Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has held talks with former Cuban President Fidel Castro in Havana for what Cuba's state-run media have described as an "animated and warm" meeting.  No photos or videos of the meeting were made public.

The Communist Party newspaper, Granma, reported Tuesday that Mr. Chavez and Mr. Castro met for three hours Monday to discuss the world's food, energy and financial crises. Mr. Chavez last traveled to Cuba in March.

President Chavez said Monday that Mr. Castro is "alive and well, thinking, writing and dictating important strategies for Cuba and Latin America.  Mr. Chavez also was quoted by the French news agency as saying Mr. Castro's younger brother, Raul Castro, is "at the helm" of the Cuban revolution.

Raul Castro replaced Fidel Castro as president in February, more than a year and a half after the elder Castro underwent intestinal surgery. Fidel Castro has not been seen in public since then.

The former Cuban leader, however, has appeared in videos and photographs, and articles attributed to him have been published in state-run media. Details of his health are considered a state secret. 

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.