Pomp and praise for Morales in Cuba

December 31, 2005

Miami Herald- Andrea Rodriguez

HAVANA - Bolivia's socialist president-elect got a greeting reserved for heads of state when he arrived in communist Cuba on Friday: a red carpet, a military band and a smiling Fidel Castro.

Stepping off the Cuban plane sent to pick him up in Bolivia, Evo Morales said his trip to the Caribbean island was ``a gesture of friendship to the Cuban people.'

Castro embraced Morales, who has visited the island in the past as one of Latin America's leading protest organizers. The Cuban government has welcomed the election of the nationalist Indian activist as an important triumph over U.S. influence in the region.


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