Chilean newspaper La Tercera is reporting that newly-elected President Michele Bachelet might get the chance to meet face to face with Fidel Castro during her visit to the Cuban capital. The encounter could take place as early as tomorrow, after all her official meetings have concluded, according to the unofficial reports.
A source in Bachelet’s government told the Chilean newspaper, "To her it was crucial to solidify a meeting, since she will be the first Chilean head of state to meet with Fidel Castro in Havana since Salvador Allende’s trip to Cuba in 1972." Bachelet is Chile’s first female president and a socialist.
Aside from the obvious symbolic reasons for a visit, Bachelet is in the Caribbean country meeting with its current leader, Fidel’s brother Raúl Castro, about different possibilities for collaborations between the two countries. Sources in Chile’s government affirm it’s also a sign that Chile wants to play a role in Cuba’s anticipated transition after the ailing Fidel passes away. After Bachelet, expected presidential visits to Havana include Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe and Mexico’s Felipe Calderón. Brazil’s Lula da Silva and Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez have already visited Havana.