George McGovern leaving Cuba without seeing Castro

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Associated Press

Posted on July 4, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 4 at 3:05 PM

HAVANA (AP) — Former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern is heading back to the United States without having seen Fidel Castro, whom he considers an old friend.

McGovern says he is leaving for the airport to catch an afternoon flight and it looks like no meeting is in the cards.

McGovern said officials told him the former Cuban president has been extremely busy with official Cuban matters. He notes that Castro also has been spending "considerable time" with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who left early Monday following cancer surgery.

The 88-year-old former senator from South Dakota has been in Cuba since Friday.

McGovern lost the 1972 presidential election to President Richard Nixon.

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