New Peruvian president pays Cuban courtesy call

Peruvian President-elect Ollanta Humala has visited Cuba, his last stop on a multi-nation tour ahead of his inauguration July 28.

Humala met Tuesday in Havana with President Raúl Castro and Castro’s brother, former president Fidel Castro, for talks on various issues. The incoming Peruvian leader also spoke by telephone with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who is in Cuba to undergo chemotherapy following surgery there last month to remove a cancerous tumor.

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. Humala 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, Humala 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.

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

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