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.

Rebel dispute sees Chavez sever ties with Colombia

Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, broke off relations with Colombia yesterday and ordered a maximum alert on his country's long border with its Andean neighbour, raising new fears of conflict in the area.

Maradona will decide future next week

Diego Maradona will decide whether to stay on as Argentina coach after a meeting next week, the head of the country's football association said yesterday.

Remains of revolutionary hero exumed

Hugo Chavez opened the coffin of his idol Simon Bolivar as Venezuela investigates the president's suspicions of foul play in the South American independence hero's death nearly two centuries ago.

Venezuela in diplomatic row with Washington

Venezuela's top diplomat accused US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of attacking his country for seeking Latin American unity and opposing US influence in international affairs.

Chavez denounces Israel as a 'genocidal' government

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez denounced Israel as a "genocidal" government yesterday as he hosted Syrian President Bashar Assad on his first visit to Latin America.

UN attacks Chavez for bid to arrest head of TV network

A UN human rights investigator called on Venezuela yesterday to withdraw the arrest warrant against the head of the opposition Globovision television network, declaring that it had no right to silence critics.

Johann Hari: When hands across the sea are tied

The argument that outsiders should not be allowed to criticise countries is being used more and more to thwart human rights campaigns

Venezuela's chatty leader Chavez joins Twitter

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez opened a Twitter account on Tuesday, launching himself into the digital fray to combat opponents who have seized on the micro-blogging site to criticize his socialist government.

Chavez threatens to nationalise gold mines

President Hugo Chavez threatened to nationalise gold mining concessions in Venezuela.

Boxer found dead in cell after killing wife

A day after his arrest on suspicion of murdering his wife, the Venezuelan boxing champion Edwin Valero was found hanging in his jail cell early yesterday morning.

Boxing: Former champion Valero found dead

Former boxing champion Edwin Valero, who gained fame for knocking out all his 27 opponents and having a tattoo of Hugo Chavez on his chest, was found dead in his jail cell today and police said he hanged himself after being arrested in his wife's murder.

Chavez claims arrested Colombians are spies

President Hugo Chavez said Venezuela arrested eight Colombians as suspected spies and charged that several carried identification indicating they are members of neighbouring Colombia's military.

Twitter's heady rise has Venezuela's Hugo Chavez in spin

A jailed judge "tweets" to her followers from prison. The director of an opposition TV station uses Twitter to denounce a conspiracy to oust him.

Court slaps media gag on Chavez opponent

Venezuela's highest court barred an outspoken opponent of President Hugo Chavez from talking to news media about criminal charges alleging he struck a police official.

Take an extra three days off to save energy, Chavez tells Venezuelans

When you're stuck in a traffic jam on Easter Monday, spare a thought for the holidaymakers of Venezuela. Their spring break has just been extended by three extra days – but they might have to spend some of it in the dark.

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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

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Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
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Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

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Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

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As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

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A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

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Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

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These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

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A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

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A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
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Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project