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Posted March 09, 2008 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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(original title: Venezuela’s Chavez finds Castro happy in retirement)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez visited his friend and mentor Fidel Castro on Saturday for the first since the 81-year-old retired as Cuba’s leader and said he found him happy and flowing with ideas.

Chavez spent all morning chatting with Castro during a stopover in Cuba on his way home from a regional summit in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where Latin American presidents defused a tense border dispute between Colombia and Ecuador.

“I found Fidel happy, splendid and full of ideas, full of deep and wise thoughts,” Chavez told Cuban television.

Castro, who has not appeared in public since falling ill in July 2006, was replaced on February 24 by his brother Raul Castro as Cuba’s first new leader in almost half a century.

Chavez, who has provided communist-run Cuba with vital support through generously financed oil supplies, met with Raul Castro on arrival in Havana on Friday.

“I talked for a long time with Chavez today. We are brothers,” Fidel Castro said in a statement distributed by the Cuban government to the press by e-mail.

Both men have accused the United States of being behind a Colombian raid on leftist guerrillas camped inside the Ecuadorean border that sparked a weeklong diplomatic crisis and the buildup of troops by Venezuela and Ecuador on their borders with Colombia.

Chavez and Castro said the peaceful resolution of the crisis was a “defeat for U.S. imperialism.”

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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  1. Follow up post #1 added on March 09, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    So, Raul meets Chavez at the Havana airport then Chavez goes to meet Fidel. When he returns home he mentions Fidel but not Raul?

    This was Chavez’s first meeting with Raul since he was selected as President on February 24th.

    I find it VERY interesting that Chavez did not at least congratulate Raul on his new position.

    Did Chavez even release a statement congratulating Raul? I don’t remember reading one anywhere.

    Since Raul met Chavez at the airport and Chavez doesn’t even mention Raul’s name (let alone some new business arrangement), Chavez is making Raul look like a putz.

    Are you going to take that Raul? Now you work for Fidel AND Chavez?

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