Alexa

Chavez, Raul Castro visit military barracks where Cuban revolution began

Chavez, Raul Castro visit military barracks where Cuban revolution began

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, still reveling in his role leading a regional oil summit, joined Raul Castro for a tour Saturday of the military barracks that a ragtag group of rebels attacked in 1953, launching the Cuban revolution.
The pair arrived in an open-top jeep at the military complex at Moncada in Cuba's second-largest city of Santiago, standing at attention for a lengthy changing-of-the-guard ceremony.
Later, Cuban officials talked Chavez through key historical events that transpired at the base. Both Raul and Fidel Castro led the disastrous attack 54 years ago that saw the rebel fighters routed but provided the spark for a revolution that toppled dictator Fulgencio Batista in January 1959.
Discussing the events, Chavez repeatedly mentioned Fidel Castro, his 81-year-old socialist ally and close friend, who has not been seen in public since emergency intestinal surgery forced him to yield to a provisional government led by his younger brother Raul in July 2006.
The Moncada tour was closed to international media, but state-television carried a portion of it live across the island.
The carefully orchestrated trip to Santiago came after Chavez on Friday led a one-day regional oil summit in the city of Cienfuegos. He also oversaw the reopening of a nearby refinery that had stood idle since the collapse of the Soviet Union but is back online thanks in large part to financing fueled by Venezuelan oil profits.
During the summit, Chavez talked up his effort to use cheap oil to build alliances in Latin America and the Caribbean and diminish U.S. influence in the region. The Petrocaribe pact supplies oil to the region through long-term, low-interest financing.
Venezuela has the largest oil reserves outside the Middle East and it is the fourth-largest supplier of crude to the United States.
The South American country sends nearly 100,000 barrels of subsidized oil a day to Cuba. In exchange, thousands of Cuban doctors treat poor patients in that country.


Updated : 2021-02-28 11:21 GMT+08:00