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Updated: Monday, 25 Feb 2013, 1:15 PM MST
Published : Monday, 25 Feb 2013, 1:15 PM MST
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has sent a message to Raul Castro, congratulating him for his re-election as Cuba's president.
Cuban lawmakers re-elected Castro on Sunday. Castro said the new five-year term will be his last as Cuba's president.
In a statement released by Venezuela's foreign ministry on Monday, Chavez called Castro "a brave soldier" and expressed optimism his new term as Cuba's leader would be successful.
Venezuela and Cuba have forged strong ties under Chavez.
Chavez returned to Venezuela on Feb. 18, after more than two months of medical treatment in Cuba following cancer surgery.