CARACAS, Tuesday June 12, 2007 | Update
President Hugo Chávez Tuesday arrived in Havana to pay
an unexpected visit to convalescent Cuban leader Fidel Castro,
his major political ally.
Chávez has visited Castro at least five times since the Cuban ruler transferred power to his brother Raúl last July 31st, following a surgical intervention to treat an undisclosed illness, Reuter reported.
"The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, comrade Hugo Chávez Frías, arrived in our country to pay a working visit, upon an invitation from Commander in Chief Fidel Castro," said the news show of Cuban state television station.
According to the Cuban television channel, Chávez in Havana is meeting with Castro and his brother Raúl.
Castro, 80, has made no public appearances in more than 10 months. His supporters claim he is recovering, but there are no clear signals on whether he is returning to the power he has held for more than half a century.
"Long life Cuba, long life Fidel" Chávez said upon his arrival in the airport in Havana, according to the video footage broadcast by the local television channel.
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.