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.

The Sickness, By Alberto Barrera Tyszka

Shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, this lapidary novel comes from a Venezuelan writer-journalist who has also co-authored a sceptical life of Hugo Chávez.

Matthew Norman: When celebrities swap jobs, career suicide ensues

If there are many difficult lessons to be learned from recent events here's one that even the most obtuse can quickly master: stick to what you know. Much attention has been focused on David Starkey's Newsnight self-immolation, and rightly so. If you go sampling the words of Enoch Powell, as The Beatles so nearly had it, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow.

Miracle maestro: Gustavo Dudamel brings music from Venezuela's slums to the Proms

Cometh the hour, cometh "The Dude". A few years ago, it felt as if classical music's energy was flagging. It needed a superhero: a young, hip, charismatic figurehead who could take centre stage and inspire a new generation to embrace an art that should be accessible to all but is not always perceived that way. Then, out of the impoverished urban sprawls of Venezuela, emerging from a legendary music education scheme known as El Sistema, along bounced Gustavo Dudamel.

Hugo Chavez to undergo further chemotherapy

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has said he will start another round of cancer chemotherapy soon and expects to become bald within days.

Chavez home after cancer treatment

President Hugo Chavez returned to Venezuela on Saturday a week after leaving for chemotherapy in Cuba, saying no malignant cells were found and that he was arriving home in better health than when he left. News that he underwent surgery in Havana last month to remove a cancerous tumour has called into question his fitness to run for re-election next year, but he insisted at the capital's airport that all was well.

Chavez returns to Cuba to begin chemotherapy

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has returned to Cuba to begin chemotherapy nearly a month after surgery to remove a tumor, and he is expressing optimism the treatment will help him survive his cancer.

Chavez announces plan to return to Cuba for chemotherapy

President Hugo Chavez's fight against cancer has taken another surprising turn, with Venezuela's leftist leader announcing plans to fly back to Cuba today to begin chemotherapy.

Venezuela shock Ecuador at Copa America

Venezuela stunned Ecuador 1-0 to go top of Group B at the Copa America last night with only their third win in the competition since they first took part in 1967.

Chavez vows on TV he will survive as leader

Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez held a televised cabinet meeting in an attempt to show that cancer surgery had not loosened his grip on the nation.

Show of strength as Chavez returns from Cuban cancer treatment

President Hugo Chavez received a hero's welcome as he rallied thousands of supporters upon his return to Venezuela, vowing to beat cancer after undergoing surgery in Cuba.

A meeting with Castro – then home for Chavez

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made a surprise return from Cuba yesterday, stepping off a plane before dawn amid speculation about his fitness to continue in office after surgery to remove a cancerous tumour.

Hugo Chavez returns to Venezuela

President Hugo Chavez returned to Venezuela from Cuba today, declaring that he felt "fine" as he recovered from surgery that removed a cancerous tumour.

Chávez retains grip on power after surgery

Venezuela's President has been in Cuba for cancer treatment, but the opposition seems powerless to mount a serious challenge

Venezuelans told to stay calm after Chavez's cancer treatment

Venezuela was on the brink of political chaos last night after President Hugo Chavez admitted in a televised address that he has cancer.

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