'No to Bush!' Castro salutes Maradona on TV chat show

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The Independent US

Maradona has interviewed a number of celebrities on his show, including Pele and Robbie Williams, but the interview with Mr Castro was like no other.

Taped over five hours in Cuba, where Maradona was treated for several years for drug addiction, the interview focused on matters such as the legacy of Che Guevara and the Summit of the Americas, which will be held at the Argentine resort of Mar del Plata later this week.

President George Bush and the leaders of 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries are due to arrive later this week, but Mr Castro will not be there. He is not permitted to participate because Cuba is not a member of the Organisation of American States, which organises the summit.

The Cuban leader urged Mr Bush to stay away from the summit. "It would be better for him to find a pretext and not go. This is seriously an error," he said.

One of the main items on the agenda will be the stalled US proposal to create a Free Trade Area of the Americas ­ a move that has been criticised by left-leaning Latin American leaders as potentially harmful.

Maradona has said he will be among the protesters in Mar del Plata, despite the anticipated heavy security. "No to Bush!" he told reporters in Cuba. "We're going to say it in the streets: fellow Argentines, we will be waiting for you at the march."