Venezuela's Chavez meets with Fidel Castro for 5 hours; calls his health magnificent

HAVANA (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met for five hours with Fidel Castro behind closed doors Wednesday, and state television said they discussed the former Cuban leader's warnings about impending nuclear war.

Castro has been using his written opinion columns to warn for months that the U.S. and Israel will launch a nuclear attack on Iran and that Washington could also target North Korea — predicting Armageddon-like devastation and fighting.

The state TV broadcast Wednesday night also said Chavez expressed satisfaction at Castro's "magnificent" health.

Venezuela's socialist leader later met with President Raul Castro before leaving Cuba.

There was no immediate video or photos of either encounter.

Chavez is a close ally of Fidel Castro and visited him frequently during the four years he disappeared from public view following emergency intestinal surgery in July 2006.

Wednesday was the first time, however, that Chavez had visited since Castro began making a string of public appearances in recent weeks.