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  Thursday, November 14, 2019
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Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez will meet on Monday with former
Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez will meet on Monday with former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Havana.

"I will have a working meeting with Fidel tomorrow [Monday]," Chavez told a national TV channel late on Sunday, without giving details on the meeting's agenda.

Chavez last met with Castro in March after a summit of the Rio Group, an international organization of 20 Latin American and Caribbean states.

Fidel Castro, 81, stepped down in February as Cuba's president due to health problems. The leader of the 1959 Cuban Revolution, and the man who outlasted nine hostile U.S. presidents, remains the head of the Communist Party.

Caracas and Havana are strategic partners and vehement critics of Washington's policies.

Both Chavez and Castro proposed in 2004 a so-called Bolivarian initiative to promote regional integration as an alternative to the U.S.-supported Free-Trade Zone in Latin America. The initiative has been joined so far by Nicaragua, Bolivia and Dominica.

Venezuela supplies 100,000 barrels of oil to Cuba daily at below-market prices, and Cuban doctors and teachers work in exchange in Venezuela.

Chavez said on Sunday that "the peoples of Cuba and Venezuela will always be together."

Chavez is widely considered to have taken on Fidel Castro's mantle as Latin America's leading opponent of 'U.S. imperialism.'


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