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Venezuelan President in Cuba for UNESCO Award

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez travels to Cuba late Thursday to accept an award for the preservation of native culture.

Mr. Chavez is accepting an award from UNESCO, the United Nations educational and cultural organization. The Jose Marti International Award, named for the Cuban writer and patriot, is awarded annually to a person or group for their work preserving and promoting Latin American and Caribbean culture.

While in Cuba, the Venezuelan leader will attend Cuba's annual International Book Fair, which focuses this year on Venezuela.

President Chavez and Cuban President Fidel Castro are close allies, and often denounce the United States and its policies in the hemisphere. Cuban state media said the visit will strengthen ties between the two governments.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.