Peruvian President-Elect Visits Cuba

Posted July 19th, 2011 at 11:05 am (UTC-5)
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Peruvian President-elect Ollanta Humala is in Cuba, his last stop on a multi-nation tour.

The visit comes a little more than a week before Mr. Humala takes office on July 28.

The Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma quoted Mr. Humala as saying he had come to visit a “sister” country and share an open agenda with Cuban President Raul Castro.

Mr. Humala was elected last month in a runoff election. The leftist former army officer narrowly beat Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of imprisoned former president Alberto Fujimori. He has promised to give poor Peruvians a greater share of the Andean nation's considerable mineral wealth and to honor the free market.

Since his election, he has traveled to several other countries, including Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico. He also visited the United States earlier this month, where he met with President Barack Obama.

Mr. Humala takes office after two previous unsuccessful attempts. In 2000, he launched a failed military coup against then-president Fujimori. And in 2006, Mr. Humala lost the presidential election to Alan Garcia, the current president who leaves office July 28.

In 2006, Mr. Humala was seen as a close ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who publicly endorsed him for president of Peru at that time. Some reports alleged the Venezuelan government helped finance that campaign. Mr. Humala has since distanced himself from Mr. Chavez.