News Cuban leader Fidel Castro, right, talks with Spanish journalist, writer and former editor-in-chief of Le Monde diplomatique, Ignacio Ramonet in Havana, Cuba

Fidel Castro was “healthy and alert” during a two-hour discussion about current affairs last week, a Spanish journalist told the Associated Press on Monday.

Hugo Chavez's last words: 'I don’t want to die'

Hugo Chavez expressed his desire to live, and his love of Venezuela, shortly before dying of a massive heart attack, the head of the country’s presidential guard has claimed.

Chavez’s coffin was paraded through the streets of Caracas

'We are all Hugo Chavez': supporters gather to pay tribute to Venezuela's dead President

Emotional crowds lined the streets of Caracas to watch el Comandante's coffin pass

Hugo Chavez and Sean Penn

Hollywood stars pay tribute to late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez

America and Venezuela have not been the best of friends lately but Hollywood stars have been quick to pay tribute to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez who died of cancer last night aged 58.

Review: Comandante: Inside Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, By Rory Carroll

The presidential strongman with all bases covered

Newly appointed Cuba's Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel participates in the closure session of the National Assembly in Havana, Cuba

Miguel Diaz-Canel: Castro's chosen successor is integral figure in Cuban party machine but can he win over man in street?

When the Cuban delegation arrived for the London Olympics last summer, no one paid very much attention to the mid-level government official with thick silver hair who was leading it. Miguel Diaz-Canel was not Raul Castro, after all, and most of the rest of the world had barely heard of him. So why get overly excited? Now we know why Diaz-Canel, 52, was chosen for the task and why just a few weeks earlier he accompanied Raul to the Rio plus 20 Summit on global warming in Brazil. He was being deliberately groomed as the man the Castro brothers had judged to be the best option to take over when finally they cede control to a new generation. 

Rafael Correa looks set to secure third term in Ecuador

Voters were on the way yesterday to handing a third term to President Rafael Correa, an economist who has raised living standards for the lower classes and widened their social safety net while being widely criticised as intolerant of dissent.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez 'in good spirits' in Cuba

Venezuela’s top diplomat has said he shared jokes and laughed with President Hugo Chavez during a meeting in Cuba, where the socialist leader has been recovering after cancer surgery.

Venezuelans full of energy invade the streets close to the Venezuelan Consulate in London, where they cast their vote for the presidential elections

Decision time for Venezuela as Capriles faces down Chavez

Venezuelans are today voting in what is predicted to be the country's closest presidential election in a decade.

The Dougherty crime spree was reminiscent of 'Bonnie and Clyde'

Winckler's Wacky World: Bonnie and Clyde bonanza

Guns for auction, an interesting diplomatic gift, the global nappy shortage, Jiminy Cricket's B.O. problem and the first intergalactic art

Fire extinguished at Venezuela's Amuay refinery

Venezuelan state television said today that all fires had been extinguished at Venezuela's biggest oil refinery after raging for more than three days.

Kolya Lukashenko, flanked by Venezuela's leader Hugo Chavez and his father, President Alexander Lukashenko, in Caracas this week

Who's that boy in the grey suit? It's Kolya Lukashenko - the next dictator of Belarus...

Seven-year-old, illigitimate son named by Lukashenko as leader in waiting

President Raul Castro’s wide-ranging reforms have brought new hope to Cubans whose economic aspirations were shackled for 50 years by the US-led embargo

Younger Castro steers Cuba to a new revolution

Oil, foreign investment, free enterprise, and golf courses are on their way

Antonio Vazquez, Mexico's self-styled 'Grand Warlock,' predicts that the Barack Obama will fail to regain the White House

Mexican Warlock spells end for Obama

Antonio Vazquez, Mexico's self-styled "Grand Warlock", has made his annual new year forecasts, including the prediction that the US President Barack Obama will fail to regain the White House.

Lord Bell:

Bell Pottinger head launches investigation over lobbyists

The chairman of Bell Pottinger's parent group has launched an internal investigation after this week's controversy about the lobbying company.

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General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
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Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
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Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
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Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

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Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

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