Chavez, Castro brothers discuss food, fuel crises

June 18th, 2008 - 3:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Havana, June 18 (IANS) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has met his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro and Raul’s elder brother Fidel Castro here and discussed the current global food and energy crises, EFE news agency reported Wednesday. The Venezuelan leader who arrived in Havana Monday afternoon held a three-hour meeting with Fidel Castro, during which the duo discussed issues related to the global energy, food and financial crises, Cuban state media reported Tuesday.

According to the report, Chavez briefed the ailing leftist leader about the situation in Venezuela, the strengthening of his United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and the process leading up to the regional elections to be held in November.

The Venezuelan leader also met Raul Castro and discussed bilateral, regional issues. The two also discussed major international issues during their meeting.

Cuba receives petroleum from oil-rich Venezuela and in turn provides professionals to staff social programmes in the South American nation.

Chavez is also considered the closest friend of Fidel Castro, who stepped down from presidency a few months back because of his illness.

The Venezuelan president called Fidel the “father of all of Latin America’s revolutionary people” upon his arrival at Jose Marti International Airport.

He said that Fidel was “alive and well, thinking, writing and dictating strategic guidelines that are very important for Cuba and for the Americas”.

Fidel, set to turn 82 in August, is recovering from an intestinal illness and has not appeared in public since July 2006.

The latest photographs of his was released in mid-January when he received Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva.

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