November 7, 2008 / 10:34 PM / 10 years ago

Venezuela's Chavez sings on socialist party album

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela’s flamboyant President Hugo Chavez has made a show business appearance singing on a new compilation of revolutionary songs released by his United Socialist Party of Venezuela.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez speaks to supporters during a meeting of Venezuela Socialist Party (PSUV) in Caracas September 28, 2008. REUTERS/Miraflores Palace/Handout

Chavez, who is prone to belting out Venezuela folk songs during his frequent television appearances, sings an ode to a 19th century rebel leader on the album, released to coincide with the last weeks of campaign to elect governors and mayors.

The president’s familiar growling baritone rolls over a traditional harp-led “joropo” backing in the song, which praises the exploits of Maisanta, a rebel fighter from whom Chavez claims to be descended.

The album, called “Battle Music” and sporting a clenched fist on the cover, also features a rap track that samples a Chavez speech.

Last year, one of Chavez’s aides put together a selection of the former paratrooper’s top singing moments.

Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel and Alantl Molina; Editing by Bill Trott

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