The implications of Hugo Chavez's illness are enormous, for Venezuela, for the world, and particularly for the U.S., which remains highly dependent on imports of Venezuelan crude.
CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera reports the Cuban government has released a purported letter from Fidel Castro, amid rumors the former president's health is failing.
HAVANA-- For the first time since the height of the Cold War more than half a century ago, Cuba is giving its people the freedom to leave the country without government permission, scrapping the detested exit visa that kept many from traveling outside the communist nation for even a few days. said Mercedes Delgado, a 73- year-old retiree. "
HAVANA-- Cuba shuttered hundreds of medical facilities last year, including 54 hospitals, as the country reorganizes its health care sector. Cuba is proud of the universal, free health system installed after Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution, but his younger brother and successor Raul Castro has stressed that medical care must be more efficient and less wasteful.
CARACAS, Venezuela-- President Hugo Chavez put to rest any doubts about his masterful political touch in winning a third consecutive six-year term after a bitterly fought race against a youthful rival who has galvanized Venezuela's opposition.
The pope's visit to Cuba is providing a rare opportunity to see first hand the economic state of one of the last bastions of socialism, and whether or not a few new market-oriented laws are the start of meaningful change.