Leaders from ALBA bloc remember late President Hugo Chavez

March 5, 2018
Cuba's President Raul Castro, left, and Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega, second left, listen to a speech by Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, outside of Miraflores palace during a rally in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, March 5, 2018. The presidents of Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia visit Venezuela today for the ALBA XV ordinary session. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Leaders from Latin American governments belonging to an anti-U.S. bloc have converged on Venezuela’s capital Monday to commemorate the fifth anniversary of President Hugo Chavez’s death.

Presidents Raul Castro of Cuba, Evo Morales of Bolivia and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua were among those who made the trip, which coincided with a meeting of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, known as the ALBA bloc.

The meeting came as Venezuela grapples with a deepening economic crisis and heads into an early presidential election that has drawn international condemnation.

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro called Chavez his political father and said he is continuing the socialist revolution begun by his mentor.

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