you can see the amounts there -- the UN estimates that have fled the country, 185,000 have been taken in by Turkey, 329,000 are in Lebanon, 320,000 are in Jordan, over 105,000 refugees have fled to Iraq, 43,000 have ended up in Egypt.

And keep in mind, these are registered refugees. These are not the unregistered Syrians who've fled out of fear for their lives, or the internally displaced, of course. As staggering as the numbers are, they continue to climb every single hour.

The Domiz camp in Iraq alone is reporting 500 new arrivals each day, but the refugees there are getting a helping hand via the AMAR foundation. Prince Charles happens to be the patron of the UK charity founded by British politician Emma Nicholson who, just days after this gala event in London, visited one of the camps in Iraq. Today, she spoke to Max Foster about the situation.


EMMA NICHOLSON, EXECUTIVE CHAIRPERSON, AMAR FOUNDATION: The numbers coming out of Syria today have topped 1 million refugees. That's one- twentieth of the entire population of Syria. Far, far bigger than the influxes into different countries from Iraq under Saddam, for example, just a few years previously.

And there's an even bigger camp in Anbar. Troubled Anbar province next-door, a little bit further south. The AMAR Foundation is already working there, 85,000 refugees there. And that has been infiltrated by some of the al Qaeda fighters who are using it as a refreshment spot to go back in again. So, the civil war of Syria has infiltrated, alas, into Iraq already.

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The refugees are going both ways, aren't they? Because as you say, members of al Qaeda, whoever they are, they're people who have left Iraq to go into Syria, and now they're going back again.

NICHOLSON: The terrorists have left Iraq to go into Syria, but not normal people. The Syrian refugees that I witness in the camp in the northern part of Iraq are in fact small farmers. They were family men and women. They were people who were tilers, they were jobbing businessmen, they were painters, they were artifact people. And they've left because the entire economy, as they told me, has completely collapsed.

FOSTER: So, it's not as a direct result of the war. They're economic migrants.

NICHOLSON: Well, at least 75,000 had come because they had nothing to eat. So even worse than economic migrants. They were carrying no baggage. They came in literally what they could walk in. And sadly, they were not expected to go back home, because they can't see how their farms can ever recover.

FOSTER: And as you walked around speaking to people there, did you come up with any solutions to this crisis? Because obviously a lot of people suggesting a military solution, but do you think that would be effective?

NICHOLSON: The refugees' solution, sadly, is not to go back home ever again. They have lost complete confidence in their own government and in the opposition as well. These were non-political people, farmers, small businessmen, people who were doing painting and decorating, for example. They're not going to go back home, I'm absolutely sure of that. That's tragic.

But for the rest of us watching this dreadful, bloodthirsty tornado, we have to redouble and quintuple our political efforts in every possible way we can, with no preconditions, I would suggest. No saying you have to have this, that, and the other before we sit down and talk.

The West is not saying that, but of course, I think the Syrian opposition are very clear that they want Assad to go before they will have serious discussions. I don't think that's acceptable. We must try to resolve this by dialogue. Western intervention militarily I cannot see as a solution.

FOSTER: Do you think we've reached a tipping point with the refugee crisis in that now everyone's just flooding out of the country and actually it's going to get worse before it gets better.

NICHOLSON: I believe the tipping point has been reached, but I think hundreds of thousands more refugees will flee the country. It's already 1 in 20 have left. My guess, it'll be pushing 1 in 15 before very long. It's a miserable situation, and my heart believes for the poor Syrians.

FOSTER: How many more can you handle, though?

NICHOLSON: I think that Iraq is what absorbs many who come, that the fear of Iraq has now been realized. The civil war in Syria is now inside Iraq. That's appalling.


GORANI: Well, if you want to find out how you can make a difference to the lives of refugees in Syria and outside Syria, head to our webpage, Impact Your World. You can find it at

And keep in mind, they're very easy ways to contribute here. You can contribute to the UNHCR. It has many times over the last few months said that it needs more funds. Very easy to contribute on their page as well.

Coming up after the break, all the latest news in sports. And on the rise, how Hollywood is promoting education for girls.


GORANI: It's almost six months, now, since Taliban gunmen Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, but rather than defeat her campaign for education, the attack, in fact, inspired a global movement.

As Malala recovers, more joined have joined the fight. They've been inspired by her courage. And it seems even Hollywood is getting behind the cause. Becky Anderson caught up with the director of a new documentary, "Girl Rising," which features some star narrators, including Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep.


ANNE HATHAWAY, NARRATOR, "GIRL RISING": "I can't really talk about everything that happened to me here, but I will never forget."

RICHARD ROBBINS, DIRECTOR, "GIRLL RISING": Well, the film is about this story of nine different girls from around the world, each one engaged in the process, the challenges of trying to get an education, something that most of us in the West take for granted. But in the developing world, girls getting an education is a real struggle.

HATHAWAY: "I was 11 years old when my father arranged for me to be married."

ROBBINS: Millions of girls stop school because of early marriage, because they're not expected to get an education, they're expected to be married. Fourteen million girls under 18 married every year in the developing world. We know that many of them don't go to school because they are forced to work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Do you go to school?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL (through translator): No.

The need to get an education is not as dire as the need to figure out how to survive. And in many cases, that means working, getting married, doing many of the things girls do instead of going to school.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And what did you learn from these girls?

ROBBINS: The girls themselves are incredibly inspiring. They're not depressing in any way. They don't make you feel sort of bleak about what the future looks like for them and for all of us, because they believe. They believe that there is a good education in their future, and that they can do great things with it.

HATHAWAY: There is no miracle here. Just a girl with dreams.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL (through translator): Even if you send me away, I will come back every day until I can stay.

ROBBINS: Educating girls works. It -- we know it works. It's been proven over and over again to work. It does have a significant, measurable impact on extreme poverty in the developing world.

If you educate girls, I think it's very easy for most people to get their heads around -- they are less likely to get HIV, they will marry later, they will have smaller families, they will educate their children. It has all of these measurable, remarkable effects.

HATHAWAY: "I will read. I will study. I will learn. If you try to stop me, I will just try harder."

ANDERSON: And if there was one young girl who you feel sort of encompasses the message, as it were, who really inspired you, who would it be?

ROBBINS: Well, they're all inspiring in different ways. I have soft spot for Sohka, who is the first girl who was chosen for the film. She lives in Cambodia.

She was orphaned at a very young age and spent a good portion of her life, from about the ages of 8 or 9 until she was 12 or 13 essentially surviving as a scavenger in the city dump in Phnom Penh. And from that place, when she finally got an opportunity to go to school, she has just flourished.

HATHAWAY: "I am my own master now."


GORANI: One day after Real Madrid's controversial win in the Champions League, two more squads have just advanced to the quarterfinals. Don Riddell joins me now. So, you were watching the match-ups.


GORANI: Who came out on top?

RIDDELL: Two more teams have made it into the quarterfinals, Hala, within the last couple of minutes. You will be pleased to hear that Paris Saint-Germain are into the last eight, along with Juventus.

Let's talk about Paris Saint-Germain first. They drew one-all with Valencia this afternoon. Valencia actually took the lead through Jonas in that game, but Ezequiel Lavezzi equalized for the Parisians, meaning they advance on an aggregate score of 3-2.

Juventus's game against Celtic was never really in doubt, Hala. They thrashed the Glaswegians three-nil in the first leg, two more goals this afternoon or this evening in Europe made that one a pretty easy victory for Juve. So the Italians are now into the last eight as well, along with Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, who progressed last night.

GORANI: And we still continue to hear about this Manchester United red card hooha.

RIDDELL: It really was a hooha. The debate continues as to whether Nani should or should not have been sent off. United claim that it completely changed the game because they were a goal up at the time.

A lot of people think that perhaps it should only have been a yellow card for Nani instead of a straight red. UEFA, though, the sports governing body in Europe, are standing by their referee. He is one of their elite refs. They say --

GORANI: Where's he from?

RIDDELL: Turkey.


RIDDELL: And they say that they have no reason to believe that he made the wrong decision. And they've actually now begun disciplinary proceedings against Nani, which you would expect, but also against Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, who said he was so distraught at the final whistle last night that he didn't come to the post-match press conference. In the Champions League, the managers are obligated to speak to the media afterwards. So he's --

GORANI: Does he get fined?

RIDDELL: He will probably get fined for that, although I suspect he'll get fined less for not going than he would have done if he'd turned up and --

GORANI: And made a fuss.

RIDDELL: -- spoken from the heart.


RIDDELL: Yes, he'd have got fined even more. So, quite a wise decision, I would think, there.

GORANI: All right.

RIDDELL: But did you see Paris Saint-Germain through?

GORANI: You know, as I've always told you, and I think we've had this discussion before, I love soccer -- football --


GORANI: I don't love club football. I don't feel a sense of passion or ownership of any one club, because they're usually owned -- I mean, Paris Saint-Germain's owned --


GORANI: -- by a Qatari --

RIDDELL: Absolutely. I agree.

GORANI: -- investment authority. But when it's a country playing, and they're all nationals of a country, then I feel excited about it.


GORANI: So the Euro -- the European Championships and the World Cup - -

RIDDELL: World Cup.

GORANI: -- are amazing.

RIDDELL: Well, I tell you what, there is an awful lot of excitement in Paris at the moment.

GORANI: I can imagine.

RIDDELL: Because French football in European terms at club level --

GORANI: Hasn't done great.

RIDDELL: Hasn't done great. And they're not one of the dominant teams in the Champions League, or the dominant countries. But they -- Paris Saint-Germain right now, with this money that's coming from Qatar, are the biggest spenders in Europe by quite some distance, and this --

GORANI: Well, this other producer --

RIDDELL: -- really is a big deal for them to be into the quarterfinals.

GORANI: As will --

RIDDELL: And hopefully for them, they'll go further.

GORANI: And Melissa the producer was saying maybe it's Beckham who's just infused them with newfound enthusiasm.

RIDDELL: Well, he was only a spectator today. I know the effect is - -


GORANI: That's all you need.

RIDDELL: -- is Beckham fans --

GORANI: The Beckham aura. You don't need more.

RIDDELL: He didn't get on.

GORANI: You just need him to sit there.


GORANI: Let's talk about Messi. Lots of people want to get their hands on Lionel Messi these days, or his golden --

RIDDELL: Yes, well, you'll have to be very, very rich to get hold of his golden foot, which is going to be auctioned --

GORANI: Maybe the Qataris can spring for it.

RIDDELL: Yes. Well, $5.25 million is what it's going for. There it is. Messi, of course, is the best player in the world, we all know that. He's won the Ballon d'Or four times consecutively. And they've taken a mold of his left foot, and there it is. It's 25 kilos --

GORANI: Is it solid gold?

RIDDELL: Yes, yes. Look, you can see his veins in there, I gather, if you look underneath --

GORANI: I like that. This looks nothing like my foot right now.


RIDDELL: Yes, I know. Yes. We don't want to be taking a mold of your foot right now, Hala.

GORANI: Not at this stage. Maybe when it heals. Oh! And you also have a little footprint, too.

RIDDELL: Yes, so they've got a few other kind of bits and pieces. But the center here is the actual foot itself, which is going to be auctioned off in Japan. And as I say, $5.25 million is what they'll be asking for.

GORANI: Who gets the money? Who owns the golden foot?

RIDDELL: Well, it's been made by Ginza Tanaka, and the money or the proceeds are going towards helping the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

GORANI: Oh, wonderful, wonderful cause.


GORANI: Thanks very much. So, are you following the baby bump -- the royal baby bump story?

RIDDELL: Oh, is it a boy or is it a girl?

GORANI: Right.



GORANI: You can bet on it. You can bet on anything in the --

RIDDELL: I'm aware of it. Yes.

GORANI: OK. So am I. I'm kind of -- I'm aware of it.

RIDDELL: You've got a 50-50 chance of getting it right.

GORANI: Apparently -- yes, you do. Apparently, the Duchess of Cambridge, she -- there was some sort of slip of the tongue. She was at an event in northern England Tuesday when she was reportedly given a teddy bear from a member of the public.

According to an onlooker, Sandra Cook, the duchess responded by saying, "Thank you, I will take that for my d--"


RIDDELL: "My -- my -- "

GORANI: "My d--" That's how it's written.

RIDDELL: "My dear."

GORANI: "My d--" before she abruptly stopped herself.

RIDDELL: Oh, right.

GORANI: So, was that abrupt enough?

RIDDELL: I don't know.

GORANI: I will take that for my "d--" I don't know. I don't know how far it went.

RIDDELL: If she said "my b--" "my baby," that's a different story, isn't it?


GORANI: Yes, it would have been. Pressed about whether she was expecting a daughter, Cook claims the duchess said "we're not telling."

RIDDELL: Apparently, they don't know.

GORANI: That's going to do it for us. Thanks for watching. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Stay with CNN, a lot more ahead.