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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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
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'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
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Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
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Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
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Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?