CARACAS, Wednesday November 19, 2008 | Update
Cuba's President Raúl Castro confirmed on Wednesday that he will travel to Venezuela, as announced by President Hugo Chávez, in his first official trip abroad since he took office in Cuba almost two years and a half ago. Castro would not disclose the date of his visit.
"Chávez said that? When did he say that? When do we have to go to Venezuela? I do not know anything. But if the nephew said that, we have to go and visit him," Castro replied to a question posed by AFP at the international airport where he bid farewell to Chinese President Hu Jintao.
The Venezuelan ruler, who brands himself as a "political son" of communist leader Fidel Castro, said on Tuesday that his Cuban counterpart would visit Venezuela "in the next few days."
"Raúl Castro told us that he has been invited to Brazil, China, Russia and other countries. But he said that he is not going to visit any other country before coming to Caracas. He wants to pay a visit to Venezuela as the President of Cuba," said Chávez.
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.