CARACAS, Venezuela, Sept. 24 -- President Hugo Chavez on Friday proposed joining forces with communist Cuba to bring free health and education programs to poor Caribbean nations ravaged by recent hurricanes and tropical storms.
Chavez, a political ally of Fidel Castro, Cuba's leader, has been accused by domestic foes and Washington of working with Havana to export his left-wing "revolution" to Latin America and the Caribbean, a charge he rejects.
"I've proposed to Cuban President Fidel Castro that Venezuela and Cuba pool resources to offer the governments of these people, if they consider it appropriate, these programs for literacy . . . and medical attention," he said. It was unclear how Castro had reacted to Chavez's proposal.