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Cuba will advise Venezuela in its battle against state corruption -- an issue both countries have declared as a principal threat to their socialist systems of government.

Vice President José Vicente Rangel welcomed the arrival this week of a Cuban delegation, which will advise the Venezuelan government on putting together an anti-corruption commission, the government's office on internal audits said in a statement.

President Hugo Chávez, recently reelected, has vowed to stamp out corruption in his oil-rich country, citing it as one of the biggest challenges facing his administration.

His close friend and mentor, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, was also leading his own campaign against corruption before falling ill in July, portraying the widespread stealing from the state and other examples of ''moral decay'' as the greatest threat yet to Cuba's socialist system.

''We've brought the experience on both the positive and negative points . . . of our model to share with our Venezuelan colleagues,'' Jose Carlos del Toro, a Cuban Finance Ministry official, was quoted as saying in the statement.

The statement said Venezuela is seeking better oversight of public administration, budgets, bids and purchases in government offices.

Chávez was swept to power in 1998 on a wave of discontent with Venezuela's corrupt, political elite and has promised his socialist revolution is creating a more equitable country.

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