Fidel Castro absent from summit opening

Sept. 15, 2006 at 3:30 PM

HAVANA, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro was not present Friday at the opening of a summit of more than 50 world leaders in Havana.

Raul Castro, to whom Fidel Castro turned over authority on the communist island in late July when he underwent gastro-intestinal surgery, represented his brother.

Fidel Castro did meet with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the state-run Granma newspaper reported online Friday.

Raul Castro opened the Non-Aligned Movement Summit of 118 nations wishing his brother well and condemning the United States for trying to promote regime change in Cuba.

The outspoken U.S. critic Chavez told leaders that "blood will run" if the United States invaded Cuba.

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