Cuban President Fidel Castro met with former US presidential contender Ralph Nader, who arrived here to discuss ways of combating tropical diseases.
The Cuban Communist leader and the US consumer advocate, who made a bid for the White House as a Green Party nominee in 2000, dined together at the Palace of the Revolution Sunday.
U.S. consumer advocate and Green Party presidential candidate in 2000, Ralph Nader
(L), speaks July 7, 2002 during his first visit to Cuba since 1959, saying the
United States should lift trade sanctions against Cuba like it did with China.
Nader was met by Cuba's National Assembly president Ricardo Alarcon (R). (Rafael
There was no word about the subject of their conversation.
The dinner was the first of two meetings Castro and Nader are scheduled to have this week. The two will also confer in private on Tuesday.
Nader, who arrived in Havana earlier in the day and was warmly greeted at the airport by Cuban National Assembly Chairman Ricardo Alarcon, said a US-Cuban partnership in fighting tropical diseases would make sense because the United States had the money and Cuba had trained and experienced personnel.
Nader also spoke in favor of abandoning a 40-year-old US trade embargo against Cuba, saying the United States should treat Cuba as it treats China.
He said the two nations should also launch a dialogue on the meaning of democracy.
Nader, who has already begun a series of meetings with Alarcon, is scheduled to meet Monday with Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and will visit Havana's Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.
He will return to the United States on Wednesday.
Nader said he intended to use his stay in Cuba to meet with local dissidents, although such a meeting is not included in his official program.
The former Green Party candidate is the second US politician to visit the island
since May, when former US president Jimmy Carter made his much-publicized trip
Copyright 2002 AFP