African National Congress President Nelson Mandela travels to Havana today to begin his first visit to Latin America since his release from a South African prison 17 months ago.
The 73-year-old ANC leader is due to meet one of his organization's benefactors, Fidel Castro, during his four days in Havana. Mandela also plans stops in Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.
The ANC president's fondness for the Cuban president, who supported the ANC liberation struggle during its long years in exile, touched off a controversy during Mandela's visit to the United States last year. The city of Miami--with its large Cuban exile community--refused to extend a formal welcome to Mandela.