Bolivia's president-elect Evo Morales to arrive Cuba

Bolivia's president-elect Evo Morales is due to arrive in Cuba for his first foreign trip since his sweeping election victory earlier this month. Mr Morales, who on 22 January will become Bolivia's first indigenous president, is due to hold talks with Cuban President Fidel Castro.

Mr Castro is sending a jet to collect Mr Morales and about 60 supporters. Correspondents say the meeting is sure to be marked by anti-US rhetoric and calls for Latin American unity. An official Cuban government statement said Mr Morales' visit was "in keeping with the historic and profound relations of brotherhood and solidarity between the Bolivian and Cuban people".

Mr Morales will also visit a number of other countries including Brazil, China and South Africa - but not the US - ahead of his inauguration next month. Earlier this week, Mr Morales gave an interview to the Arabic TV station al-Jazeera in which he accused President George Bush of practising terrorism in Iraq.

He also said the White House had run a dirty campaign to try to stop him winning office. US officials have said they will judge Mr Morales by his actions, not his words. But correspondents say there is no doubt Washington is concerned about a politician who has described himself as a "nightmare for the US".

Following his election earlier this month, Mr Morales said he would join what he called President Castro's anti-imperialist struggle, reports BBC news. I.L.

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