Raul Castro Congratulates Chavez

HAVANA TIMES — Cuban President Raul Castro on Sunday congratulated his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez on his victory in the recently concluded general elections in that South American nation, reported the Prensa Latina news agency.

“On behalf of the government and the people of Cuba, I congratulate you on this historic triumph, demonstrating the strength of the Bolivarian Revolution and its unquestionable popular support. Your decisive victory ensures the continuity of the struggle for the genuine integration of the Americas,” read the president’s letter published in the official Granma newspaper.

Chavez was reelected with 55.00 percent of the votes, while his opponent Henrique Capriles received 44.39 percent, said Tibisay Lucena, the president of the National Electoral Council of Venezuela, with 96 percent of the votes having been counted.

The victory of the 58-year-old Latin American leader will allow him his fourth consecutive term, for more than six additional years. The government of Cuba will benefit from this by having Venezuela as its primary trading partner and Chavez as its main political ally.

Fidel Castro has yet to make a comment about Chavez’s victory, though he had predicted it.