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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 June 2007, 00:31 GMT 01:31 UK
Chavez pays 'surprise' Cuba visit
Fidel Castro (l) and Hugo Chavez (r) in January 2007
Mr Chavez has visited his friend and ally several times since his illness
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has made a surprise visit to Cuba at the invitation of its convalescing leader, Fidel Castro, Cuban state TV reports.

He was greeted at the airport by Vice-President Carlos Lage and Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque.

Mr Chavez met the Cuban leader on Tuesday afternoon for six hours in what they described as an emotional meeting, the TV said.

The visit is Mr Chavez's sixth since Fidel Castro fell ill in July 2006.

The 80-year-old Cuban leader has been recovering from intestinal surgery at an undisclosed location, and his brother Raul has been serving as acting president.

Cuban TV described the trip as a "working visit" .

Mr Chavez's visit comes just five days after Bolivian President Evo Morales made an unannounced visit to Havana and met Fidel Castro, later saying the Cuban leader looked "very recovered".

Mr Castro has not been seen in public since his surgery.

However, last week he appeared in an interview on state television and has recently written several editorials in the state newspaper.




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