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.

Venezuela politicians exchange punches in parliament

Venezuelan politicians exchanged punches in parliament yesterday when a fight erupted between members of President Hugo Chavez's socialist party and rivals, in a sign of the nation's political polarisation.

Chavez sees red over TV tales of 'Little Hugo'

In more than a decade in the presidency of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez has brushed off criticism from across the world, and weathered escalating attacks from his opposition at home, but in the end it seems to have been a Colombian soap opera that successfully got under his skin.

Get me Clinton, says Chávez after veto

President Hugo Chávez has sought to end a diplomatic stand-off with the US by suggesting Bill Clinton, the actor Sean Penn or the film director Oliver Stone as America's envoy to Caracas.

Venezuela: Pérez burial delayed over relatives' row

A bitter dispute between relatives of the former Venezuelan president Carlos Andrés Pérez has prevented his body being returned home from Miami.

Carlos Andrés Pérez: President of Venezuela during the oil boom who was later forced out of office

Just as in the case of the current president Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan presidency of the social democrat Carlos Andrés Pérez was never dull. He first led his nation from 1974-79 at the height of the oil boom when he nationalised the oil industry and the country became a world player with the nickname "Saudi Venezuela."

Former Venezualan president dies aged 88

The former Venezuelan president, Carlos Andres Perez, who survived two coup attempts but was finally forced from office as the first Latin American leader to be convicted of corruption, died on Saturday.

Chavez 'would expel US ambassador'

Tension flared between the US and Venezuela over Washington's nominee for ambassador on Saturday. President Hugo Chavez warned the diplomat would be detained and put on the next flight home if he sets foot in the country.

'Dictator' Chavez to rule by decree

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has moved to bypass parliament and govern by decree for one year, prompting opposition charges that he was acting like a dictator.

Diego Maradona in line to coach Iran according to reports

It takes little to fuel speculation about the career of Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona but one nod from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was enough for a newspaper to report he is line to coach Iran.

Latin American radicals call for Kyoto renewal

Three radical Latin American leaders may make the difference between agreement and failure at the UN climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, which reaches its climax this week.

Livingstone too cosy with Fidel Castro, said envoy

Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London, was accused of being "anti-American" in a leaked email from the US envoy to Britain.

Chavez leads fight for rights – and this time it's personal

Trouble lies ahead for graffiti artists in Caracas and other cities and towns across Venezuela whose sole professional mission is to plaster every available façade, fence or broken-down bus with brightly painted portraits of the man they call Comandante: President Hugo Chavez is no longer flattered and wants control of his image rights.

DVD: South of the Border, For retail & rental (Dogwoof)

In this sub-Michael Moore documentary, Oliver Stone schmoozes with South American presidents, and learns that they're not quite the anti-USA Hitlers that Fox News makes them out to be.

Chavez meets Syrian President

The Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, yesterday on the Middle East leg of an international tour partly intended to counter what he calls US "imperialism".

Chavez promises oil supplies to Belarus

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez promised to provide oil to the former Soviet republic of Belarus for the next two centuries.

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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

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Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

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After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
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Gorillas nearly missed

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China's wild panda numbers on the up

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Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
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Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

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